Great tasting Italian food in Paris?

A few years back, I recalled reading an article on the New York Times, citing Paris might be the BEST city for Italian food outside of Italy!

In conjunction with that, I also recalled enjoying a great tasting Italian meal at the then Michelin 1* - ‘Conti’ ( now just a Bib ). The best tasting dish of the evening being just a simple ’ Bean ’ appetizer dish in an intensely aromatic and flavourful Tomato sauce! Such a memorable Italian dish found in Paris and NOT in say Milan or Rome!

For our upcoming food tour of Paris and surrounding areas. To break up the monopoly of continuously eating traditional, modern and Michelin star French food. We have decided to freeze up a cherished spot in our itinerary to try out some great Italian food instead. ( FYI, we have also a Moroccan meal planned. However, since we are frequent travellers to the Orient…Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taipei Singapore, Vietnam… we will be skipping anything Asian/Oriental )

Sadly, research on the internet led me to most, if not all, popular food blogs, where so called foodie posters only associated good Italian food with either good pizzas or pastas!..and as such their suggestions were mainly focused on places with pizzas and pastas as forte!

Have any fellow fraternity members came across or eaten in great Italian restaurants in Paris worth recommending?! Recommendations do not have to be Michelin star calibre. A traditional Trattoria serving well executed Italian fare like Veal, Seafood of Clams, Scampis, Red Prawns and a few stand-out pasta dishes or two would be great?!

Thanks in advance!


Our hands-down favorite is Ristorante Passerini. Giovanni is a lovely man, pasta maker extraordinaire and excellent chef. We have followed him from his original Rino to his eponymous restaurant. Quality and deliciousness guaranteed.


There’s a huge choice ? Where to begin ?

My own special faves are Passerini on the fringes of the Aligre quartier in the 12th and, for Sardinian cuisine, Racines in the Passages des Panoramas. Both specialize in updated versions of Italian cuisine and are not your usual mamma-mia trattoria. If you want something more trad but not limited to the usual pasta and pizza dishes, Osteria Ferrara in the 11th and Dilia in Ménilmontant are excellent.

If you want a place closer to your AirB&B in the Port Royal/ Gobelins quartier, IDA on rue Vaugirard near the Gare Montparnasse is outstanding but the best stuff is served as a no-choice chef’s menu rather than à la carte. Maybe 20-min walk from Port Royal or hop on the #82 bus from the odd-numbered side of boulevard Montparnasse to the Maine-Vaugirard stop.


Once again, thank you for your input!
Ah! Finally I manage to come across a restaurant - " Passerini " being mentioned in two separate stand alone suggestions!
BTW, both Racines and Osteria Ferrara were also on my radar too!
When I checked out the usual ‘popular’ food blogs, there were not a single overlap suggestion! Every so called best or 10 best list…etc have all totally different candidates!!
For this Italian meal, we don’t mind travelling a touch further and longer since we don’t need to get up early the next day for some planned functions/outing!

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@THECHARLES , I’m wondering if @ParnParis and others have a recommendation for a place serving a spectacular linguine with clam sauce.

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I don’t necessarily agree that Paris is the best city for Italian food outside of Italy itself; London has many more Italian citizens living there than Paris does. Paris does have some great Italian spots however.

Here’s a favorite of mine that I’ve been patronizing for over 37 years - I’m the third generation in my family to go there and while it’s not a restaurant, all of their food is made in-house and it’s absolutely stellar:

Luigi e Figli
20 Rte de la Reine, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France

I cannot say enough good things about their food. Their eggplant parm is the best I’ve ever had and just about everything they have there is absolutely divine.

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As I eluded to, the New York Times article was a while back…pre-Covid. As such, things might have changed? Furthermore, based on latest CNN documentary hosted by Stanley Tucci, London was singled out to have some really great Italian food!

We too have a huge Italian population here in Toronto. However, IMO, quality of food and offerings are only so-so. In fact, some of the best Italian in town are being run by local ’ French cooking trained ’ Canadian chefs! Ha!

Actually, some of the best tasting Italian food I had recently were all in the Orient!!..Hong Kong and Tokyo!!..Amazing pasta with Hokkaido crab, Uni, clams or red prawns!! Also, due to their close vicinity to the Pacific, seafood soup and seafood dishes using local ingredients were amazing!

I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a spectacular spaghetti/ linguine con vongole. It’s such a common dish and the recipe is, as are many Italian pasta dishes, rather standard and hidebound. If it’s elevated it’s no longer spaghetti con vongole. Having said that, the not very traditional version served at L’Emporio Armani Caffè in St Germain des Prés was, for me, outstanding. One usually doesn’t expect excellence in the haunts of fashionistas and therefore surprising as well as outstanding. But a warning: it includes a sprinkle of “bottarga sarda”/ dried and grated mullet roe and egg sac which, for many Americans, will be a new and unusual taste even if it is rather common in Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines.


It’s hard to even find a decent version in Toronto, and I’ve always found shellfish in France to be very good.

Thanks for the leads!

Also, thanks for mentioning the Bottarga.

Both Charles and I are Canadians.

I think Charles likes Bottarga.

I don’t like it. My regret at Roscioli in Rome was ordering a pasta with Bottarga, instead of Alla Gricia or Carbonara.

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A heavy hand with bottarge should be noted either on the carte or by the waiter. It’s a love or hate affair. Like an unexpected touch, sublime when discreet but problematic when a slap in the face.

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Actually my most memorable Spaghetti con Vongole dish I had was in Sicily where the chef actually added chopped up anchovies to the original garlic, EVOO, chili flakes…ingredient components and finished off the end products with Bottarga Sarda…fishy, salty, loaded with umami and goooood!!

In Italy, there are two types of bottarga… sarda/ sardinian which tends to be made from mullet and has a more delicate and “umami” taste; and the much bolder-tasting Sicilian version likely to be made from tuna. To complicate matters, some Sicilian bottargo is made from mullet depending on what part of Sicily. I suspect Prima’s pasta con la bottarga was made by some typically heavy-handed Roman cook using very assertive tuna bottarga siciliana.

I love the bottarga sarda/ Sardinian (from mullet) but can only tolerate the lightest sprinkle of Sicilian bottargo di tonno.


I think it was Sardinian. My godfather is Sardinian, and part of the reason I would have ordered it, was that I hadn’t tried it before. I believe it was made from grey mullet. I’m sure it wasn’t made from tuna.

The chef was heavy handed, absolutely.

Anybody tried Mori Venice Bar? Many years ago, we had a meal there, food was good, the place was cold (maybe because few clients that particular night) and service a bit impersonal but efficient. It seems the place is always on the list Paris best of Italian. What do you think of them?

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Mori’s Venice Bar completely slipped my mind. It’s very old school, a bit old farty, very expensive and expense-accountish but very good and authentic. I especially like the Veneto specialities like belfritto (a plate of fried fish in a sauce) and, for Prima, a very good linguine con vongole in the venetian style (which also includes a light sprinkle of mullet bottarga).


Very fond of L’Alimentari, rue des Ecouffes, and Il Bacaro, near Voltaire (Friulan-Venetian cooking).

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