Paris: recs for solo dining, preferably at the bar?

I will find myself alone in Paris for around 5 days in May. I visit Paris fairly often - was just there in November - but do not often travel or eat in restaurants alone. Heck, I rarely eat out alone at home here in NYC! When I do, I prefer to sit at a nice bar, with a great bartender, friendly patrons – and obviously, excellent food. I’m thinking of a wonderful solo meal I had a few years back at the bar at Union Square Cafe, shortly before they moved to the new location. Even though I appeared to be the only non-regular eating at the bar, the atmosphere was warm and convivial and I felt instantly welcome. And of course, that legendary burger…

So I am wondering: are there similar places in Paris where I can have a fantastic meal and a nice evening out, all by myself? I speak French so conversing with strangers is not a problem - though I should add that I’m okay sitting by myself and reading a book if the scene turns out to be more quiet. Style of cuisine does not matter – but the food must be great, as I know it will be, if recommended by the thoughtful and knowledgeable members of this board (many of whom I recognize from my many years as a mostly-lurker on CH!) And an interesting selection of wines would be a plus too.


Fay, I can think of several places that might be appropriate but hesitant to recommend without knowing your general age group, style, budget, and location in Paris. Help !

Ah, thank you for the questions – though I am not sure my somewhat general responses will help you narrow it down! The truth is that I am comfortable in a wide range of settings, from very casual to upscale Michelin starred places, and also flexible when it comes to budget… I’ll happily pay for good food when it’s worth it, but will get very grouchy when it’s not! I have not 100% decided on where I’ll be staying - normally I am in the Marais but considering other options this time, probably in the 1st - so let’s say I am flexible with location too but would prefer central Paris/easily accessible by Metro (which is all of Paris, I suppose?) General age range is “young 50’s” :slight_smile: Does that help at all??

Pierre Sang comes immediately to mind.
Korus has an active bar scene.
Delia good food service at the bar.
Vantre’s attentive service should keep you company.

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Good suggestions, Pilg.

I think by “Delia” you mean Dilia in the 20th?

There’s an active bar scene at Korus but I think the atmosphere is very, very different from that of Union Square Café. The brick walls at Korus create a noise chamber, and it is so noisy there that I would not be able to read a book and I question what kind of conversation goes on there (but then I don’t like loud restaurants anywhere). Whenever I eat at Korus, I try to be outdoors or else at off-peak hours.

I expect it’s going to be much easier to strike up conversations with Americans (or Brits, but they’ve become much more rare here since Brexit) than French (unless they are French who have lived in an English-speaking country and are Anglophonophiles). With that in mind, I’d suggest the following:

Willi’s Wine Bar, 1st arrondissement (maybe the most similar to Union Square Café?)
Fish, 6th
Freddy’s, 6th
Sémilla, 6th
L’Avant Comptoir, 6th
L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer, 6th
Aux Deux Amis, 11th
Clamato, 11th
Fulgurances d’en Face, 11th
Le Saint-Sébastien, 11th

I’d expect Frenchie’s and Frenchie’s Wine Bar to be good locations, too, but I’ve never been to either.

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The solo lunch I had many years ago at Atelier Robuchon was enjoyable though perhaps a bit overpriced


I’d eaten solo in restaurants that weren’t bar in Paris, never problem. With friends in drinking bar, there were some annoyances. :wink:

I think it has to do with the vibe of the place and if you feel comfortable.

Since you’ve talked about bar. How about Le Rigmarole in 11th.

I’ve eaten in this place alone, not a bar. The servers were nice.
Restaurant H, Paris 4th

I saw a few solo diners in le Clarence, Paris 8th.


I am a frequent solo diner, both at home in NYC and when I travel. I love taking a book to read and a notebook to jot down thoughts, and just enjoy the experience.

I will say in Paris, I rarely sit at the bar (in NYC, I prefer the bar). I will say Le Chateaubriand is a place I have done the tasting menu at their bar (three or four seats I believe). I have also sat at the Le Dauphin bar (the wine bar next to Le Chateaubriand). Last time I went to either was in 2018. Question, I have seen some not so great reviews recently. Has there been a downturn? That is a shame if so because I have had some very memorable meals at both establishments over my trips to Paris.


Thank you, Onzieme and Pilgrim! These all sound great. Of the places mentioned, I’ve only been to Fish - very nice, but not necessarily a place I would return to. (I have eaten at Fulgurances, but not the wine bar across the street.) And I should note, I’m not necessarily eager to strike up a conversation with anyone, but more looking for a place with a convivial vibe – though I do prefer not overly noisy, so thanks for the heads up about Korus. I’ve been considering Willi’s for my first night, so maybe I’ll start with that…

Curious - what are some of your favorite places for solo dining in Paris, not at the bar?

I relish dining out solo but get so few opportunities to do it. The theatre of a good restaurant can be a very entertaining spectacle that is sometimes best enjoyed when alone. Of course, you must insist on a strategic table or place at the bar where conversations can be overheard, and the clientele checked out. Much better than reading a book.

Pilgrim has read my mind (as she usually does) and offered many of the same places that I would have recommended. Especially Pierre Sang Oberkampf (there are several Pierre Sang restos but the one labelled Oberkampf is the most fun and has the best—and very interactive-- counter seating overlooking the kitchen). Dinner is a no-choice 6-course tasting menu (modern French with Korean inspirations, sometimes verging on fusion) but they will improvise if you let them know when you book if you have any allergies or aversions. And a stunningly good price/ quality ratio. Easily walkable from most parts of the Marais or hop on the #96 bus from rue Vieille Temple in the Marais to the Parmentier-Oberkampf stop. I echo onz’s feelings about Korus for a solo.

To Pilgrim’s and onzieme’s mostly very good lists I’ll also add:

Restaurant Diggity on rue St Maur in the hip 11th… usually, a very convivial ambiance and bar seating but a little caveat: most of the clientele are trendy 30-somethings and you could feel out of place (but you won’t be treated as if you don’t belong);

Le Mary Celeste on rue Commines @ rue Froissart in the 3rd/ Haut Marais… cocktail bar with eats, some bar seating, lovely terrace when weather is good, always some American tourists up for a chat;

La Grande Brasserie on rue Bastille in the 4th (just across the street fro, the well-known Bofinger brasserie)… no bar seating but very sparkling ambiance and a somewhat stylish Parisian clientele rather than the usual brasserie collection of fleshy French from the provinces and middle-aged tourists attracted by the decor (but that could quickly change now that tourists are returning to Paris), excellent trad cuisine slightly updated and served with flair (special mention for the joue de boeuf à la bourguignonne), usually excellent people-watching;

GrandCoeur in a courtyard off the rue du Temple in the Marais/ 4th… very good restaurant “theatre”, waiters are very personable and flirty (but I suspect you are the wrong sex), a bit overpriced but not crushingly so;

For a splurge, Pavyllon on avenue Dutuit in the idyllic park-like section (between place Concorde and Rond Point) of the otherwise horrible Champs Elysées… a Michelin 1-star in multi-starred chef Yannick Alléno’s mini-empire, lovely setting, lots of bar seating and interaction with the kitchen (but in good weather, the terrace is perhaps a better choice), very cossetting service.


re: Mary Celeste. As two of those American tourists “up for a chat”, we had a great hour or two here drinking cocktails and comparing lives & Paris notes with a similar Aussie couple. I do remember it getting pretty crowded though.

re: Bofinger. Always nice to be called middle aged, even though “attracted by the decor” does painfully hit the mark.

No Clown Bar?

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I will add that I just mentioned to husband the reservations about Korus’ noise level. He is a bear about noise, will walk out rather than suffer, and remembers no issues at Korus. SO please remember that the best of us have very different experiences to share and that season, day snd time will greatly determine your visits.

And, two, our most memorable conversations have been with locals who have found us worth chatting up, rather than fellow visitors. That is to say that the locals who frequent the kinds of dining rooms mentioned here will probably have no difficulty conversing with you.


Never noticed bar food service at Clown Bar, but, yes, for food and sweet decor. I’d go in a heartbeat.

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Le Dauphin is an excellent call. Bar food service is its mission. We’ve only been a couple of times and were never blown away but it’s small plates are well conceived and executed.


Mary Celeste is fun. (I took my daughter there for her first “legal” drink!) I can’t remember anything about the food, however!!
And no Clown Bar for me. I ate there a few years ago, right before the pandemic, and did not love it. Perhaps I ordered poorly, or it was an off day, but either way I was disappointed and won’t go back.


I have had great experiences at Montee, so much so, it is one of my favorite Paris places. Both times, I was a table of one.

Verjus was another good experience as a single diner.

I just realized that I did sit at the bar at Les Enfants Rouges (they have a small 3-4 seat bar, and it was perfect).

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@PenelopeWitherspoon Thanks for these suggestions! Just a note that Verjus seems to be closed for the moment due to renovations (I’ve sat at the wine bar but never at the restaurant). And Montée looks fantastic. I’ll actually be staying in Montparnasse for one night (before catching a train) but alas my companions for that part of the trip are two vegan-leaning vegetarians with tiny appetites so this probably will not appeal to them….but maybe I’ll check it out on my own. Thanks again.

If you are looking for lunch before your train, Urfa Durum on the northwest angle of the place (or end of Rennes) is possibly the best “kabob” shop in town, House made breads, incredible lamb. Did I mention their fries???


Sounds good, will be catching a train next week in Montparnasse :yum: Problem is will be traveling with a cat, is it far from the station?