So you’ve met someone in Paris, whether it be online, on a dating app, at a bar or a social gathering. You’ve possibly gotten past a first drink/coffee or go straight for a dinner date. Finding the right ambiance could make or break it a first date in Paris or anywhere. The restaurant needs to be friendly yet not too noisy, romantic-y yet too over the top, unique in some way yet not too weird. The following restaurants tick all of these boxes and provide the perfect setting for sparking a little romance and hopefully a second date! I’ve organized them into categories to help you decide. Happy romancing and bon appetit!
COOL & CONTEMPORARY
Small plates are perfect for an early date (you’ll find several on this list), and this new restaurant in Batignolles area has a great menu of these plus an alluring and stylish decor. The dimly lit dining room has a long row of table pour deux, with cushion ladened banquettes, playful trees and vines. The ambiance may even pick up over the evening with some impromptu yukaley music. They their creative French-fusion tapas include the likes of organic oeuf mimosa with trout caviar, fancy mashed potatoes with truffles, bass and clementine ceviche and confit de canard with roasted pears. These can be paired with their inventive cocktails inspired by great French women like Françoise Sagan and Simone de Beauvoir, all made with original liquors and homemade syrups.
Website|Address: 87 Rue Legendre, 75017 Paris
More fantastic cocktails and small plates can be enjoyed at this modern restaurant near the hip Faubourg Saint Denis area. Here they focus on seasonal Mediterranean dishes with a contemporary twist such as Lebanese za’atar dip, roasted cauliflower sprinkled in seeds or hake and parsnips topped in an olive crumble. The cocktail list has their take of the various corners of the Mediterranean from the “Alhambra” with cava and a special syrup of jasmine rose and verjuice to the “Cefalù” with vodka, pistachio cream, lemon and fig. In addition to the succulent food and drinks, the restaurant has cute little booths for two, so try to book one of those when you reserve.
Website|Address: 22 rue d’Enghien, 75010 Paris
The small plate and wine bar offshoot of bistronomie restaurant Semilla, Freddy’s is ideal for a first date (then you can upgrade a future date nextdoor at its big sister). The seating is all along bar counters with tall bar stools, forcing you to get a little close to your date. The setting is relaxed yet sophisticated and with a hint of romance with hearts on the chalkboard. This venue could be a good choice if you want to start with a drink and a nibble then see how things go. You can always order more of their delicious and creative tapas if the night goes well!
Website|Address: 54 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris
WHIMSICAL & QUIRKY
If you want to have a more romantic setting without going overboard, then this pretty restaurant on a small side street in the 9th arrondissement is a fabulous fit. It features a whimsical decor of antiques, golden chandeliers, mismatched lamps and offbeat curiosities, an enchanting atmosphere accentuated by romantic low lighting. They have a small menu of regularly changing seasonal dishes, a bit pricey but tasty and you’ll have the pleasure of lingering in this lovely setting with your hopefully new chéri/e.
Website|Address: 34 rue Petrelle, Paris 75009
If you’d like a place that has an element of surprise, then take your date to this cool and quirky venue. Tucked behind (like its name indicates), the Andy Wahoo Bar and Restaurant 404, finding this restaurant is part of the fun. Once inside, you can set your derrières on their unique hodgepodge of seating, including a bed… not to make any illusions as to where the date might end! At the very least, this restaurant’s fun ambiance and modern cuisine will surely get the romantic juices flowing and lead to a follow up date.
Website|Address: 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris
The largest restaurant in Europe might not seem like it would be a romantic place, nonetheless, this huge venue by the Big Mamma group has a lot of appeal for a first dinner date in Paris. Meaning happiness, the vast and eclectic space is busy while also being intimate. has a chic bar area, a pasta counter, an aperitivo counter, a coffee bar and a wood fire pizza oven on the sprawling terrace. So you just need to decide where to sit (in the train car perhaps) and you can pick and choose whatever your preferred predilection. It’s so perfectly à la carte: if the date is going well you can extend it at the dessert counter, if it’s going poorly you can say ciao after apéro.
Website|Address: 5 Parvis Alan Turing, 75013 Paris
Located in the historic Galerie Vivienne, dating back to 1823, the twinned dining room of this swank restaurant has deep burgundy drapes, large windows, and leafy plants. The atmosphere is chic, yet not stuffy, plus there are a few quieter corners ideal for two. The menu, on the other hand, is not stuck in the past and features modern French cuisine using seasonal ingredients such as quinoa salad fresh vegetables and Sainte Maure cheese or Baked ham with summer white truffles.
Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse
If you want to impress your date with a stunning setting without breaking the bank then head down to this recently refurbished historic bouillon restaurant. First opened in 1858 then redecorated in the Art Nouveau style in the early 20th century, the restaurant transports guests back to the Belle Epoque Era with its wooden curved mirrors, floral tiles, glitzy lighting and gorgeous ceiling of stained glass. Although it can get busy, it isn’t overly noisy and there is a quieter section at the back. Like at its sister venue, the famous Chartier off Les Grands Boulevards, your meal of favorite French classics will only set you back 10-15 euros/person… including wine!
Website|Address: 59 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris
Combine a venue steeped in history with great contemporary market-based cuisine at this relaxed bistrot near Les Halles. Vast refurbishments undertaken in 2013 revealed a magical Art Nouveau decor dating back to 1906 with splendid ceramic tiles featuring wandering flowers, elaborate urns and allegories to coffee and beer. Complete with a classic zinc bar, the small restaurant serves a chalkboard menu of regularly changing dishes.
Website|Address: 3 rue Etienne Marcel, 75001 Paris
Courtesy of Alcazar
This posh Left Bank establishment succeeds at being intimate while its large size keeps things for being overly gushy for a first dinner date. The soaring ceilings (where you’ll also find a cocktail bar on the mezzanine level) are cascading in greenery, add in vintage style lamps, booths and tables for two and you’ve got the perfect early romance setting. The menu changes seasonally and is a little pricey, however, the chic setting is bound to impress your date.
Website|Address: 62, rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris
Courtesy of Istr
Meaning oyster in the Breton language, this stylish oyster restaurant, with delicate modern decor, gilded mirrors and candlelit tables, is perfect for a first date… plus let’s not forget that these pearls of the sea are said to have aphrodisiacal properties! In addition to oysters, its regularly changing menu features other fresh catches in small and larger plate format which are perfectly paired succulent wines and themed cocktails.
Website|Address: 41 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 75003 Paris
Courtesy of Maison Blanche
If you want to go all out for the first dinner date with some serious wow factor, without calling your banker first, then reserve a table here. Situated atop the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on chic Avenue Montaigne, La Maison Blanche boosts amazing views of the Eiffel. Albeit not cheap, their gourmet dinner menu will set you back 72 € a person, however, that’s still much less than at a Michelin starred restaurant and the views are priceless!
Website|Address: 15 avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
Looking for other great date ideas? We’ve got tons of suggestions in our Paris date section here!