Sure, the French have great food, but sometimes you just want a warm, comforting bowl of pasta -- and yeah, there’s a lot of fat to chew through in Paris before finding bon Italien, but we chewed it for you. If you want authentic, go one country over to Italy. If you want the closest thing in Paris, you go here.
What you’re getting: The carbonara
The pasta branch of top-pick pizzeria La Briciola, this newbie is already a favorite for non-pizza Italian fare. Good service, friendly local clientele, and a welcoming atmosphere all pair well with a limited selection of pasta and starters. The carbonara -- with bits of pork cheek, heaps of Parmesan, and plenty of black pepper -- is a standout dish.
Canal Saint Martin
What you’re getting: Linguine alla vongole
If the Maria Luisa pizzeria is too packed, this little local surprise down the street is a surefire hit, unless you’re easily offended by kitschy Virgin Mary décor. The quirky restaurant and super-friendly service play second fiddle to excellent pasta dishes like their clam linguine. It’s been recently renovated, but still has enough kitsch factor to keep us coming back.
What you’re getting: Seafood dishes
It bears repeating -- this place is just downright buono. We listed it for our pizzas, but it does all sorts of great Italian dishes, notably seafood pastas. You can’t go wrong with a squid ink tonnarelli or risotto with langoustines. Don’t skimp on dessert. Its tiramisu might not be a pretty little Parisian pastry, but it’s some of best dolce in the city.
What you’re getting: Plates of the day
Diners won’t have too much choice at this diminutive Tuscan eatery where the tiny menu changes often, usually featuring three mains. The focus is quality Italian products, and the results are unanimously fantastic. Various rifts on lasagna are a highlight. The place gets cozy, but hey, in Italy we’re all family, right?
What you’re getting: Organic Italian
Homely, authentic Italian cuisine is one thing, but for something a bit more modern, organic, and even (gasp) vegan, La Terre Madre serves up some of the best. Located well off any tourist’s radar, the tiny shop doubles as a restaurant with traditional Italian dishes with touches of international influence -- but nothing that rocks the boat too much.
What you’re getting: Michelin-starred Italian fare
The chef at this restaurant has gone to Italy to produce his own olive oil, featured in the often elaborate dishes. No big thing. Located in La Royal Monceau Hotel, this place has a well-deserved Michelin star, with a seasonal menu that may include spring green risotto or spinach gnocchi with white asparagus. Have a few glasses of rosso to help ease the pain when the bill arrives.
What you’re getting: Burrata and asparagus with truffles
So many places serve burrata, but it’s not always excellent. The chef at Guido de Luca jazzes it up with green asparagus, summer truffles, and hazelnut oil, so look for it on the menu if it’s in season. Otherwise, fancier Italian dishes like risotto with artichokes and a shrimp carpaccio and homelier plates like lasagna with seasonal vegetables fill a perfectly diverse, yet unintimidating menu.
What you’re getting: Its desserts
One of four Italian places owned by the same people, La Trattoria Pulcinella is the local favorite. With pizza, antipasti, and pasta, it has all of the trappings of a great Italian meal, but the desserts -- all proudly identified as homemade -- seal the deal. If they were only so-so, we’re sure they wouldn’t brag about making them. Right?
What you’re getting: Bruschetta
Pizza, pasta, salad -- East Mamma has it all. The products are fresh and Italian. We’re seeing a theme here in Paris. Finally, however, an Italian restaurant breaks the mold, offering a bruschetta bar with variations other than classic tomato and basil. Maybe try the spicy sausage and zucchini with onion confit, or else go for the king crab bruschetta with lime, fennel, apple, and cilantro. Whatever you do, get there before 7:30pm to avoid queuing for dinner.
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1. La Briciola64 Rue Charlot, Paris
2. La Madonnina10 rue Marie et Louise, Paris
3. Amici Miei44, Rue Saint-Sabin, Paris
4. Come a Casa7 rue Pache, Paris
5. La Terra Madre46 rue de Menilmontant, Paris
6. Il Carpaccio - Le Royal Monceau37 Avenue Hoche, Paris
7. Guido De Luca14 Rue de Thann, Paris
8. Trattoria Pulcinella2 rue Eugène Sue, Paris
9. East Mamma133 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris
It's a no frills pizza joint where locals and pizza-loving tourists come together. It has some of the city’s best white pies, topped with arugula and speck ham, and the perfectly baked crust gets a chance to shine without all of that delicious yet obtrusive tomato sauce.
The pasta at this spot is definitely the star (especially their clam linguine). Expect friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere.
Get in line with the locals at this no-reservations pizzeria. Italian waiters shout to each other as they serve up authentic Italian cuisine including the Regina pizza: copious and baked to perfection with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves, it's a no brainer, but just one of many choices to consider.
This tiny Tuscan spot is home to a short menu, that changes regularly. They frequently have a form of lasagne, and that is always one of their most popular options. The seating is definitely cozy, but that's part of the charm right?
Located between the 11th and 19th arrondissement, this warm, welcoming restaurant keeps a short menu made with organic ingredients. The menu also includes specific vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes.
For over thirty years this restaurant has been serving italian from with the Le Royal Monceau hotel. The restaurant has earned a Michelin star, and Chef Roberto Rispoli serves traditional family recipes that span Italy's many different regional styles. Be sure to brace for impact when the check comes.
This family run restaurant in Monceau has a welcoming atmosphere and a menu based on the family's roots. Today, the restaurant is run by Guido De Luca and his son Romain.
This restaurant is one of four (!!!) owned by the same family from Naples, and apparently it's the favorite. Their homemade desserts will make you want to skip dinner entirely, but don't. The pastas, pizza, and antipasti is just as good.
They may have all the pizza, pasta, and salad you could want, but the show-stopper at East Mamma is definitely its bruschetta bar. Rather than just the traditional tomato, they serve variations like spicy sausage, zucchini, & onion confit and king crab with lime, fennel, apple, & cilantro.