Travel 3 minutes 21 February 2024

Arnaud Donckele’s Favourite Spots in Paris

In its 'One Chef, One City' series, The MICHELIN Guide shows major French cities through the eyes of the country’s greatest chefs. Chefs with close ties to the city where they were born, or with a passion for their adopted city, share original tips on the best restaurants, producers and suppliers – and give us a sneak peek into their address books!

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Arnaud Donckele, whose grandparents were farmers and whose parents ran a pork butcher and delicatessen, had a special relationship with food from an early age. Childhood memories of farm produce and of his family’s vegetable garden in Normandy continue to influence him in his life as a chef, artisan and creative. He began his apprenticeship at Gourmand Prunier, which was a stepping-stone to the kitchens of several prestigious establishments, including Les Prés d'Eugénie, Le Louis XV, the Plaza Athénée and Lasserre in Paris. He emerged from his years of training with a honed technique, a penchant for rigorous standards and an immense passion for ingredients. This all stood him in good stead to take charge of the kitchens at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez and Cheval Blanc Paris.

For food shopping: Marché Beauvau – Marché d’Aligre
“This popular market fills my Sunday mornings with delight. The diversity of produce on the stalls is incredible! Both in the period covered market (Marché Beauvau), a throwback to the Paris of the 1960s, and the outdoor market (Marché d’Aligre), where stallholders shout out the names of their wares and the price per kilo, you are treated to quite a spectacle. When my wife and I have finished our shopping, our greatest pleasure in life is to sit at the Sea Bar Paris Pêche near the exit of the market and have a few oysters and a glass of white wine before heading home.”

Established in 1779, the Marché d’Aligre has an incomparable atmosphere and unbeatable prices. The Beauvau market structure (1843) is a listed monument.

Rue d'Aligre and Place d'Aligre, 75012 Paris

© LembiBuchanan/iStock
© LembiBuchanan/iStock

For everything you could possibly need: Izraël
“A food shop with a wealth of flavours and scents: spices, candied fruit, preserves, vinegars, olives.”

Since 1947, this family institution has specialised in exotic foodstuffs from around the world: halva, vanilla, pepper & spices, pistachios, Turkish delight, oils of all kinds, charcuterie, chilli and much more.

30 rue François Miron, 75004 Paris

© clearandtransparent/iStock
© clearandtransparent/iStock

For pâtés and other pork-based treats: Maison Vérot
“For the excellent craftsmanship of their French charcuterie.”

In 1997, Catherine and Gilles Vérot opened their now-iconic shop on rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris’s 6th arrondissement. A few decades of success later, and with a New York adventure alongside Daniel Boulud under their belts, the couple have been joined by Nicolas, their eldest son, as they write the next chapter in the story of Maison Vérot.

38 rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris

© Odieuxboby
© Odieuxboby

For the best baguette: Maison Julien – Les Saveurs de Pierre Demours
“Quite simply the best baguette in Paris.”

Taieb Sahal, the baker at Maison Julien – Les Saveurs de Pierre Demours, was awarded the prize for the best baguette in Paris in 2020, when he was just 26 years old. There are several Maisons Julien in Paris, but the winner was the baguette 'tradition' from the shop on rue Pierre Demours in the 17th arrondissement.

13 rue Pierre Demours, 75017 Paris

© Bulgnn/iStock
© Bulgnn/iStock

For an exceptional butcher: Maison Le Bourdonnec
“This artisanal butcher’s shop in time-honoured Normandy tradition excels in exceptional meats, not to mention its matured meats, the quality of which are extraordinary.”

Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec opened his first shop in 1987, travelling the world with a view to learning to ply his trade in a way that is respectful to animals. He was voted best butcher in France in 2003, and in 2010 the New York Times named his burger steak the best in the world. Nowadays, he advocates for eating better quality meat – but less of it.

43 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris

©  Maison Le Bourdonnec
© Maison Le Bourdonnec

For Japanese-African influences: MoSuke
“Mory Sacko is exceptional on a human level. His cuisine embodies the modernity of his character and the influence of his culture.”

Passionate about Japan and manga culture since he was a teenager, and nourished by his parents’ Malian origins, Mory Sacko is now a renowned chef guided by African, Japanese and French influences. He trained at Le Royal Monceau, the Shangri-La and then the Mandarin Oriental, before going on to open MoSuke, his multicultural restaurant that embraces Africa and the Land of the Rising Sun – and lights up the neighbourhood with its One MICHELIN Star.

11 rue Raymond Losserand, 75014 Paris

© Virginie Garnier
© Virginie Garnier

For a brilliant duo: Virtus
“Frédéric Lorimier worked alongside me for nine years. At Virtus, every pot, every pairing is like a gentle note that stirs deep emotion in me. Proceedings are skilfully orchestrated by Camille on the restaurant floor. Both of them, of course, hold a very special place in my heart. It’s like being with family here.”

Virtus, which is within spitting distance of the Marché d’Aligre, is run by two of Arnaud Donckele’s team from the days of La Vague d’Or (the Three MICHELIN Star restaurant in Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez) – Chef Frédéric Lorimier and restaurant manager Camille Gouyer. The restaurant enjoys an elegant and convivial atmosphere, with dishes that focus on the seasons and ingredients cooked to perfection.

29 rue de Cotte, 75012 Paris

© Virtus
© Virtus

For contemporary dining: Lucas Carton
“Hugo Bourny is also a former team member of mine. His modern and thoughtful cooking is making a bid to revive this magnificent institution.”

This Place de la Madeleine establishment is the stuff of legend: Robert Lucas with his Taverne Anglaise in 1732; Francis Carton in 1925, who combined the two surnames to create a Three Star restaurant in the 1930s; Alain Senderens in 2005; and now Hugo Bourny, who gives pride of place to vegetables sourced from independent producers, and is breathing new life into this Paris icon.

9 place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris

© Le photographe du dimanche
© Le photographe du dimanche

For the best lemon tart: Des Gâteaux et du Pain
“For Claire Damon’s tarte au citron, the most mind-blowing in France!”

After a stint at Le Bristol and then Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Claire Damon opened her first pâtisserie-boulangerie with baker David Granger in 2007, marking the start of the adventure that is Des Gâteaux et du Pain ('Cakes and Bread'). This pioneer in seasonal pastry-making puts fruit at the heart of her creations and works hand in hand with French producers who share her values and taste for a job well done.

89 rue du Bac, 75007 Paris

© Des Gâteaux et du Pain
© Des Gâteaux et du Pain

Hero Image: © Laurent Dupont


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