My girlfriend Donna is planning to travel with her Mother and sister to Paris in a few weeks for a ladies trip and she asked me about my favorite dining venues. There are so many fantastic choices in Paris based on price range, location and ambience but I came up with a microcosm of my favorites.

My recommendations to Donna are as follows:

Café Marly:  If you are going to the Louvre or the Jardin Tuileries then the Café Marly on the grounds of the Louvre is my choice for lunch.  Sit on the terrace so you can enjoy the view of the louvre and be a part of history.  Trendy with good food and a very fun atmosphere. 

L ‘Atelier Joel Robuchon: I recommend this venue for dinner- an experimental restaurant by noted chef Joel Robuchon.  In the St. Germain area, I adore the bar seating and watching the chefs cook your meal.  The portions are small but tons of variety and originality.

L ‘Avenue: Located on Ave Montaigne with all the chic luxury stores, this café is perfect for lunch on the terrace so you can see everyone passing by this special fashion centric part of Paris!  A perfect spot for people watching.  The food is delicious and I adore the Apple tart & tuna & avocado tartare

La Fontaine de Mars: Where President and Mrs. Obama dined and a charming French bistro set by a fountain near the Eiffel Tower.   I would recommend this venue for dinner with a close walk to the Eiffel tower. 

The outdoor terrace at the Mandarin Oriental Paris: This terrace where they serve libations hot and cold, salads and sandwiches is a true piece of heaven in bustling Paris.  After retail therapy on St. Honore as a two minute walk from flagship Chanel on Rue Cambon you can relax and just be mesmerized by the outdoor garden.   

Chez Janou: a typical Parisian bistro near the Place de Vosges in the Maris area.  I love the Place de Vosges as a beautiful square surrounded by adorable restaurants and shops. 

Dammann: When you are at the Pace de Vosges you must visit the Dammann tea store , beautifully decorated with giant black tea boxes and an amazing assortment of teas! 

Hotel Costes: The open air dining room is very trendy, fashionable and somewhat noisy. A very fun & lively place, but noisy not sure everyone will enjoy the noise level. 

You must have tea at the Four Seasons George V– the flowers designed by Jeff Leatham in the lobby and throughout the premises are worth the visit. The lounge overlooking the courtyard is to the right of the lobby and perfect for afternoon tea but you must have a reservation. 

Try Lenotre and Laduree for an afternoon pastry fix, snack or a tea/coffee on the go.  I prefer the Laduree on Rue Royal in St. Germain as more quaint and original than the other locations.

Jean Paul Hevin for delicious handmade chocolates. They have a café and I thought I had gone to chocolate heaven as the presentation, design & taste are spellbinding!

Fine Dining:

Le Cinq, Four Seasons George V: Amazing service, food, presentation, ambience but very expensive.  It is truly an experience. 

Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athene is STUNNING!!! The hotel and restaurant were recently renovated and a GEM! I can’t say enough but expensive.