I will admit that before we arrived in the City of Lights, I was intimidated by the Paris dining scene. We don’t speak much French, we’re not foodies, and we don’t like snails (sorry). After spending five days in Paris with kids, well, I’m still intimidated by the Paris dining scene, but we ate there happily anyway. Here’s where to eat in Paris…and how.
Hit up patisseries for breakfasts:
And snacks. And maybe lunch. We loved these French bakeries, which seemed to be on every corner in Paris, no matter which arrisondment we found ourselves in. Baguettes of crusty French bread cost less than €1, and French pastries, including eclairs and chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat) are about the same price. I guess it’s similar to going to a donut shop for breakfast every morning, but seems so much classier. And yummier. Our favorite bakery was Boulangerie Saint Michel, in the Latin Quarter, as well as the many near our apartment rental in Montmartre.
Street vendors are king:
Instead of searching out kid-friendly cafes at lunch time, we ate street food. Lots and lots of street food. Not only was this option much more affordable than eating out, it was a time saver and frankly, delicious. The kids ate mostly crepes (they can be filled with things like Nutella and bananas to make them slightly more nutritious), as well as hot dogs (wrapped in baguette, of course). We adults ate a lot of quiche and baguette sandwiches, and never complained.
We found street vendors to be most plentiful in the areas around major tourist attractions of course, including the Lourve, Notre Dame, Saint Michel, and the Concorde. Enjoy a buffet of street food along the rue between Notre Dame and the Hotel d’Ville, before you cross the ‘island’ to the other side of the Seine.
Make your own picnic lunches (or dinners):
We loved sampling the wares at Paris street markets and in Paris cheese shops. Consider food shopping in Paris to be a combination of sight-seeing, souvenir-shopping, and dining. We created lovely picnic dinners to enjoy in our apartment after our legs were too tired to walk further. We shopped for cheese, cured meats, dried fruits, and baguette, and supplemented these items with crackers and inexpensive wine and juice from the grocery. Voila…dinner is served.
Yes, you should try some restaurants, too:
We didn’t want to do anything fancy in Paris, but we did eat several tasty meals out in casual cafes. Our favorites were recommended in our itinerary created for us by Momaboard. Read more about Momaboard’s itinerary planning in our post on creating a Paris itinerary with kids.
Here are a few dining experiences their planner, a local parent, recommended:
- Cafe Constant (139 Rue Saint-Dominique)
- Cafe La Place Cambronne (5 Avenue Anatole)
- les Cocottes (135 rue st Dominque)
All of these dining establishments are kid-friendly, casual, and serve simple fare and rustic French cuisine (comfort food). We also tried several cafes in Montmartre, near Sacre Coeur. While this little square is very touristy, we found friendly waiters here willing to hear out our rudimentary French, good mussels and frites (fries), and a cheery ambiance. Go just below Sacre Coeur to the bottom of the steps, and the cafe on the corner there makes for a nice date night out for parents with that luxury.
Where do you like to eat in Paris with kids? We know we only scratched the surface!