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Oct 12, 2008 08:18 PM

New Year's Eve in Paris

I'm doing a little early research for our first trip to Paris which is 12/27 to 1/04. I searched this topic and saw a number of people recommend that restaurants be avoided for dinner on New Year's Eve. I'm wondering if this is still the consensus.

I am curious in particular because my wife is a vegetarian. As I understand it, most places will have limited menus and exorbitant prices. Its going to be hard to justify spending 150-200 euros per person for her to have a couple of courses at a restaurant and not have an entree she can eat (although, I might not complain about having two entrees for myself).

We will be staying at the Westin and I'm not sure we will have access to a refrigerator, but we are more than happy to have a nice dinner ourselves in the room and head out for the evening to celebrate the new year.

Any thoughts on our options?

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  1. Well, NYE is a wednesday so l'Arpège will be open, the ultimate dining destination for vegetarians. Most excellent restaurants remain excellent on NYE, but the rational for spending that kind of money is hard to see, imo. You'll most probably have a fridge in which you can store high quality cheese, and you can have it with excellent bread and wine, then head out for the big mess on the nearby Champs-Elysées.

    While dining out that night is a bit crazy, shopping that morning is wonderful. All food stores are at their best (though, there again, not at their cheapest).

    2 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      <While dining out that night is a bit crazy, shopping that morning is wonderful. All food stores are at their best (though, there again, not at their cheapest).>

      But isn't that true in cities all over the world? It surely has been in my experience.

      1. re: ChefJune

        Well, I don't know -- I'm always in Paris that time of the year. But the point is, in general, christmas and NYE are the worst food day of the year in France -- you eat so well the rest of the time.

    2. Thanks for the input. I think we are going to try to do our own thing in the hotel room New Year's Eve. We are going to be in Paris for seven full days and will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the food without it costing us two car payments to do it. Also, we want the experience of shopping in a market and putting together a meal, so New Year's Eve may well be the best day of our stay for us to do that.

      6 Replies
      1. re: rjg001

        I've spent 2 New Year's Eves in Paris and after MUCH searching for a great place to eat out the first time, we decided to eat in. We usually stay in an apartment so we did have a stove, so we really ended up with a fabulous NYE feast both times. At first I was dissapointed not to eat out EVERY night in Paris (I still can't fit in all of the places I want to try), but it ended up being a great experience to choose foods at the market and to enjoy them in our apartment with copious amounts of champagne. If you eat seafood be sure to get some oysters - they go great with all that champagne.

        1. re: sistereurope

          Mmmh - it all sounds a little depressing. Whilst eating in your room is OK, why not see if you can find a local mid range brasserie or bistro. Hopefully, they will not be charging the earth for food, and you are out and about on the town. You can then head out and see the fireworks.

          We never stayed in Paris for either Christmas or NYE but I guess it is only the higher end restaurants that have the special deals (i.e. very expensive) for dinner.

          1. re: PhilD

            I don't find eating in ones apartment as sistereurope did in Paris is depressing at all. A bottle of Krug, oysters, lobster, cheese, then a dessert from Mulot...probably still have some euros left in lieu of cramping into a brasserie or bistro. Can take in the fireworks or stroll along the Seine afterward.

            1. re: PBSF

              That's my idea of a good time! I'll be there for NYE as well, and this sounds like a plan. Thank you, PBSF

              1. re: PBSF

                I should have been more specific. I was commenting on the OP's decision to eat in their hotel room. Cooking and eating in an apartment with a fridge, cooker and some space is a lot better than the average, small closet sized Parisian, hotel room with a bar fridge (if you are really lucky). OK the OP is in the Westin which will probably be slightly better than a local hotel (they do have mini-bars), they also have bars and restaurants which can be an option.

                I was also trying to balance the scare stories. Yes, the top end Michelin starred restaurants charge a small fortune for NYE, but as Jock (below) says there are lots of other options. It may not be haute cuisine but it will probably be fun, quite possibly be good, and it will be nice to be out and about on the town soaking up the atmosphere.

              2. re: PhilD

                All restaurants have the special deals on NYE. Prices are 50 to 200% higher than usual, but they remain in proportion of regular prices.

          2. I have spent NYE in Paris at least ten times. I suggest avoiding the expensive revaillons (sp). I suggest one of three choices. If dining out go ethnic - oriental preferably. If your room is nice do something there. Best choice if it is not raining would be to dress warmly and picnic late afternoon in Parc Monceau. Nearby rue Poncelet has everything you need. Great wine shop, one of Paris' best cheese shops and everything else you will want.

            1. We live in Paris and although we have never paid particular attention to vegetarian restaurants, we have that noticed that many of our favourite restaurants offer vegetarian dishes (that my wife often relishes). These are not upscale places, of course, but best value for between 12€ and 16€. Example : "Ozo" on rue Quincampoix. Forget NYE however.

              You could also stay in our Paris Bastille flat and make your own dinner (since we will be away on those dates). One of the largest open-air markets is just next-door. You would have to count on an experience very different from the Westin, however.

              For more info on our apartment, see