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Dec 2, 2009 01:08 PM

Dining in Paris for Christmas

My husband and I going to be in Paris for Christmas on the first leg of our honeymoon. I am a little concerned that restaurants will be closed and/or that we've waited to long to make reservations at those that may be open. Does anyone have any suggestions for where we might find a lovely meal on that evening? Something on the dark and cozy side would be wonderful - we're foodies, but after a long flight I'm thinking ambiance will be just as important as the food. In other words, we'd be fine with trading a little quality for fantastic dark and sumptuous surroundings (of course if we could have both, we'd be in heaven). We're staying in the 6th, but are fine with venturing elsewhere. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

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  1. You don't say whether you're concerned about Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, but many of the places you can count on being open for both are the large 24/7 Brasseries, like Pied de Cochon, Bofinger, etc. which are not dark and romantic. We had Christmas Eve dinner at Chez Vong one year. It's a very lovely, dark and somewhat romantic Chinese place with excellent food on Blvd. Truanderie just off Blvd. St. Denis in the Les Halles area. Other places you might check are hotel restaurants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JmVikmanis

      Right! I always forget that Day/Eve thing (my non-practicing Jewish background and all). We'll be there both days, so advice for either would be great! Thanks for the suggestions.

    2. Do some searching on the FRANCE board on "Christmas". There are many helpful postings, some as recently as a few weeks ago. John Talbot has assembled a list of places opened, and Souphie suggests the Via Michelin website for other listings. This will be my 6th Christmas visiting Paris. It takes some planning, but it is hardly hopeless. Congrats on the nuptials.

      6 Replies
        1. re: John Talbott

          Thanks so much! Terrifically helpful posting - and I can't seem to stop reading your blog. If only you offered your services as a culinary tour guide... your encyclopedic knowledge of the city and its cuisine (not to mention your wit) would surely make for an amazing dining experience.

          1. re: John Talbott

            Ah a third career; I'll keep it in mind.

            1. re: John Talbott

              Oh yes - good things happen in threes!

            2. re: John Talbott

              Hi - I'll be in Paris this year (2010) for Christams. Is there any chance any of the places on your list provide buffet? Or is it all a-la carte to your knowledge?


              1. re: kittym_5

                Well, I listed l'Os a Moelle (15th) the Mothership as open around Christmas, but Thierry Faucher has since opened several others of similar names (la Cave de....., (15th), Symples de.... (Issy)) that have a table d'hote which is essentially a buffet for at least the starters and desserts (one usually orders the main) as does the Cantine des Tontons also in the 15th (it too is one of I think three similar places).

          2. Even though most places will be closed at least Christmas Day, I can't imagine that the hotel restaurants won't be open. How about a romantic lunch Christmas Day at Le Cinq? If you peruse this forum, you will find MANY words of praise for this restaurant. Sounds like "Honeymoon" to me! ;)

            1. Hi Johanna,
              Did you find a place for Christmas Eve dinner? I am looking for a nice restaurant too. Please let me know,


              1 Reply
              1. re: dianac

                Gallopin will be open. This is a brasserie, nice dining room fairly average food, not part of a chain. But from where I live, average Paris food is a treat. You will have limited choices that night, you could do far worse. I have eaten there on Christmas Day twice.


              2. Today's NYT had an article by Gisela Williams that indicated that Au Bon Acceuil in the 7th will "offer" a 5-course menu Dec 24 and 25 at lunch for 60 Euros (oysters, chicken, cheese and chocolate millefeuille). (It's a la carte at night apparently.)

                6 Replies
                1. re: John Talbott

                  I'd be game. The food at this place is all I like.

                  1. re: souphie

                    Good luck, Johanna. We booked at Au Bon Accueil (after reading advice and reviews galore on this board - thanks, all!) for the 24th. Hopefully you can still get a reservation after today's write up in the NYT!

                  2. re: John Talbott

                    Let me change my mind here. I just went to Au Bon Accueil today. The (Japanese) chef is gone, and the place is only a shadow of its former self. It wasn't bad, but it was so disapointing that I headed for a second lunch at Chez l'Ami Jean afterwards (this one was awesome). I'm taking ABA off my recommended list.

                    1. re: souphie

                      Watch it Soup; R W Apple Jr owns the domain name Three Lunch Apple forever. See:

                      But seriously, I'm sorry to hear of ABA; even tho it went off my list when Jacques L moved East; altho clearly you kept it on yours.

                      1. re: souphie

                        Sad news.
                        Did you try Chez Les Anges, btw? And do you know where the ABA chef went?

                        1. re: olivierb

                          To Japan, they said. Haven't tried Chez les Anges yet, let's.