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Jul 5, 2011 06:30 AM

Tourist area restaurants in Paris

We are a family of four in Paris for a week. We are renting an apartment in the Marais. Since we will be visiting alot of tourist sights, I am looking for suggestions for good restaurants near the Louvre, D'Orsay, Pompidou, Eiffel Tower, Cluny Museum, and Arc de Triomphe. I know this is a lot to ask, but I am sure there are a lot of places to avoid in these area, so any suggestions where we could have a meal and rest our feet after touring would be great. I don't think I want to picnic on these days (because of exhaustion) and am looking for a place to be served, but not too fancy or expensive. Thanks always

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  1. We had dinner last night at Cafe des Musees. The food was well sourced and preparation was both correct and interesting. For example, my andouillette was accompanied by girolles sauted with seeded mustard. One caveat, portions are enormous; entrees easy serve two while mains may be hard to finish. So order accordingly. Also, it is very noisy. Ask to be seated downstairs or perhaps outside. And as always, check your tab. Ours erroneously included 48€ that was incurred by the adjacent table.


    3 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      I apologize that I misread your post. I suggested a restaurant near your apartment rather than your daytime outings.

      As a starter, either Caius or more casual Zinc Caius are excellent and close to the Arc on rue Armaille.

      I personally like Le Frigate on Quai Voltaire as a d'Orsay lunch. The cafe in the museum, in fact, wasn't bad several years ago. I haven't been since.

      Lots has been written here re options near the Tour. Run a search of the site to find pages and pages.

      1. re: mangeur

        No need for an apology, Mangeur. All suggestions for Paris are welcome.

        1. re: mangeur

          Near the Orsay there is also the wonderful old-fashioned Aux Fins Gourmets, 213 Boulevard Saint-Germain.
          Near Cluny museum there are a lot of good restos, including the cluster around Odéon, which you can search on this board.
          The Arc de Triomhie is the trickiest. The best is to take A 5-minute metro and escape Global Brand Store Central to Les Bistronomes, l'Ardoise, L'Absinthe, all near Concorde.
          None of these are fancy restaurants, but all need reservation.

      2. THere are numerous restaurants in the "Latin Quarter" aimed at tourists. They have set menus (3 courses) varying from 15-30 euro pp of typical French dishes . THe food is not fantastic... but good value

        1. Arc de Triomphe … I heartily second Mangeur’s suggestion of Caius. Delicious! Just a 5-minute relatively pleasant walk up the avenue Carnot to the rue Armaillé. But family of 4? Maybe value rather than quality is what you need. Not sure if you can do lunch at Caius for less than 40 €. The cheaper Caius Zinc across the street is more of a wine bar with very good grub and even lovelier prices (a “formule” of well under 20 € for lunch) but so tiny. If you just want to give in and join the tourist hordes, the Café Lateral on the ave MacMahon (in sight of the Arc de Triomphe) is sorta ok for a sit-down and an omelette or something simple. One bit of advice: don’t head down the tourist-infested chain-store mecca Champs Elysées (believe me, it’s much better from afar) expecting to find anything likeable other than the terrace of the Publicis Drugstore (which is more LA than Paris… and famous for its hamburgers) but great peoplewatching.

          Louvre… for value, head to Bistrot Victoires on the rue Vrillière near the lovely place des Victoires… such good value for lunch (under 15 €) and dinner but not exactly a secret so you often have to wait for a table... with one of the best price/ quality ratios in paris, it's very popular but remains quite charming too.
          Or a walk through the gardens of the Palais Royal (mercifully, difficult to find entrances so not full of tourists) to buzzy Le Grand Colbert on the rue Vivienne/ galerie Colbert. A bit pricey but it gets bonus points for being declared a national treasure. The rue Richlieu (especially the stretch running from the ave Opéra to the rue des Petits Champs) has quite a good selection of very good restaurants (but none with terraces).
          Or, for a sidewalk cafe experience, the Café de l’Epoque on the rue Bouloi/ galerie Véro Dodat is quite sweet and has relatively good café grub (but keep it simple).
          If you can hold out until 3 or so, the terrace of the very expensive Restaurant du Palais Royal becomes a more affordable salon du thé after the lunch service. Glorious setting with tables right inside the gardens. Really dreamy.
          And another “or”: the place Dauphine on the Ile de la Cité behind the Pont Neuf is charming and serene (a perfect antidote to the crowds at the Louvre), with 4 or 5 quite acceptable restaurants. All have pretty good lunch deals so have a look and see which one appeals the most. I like Quai-Quai but it and Restaurant Paul down the street are better in winter. All the others have quite nice terraces for summer. You will have to compete with pesky lawyers from the nearby law courts for a table but they tend to congregate at le Caveau du Palais and la Rose de France.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Parnassien

            Thanks for the detailed responses. Its really helpful. And thanks for the warnings about where to stay away from. I certainly don't want to waste my Euros and meals eating in bad restaurants while in Paris..

            1. re: Parnassien

              You can't go wrong with the Café de l'Epoque. Never been disappointed there.

            2. Across Blvd St Germain from the Cluny is a rabbit warren of restos that are the worst known to man.There are exceptions but not many. They serve the crowds from Notre Dame on the other end primarily but do try to avoid this area.

              1. The cafe/resto in the Orsay is actually not bad, but always busy. Near the Eiffel Tower - not too far anyway - is a street called rue Cler with good basic bistro places and people watching. I like Brassiere PTT & Cafe du Marche. Near the Louvre I like Willi's Wine Bar - not sure if they are open at lunch.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DaTulip

                  Willi's is definitely open for lunch. I believe their hours are 11 to 11.