Paris: Mother & four year old in the 11th
My son and I will be visiting Paris the end of February. We will be staying in the 11th on Rue St. Maur/Rue des Couronnes. Any itinerary suggestions or places to eat? Thank you in advance!
Astier is VERY kid-friendly, especially at lunch. It's not haute cuisine but, as a bistro du quartier, is excellent. And at these prices and with a 4-yr old in tow, it's perfect.
Fric-Frac is a delightful and surprisingly good bistro du quartier on the rue Pierre Levée (just off rue Fontaine au Roi) with an "interesting" and eclectic clientele who, despite their hip tendencies, are exactly the sort of folks who fuss over kids. Again, lunch is better because it's not so boozy/ flamboyant and only 14 € or so.
You're in walking distance (but bus from the avenue Parmentier is better) to the Canal Saint-Martin. Kids love it. If the weather is good, you can get a pizza delivered to you canalside from Pink Flamingo on the rue Bichat. And a fab proper sit-down pizza/pasta place, Maria Luisa, on the rue Marie-et-Louise @ rue Bichat/ rue Alibert and an excellent bistro Chez Marie Louise (with a superb 14 € lunch formule... and English-speaking) on the same street.. There's a new-ish bobun indochine joint, Le Petit Cambodge on the rue Alibert that kids seem to enjoy (but lots of napkins are advised... it can be very messy).
And the same for the wonderfully atmospheric Sainte-Marthe neighbourhood at the top of the rue St Maur. Walkable but also bus-able from the avenue Parmentier. Le Galopin on the place Sainte-Marthe has great lunch special, kids are fussed over, and yet it's one of the new hot spots in Paris. Around the corner on the rue Sambre-et-Meuse, the Café Epicerie has an amazing 11 € lunch "formule" on Wed-Fri (only).
You're sorta equidistant from 2 street markets. The nicely sedate and very neighbourhoodly Marché Popincourt on the boulevard Richard Lenoir between the rue Pierre-Timbaud and the rue Oberkampf on Tuesday and Friday mornings. The more lively and exotic Marché Belleville near Couronnes métro station, also on Tuesday and Friday mornings. The boisterous Marché Bastille on the boulevard Richard Lenoir near the Bréguet-Sabin métro station on Thursday and Sunday is maybe too long a hike for a 4-yr old and no direct métro except from Oberkampf which is still a bit of a trek from your place.
I strongly recommend that you learn how to use the bus system. It's a life-saver when you have a kid in tow. Even just jumping on for a few stops to save the footsies and to amuse the kid. It's free for the kid if he doesn't use a seat (other than your lap) but half-price for both single tickets and travel passes for under-10s if you prefer a separate seat for him. From your location, the 96 runs westbound (to the Haut Marais, St Paul, Hotel de Ville, Chatelet, St Michel, St Germain des Prés and Montparnasse) along the rue Pierre Timbaud (just two minutes walk from your apartment). Best of all it gets you in easy walking distance to the kid-paradise Luxembourg gardens. The 46 goes north-south on the avenue Parmentier and gets you to the Canal Saint-Martin without having to trod through the dreary bits.