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Best Museum Restaurants

It looks as if we'll be in a lot of museums next week... rain! What museums have the best choices for lunch? TIA...

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  1. "Best" is a self-defeating four-letter word.
    The quiche&salad at the Jacquemart-André's café, under the grand Tiepolo, is quite a palatable option.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      >"Best" is a self-defeating four-letter word.<

      Yes, like guilt is a useless emotion. :-)

      I know the Jacquemart-André... a good choice if in that neighbourhood. It's such a forgotten museum by most tourists.

      1. re: zuriga1

        >>"Best" is a self-defeating four-letter word.<

        >>Yes, like guilt is a useless emotion. :-)

        Ah, but guilt is very useful when wielded as a weapon.

        As for the topic, I love the cafe at the Orsay for the view and that wonderful clock, but not for the food. I always have a coffee there and eat elsewhere. It is particularly nice if you can go outside on the deck, assuming that is still permitted.

        Another thing about the Orsay is that it is best visited at first opening with a Museum Pass or an advance ticket that gets you on the special line. I rush up to the Impressionists before the biggest crowds coming in by the main entrance and security get up there. Then I move down where it is less crowded for a while longer. By lunchtime, I am ready to leave and eat elsewhere.

    2. Les Marches du Palais, not part of the Palais de Tokyo, but just outside the museum, has quite good food and lovely low-key 'hood ambiance.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Parigi

        This might just be a great idea for us.. thanks. In all my trips to Paris, I've never yet been to the Palais de Tokyo. Maybe this is my time!

      2. Tokyo Eat, at the Palais de Tokyo, is also pretty good, or at least was the last time I checked.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ptipois

          Tokyo Eats have changed for the worse. It is still a charming place for tea.

          1. re: Ptipois

            I prefer Les Marches in winter and Tokyo Eat (outside) in summer - great view.

          2. I had a surprisingly good meal at the primo one at the Orsay (5.7/10); review w.pix elsewhere, not the Cafe. Figaroscope listed it as one of the most beautiful dining settings in Paris and indeed it is.
            But as opposed to Bilbao, where the best restos in town are in museums, here's another story; the best are in hotels - go figure.

            4 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              Thanks for the suggestion, John. I've always been at the D'Orsay too early in the morning for a meal. I lived near NYC for most of my life and the food at museums there is usually not very good either. Maybe now it's changed.

              1. re: John Talbott

                Another vote for the formal restaurant at the Orsay. Not outstanding, but the room is very pretty and the food is decent.

                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  The last time I was at the Orsay I could not find the formal restaurant. I hadn't been there in about three years and nothing was as I remembered (food-wise; the art was the same). We ate in the museum and paid dearly for some rather poor food.

                  I've had a decent meal at Jacquemart-André and some pretty good snacks at the little cafe in the Petit Palais. Also had a nice lunch once at the cafe Musée du Luxembourg; I think it's an Angelina.

                  1. re: Leely2

                    OK there are three - the Cafe Campana which is on the top floor to the West after the rehung Impressionist-postimpressionist galeries and is nice to look at; a Cafe de l'ours at the foot of the Seine tower and the more formal Restaurant du Musee D'Orsay in back of the clock facing the Seine (no reservations).

              2. We had some really great (not just good) food at Angelina in the Louvre. The menu changes though, so no guarantee of specific items. Highlights were the steak tartare, a creamy risotto, and a braised veal. Way lower down the scale was an ok quiche and at the bottom a croque monsieur which was not ok. My guess is look at the plats and ignore the 'lighter' fare. We did not reserve at Angelina, juat waltzed in although it was a very busy free Sunday.

                The restauant at the Musee d'Orsay is gorgeous. But you will not have similar luck with the food which is purely cafeteria quality despite the elegant surroundings. A long line forms, so get in early.

                For us, there was no option but staying all day in the museums. We were not about to leave that ride.

                1 Reply
                1. A really wonderful lunch (no dinner served) can be had at the lovely and beckoning Musée Jacquemart-Andre. Flies off the radar, but a wonderful and historic museum with a great family history of the former owners of the mansion.

                  The lunch is served in a beautiful room, wonderful teas, pastries and lighter fare. A wonderful experience.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lemarais

                    Thanks, yes I've been there and that room really is lovely. I'm not sure we need to revisit the museum so soon again, but it's a shame so many tourists never get there. It's a wonderful place. Maybe we'll just go for the meal!

                  2. In addition to the other places already mentioned, Mini-Palais in the Grand Palais is a rather splendid multi-function (restaurant/ bar/ salon de thé) eaterie... unfortunately, very few exhibitions at the Grand Palais in the next few months that will probably appeal to tourists. The café in the Petit Palais/ the free municipal Musée des Beaux Arts is surprisingly good and spills out into the courtyard in good weather. And the excellent café in the very overlooked but very interesting Musée des Arts-et-Métiers in the 3rd... great space, great vibe. For the Louvre, I tend to take my breaks at the Café Marly... certainly overpriced but worth the escape from usual tourist swarm.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Parnassien

                      Thanks... more good ideas! We're usually in the 3rd at some point to visit an old friend of mine.

                    2. A picnic near the Rodin musuem would be lovely if it doesn't rain. You can pick up picnic supplies on Rue Cler or anywhere in Paris.

                      We ate in winter at the Rodin Musuem and had the pleasure of having their "house cat" join us. It was absolutely nothing to write home about, but serviceable.