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Emily: I love to travel, and my mom does, too!
When I was growing up in Ohio, we could only afford road trips to local amusement parks. But collecting miles and points has opened a world of travel neither of us thought possible!
She and I decided to go to London and Paris for a mother-daughter getaway. We flew Business Class and stayed in 5-star hotels. I paid a fraction of the retail cost by using airline miles and hotel points.
I’ve never traveled so long with my mom before, and at the end of the trip, I felt like I had a new best friend! Without the miles & points hobby, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience the joy of traveling with my mom.
In this part of the series, I’ll give you ideas about where to eat in Paris!
Making Mom’s Paris Dreams Come True Index:
- Part 1 – Introduction and Planning
- Part 2 – She Felt Like Royalty on This Flight
- Part 3 – How We Saved Up to 90% at the Hyatt Hotel du Louvre with Hyatt Points
- Part 4 – Our Hunt for Chocolate Eclairs, Raw Beef, and French Crepes
- Part 5 – The Secret to Avoiding Long Lines at Museums
- Part 6 – Sights to See in Paris
- Part 7 – Why Paris is the Best Shopping Destination in the World
Where to Eat in Paris
First of all, visiting cafes and restaurants and cafes is different than in the US. You won’t see jumbo glasses of ice water or get free refills of coffee. Some places charge extra if you sit down, and service tends to be slower.
That said, the food is amazing. And meals are a time to relax, enjoy some wine, watch people go by, and converse with your company. Learn a bit of French, and the locals will be even friendlier to you. 😉
Here are a few of my top recommendations for restaurants in Paris.
1. Café Ginger
Café Ginger is one of my favorite restaurants in Paris! It is completely vegan and gluten free, but also incredibly tasty! The people who work there are also very nice.
Connie: Upon arrival in Paris we had vegetarian lunch at the Cafe Ginger, a quaint restaurant where the food was exceptional and with large portions. We had quiche, custard, salad and rice. I can’t say enough about the great places to eat in Paris.
It’s located near Place de la Bastille, making it a convenient stop if you’re exploring Bastille or shopping on Rue de Rivoli, one of the most famous streets in Paris.
The restaurant is small and fills up quickly during lunch.
But we only had to wait a couple of minutes to get a table.
There are just a few items on the menu. But you can tell they put a lot of love and care into every dish. And I love refueling with delicious, healthy food!
I ordered a croquet monsieur, which is a baked ham and cheese sandwich.
Coquelicot also has an amazing bakery, with macaroons, quiches, and lots of other pastries and cakes. So don’t miss getting a few of these to enjoy too!
3. Hotel du Louvre
The only downside about staying at the Hotel du Louvre was the shortage of non-touristy restaurants within walking distance.
So my mom and I decided to try the hotel restaurant, the Brasserie du Louvre, one night for dinner. After a long day of sightseeing, we just weren’t in the mood to look for another restaurant!
I ordered a mushroom risotto.
My mom had roast chicken and we also ordered a side of freshly steamed vegetables.
We liked our food, but it wasn’t the best we’ve had. It was convenient though, and nice to try once.
4. Le Train Bleu
When I was living in Spain ~10 years ago, I met a friend named Sesk. He was fun and friendly. And he took me to book signings, concerts, and to small towns near Barcelona, where I was studying and doing volunteer work.
We kept in touch all these years, and a few weeks before I visited Paris with my mom, I let Sesk know I was coming. He decided to take the train from Barcelona to meet me!
Our meeting place was a restaurant called Le Train Bleu, located in the Gare de Lyon train station.
It’s a beautiful place to enjoy a coffee or a drink. It was expensive, but worth it to experience the fantastic architecture and design. I felt like I was in Versailles with the gilded woodwork and original paintings!
When we arrived, we grabbed a table and ordered a few coffees.
Sesk is a lot of fun and I always love seeing him again!
To me, meeting old friends is one of the best parts of traveling. I can’t wait to visit again soon!
5. French Crepe Stands
Connie: Our first night we walked to a French crepe outdoor stand. We got a ham and cheese crepe and the first time I saw one made. lt was so good and we walked down the street back to the hotel eating it. I really enjoyed the many outdoor table and chairs that were set out. Just like you see in the French movies with the canopies.
Crepe stands can be found on streets throughout Paris and in small eateries. They’re a great spot for a delicious, cheap, and fast meal.
Sometimes I don’t want to wait forever to relax and eat, and the crepes are a great local fast food!
6. Any Pâtisseries or Boulangerie
France is known for amazing desserts and freshly baked bread. I love tasting new desserts, and tried a new pâtisserie or boulangerie every day!
Connie: There is nothing to compare to French pastries and cuisine. Pastry shops throughout with these delicious chocolate eclairs displayed in the window. All of the French cuisine is great and truly part of the European experience.
And if you’re shopping near Galeries Lafayette or Rue de Rivoli, don’t miss trying the food at the Laurent Dheilly Artisan Boulanger. I had the best pistachio macaroon sandwich with raspberry filling and fresh raspberries on top. It was divine!
7. Charonne Café
Charonne Café is one of the best non-touristy French restaurants I’ve been to. I ordered the croquet monsieur and the beef tartar, and both were excellent. Parisians love to eat raw beef (called Beef Tartar). It tastes much better than it sounds!
France is known for their food for a reason. Stay away from restaurants that advertise their English menus. Walk down smaller streets to find more authentic places where the locals go. I suggest ordering as much French food as you can, and trying dishes you’ve never had. They might surprise you!
And don’t forget to get a daily dose of desserts and bread from the patisseries and boulangeries. 😉
Do you have any can’t-miss restaurants or boulangeries?