Dining with kids in Paris

Jan 18th, 2007, 06:22 AM
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Dining with kids in Paris

We're off to Paris next month with 10 and 11 year old girls. We are obviously not expecting kiddie menus, but what is the etiquette on dining with children in Paris? For example, is it expected that they would order several courses? Or, just an entree? 2 kids sharing a main course ok?
Any advice would be appreciated
cruisinred is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Mine sometimes order two starters. Or no starter, just a main course and dessert. Sharing a main would be ok too, but portion sizes in Paris are usually not that big.
Tulips is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 07:24 AM
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French children tend to eat similarly to their parents - ie the same courses are ordered for them. In more touristic restaurants a childrens menu is often available
Jan 18th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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There are a couple of "kid friendly" chains mentioned in the guide books. We liked Bistro Romaine - decent food at decent prices. Hippopotamous had adorable decor and the cutest balloons I've ever seen, but the food reminded me of Denny's (at three times the price.)

Note that main courses in Paris are usually not as large as those in the US - no giant chicken fried steaks hanging off the edge of the plate. Consequently, often my kids could finish an entire main course themselves. Just look around at the other diners to get an idea of the portion size.

PLEASE teach your kids to order in French...Je voudrais le poulet...I'll tell you, even the most impatient waiters were nice to us after our kids attempted to order their food in French!
missypie is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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That's true missypie; my children order in french and waiters do appreciate that. Or at least order drinks in french.
Tulips is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for the advice.

Missypie- We sent the kids to French day camp a few summers back. I am hoping they remember some of the French they learned, as they have been studying Spanish since then.
cruisinred is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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Just about all of the chain restaurants -- Léon de Bruxelles, Pizza Pino, Hippopotamus, Bistro Romain, Buffalo Grill, Chez Clément, Taverne du Maître Kanter, Taverne Kronenbourg, etc., bend over backwards to cater to kids. Coloring books, special menus, the whole works.
kerouac is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 09:58 AM
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You know how with most kids meals in the US, half the plate is filled with french fries? In Paris, half the plate is filled with green beans. It's healthier, but it's funny, because it looks the same, only green.
missypie is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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To repeat what previous posters have said, there's no one right way with regular (as opposed to the chain) French restaurants. When we took our son to Paris (10 years old at the time), he usually ordered only a main course, while we adults would have an appetizer and a main course. Even in the fanciest places, nobody seemed to expect him to order more.

Especially toward the end of the trip, with all that we were doing during the day, and the late mealtimes, my son did start getting tired/sleepy by the end of the meal. We would usually eat at 8 pm, which is the time we usually eat at home, but our regular home meals don't take as long as a Parisian dinner! Often, we would skip dessert at the restaurant, and pick up a crepe or a gelato as we walked back to our hotel.

Another thing to keep in mind is that sodas are quite expensive. We encouraged our son to try European/French sodas, which he enjoyed, but limited him to 1 or 2 a day (at meals).
Lexma90 is offline  
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