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Family-friendly restaurants/cafes in Paris

Family-friendly restaurants/cafes in Paris

Old Apr 27th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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Family-friendly restaurants/cafes in Paris

It seems silly for me to be asking this question, seeing as how Paris has no shortage of fine restaurants. We are a family of 4, kids ages 8 and 11. They aren't risk-averse, but I am looking for food that is good for the price (in other words, not mcdonald's, not 4 star). Daughter loves seafood, and son is funnier and less predicable about what he likes, and both love chocolate.* I am a vegetarian, but I am not picky and can pick around whatever. More important to get the kids fed!

I am also looking for good bakeries/cafes for breakfast stuff.

(*Also, if anyone can recommend a restaurant where they bring the huge bowl of chocolate mousse to the table with a ladle, I would appreciate it! We went 10 years ago, and it has become family lore and DD really wants to go. A poster says it was a chain that is now a starbuck's, but if anyone can recommend another that does this, I would appreciate it!)

We will be staying in the 6th (Vacations in Paris 124, 52 rue lhomond) but roaming around and are open to any and all suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Looking for this topic in the forum, I see there have been discussions, but not recently (if there is a more recent one, please let me know and I will go there, and apologies)
mitzisue is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2009, 09:29 AM
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I think I've eaten in several restaurants that had mousse in a bowl, but can't recall them, sorry. A lot of restaurants don't serve chocoate mousse in Paris any more, I noticed, it's too old-fashioned, I guess.

I think the Chez Clement chain of restaurants is perfect for you. Nice real restaurants, pleasant decor, reasonably priced, family-friendly, and a good choice. I eat at the one in Montparnasse but there are quite a few around Paris. Check out their website

FYI, you aren't staying in the 6th, rue Lhomond is in the 5th, so that might affect advice and what you are planning. The VIP website even calls it rue Mouffetard apt., or something, and the map shows it clearly in the 5th. Which makes a big difference, there are lots of cheap restaurants in that area, say along rue Pot de Fer, you can just browse and see what appeals to you (as well as along rue Mouffetard and the entire general vicinity).

You may not realize where you are staying, rue Mouffetard is a permanent market street with tons of food shops on it, including bakeries and some good ones, but there are also food shops, and a big bakery down at the "bottom" of it (southern end) on rue de Bazeilles. There is also a very good bakery at the top of it on place Contrescarpe (I think Kayser). There is another one at the corner of rue Monge and Mirbel.
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Old Apr 27th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Oops! Thanks for the clarification on arrondisements!

I had heard about the market but honestly I don't know what to expect. I have been looking at guidebooks, etc., but sometimes it's like looking at something through a scrim.

Chocolate mousse old-fashioned? oh no! I think our family is impossibly retro.
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Old Apr 27th, 2009, 09:39 AM
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Here are some recommendations from the other thread. Any input would be more than welcome!

Chez Maítre Paul, 12 rue Monsieru le Prince, 75006

La Fontaine de Mars, 129, rue Saint-Dominique, 75007

La Taverne Basque, 45, rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006

Restaurant chez L'ami Jean, 27, Rue Malar
Au Bascou, 38, Rue Reaumur, 75003

Restaurant Le Maupertu, 94 Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg, 75007

L'Affriolé, Sar Verola Restauration 17, rue Malar, 75007

Le Bon Marché, Rive Gauche, 75007

Le Troquet, Sarl La Etche, 21 rue Francois Bonvin, 75015

Fish La Boissonnedie, 69 rue de Seine, 75006

Le Florimond Restaurant, 19 Ave de la Matte-Picquet, 75007

Auberge de Jarete, 7 rue de Jarente, 75004

Le Pinacotheque Restaurant, 30 bis rue de Paradís, 75010

Le Repaire de Cartouche, 99 rue Amelot, 75011 (near the Winter Circus)

Hippopotamus is a popular chain restaurant with several locations in Paris. It's sort of the French version of Bennigan's or Applebee's except that the food is good. And they have a kid's menu.

Vesuvio, A very good, friendly Italian restaurant in the 6th is Vesuvio, 1 r Gozlin 75006. Just across the Bld San Germain from the Eglise St. Germain des Pres.
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Old Apr 27th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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When are you going mitzisue? We go with our boys aged 8 and 11 at the beginning of June. I will be able to report back after that... is that too late for you?
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Old Apr 27th, 2009, 01:27 PM
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Yes (I'm going at the beginning of May) but if I find anything good--and I am sure we will!--I will report back.
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Old Apr 28th, 2009, 08:12 AM
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Look forward to your findings!
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Old Apr 28th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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I wouldn't go out of my way to eat at a lot of those restaurants on your list, they seem mostly inconvenient and are just suggestions from people who stay elsewhere (mainly in the 7th, which is far away from where you are staying). Some of these aren't that cheap, either, so I wouldn't take children there myself, but that's up to you (like FLorimond).

There is really no need to go grocery shopping all the way across town at Bon Marche when you are staying right near rue Mouffetard, certainly not for breakfast stuff.

I know a good basic French restaurant near where you will be which isn't super cheap, but is moderate and good for the price, Chez Lena et Mimile. I guess it's around the same prices as Florimond.
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Old Apr 28th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Thanks, Christina!
mitzisue is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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That list is fairly upscale, and I'd never make a point of traveling to those places with kids if they weren't down the street or around the corner.

Your assessment that there's no shortage of good food in Paris is exactly right, and once you're there I doubt you'll be consulting a list from Fodors because there will be more choices than you'll be able to absorb.

That said, places my kids always liked in Paris were cafés in museums, Pizza Tina in the 7th, Vesuvio in the 5th, any Vietnamese or Chinese or Indian restaurant, Amorino for ice cream, the Asian takeout places on the rue Cler and rue Buci, Paul, the Café Madeleine, Le Croque au Sel, Léo le Lion, and even Hippopotamus and the Bistro Romain (chains) when they were young.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 03:48 AM
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Those sound wonderful (I hadn't thought of the museum cafes--that's a big hit even at home)--I guess my experience in Paris has been so hit-or-miss--fabulous expensive restaurant or croque monsieurs (which my kids won't eat--they're not too into sandwiches) and I wanted to see some in-between (we also don't have the luxury of traveling with my cousin, who is the French speaker.) With, of course, the possibility of fabulous desserts. DD (the 8-y-o) lives for desserts and pretty much plans her day around what she is going to have for dinner dessert. The 11-year-old was Mr. Fussy Eater and is improving--he ate clams the other day!-- so I would like to encourage that.

One thing they will definitely agree on is couscous. Does anyone know of any good places nearby the 5th. I hear there are a few in the Marais, though I don't know the names.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 01:58 PM
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7 high school girlfriends just got back from Paris on Sunday - and 4 of us stayed at 52 Rue Lhomond, #124 (Vacations in Paris) - the other 3 stayed in #142, right next door. You will love it! So convenient and very nicely appointed. You will have no trouble finding places to eat. When you go out the door, go right and then left on the passageway "Passe des Postes" (no cars). That will take you to the Rue Mouffetard in about 1 minute. There you will find lots of restaurants - little, good food; cute shops; FranPrix where you can buy groceries. You will have a wonderful time! Enjoy!
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 02:25 PM
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I"m just back last night from 6 days in Paris with my daughter and 6 yr old granddaughter. We had a good (and reasonably priced) meal at Le Petit St. Benoit on rue St. Benoit in the 6th, and on a Wed. night at 7 :00 we got seated immediately. There were other tables with school-age children, too. It's a bistro that's been around for a long time; it's casual--they write your order on the paper tablecloth!
We had a plate of crudites, a bowl of vegetable soup for each of us; my daughter, a vegetarian, had a mild fish casserole, and I had beef bourguignon. We shared the main courses with my granddaughter, and there was plenty. This and great bread made a good meal for our first night.

Our last night in Paris we did a "splurge" dinner at Le Train Bleu, and that was lots of fun, too.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 02:49 PM
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It looks as though you're not very far from La Grande Mosquee de Paris, on Geoffroy-St. Hilaire, right across the street from Jardin des Plantes. Their restaurant and tea room have lots of Middle Eastern dishes, including couscous.

Don't know if you were planning on visiting Jardin des Plantes, but it's a wonderful place. Besides the grounds and gardens, there is a zoo, and the Natural History Museum includes the Galerie d'Evolution, which has many things to appeal to those of your childrens' ages, I think.

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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Near the Cluny Museum in the 5th is The Rose of Summerard on Rue Summerard at Rue St. Jacques. Inexpensive Chinese/Thai food.

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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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What about Leon de Bruxelles? They have a kids menu...
9 locations or so in Paris.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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I'd recommend getting a Pudlo guide to Paris. That way, you can just look up the nearby restaurants when you get hungry and pick the best ones. As everyone has noted, there are tons and tons of great places and it depends on what is convenient for you at the time. I'm sure your kids won't want to drag across town for dinner if they are hungry. Pudlo is organized by neighborhood and within the neighborhood by price/fanciness. We used it for two trips to Paris in the past year (one with a two year old who was definitely not up for sitting in a fancy restaurant) and never had a bad meal.
Also on both trips stayed in VIP apartments (148 on Rue St Michel) and 145 right near where you'll be. Your kids may like the Jardin des plantes/zoo and Museum of Natural History which is very nearby.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Also (God Help Me for Admitting It), my kids used to like to go to Flunch (a chain cafeteria with stuff kids all over the world like). I think it was my penance for stuffing them with foie gras and confit in the Dordogne.

They have balloons and menus with crayons and all those gimmicks and it's self-serve and it's cheap.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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Do not forget that the department stores have fabulous food halls. The kiddos can look and choose what they want. The presentation is so wonderful. It is an experience all kids I have travelled with have loved. You will find feeding a family in a museum cafeteria as expensive as many restaurants. (Of course, they are pretty good at least.) Alsatian pizza was a big hit when we took teenagers with a school group, as were street crepes, frites, and falafels.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 04:28 PM
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Mitza & canada, I am looking forward to your trip reports. I am taking 2 14 yr olds to Paris for a couple of days on the way to Italy in the fall. Their older sister will be there in school. I am looking at VIP #124 & 142 but also 148 & 152, anyone stay there?
Have a great trip & report back! Betsy
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