If you’re starting to feel like you’re herding cats and it’s almost noon, you might be wondering where in Paris you can possibly take the kids for lunch. Fortunately, this city is teeming with top-notch restaurants that can easily accommodate the appetites of every member of the family. Avoid chain restaurants and seek out the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere of these five family-friendly spots. Here, you won’t need to shush your child every five minutes for fear of dirty looks from other patrons, nor will you be competing with out-of-control crowds. The menus at these family-approved eateries are sure to please everyone with their diverse offerings: classic, continental pastas, familiar sandwiches, and dishes in child-sized portions. Best of all, these restaurants have notably-friendly staffs, familiar with foreigners, antsy children, and travel-weary parents. Convenient settings a stones-throw from playgrounds, parks, museums and other attractions make these restaurants ideal for voyaging families.
Le Bal Café
Located across from a playground, this café is attached to an excellent photography gallery worth the trip. Run by a young Franco-Brit duo, the menu brings the best of modern English cuisine to Paris. For brunch, the kids will love the scones, and you won’t want to miss the kedgeree, a traditional breakfast of flaked haddock, boiled eggs, and rice with curry and parsley.
If you’ve always been skeptical about pancakes as a main meal option, this popular Brittany crepe spot will likely change your mind. This intimate café uses only top-quality ingredients (house-made caramel; local cheeses) cooked inside authentic, lace-thin buckwheat galettes. There’s also oysters and a staggering 15 varieties of artisanal cider for grown-ups.
This spacious café on the roof of the Pompidou Centre is popular with Parisian trendsetters, as well as their well-cultured children. The colourful and playful seating, imagined by Paris-based architects Jakob + MacFarlane, is a composed array of pods in various sizes and colours. Children will be as enamored with the whimsical design as they are with the wide selection of milkshakes on the menu.
Located in one of the city’s largest and most beautiful parks, this kid-friendly café takes a relaxed approach to dining. The Basque-style menu features classic tapas (crispy croquettas with saffron sauce; confit of legumes) in a traditional guinguette, or tavern setting. Grab a tray and sit outside at any one of the large, communal tables under the trees, and watch the kids run wild.
Whether you’re a tourist on vacation or a local Parisian, pizza is always a guaranteed hit with the generations. This restaurant, tucked behind the Canal St Martin, is an enduring and popular spot for families. There are rows of tables outside, and the menu of authentic Napoletana pizzas includes mini versions for kids. The tiramisu never disappoints either. Get here early to avoid the queue.