The Paris Kids Guide
While Paris might not come to mind as the most kid-friendly place, it’s actually kind of one giant playground, with some pretty incredible and accessible parks. That, plus the ease of being able to grab a crepe from one of the million stands dotted across the city make it kid nirvana.
La Rôtisserie19 Quai de la Tournelle, 5th | +126.96.36.199.17.47
It’s casual and cozy here, which is the perfect backdrop for the rural French food on offer. We come for the delicious roast chicken on Sundays; since most restaurants are closed, it can get quite busy, but in a low-key convivial way. Ask for a table by the window overlooking the Seine.
Le Comptoir du Relais9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, 6th | +188.8.131.52.07.97
If you find yourself with time alone, grab one of the single-occupancy tables outside, which face onto the small square; that said, if you’re saddled with the little ones, this spot is blessedly kid-friendly, too. A bottle of red and the boeuf bourguignon—served with lemon rind, pasta, and pine nuts—is the meal to get here.
Le Café du Commerce13 Rue de Clignancourt, 18th | +33.1.46.06.25.63
Smack in the middle of Montmartre, this is a perfect quick pit stop for steak-frites, roast chicken, and côte de boeuf—at great prices. The excellent lunch deal means that crowds swell, but it’s spacious and comfortable enough to accommodate them.
Chez Savy23 Rue Bayard, 8th | +184.108.40.206.46.98
Situated right off the Avenue Montaigne, this tiny bistro is laid out like an old-school dining car with cozy booths, vintage luggage racks, and mirrored walls in lieu of windows. As for the rest of the decor, expect to see lots of original Art Deco elements (stained glass, frieze ceiling) left over from a time when Savy was a Jazz Age hotspot. The cuisine is traditional French (foie gras, lentil soup, andouillette sausage) and the portions are generous.
Les Cocottes135 Rue Saint-Dominique, 7th | +220.127.116.11.10.28
The only thing that outshines Les Cocottes’ brilliant use of glass jars and Staub cast-iron cocottes is the menu itself. Chef Christian Constant has developed a robust offering of salads (a nontraditional Caesar salad), soups (pumpkin, seafood bisque), and mains (ratatouille, langoustine ravioli) that satisfy without breaking the bank. And then, of course, there’s Constant’s famous chocolate tart. Those who fly by the seat of their pants will appreciate the no-reservations policy, even though there’s almost always a wait—which isn't bad, as it’s conveniently located near the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Eiffel Tower.
Nanashi57 Rue Charlot, 3rd | +18.104.22.168.45.49
Rose Bakery alum Kaori Endo’s creative spin on traditional, Japanese bento boxes is a huge hit in Paris—and she has a mini-chainlet of restaurants to prove it. We like the Marais location best, as its bigger than her original spot in the 10th. There’s a grocery and takeaway in the front, and a handful of tables in the back, where you can feast on really beautiful plates of veggies, carefully prepared meat and fish, chirashis, and soup. There is also another location in the 10th.
Ladurée75 Avenue des Champs Elysées, 8th | +22.214.171.124.08.75
Thanks to loads of press and a swift global expansion in 2005 (there are now outposts in New York, London, Lebanon, Japan, Sweden, Hong Kong, Brazil, Los Angeles, and more), the Ladurée celadon green is almost as iconic as Tiffany blue or Hermès orange. It all started in 1862 at 16 rue Royale, when writer Louis Ernest Ladurée opened a pastry shop. Though macarons had been kicking around France since the sixteenth century, when Catherine de Medici introduced them from Italy, Ladurée’s grandson revolutionized the concept in 1930 by using a bit of ganache to create a macaron sandwich. Beyond sweets, Ladurée's dinner service is great, with a kid-friendly menu that adults can enjoy, too. Although the original Ladurée is a fixture on the Champs-Elysées, there are multiple locations throughout the city to enjoy.
Sacha Finkelsztajn La Boutique Jaune27 Rue des Rosiers, 4th | +126.96.36.199.78.91
Since 1946, the Finkelsztajn family has been holding down this yellow-fronted deli, which is known citywide for its rugelach, challah, strudels, bagels, and cheesecake. We go for the “Yiddish Sandwich,” which involves red pepper spread, babaganoush and sprats on a perfectly delicate “pletzel”—a soft, onion and poppy seed covered roll.
Eggs and Co.11 Rue Bernard Palissy, 6th | +188.8.131.52.02.52
Paris is not a brunch place, which means that this cheery, wood-beam lined spot is aggressively slammed on weekends. Go during the week: While they offer every conceivable iteration of egg dish, we like the Coco Meurette best. It features poached eggs submerged in a dreamy red wine and mushroom sauce.
Le Bonbon au Palais19 Rue Monge, 5th | +184.108.40.206.15.72
Styled to look like a 1950s classroom, Georges Marques’s shop offers hundreds of candies sourced from all over France. It’s kind of an amazing way to take a geography lesson, really, particularly because Georges is happy to lead willing students on a tour of the country’s various candy-producing zones. Everything—from the candied fruits to pastilles to calissons to chocolate—is arranged in old-fashioned apothecary jars.
Berthillon31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 4th | +220.127.116.11.31.61
Operating out of a little window stand on the Isle St. Louis, the ice creams and sorbets here justify the sometimes long lines. After all, it’s arguably the best in Paris. Enough said.
Lina’s Café17 Boulevard Malesherbes, 8th | +18.104.22.168.37.37
Lina's is a chain but you wouldn’t know it, biting into their famous turkey club. Fresh and delicious, it’s the perfect inexpensive meal to have while walking through the streets of Paris. There's also a location in the 2nd and another location in the 8th (Rue Marbeauf).