Mini Palais at the Grand Palais
Art and food. Food and art. Of course the two dance deliciously together in the City of Light. But with this past year’s additions of the Gilles & Boissier-designed eateries inside the contemporary auction house Artcurial and the Mini Palais within the landmark Grand Palais, Paris’ art scenes are crossing over into prime dining destinations. Here are five top-notch spots to sample when you’re as hungry for good food as you are for fine art.
Tokyo Eat at Palais de Tokyo
Tokyo Eat and terrace (Justine Robinett)
This versatile restaurant inside the contemporary art museum is a favorite haunt of Parisian hipsters. That’s because, with its super-sized dining room, UFO-shaped lanterns and colorful mid-century furniture, it’s cool without trying too hard. The food and ambiance are also atypically refreshing. Open non-stop from noon until 1 in the morning, you might opt for a freshly squeezed carrot-ginger juice in the morning, a lunch of inventive coconut and pineapple ravioli, or a standard steak with plump frites at any hour. It’s great for solo dining as well as big crews.
13, avenue du President Wilson, 16eme, 01 47 20 00 29. Open every day except Monday, from noon until 1 a.m.
Mini-Palais at the Grand Palais
Mini Palais and the terrace at the Palais de Tokyo (Justine Robinett)
With a menu created by Michelin-starred chef Eric Frechon and overseen by executive chef Stéphane d’Aboville, dining in this elegant, lofty restaurant—designed in neutral colors like an artist’s atelier—goes way beyond your typical museum offerings. It starts with a warm brioche that’s as decadent as a southern popover, and then moves on to just about anything you’re craving. The roast chicken is generous and succulent, the cabillaud is delicately poached in ginger and lemongrass, and the burger is topped with foie gras, bien sur. Get there before autumn descends to take advantage of the magnificent outdoor terrace, with its grand imperial columns, mosaic floors and sheltered views of the Petit Palais.
3, avenue Winston Churchill (enter on the Seine side), 8eme, 01 42 56 42 42. Open daily from noon until midnight.
Imagine having a solarium in the chichi eighth arrondissement, where a fleet of modelesque waistaff outfitted in black briskly trot around to bring you burrata salads, salmon tartares and desserts from the stellar tea salon Les Deux Abeilles. Voila, welcome to Café Artcurial. Tucked in the back of the contemporary auction house, Artcurial, the black and white, sun-filled dining area of this buzzy café is a hit with the fashion crowd as much as regular ladies who lunch.
7, rond-point des Champs-Elysées, 8eme, 01 42 99 20 20. Open Monday – Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cake from Café Suédois (Justine Robinett)
If you want a break from French flavors, envelope yourself in the calming Scandinavian vibe of the Swedish Institute of Paris. The cultural center’s café, located in the heart of the Marais, offers classic Swedish fare, from freshly baked “kanelbullar,” or cinnamon rolls, to open-face meatball sandwiches on hearty black bread and smoked salmon. When it’s warm outside, a seat in the cobblestone courtyard can’t be beat.
11, rue Payenne, 3eme, 01 44 78 80 11. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.
Tokyo Eats Bar and Café Suédois (Justine Robinett)
Le Saut de Loup at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs
While there’s ample seating inside Le Saut de Loup’s dining room, eating there would miss the most beautiful aspect of the Musée’s restaurant: the views from the terrace. Sit facing south to bask in the Louvre’s Carousel Gardens. Face westward and it’s the Jadin des Tuileries as far as the eye can see. Look east, and see I.M. Pei’s shimmering pyramid. There are sculptures in the park, the Eiffel Tower peeking over the rooftops, and the brilliant Paris sky above. And the food isn’t so bad either. Enjoy anything from a light and tasty king crab salad with avocado and mango to “le vrai cheeseburger” to a hearty pork chop with mashed potatoes.
107, rue de Rivoli, 1er, 01 42 25 49 55. Open daily from noon until 2 a.m.
- For more art & eat options you could stop by this exhibit at the Pompidou museum before indulging in gastronomy with a view at Le Georges
- Or check out the Fra Angelico and the Masters of light exhibit at the Musée Jacquemart-André, then have some tea in the gorgeous dining room
- Had enough art? Recover and take in the panoramic view at the 7th bar at the Terrass hotel in Montmartre