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Where To Eat Near The Major Museums In Paris

The best spots near The Louvre, d’Orsay, Petit Palais, and more.
The colorful exterior of Jah Jah, a Afro Vegan restaurant in Paris

photo credit: Ilya Kagan

You don’t need us to tell you about The Louvre. But if you’re reading this guide, you probably do need some help finding a place to eat after the Mona Lisa stares into the depths of your soul. Paris is full of museums, and while some (like The Pompidou and new-ish Bourse de Commerce) are in neighborhoods packed with good restaurants, others (like Petit Palais and the Musée d’Art Moderne) have fewer options. 

A morning museum trip is a great way to (try and) beat the crowds, but don’t get distracted if you’re planning on a midday meal. With the exception of brasseries and cafés, most restaurants only serve lunch between noon and 2:30pm, and typically don’t reopen again for dinner until 7pm. Strategize your scrutiny of antiquities wisely.


THE SPOTS


photo credit: Francis Amiand

Japanese

1st Arr.

$$$$Perfect For:LunchWalk-InsKeeping It Kind Of Healthy
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Near: The Louvre, Bourse de Commerce

If you clocked 10,000 steps at the Louvre this morning, are starving, and simply can’t walk more than five minutes for lunch, go to Irasshai. Head to the canteen area and grab a seat at the long window table for a set lunch of miso soup, rice, pickled vegetables, and your choice of protein. Turns out, you’ve found yourself in a one-stop shop, with a grocery store filled with Japanese snacks that are hard to find in Paris, a coffee area, and a full bar that serves cocktails and sake after 6pm.


Near: Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, Musée du quai Branly, Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Palais de Tokyo, Musée Gumet

Reservations are essential at Octave, so make one for lunch on whatever day you’re planning to visit the Musée d'Art Moderne. This French-Korean tasting menu spot is just a fifteen-minute walk away, and reasonably priced compared to other fine-dining options around town: the five-course menu is €75, but if you’re pressed for time, stick with the appetizer, main, and dessert combo for €59. Go to town on a plate of kimchi penne, end with a melon popsicle, then walk ten minutes to the Trocadero for some obligatory Eiffel Tower pics.


Near: Centre Pompidou

Expect a low-key vibe Afro-Caribbean restaurant, where a reggae-leaning soundtrack plays in the background and wooden crates of vegetables are stacked against the counter. The plant-based menu is inspired by the Rastafarian food movement Ital, which uses energy-fueling unprocessed ingredients that are typically grown locally and organically. Dishes include barbecue tempeh tacos and a bowl with curried quinoa and tandoori cauliflower, plus a perfect hot dog topped with guacamole and buried under a mountain of crispy fried onions.


Near: Musée d’Orsay, Petit Palais, Musée Rodin, Musée de l’Orangerie

There are plenty of bistros within walking distance from the Musée d’Orsay and the Rodin, but if you just can’t eat another steak au poivre, head to Jais. In addition to traditional French plates like pâté en croûte studded with pistachios, they have a handful of international-leaning dishes like a great tuna carpaccio topped with a bulgogi sauce and zucchini flower tempura with stracciatella. Wherever you land, save room for the lemon pie with sky-high meringue.


Near: Musée d’Orsay, Louvre

This corner restaurant in Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a fairly quiet spot (the thick carpet and velour banquets absorb the clinking of cutlery and wine glasses) but the huge windows keep it from feeling stuffy. Definitely come here post-museum and not before—your best bet after working through the fairly traditional menu and a bottle from their 21-page wine list is a digestive walk along the Seine (or a nap back at the hotel).


Near: Musée National Picasso

You’ll find a mix of tourists and locals at this small plates spot in the Marais, tucked into indoor tables, spilling out onto the sidewalk, or posted at the bar sharing bottles of natural wine and oysters. If a morning museum wasn’t in the cards today, don’t sweat: in addition to lunch, Le Mary Celeste opens early for dinner at 6pm, and they have continuous service on the weekends.


Near: Musée de L’Orangerie, Petit Palais, Musée d’Art Moderne

Make your way to L’Ami Jean after a morning of 19th-century French art and before an afternoon visit to that other icon from the same era: the Eiffel Tower. Settle in at one of the long wooden tables for a semi-communal meal of big, hearty plates straight from Basque Country. Expect this to be your last official plan for the day—if the roasted sweetbreads braised in salted butter or the confit veal cheeks don’t do you in, the giant portion of their must-order rice pudding with caramelized nuts and cream will.


Near: Louvre, Bourse de Commerce

Bottles of Japanese whiskey line the bar at this minimal izakaya near the Louvre and Bourse de Commerce. Don’t worry if you can’t get the counter seats overlooking the kitchen—with only 14 seats total, you can see what’s being prepared no matter where you sit. From the sliver of a kitchen comes perfect little slices of Japan: like silky dorado carpaccio and crispy chicken karaage. They don’t take reservations for lunch, but they’re essential (and hard to get) for dinner. Bookings open 30 days in advance, but if you don’t score one then, keep checking back for last-minute cancellations.


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