Here I am with my first short list of local places where you can enjoy a nice meal or have a quick bite around the Musée du Louvre. Don’t worry, I am not giving you the same addresses you can find on Time Out Paris or a list of the most famous, Michelin starred restaurants in the area. You can easily find them on your own. I am just listing the places where I go with my guests, colleagues, friends or alone, when I need some me time in between tours. Some of them are famous, other not so much. All are, in my opinion, very good options if you do not have time – or energy – to get away from Rue de Rivoli.
Coffee break. Are you looking for a nice cup of coffee or a pastry? My favourite place in the area is Café Verlet. It may be quite crowded around lunch time but nothing compared to Angelina, which also is another favorite but way to busy for my taste, especially after fighting the Louvre’s crowds. At Verlet, which by the way is the oldest Parisian coffee company still in operation, coffee tastes like heaven and, little plus, you can buy your favorite blend and bring it home with you. Pastries are by chef Carl Marletti so you should definitely taste one, or two…
Lunch with locals. Café Blanc. Despite its name it has bluish curtains and many tables. It is noisy and bustling. Service is (usually) fast. It is the epitome of a traditional French bistrot, where you can sit down to eat and drink from 8am to 2am. You can order a full meal or just a salad or a croque monsieur. Another option? Café Louise at Palais Royal, just in front of Café Blanc.
Modern French Cuisine with a Scandinavian twist. Le Fumoir. Highly appreciated by my gourmet guests and by anyone who want to relax in a more refined atmosphere it is the right place to enjoy healthy food (fish is great) or a fancy drink.
Quick snack. If you are looking for a delicious sandwich from a very popular boulangerie Bo&Mie is the place to go BUT if you are not willing to line (again) just avoid it and either you grab something at Pret-a-manger (I know, it is not french but it is fresh and they have many healthy options) or, if you are on a budget, walk to Franprix supermarket and grab a sandwich or a fruit salad for half the price. Where to eat your snack? Tuileries garden or, even better, Palais Royal garden. Take a nice seat and enjoy the sun. We do it in every season, winter included.
A Little gem and a secret square: Maison Plisson is a very popular delicatessen store where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, tasty cheeses and cured meats from all over France, delicious meals and everything else related to good food. They opened few restaurant in Paris and two of them are right near the Louvre. The smallest (and newest) one is Petit Plisson aux Tuileries, an authentic little gem in the Tuileries garden where you can enjoy a nice apero, sharing a platter of Parisian ham or selected cheese. Maison Plisson St. Honoré has an extended menu and is located in Place du Marché St. Honoré, a square where you can find many other great brasseries and bistrot, serving different kind of food, including a Big Fernand, a very popular burger restaurant in Paris.