For many people, the best of Paris means eating out. Family travel in Europe is an entirely different beast. I was lucky enough to travel recently with my thirteen-year-old son on a “sibling trip.”
Packing for a trip to Paris means you may put a bit more thought into what you’ll wear on vacation – not that you’ll instantaneously turn into a chic parisienne, BUT you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb either. That is, until, you plan to take a teenage boy to Paris with you.
Do you have a teen or tween who is seemingly allergic to collared shirts or non-athletic footwear? If so, you may be wondering where you might possibly eat in Paris – besides gas stations (where we did find surprisingly good food!) – without either breaking the dress code or going clothing shopping (to which your teenage boy may also be “allergic”). We spent a week in Paris, with several day trips, and found several great choices throughout the city. We also indulged in more than our fair share of treats – most of which were really worth the hype.
In no particular order, here are five tween- and teen-friendly restaurants that we enjoyed:
A few blocks from the Musee d’Orsay, this gem has indoor and outdoor seating, an extensive menu and service continu (meaning they don’t close in between traditional lunch and dinner hours). Perhaps the best croque monsieur of the trip was enjoyed here, as well as an excellent gateau au chocolat.
Le Drop Cafe: 36 Rue de Bellechasse +33 1 45 51 54 09
There are lots of high-priced, and touristy options in the shadow of the Tour Eiffel. Just around the corner from the Champs de Mars (the large park in front of the tower), this cafe accommodated us easily for a tasty lunch (and did an admirable job serving both the tables of Parisian regulars to our left as well as the American tourists with two kids under five to our right).
Aux Cerises: 47 Avenue de Suffren +33 1 42 73 92 97
Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s also so good we ate here twice in one week. The only decisions to be made are 1) what to drink (wine for me, Orangina for B) and 2) how you want your steak cooked (I recommend medium rare, a point). Then sit back, relax, and enjoy your salad, bread, and beverage of your choice. Surprisingly quickly, the FIRST round of perfectly cooked steak and crispy, salty fries are in front of you. (I found the sauce delicious, Brother B preferred his sans la sauce, s’il vous plait). Pace yourself, because a second round is coming at you, when you have finished the first. And we didn’t even get to dessert.
Le Relais de l’Entrecote: Multiple locations, including 20 Rue Saint-Benoît +33 1 45 49 16 00
Around the corner from the slightly more famous Cafe des Deux Magots, Ernest Hemingway and other contemporaries once frequented this charming, if slightly touristy, cafe. We found the menu here to be flexible and tasty. While the outdoor tables are tiny and close together, the inside was comfortable for even larger groups (which we found to be somewhat of a rarity in central Paris).
Café de Flore: 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris +33 1 45 48 55 26
This Parisian chain is a solid choice for meals and snacks from breakfast through tea time. Famous for the chocolat chaud, we enjoyed sandwiches, salads, pastries and more during our week in town. The location closest to our hotel was a bit fancier, but not in a discriminatory way, and the location at Versailles we visited (in the Chateau itself!) had both casual and formal options available in the same venue.
Angelina: Multiple locations, including Angelina Paris 226 Rue de Rivoli +33 1 42 60 82 00
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