Cultural Cuisine... Parisian Museums’ kitchens

If all that sightseeing/shopping/cultural visiting has got you peckish, why not take a relaxing break in one of the many Parisian museum restaurants? One of the more original dining suggestions you could combine some of the city’s most emblematic locations, with French cuisine of (sometimes) Michelin-star proportions.

Café Le Jardin at the Petit Palais

Opening out onto the interior garden of the Paris Fine Arts Museum, this café is the very definition of serenity. A real contrast to the lively atmosphere on the Avenue Champs-Elysées, it has nearly 100 seats waiting for you to enjoy some classic French cuisine. (External link)

Les Ombres at the Quai Branly Museum

The café’s name originates from its location; in the shadows (ombre) of its neighbour, the Eiffel Tower. Designed by architect Jean Nouvel, the restaurant was built on the roof terrace of the ‘Arts and Civilisations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas’ collection area. Completely encased in glass, the restaurant offers a panoramic view of France’s capital. On the menu: exotic cuisine, reflecting the items and objects on display in the museum’s collections. (External link)

The Restaurant at the Musée d’Orsay

With its large glass windows, the café gives diners a clear view out over the River Seine alongside its menu – which chef Yann Landureau designs to reflect the current exhibitions. The venue is actually a monument in itself. It was opened in 1900, and is now a listed French Historical Monument, that has been revamped to add a touch of modernity to the gold-leaf and chandelier traditional décor. (External link)

(External link) CaféCarlu at the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine (House of Architecture and Heritage)*

Located in the Palais de Chaillot, this café is possibly one of the most stylish of all the Parisian museum cafés. Aside from the contemporary decor, it boasts a terrace showing off a great view of the Eiffel Tower, the Champs de Mars and the Trocadéro gardens. Local cuisine is available on the set menu.

The Café at Musée Rodin

Right in the middle of the Musée Rodin’s gardens, just a stone’s throw from some of this master sculptor’s statues - The Burghers of Calais, The Gates of Hell, or even The Thinker - is the perfect place to have a quick bite at any time of the day. Find some peace and serenity right next to the museum and, whether inside or out on the terrace, enjoy a carefully crafted simple quality meal. (External link)

The Café Grand Louvre

Located beneath the Louvre’s famous Pyramid - right in the heart of the museum - this modern, half-floral, half-wood designed café offers both classic and more contemporary French cuisine. (Burgers have been revamped with foie-gras for example!) The Café Grand Louvre is a peaceful haven in one of Paris’s most visited museums. (External link)

Café Le Georges at the Pompidou Centre

Located on Beaubourg’s 6th floor, this restaurant features an incomparable view of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and the Sacred Heart Basilica, amongst others. The modern architecture uses aluminium throughout the venue. The menu includes international cuisine as well as some re-visited and re-worked French classics. (External link)

“Zyriab by Noura” at the Arab World Institute

The 9th floor of the Arab World Institute is home to a panoramic restaurant that offers the perfect place to experience Lebanon and its mouth-watering cuisine. On the top floor terrace, take in a wonderful view of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and the River Seine. If the season keeps you indoors, you can still discover one of the city’s best viewpoints behind the huge glass windows designed by architect Jean Nouvel. (External link)

Café Jacquemart-André

Just a few minutes’ walk from the Champs-Elysées, is one of the most beautiful salons de thé (tea rooms) in Paris: Louis XV sculpted wood console tables, 18th Century tapestries, ceiling frescos, gold leaf and crystal chandeliers. Its dreamlike classical decor is perfect for tasting pastries from the best Parisian artisans. At lunch time, it’s also makes a great place for a light meal or even a weekend brunch. (External link)

Café Marly at the Louvre

Fancy a great view of the museum’s famous Pyramid! Nestled beneath the arches of the Louvre, lies this Second Empire-style eatery with a bold and modern menu. Elegant décor and golden woodwork give the venue the feeling of a former royal residence. Enjoy a lovely lunch, as you slowly sink into the atmosphere and embrace what life might have been like when the Louvre was still a palace. (External link)

Bon appétit!