Dining Outdoors in Paris: One of the City's Sheer Pleasures

In one sense, nearly every restaurant in Paris offers outdoor dining. As soon as the sun makes its presence again, usually in Spring, all at once, it seems, the outdoor café tables come out and Parisian sidewalks are filled with diners enjoying a leisurely lunch or dinner in the midst of passersby.


There are, however, certain tables in the city whose courtyard terraces are famous for the outdoor dining they afford their customers. One of these, Laurent, is probably the most well-known among that certain set of businessmen and politicians who enjoy an excellent meal and prefer to enjoy it outdoors, secluded and shaded by century-old chestnut trees. And the Mandarin Oriental's Camelia courtyard garden restaurant seating is one the city's most delightful "secret" dining spots. Another treasure, less well-known among the travel set, is Le Pavillon at Parc Montsouris.


Outdoor dining can also include the charming little cafés that are to be found in some of the city's parks and gardens. The one in the Champs de Mars, about midway between the Eiffel Tower and the Ecole Militaire, is one of the most pleasant little outdoor places to have a snack and a cold drink in the summer time that you can imagine. On this list, you'll find many more suggestions, in a range that accommodates most nearly every budget. And the settings are all superb, giving you that sense of being outside the city, while still being very much within and a part of it.  



What many visitors to Paris don't realize, is that this museum, which sits just across the street from the Grand Palais, and which is not so little at all, offers free museum entry year-round to its permanent exhibits. The other oft-unknown...  Read More



This terrace spans part of the length of the Tuileries, the part closest to the Louvre and within view of its iconic Pyramid. The main, or indoor, part of the restaurant is the on-premise restaurant of the Musée d'Arts Décoratifs that is...  Read More

14ème Arrondissement


Rated by locals as one of the prettiest terraces in Paris, this restaurant, which is an Art Déco style pavilion, features a gorgeous terrace that butts up against the length of the beautiful Parc Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement. You will...  Read More

8ème Arrondissement


Give yourself the pleasure of actually entering into and savoring this landmark pavilion, built in 1900, which has graced the Champs-Elysées for the past more than a century ever since. In summer, it is even more sublime since it opens up its...  Read More

1er Arrondissement


The landscape artist Guillaume Le Jardinier helped create this little piece of floating paradise that stays docked at along the bank of the River Seine just underneat the Pont-Neuf, on Notre Dame side of the bridge. The restaurant features not...  Read More

1er Arrondissement


Nice and new on the scene is this bistro that sports bistronomic fare. The location is embarrassingly convenient, just steps from the Louvre and the Palais-Royal, yet tucked one block behind in a little square that has just become a...  Read More

8th Arrondissement - Monceau Mad


A much bigger patio seating than you'd otherwise expect, this former Hilton Hotel's inside courtyard, visible through the lobby's glass walls, can seat up to 80 diners, lunch or dinner. The landscape architect who added the palm tree and trimmed...  Read More

7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower
Bateaux Parisiens
Photo courtesy of Bateaux Parisiens Lunch setting Interior photo copyright Jean-Pierre Salle


Board your lunch or dinner cruise just underneath the Eiffel Tower on the banks of the Seine. Then get ready for a lovely meal while you are regaled by live music and some of the most beautiful Parisian sites of historic monuments along your...  Read More



The most discreet of the Paris Palace hotels, this beautiful location just off the Place Vendôme also offers a most lovely terrace on which to enjoy a casual meal or snack during the warmer months. The light-colored marble flooring and soothing...  Read More

1er Arrondissement


The menu here is overseen by celebrated French Chef Thierry Marx who has created also the Daily Marx, a M-F lunch menu inspired by his book of recipes also of the same name. Culinary creations to be enjoyed are turbot served with a hollandaise...  Read More


Meet Paige Donner

Paige's latest book, The Romantic Couple's Guide To The City of Love, Sexy Paris follows her earlier guidebook Paris On 4 Paws, A Dog Lover's Guide To The City of Light and her acclaimed...  More About Paige