10 Great Museum Restaurants in Paris

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10 Great Museum Restaurants in Paris
Paris museums are now offering more than coffee and cake; they’re showcasing a taste of French and international gastronomy, combined with awesome art. Les Ombres at Musée de Quai Branly On the roof of the Jean Nouvel-designed museum, with Patrick Blanc’s awesome vertical garden cladding the outside walls, the terrace/lounge restaurant has the best view of the Eiffel Tower in town. The food and world wines by chef Fréderic Claudel reflect the different ethnic cultures showcased in the various exhibitions presented by the Musée de Quai Branly, opened in 2006. Nice touch, one perfect cheese is served, Normandy Camembert, from cheesemaker Marie-Anne Cantin, served whole in its box; what you don’t eat, you take home. And, at street level, under the same management, is the more casual Café Branly, without the fabulous “Eiffel” views of Les Ombres, of course. 27 Quai Branly, 7th, Metro: Bir-Hakeim. Tel: 01 47 53 68 00. Open 7/7. Tea-Time on the terrace from 2:30-5pm. Bar open 2:30-11pm. Lunch Formula 32€. Dinner 68-95€ + A La Carte. Until October 18th, 2015, don’t miss the “Tatoueurs, tatoués” exhibition. Café at the Musée de la Vie Romantique The pretty Pigalle villa and studios of Franco-Dutch artist Ary Scheffer was built in 1830. George Sand and Fréderic Chopin were neighbours and Delacroix, Listz and Rossini were regular visitors! Vie Romantique recreates a harmonious historical setting evoking the 1830’s “romantic era”. The ground floor is dedicated to George Sand as well as portraits, furniture, and jewellery from the 18th and 19th centuries. On the first floor, Scheffer’s paintings are surrounded by contemporary works. Two annual temporary exhibitions are organized as well as concerts, readings and activities for children. The museum’s peaceful courtyard garden serves simple but good soups, toasted sandwiches, quiches and pastry. 16, rue Chaptal, 9th. Metro: Pigalle. Tel: 01 55 31 95 67. Average Spend from 5.70€-14.90€. Closed Monday. In the garden until mid-October. Until September 20th, 2015: see the “George Sand et la Photographie” exhibition Café Musée Jacquemart André In 1872, banker Edouard André commissioned Nélie Jacquemart, a pretty young artist, to paint his portrait. They fell in love, married, and Nélie came to live in the magnificent 19th century mansion on Boulevard Haussmann where the couple, who lived happily ever after, devoted their lives to travelling the world collecting works of art. Today, run by the Institute of France, the Andrés’ former dining room is an excellent café and, during exhibitions, menus reflect the zeitgeist of the subject. Delicious pastry by Pâtisserie Stohrer and Michel Fenet’s Petite Marquise. This is a secret address, where savvy Parisians pop in for a snack and end up staying the afternoon, because it’s worth it. 158, Boulevard Haussmann, 8th. Metro: Saint-Augustin. Tel: 01 45 62 11 59. Average Spend from 5.10€ – 30€. Sunday Brunch 29.30€ Children up to 7- 11€. Café Jacquemart-André: lunch 11:45am – 3pm. Tea and snacks 3 pm – 5:30 pm. Brunch, Saturday & Sunday, from 11am – 3pm. Late night Monday & Saturday until 7pm during exhibitions. The Café is accessible independently of the Museum. No reservations Until July 20th, see the exhibition: From Giotto to Caravaggio. Musée Rodin Café In the middle of acres of lush gardens where Rodin once lived and created, a delightful, discreet, shady café space with terrace. The self-service menu includes healthy salads, quiches, sandwiches. There’s a daily soup and dish of the day as well as excellent desserts and, being France, plenty of wine options, as well as a tea and infusion menu. Exactly what you need to rest feet and mind while visiting this incredible museum. From the gardens, you can spot Les Invalides and La Tour Eiffel. Pure magic! 77 rue de Varenne, 7th, Metro: Varenne, Tel: 01 44 24 27 96. Closed Monday. Average Spend 15€. Until September 27th, 2015, check out the exhibition “Rodin, le laboratoire de la création.”   Café des Concerts Located in Parc de la Villette, the Jean Nouvel-designed Philharmonie de Paris Concert Hall (2,400seats) opened on January 14th, 2015, with a performance by the Orchestre de Paris of Faure’s Requiem, honouring victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings which took place in the city a week earlier. President Hollande attended the concert; however, it hasn’t been revealed if he dined on the terrace and tasted the delicious “Grill and Barbecue” dinner menu created by chef Sébastien Prenot. During the day there’s an extensive brasserie menu including Club Sandwiches, Cheese on Toast, Salads, Burgers and fries. Philharmonie de Paris, 213 Avenue Jean Jaurés, 19th. Metro: Porte Pantin, Tel: 01 42 49 74 74. Open 7/7 from 9am-2am. Average Spend 34€ Menu Petit Mozart 9€ (for under 10’s). Until June 28th, 2015 check out the Pierre Boulez Exhibition Editor’s Note: Newly opened in Autumn 2015, Le Balcon at the Philharmonie is getting rave reviews. Café Campana at Musée d’Orsay Housed in the former left-bank Railway Station, which became a museum in 1986, showcasing mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915. Paintings, sculptures, furniture, photography and the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, include: Monet, Degas, Renoir etc. On the first floor just after the Impressionist Gallery, near Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’Herbe, stop for lunch at Café Campana named after the Brazilian brothers who designed the contemporary canteen. The food’s delicious, quiche Lorraine, chicken and mushroom Pie, beef satay noodles and coriander, good wines and Alain Milliat juices. Don’t ignore dessert Café Liégeois or Maxi Eclair. Alternatively, on the ground floor, at the far end of the Nave by François Pompom’s sculpture, the Café de l’Ours (Bear Café) serves snacks, salads and sandwiches, cakes, ice…

Lead photo credit : Les Ombres at Musée de Quai Branly/ Benjamin Didier

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !


  • Maureen Obuchowski
    2015-11-09 16:30:16
    Maureen Obuchowski
    The cafe upstairs at the d'Orsay is so much better and more beautiful for the whole experience. I'm saving this article for my next trip. How about an article on the best places to stop for tea, snacks, luncheon or a drink while out shopping at specific places or areas? Thanks!