4 days in Paris: good mix to avoid food fatigue?

I am taking my 13 year old daughter to Paris for the first time in late March and want her to experience a good mix of the delicious street food and fine dining the city has to offer. She is a curious eater, open to trying almost everything. Would love any feedback on our 4 day plan! We are staying in Le Marais, a minute from the Square du Temple.

Saturday, March 30:
Arrive by Eurostar around 3 pm

Explore neighborhood and pick up caramels from Jacques Genin, possible ice cream from Folderol

Late lunch at Chez Alain Miam Miam or Les Enfants du Marche (will these places have long queues on a Saturday late afternoon?) OR take Metro to Luxembourg Garden area and grab a cheap crepe or sandwich at Croc Fac nearby

Dinner cruise on Le Calife

Sunday, March 31:
Breakfast from Boulangerie Bo&mie

Explore Rue Montorgueil and pick up picnic foods for this evening at Terroirs d’Avenir, La Fermette, Le Palais du Fruit, Storher, Fou de Patisserie

Check out Easter chocolate displays at A La Mere de Famille, Charles Chocolatier

Explore Montmartre, then late 2 PM lunch at Le Bon Georges. If time permits, visit Louis Fouquet candy store nearby.

Ice cream at Berthillon before 6 pm concert at Sainte Chapelle

Light picnic dinner on Champ de Mars before 9:30 pm Eiffel Tower summit

Monday, April 1:
Breakfast near Galerie Vivienne (we are looking at Le Bougainville. Any other recs?)

After Louvre, stop at Maison du Chocolat for an eclair before lunch at Jeanne Aimee

Dinner: pick up a sandwich from Casa Di Panini for a picnic in Jardin des Plantes

Tuesday, April 2:
Breakfast: pick up bread at Maison Landemaine and cheese from Fromagerie Beillevaire before Le Marais walking tour

Lunch at L’As du Fallafel (will the line be super long at 12:30 on a Tuesday during Easter week? If so, any alternatives nearby?)

Dessert at Maison Aleph or Pastelli Mary Gelateria

La Grande Epicierie de Paris: pick up foods for next day’s early morning TGV ride to Avignon

After exploring Musee d’Orsay, dinner at Chez Dumonet

We have one bonus night in Paris when we return from Provence, before flying back to the US the next day. We will be staying in the Latin Quarter and currently have reservations at Les Papilles, an 8 minute walk from our hotel. Should we sub this one out with Parcelles or Juveniles? (I don’t think Parcelles’ reservations have opened yet for this date.)

It was hard to choose from so many wonderful restaurants, and I had to resist the urge to cram too many in so that we don’t have food fatigue! Other places we were very interested in: Le Petit Marche, Eels, Capitaine, Mokonuts. If you think we should sub out any of our choices above with these, please let us know! Thanks in advance for any insights you might have!


I’ll stay out of the overall request, as there are better equipped voices on this board. However, since you’re staying so close by, I cant think of a better way to start out with your daughter than to take her thru the Enfant Rouge covered market & let her pick out what looks most interesting to her from the many food stalls. Given that your evening plan is for a dinner cruise, where the cruise sights will no doubt be more important than the dinner to her, you can allow for heavier than usual eating at the market, even as a late lunch. Just my 2cents (euros?) worth.

Thanks, SteveR! Do you think the market will be really crowded during later afternoon on a Saturday?

No idea. I know it’s pretty crowded during the weekend in general, but I’d think that later afternoon wouldn’t be bad. Just a guess. Again, I’d defer to folks who live there.

Do restaurant/shop openings change in Paris on Easter and the days before and after?

Yes, the Marché des Enfants Rouge is always very crowded at weekends, often uncomfortably so and usually non-stop on Saturday. Much more relaxed weekdays (but closed on Monday).

If you are a minute’s walk from the Square du Temple, take advantage of all the wonderful food opportunities on the rue Bretagne market street and immediate neighborhood/ Haut Marais. It strikes me as a wee bit unnecessary to make a trek to grossly overpriced La Grande Epicerie when you have the stellar and simply expensive Maison Vérot (a sort of deli/ charcuterie with a large range of take-out items for picnics, train rides, snacking in your accommodation, etc), the exceptionally good Bontemps pâtisserie/ salon de thé, the great value Rôtisserie Stévenot (for take-out roast chicken, lamb, pork ribs, etc), excellentFromagerie Jouannault (cheese shop), Caractère de Cochon sandwicherie and charcuterie, remarkable Pierre Hermé pâtisserie (the Ispahan macarons and pastries are tastes of paradise for me), Jean-Paul Hévin chocolaterie, the fruit & veg stalls and the “plats cuisinés” stands in the Marché des Enfants Rouges covered market, etc etc all within a few minutes’ walk of your accommodation.

I suppose a cheap crêpe from a street vendor is fine for kids (under 10) but just no comparison to an authentic sit-down crêperie. Arguably, crêpes from a street vendor (mostly using cheap counterfeit Nutella and cheap confitures, it seems from my limited experience of them) are no longer a popular parisian “street food” and are rarely found outside the tourist zones. BTW, the excellent crêperie Gigi on rue Corderie in the delightful Temple micro-quartier just north of the Square du Temple park is a just a few minutes’ walk for you.

Never heard of the Croc-Fac but its location suggests it is very tourist friendly.

Monday is the traditional shop and market closing day in Paris and, while the Galerie Vivienne is open, some of the shops in it will be closed.

I like time-warp Le Bougainville for its very authentic trad cuisine and vibe but never realized it opened so early. I imagine the breakfast would be very utilitarian. Another possibility is the boulangerie-pâtisserie on the place des Petits Pères, overlooking the baroque Notre-Dame-des-Victoires basilica (not one of the usual stops on the deeply rutted tourist trail but well worth a visit)… I haven’t been to this boulangerie since pre-Covid when it had a different ownership and not sure of its current quality but, for breakfast, probably good enough and the setting more than makes up for perhaps less than outstanding croissants and breakfast pastries. Not sure how you would fit it into your schedule but the lovely Le Véro Dodat resto/ salon de thé/ pâtisserie in the nearby Galerie Véro Dodat is also an excellent mother-daughter opportunity in this area (and then you can walk around the corner to buy her first pair of Louboutin shoes)… but, oops, not for breakfast (Le Véro Dodat resto opens at 11am).

The gelato from Pastelli Mary Gelateria is excellent but Maison Aleph (of which I am a huge fan) would be more of an adventure and delicious exploration of the less familiar.

The average age of the customers at Joséphine Chez Dumonet seems to be about 75 (ok, ok, a wee bit of an exaggeration), and for the first seating almost all American, so I wonder if it will be enjoyed by your daughter. And, because it is largely a tourist restaurant, just doesn’t really have an authentic joyful parisian vibe. Have a look at Café des Ministères, Bistrot de Paris, La Laiterie Sainte-Clothilde, Garcon !, and Huguette for perhaps more enjoyable alternatives for a post-Orsay nosh for a 13-yr old… BTW, both flirty Huguette and trendy Garcon ! are firm favourites with many of the teenagers in my extended family.

Picnics. A plan B will be required for all. Our very unpredictable, often wet and cool northern European weather in late March/ early April is rarely good enough for picnics.

Falafel. L’As du Fallafel seems to be one of these inexplicable monkey-see/ monkey-do tourist rituals and the source of considerable hype and hyperbole. The falafels are good but not significantly better than those of neighboring falafel joints. If the queues are long, try Mi-Va-Mi across the street. And please, no un-parisian eating on the street… walk a few minutes down rue Rosiers (in the direction of the descending numbers) to find a not always obvious bench (grassy areas off-limits until May, as in most parks in Paris) in the “hidden” Jardin des Rosiers.


Wow! Absolutely phenomenal feedback, ParnParis! Thank you so much.

With all those options in the Rue de Bretagne area, we will plan to skip Rue Montorgueil and just eat in our own neighborhood! And absolutely we will skip La Grande Epicerie.

We are going to rework our plans to fit in Creperie Gigi, Le Vero Dodat, Garçon, and Huguette. All of these places seem like they would be a delight for my daughter.

Also, do you think Berthillon is a must do? Wondering whether it makes sense to brave the long lines there or to go to a more local place in the Marais for ice cream like Folderol.

Finally, this may sound like a silly question, but are there any shops in Paris that you particularly recommend with the flattened panini (like the ones at Casa de Panini)? I have fond memories of eating these as a teen myself in Paris (30 years ago!) and wonder if they are still ubiquitous.

There are a gazillion (slight exaggeration) Berthillon shops, and in my opinion, some of the newer ice cream shops are better/more creative. Maybe take a look on the board as there was an ice cream topic either last summer or the one before.

Chez Hanna on Rue des Rosiers also has excellent fallafel, and you can get a tasting plate with various salads along with the falafel if a sandwich doesn’t appeal to you. @ParnParis is quite right that there is nothing special about L’As du Fallafel.

Finally, you might look at switching your plans for Easter Sunday when stores may be closed in other areas, but will be open in the Marais. People living in Paris may be able to speak to this?

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My experience with being in France during Pâques is that you are reminded that France is still quite Catholic. Many places close, some starting from Thursday and going through Monday. Its a much bigger event than in the US.

Maybe do Parcelles one night when you are in the upper Marais? Good food and semi casual atmosphere. Breizh crepe place in Marais would be a good choice for 13 year old and you can reserve online now (also Les Philosophe cafe down the street is good casual place) and Marche des Enfant Rouges (les Enfants du Marche has delicious food) is also great spot for lunch or dinner. If you’re having dinner on the cruise the first night eating at 4ish for lunch might be a lot of food to cram in. Loved the sandwiches at Carcatere de Cochon around the corner from the Marche. And for Fallafel’s don’t bother with the place with the long lines. They’re all good. I grabbed one at Chez Marianne a few years ago and ate it down the street on a bench. Go over to the Canal St Martin area and eat in the 11th. Great food and a younger vibe that 13 year old might like. Back in the 3rd we’ve always like Le Mary Celeste for low key small plates meal although it’s a bar basically so maybe not appropriate? Have fun and looks like you’ll be taste testing every chocolate/ice cream store in Paris!