Paris - family dining with teenagers

My family of 5 (including three teenage girls) are in Paris in July, spread over 2 stays (July 5-7 near Saint-Germain-des-Pres and July 24-27 by Place des Vosges).

I’m looking for dining options that will appeal to my three daughters, for whom this will be their first trip to France. So far have only booked L’Ange 20 for dinner on the 6th. Only the oldest is somewhat adventurous so we will not be on a gastronomic extravaganza. Just looking for a few dependable options that would provide a not-too-touristy Paris experience and have basic fare that would appeal to the two younger ones.

I’ve been reading the various recommendations and making a hit list for when my wife and I return next year sans enfants…

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Teens-- and most of their parents-- in my extended family like Huguette on rue Seine in the 6th. It’s mostly fish but some non-fish items on the menu. If worse comes to worst, there is always a poké bowl or a pasta dish or fish & chips. Very enjoyable buzz, almost flirty at times.

I, like many Parisians, have pretty much abandoned the Marais/ 4th to the tourists (both foreign and provincial French) and suburbanites, and so I’m not very clued in to restaurants there. Although no recent experience, Pamela Popo on rue François Miron is very teen friendly and, having just checked, has some dishes that could appeal to American teens. On the other hand, it’s a restaurant that probably appeals to Parisians more than typical tourists looking for (very un-summery) trad cuisine in cutesy settings.

Because of its popularity with students from the nearby lycées as an after-school hangout, I’ll also suggest the continuous-hours Chez Mademoiselle on rue Charlemagne in the lower 4th. The school term ends this week, so not the usual contingent of students when you are there but I am sure echoes will remain. I’ve eaten there once a few years ago… above average standard tourist-pleasing bistro fare but, for me, rather predictable and none of the surprises that I like.

You can also ignore your hope of a “not very touristy experience” and try the better sort of tourist restaurant like Les Philosophes on rue Vieille du Temple. BTW, judging from my one and only meal there pre-Covid, L’Ange 20 is also a very good restaurant with a mostly older French-provincial and foreign tourist clientele.

Although it’s a bit of a walk from the Place des Vosges (but easy by bus), the mini-restos and deli counters in the Marché des Enfants Rouges on the rue Bretagne in the trendy and much more parisian Haut Marais in the upper 3rd could be a possibility for lunch or an early (before 7:30pm) dinner because of the all the choices it offers… crêpes, Italian, Japanese, gastro French, Moroccan, etc. Not a conventional dining experience but some communal tables for eating there or, in good weather, for takeout for a picnic in the Square du Temple park just 2 minutes away.

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@ParnParis, you always mention places I don’t know about that sound so appealing that I add to my ever expanding list, and I am decidedly not a teenager!

My teenagers always enjoyed a crèperie and there are a couple of excellent ones in the Marais: Breizh and Gigi. A newish brasserie in the neighborhood with darn good food also feels like essence of Paris and a wide-enough variety to be pleasing to your girls, Grande Brasserie on Rue de la Bastille. Maybe the Rue des Rosiers falafel joints will appeal for lunchish or snacktime, touristy but for a reason. Benedict and Mr T might also appeal. Hope you have a great trip! Where are you going to be in between the two Paris sojourns?

Thanks for the replies @ParnParis and @ninkat! We will check those places out.

We will be in Nimes from July 7-15, then one night in Nice our our way to Italy - Cinque Terre for 3 days, Milan for two & Como for another 3 days before heading back to Paris for our flights back to Canada.

Been using The Fork to research spots in Nimes but if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears.

We had dinner at L’Ange 20 once (three years ago) &, from that vast wealth of experience, I think that it’s a good choice for your family. It’s a very homey type of place, with friendly staff & what seemed to us to be home cooking done well. However, I am a little confused, as you are going on the 6th (?) when you’re staying near St Germain-des-Pres & not later in the month when you’ll be right there by Place des Vosges?

Sounds like a great trip! I will be in the Como area beginning of September, have never been and would appreciate very much knowing what you find there!

Re Nîmes. Am actually on a long weekend in Arles, just down the road from Nîmes. I didn’t include Nîmes in this trip, but have been many times in the past and just want to offer some practical advice. Few restaurants in Nîmes are air-conditioned. Usually the medieval architecture keeps most, not all, places surprisingly cool in summer but heatwaves turn some into sweatboxes. I suggest choosing restaurants with outside terraces. Surprisingly few in the historic centre because of the Roman and medieval layout of narrow streets and some of these serve very mediocre cuisine.

FWIW, my go-to in Nîmes is Menna because it does have a very pleasant terrace. Usually some French families with teens. I suspect American teens would struggle with the menu though. Must book to get a table outside.

I usually spend so much time browsing and sampling the food stalls and delis in the incongrously modern and well-ventilated Halles de Nîmes (daily covered food market on place du Marché) that, when it comes to lunch, it’s “je n’ai plus faim’ for me. So, one very good option and perhaps more interesting than a conventional meal for the teens.

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One of my favorite food items ever is the warm lentil salad at Ambassade d’Auvergne. This is a good place for a variety of eaters, and I highly doubt you have anything like this where you live.

Also… and this rec applies to all travel, use eating out as an excuse to visit different neighborhoods, instead of walking the same streets. That way you will get to see more of Paris as a bonus. There are great streets in every arrondissement worth exploring.

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