Paris, home to some of the greatest museums on earth, is also home to some of the world’s finest cuisine. How wonderful when cultural arts and food can be enjoyed together. And outdoors, at that! So, here’s a collection of eight exceptional outdoor cafés and restaurants located in Paris’ museums you’ve probably never heard of…but, nevertheless, enjoy the art on the walls, and then on your plate. in good health!
MUSEE DE LA VIE ROMANTIQUE / Rose bakery
16 Chapital Street, 9 Mi, 01 55312 95 67
Hiding out of sight behind stone facades and down narrow alleys he occasionally discovers some of Paris’ most beautiful secret gems; A village street, a quiet courtyard, flowered gardens, fountains, even a 19th century house could have been uprooted from the French countryside. One such discovery is the home of 19th-century portrait painter Ari Schaeffer, which now houses the Musèe de la Vie Romantique, named after the 19th-century art movement. You enter the gate at 16 rue Chaptal, in the heart of Pigalle’s posh La Nouvelle Athènes district, and wander down the shaded path to a stone courtyard with outbuildings to the left, the main house in front, and to the right you discover a sinuous wall of rose bushes that hides one of the more café terraces Romantic tree shaded Paris. It’s easy to imagine Schaeffer amusing his friends Liszt, Chopin, Delacroix or Dickens here.
After taking in Romantic heroines Gallery (until September 4, 2022), The Garden Café is the perfect place to contemplate and discuss the art you just drank on a plate of exquisite pastries from Rose Bakery, the menu offering an ever-changing assortment of exquisite desserts and snacks to enjoy in the picture-perfect setting. The carrot cupcake (best seller) and the cup of coffee provided the perfect respite. I also highly recommend the vegan red fruit muffin or the lemon rose cake, which were a refreshing tart; The cranberry cake was flaky and delicious. As a shameless chocolate junkie, my favorite dessert was the marbled cheesecake, a pastry that’s as hard to find as the buffalo nickel in France.
Musée Quai Branly /Les ombres & Cafe Jack
27, Quai Branly, 7eme 01 47 53 68 00
Le Musée Quai Branly, located on the bank of the Seine, is one of the most important museums of world culture. Architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that the building was designed by world-renowned architect, Jean Nouvel (Guthrie Theatre, Louvre Abu Dhabi, 53W53 in Manhattan). The Museum’s Musical Instruments Tower houses ten thousand instruments “across cultures”, and the Atelier Martine Aubert hall is an eclectic collection “reminiscent of a cabinet of curiosity.” It also features stunning Aboriginal art on the ceilings, one of the building facades, and the rooftop balcony floor.
After witnessing the impressive cosmopolitan culture (and architecture) that the museum itself has to offer, you can then prepare to be dazzled by the food, design, and viewing at either of two Alain Ducasse restaurants in the large Musèe Quai Branly park. On the ground floor, the sleek, modern, glass-enclosed Café Jacques offers fine dining, pastries and baked goods at surprisingly affordable and very informal prices. The seasonal menu includes classics such as croque-monsieur; salmon risotto with cucumber, granny smith, and wasabi; Great gazpacho, fish and chicken dish. The highlight for me was the vegetarian ‘meat’ balls with tzatziki and finely chopped vegetables in a light vegetable broth.
What elevates dining on the spacious outdoor patio to a Nirvana-close experience is the gorgeous, unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower matched only at sister restaurant, Les Ombres, Ducasse Marvel’s newest white tablecloth on the top floor of the same building. With Chef Alexandre Semper’s towering talent and exceptional staff service, dining at this upscale restaurant is a wonderful experience. I got a taste of the brunch menu, with two perfect summer appetizers: roasted green asparagus with smoked cod roe and cilantro and soft-spiced Brittany mackerel, with romaine lettuce and black olives. The main course – grilled sea bass with sauteed artichokes, seaweed and garlic flowers – offers a good balance of textures and flavors that hint at the work of a true artist in the kitchen. While the first two courses were hard to follow, pastry chef Yves Minyalay’s soft spherical chocolate cake was a good ending.
Musé Jacquemart Andre/ Cafe Jacquemart Andre
158 BD Haussmann, 8M 01 45 62 11 59
In 1869, when Baron Haussmann was transforming Paris, banker Édouard André and his wife, Nellie, built one of the city’s most lavish mansions which now houses their private collection as well as temporary exhibitions that make this destination world-famous for art lovers. Gilded woodwork walls, paintings and carvings on antique furniture, ornate marble mantel pieces, frescoes on the loft ceilings, and creaky wood floors detailed below create a truly immersive experience to bend over time. Its bedrooms and breakfast rooms give a sense of the everyday life of famous collectors for more than a century and a half.
Enjoy a light lunch and exquisite pastries in the Museum’s Royal Café Room or on the spacious balcony overlooking the cobbled courtyard. The choice of main course is limited but delicious – I always go for the fluffy quiche. There is a fine selection of delicious teas and desserts, which are impressively displayed in a tray at the front of the room as you point your choice to the server. My favorite is the fancy pear tart (from the amazing neighborhood pastry shop, Les Enfants Gâtés).
Musée Nissim de Camondo / Le Camondo
63 Rue de Monceau, 8eme, 01 53 89 06 50
Retaining the spirit of museums housed in splendid palaces, the Musée Nissim de Camondo stands apart with its impressive collection of furniture and decorative arts throughout the palatial home of a prominent 19th-century French Jewish family. Nassim de Camondo was to take over the family banking business from his father, the Ottoman Empire born Moise de Camondo. When Naseem was killed in World War I, his distraught father retired from banking and later donated his home and its contents as a museum in memory of his beloved son. Camondo had a strange habit of buying most of the items in his collection in pairs so that if one of them was damaged one would still be around, so there are lots and lots of beautiful items.
The courtyard adjacent to the château has recently been transformed into a beautiful restaurant with one of the coolest al fresco (and glass-enclosed) dining spots in Paris. The good news is that the food is just as amazing as the place. The interior looks very much in Soho, New York, while the garden patio is very intense Barry. The beetroot carpaccio with fresh goat cheese, roquette pesto and mustard seeds was fantastic. Chilled cucumber soup with crème de feta and toast was the perfect summer appetizer. I obsessed over the vegetarian main course, eggplant and tomato confit, red pesto and scamorza (similar to mozzarella). For dessert, I highly recommend the madeleine, which is perfectly browned and moist, which comes with Valrhona chocolate dipping sauce, served with coffee. Sharing this is not mandatory, but it is difficult to avoid.
Victor Hugo’s houseAnd the Molot Cafe
6 pl de Vogue, 4eme 01 42 72 10 16
The Place des Vosges, with its covered arcades and colonnades, is the oldest planned square in Paris, and has not changed much since the time shown in Les Miserables, and where you’ll find the home of its author, Victor Hugo. Now it is a museum with his memorabilia as well as his fine artwork. (Ironically, he never displayed or sold his artwork, but made it for his own happiness and to share with friends and family.) After a visit, take in the fun offered by the lovely Molot Café in the museum’s airy, tree-lined courtyard. . Cheick, a particularly knowledgeable and gracious server, introduced me to some of Chef Roilard’s sweets, pastries and snacks. There are a variety of quiches and unflattering sandwiches with fillings like smoked fish, cream cheese, and salmon eggs, all served on elegant pain-milk rolls, as is the tarama tartini. But the sweet pastries are really exceptional: jelly and lemon with pistachio creme brulee, the highlight is the chocolate mousse with caramel hazelnut sandwiched between almonds, chocolate and fruits, Maggie Noir. The whole experience is magical. Check the café’s website for outdoor music and author readings as well as the art and food tours they host.
MUSEE CARNAVALET/ Fabula
23 Sevigny Street, 3eme 01 44 59 58 58
To appreciate Paris better, it is worth visiting the Musée Carnavalet, the museum of the history of Paris. There are several galleries of ancient hanging signs, a cellar filled with ancient and prehistoric artifacts, and the third floor contains an unparalleled collection of revolutionary and Napoleonic memorabilia.
The spacious, cobbled courtyard is filled with plants and seating for al fresco dining, offering a local and earth-friendly menu of snacks and desserts. After immersing yourself in Parisian history, you’ll find Parisian dishes that are very forward-looking and not at all, like a poached egg in a Greek yogurt base with grilled eggplant and marinated oil or there’s a zucchini carpaccio with feta cheese and “strong” spices. A vegan kofta hot dog with peanut-coconut sauce, onion, and pickle sounds promising, but I haven’t tried it. Chocolate fudge cake with fluffy rice and creamy Saracen, chocolate chips and large hazelnut biscuits are very tempting.
Petit Palace / Cafe de Petit Palace
Av. Winston Churchill, 8 eme 01 53 43 40 00
Just feet from both the Seine and the Champs-Elysées, the luxurious neoclassical Hotel Petit-Palais was originally built for the Exposition Universelle de 1900 (Paris World’s Fair of 1900), then turned into a museum to house artwork. City of Paris. Famous for its resplendent mosaic-tiled floors and wide glass ceiling, the museum is an instantly recognizable Paris landmark. spirit of modern art Running until September 11, the exhibition of paintings by Italian artist Giovanni Boldini, who has captured Parisian high society, runs until July.
The Garden Café is a seemingly perfect oasis away from the hustle and bustle just blocks away. Simple metal garden chairs and tables dot the patio and veranda, surrounded by gray marble columns topped with rich architectural flourishes. From any seat, you can admire a wonderful view of the majestic rotunda with mounting details, carved reliefs, and ornate picture windows. While there is a full-service indoor restaurant available, the delicious, highly accessible and self-service cafeteria-style food for those dining on the garden terrace is a refreshing counterpoint to the ornate surroundings of this lovely garden café. There is a seasonal assortment of wonderful ingredient salads – for example, a wonderful chicken and tomato salad, which can be had for less than fifteen euros with dessert. (The venue is also available for special events, offered by premium Lenôtre Catering and pastry shop.)
Philip Ruskin is an external lecturer (ESSEC Bus. School), consultant (Food and Travel Marketing), writer, drummer, and regular contributor to Frenchly. He loves to cycle around his hometown of Paris. find it here, on instagram.
All photos taken by the author.