The Louvre Museum: Dining and Drinking Locally, Steering Clear of Tourist Traps

Emily Monaco | Thursday, Apr 4th 2024
louvre museum

Ask any local, and their best advice for eating near the most popular Parisian landmarks is not to! Restaurateurs know that tourists coming down from the Eiffel Tower or out of the Louvre Museum starving.  They take advantage of tired legs and “underdeveloped” palates to pawn overpriced food off on us, telling us it’s local.

But if you know where to look, you can be pleasantly surprised near the Louvre Museum! With over 35,000 works of art, it’s no wonder people come out of this must-see museum a bit peckish. Here are our favorite places to visit within stumbling distance of the Louvre Museum.

The Louvre Museum: Eat and Drink Nearby

For a Sit-Down Lunch

  • Café Marly (93, rue du Rivoli)
    • This Louvre standby is the ideal place to snag lunch after a morning walking the hallowed halls of the Louvre.  It overlooks the Louvre’s pyramid, so you can take in the enormity of your morning accomplishments as you savor a croque monsieur.
    • Be aware: this is not the place for fine dining. You’re paying largely for the location. Your meal will be expensive and not the best you’ve had in Paris. But as far as locale is concerned, you can’t do much better!
  • Café Palais Royal (1 rue Valois)
    • Now if flavor is more important to you, walk through the exit of the Louvre onto Rue de Rivoli.
    • The secret of this restaurant is to know its strengths. The croque monsieurs are not made in-house. The salads are kind of meh.
    • The tartines of goat cheese or smoked salmon on Poilane bread are a delicious sum of their parts.

For Lunch on the Move

If you plan on more sightseeing after the Louvre visit, try this to replenish your energy. 

  • There are all manner of chain shops nearby, one of the best is the French bakery chain Paul. It’s located in the Louvre, next to the entrance to the underground Carrousel mall.  And it’s an ideal stop for those who decide to do another lap of the museum after lunch.
  • Paul offers a good, solid menu of sandwiches, pizza, and quiche options that are tasty and reflect the local flair.
  • The poppy seed baguette with chicken, raw veggies, and mustard mayonnaise is a good standby, and their pizzas are a good option.

For a Midday Pick-Me-Up

Now depending on when you walk into the Louvre’s glass pyramid entrance, you might not stream out with the rest of the masses at mealtime.

  • Angelina (221 rue de Rivoli)
    • If you want to have a little mid-day nosh, this is the perfect place for a bit of a sugar kick to wake you back up.
    • The Paris standby is home to a beautiful Belle Epoque dining room. While they do serve meals, the strength is in their assortment of pastries and thick, luscious African hot chocolate.
    • Don’t be scared off by the line out the front: it moves quickly and allows you to check out the pastry case.

For an Apéritif

Apéritif is a classic contender for best French tradition; there are two wine bars near the museum that we positively love, so it’s up to you to decide which ambiance you prefer.

  • Le Garde-Robe (41, rue de l’Arbre Sec).
    • First, this wine bar specializes in natural wines; if you don’t know about these all-natural bottles, this is the perfect place to learn.
    • Next, order some food here depending on how much wine you order, but the assortment of charcuteries or cheeses (or both!) make the perfect accompaniment.
  • O Chateau (68, rue Jean Jacques Rousseau)
    • For a wider selection of the French wines you know and love (and a good number you don’t!), head for one of the biggest choices of wines by the glass you’ll find in Paris — the 40 bottles change every week! This locale is in a former 17th-century wine cellar with three different rooms with different ambiances in which to sip.

For a Hearty, Delicious Dinner

Finally, down a pedestrian street just a stone’s throw from O Chateau, you’ll find Aux Tonneaux des Halles (28 rue Montorgueil). This is the sort of traditional, authentic bistro you had resigned yourself to believe was a part of Paris’ past. I had too, until I tried their entrecote steak. The food here is hearty, the dining room minimalist but charming, and the staff as pleasant as one can hope for in France. And the wine by the pitcher is the perfect way to end a day at the Louvre.

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