LuxeGetaways Magazine – Fall 2016 | There are few places in the world that are more idyllic than a Parisian café for locals and tourists alike to enjoy fresh air during the quintessential Paris afternoons and evenings. Yes, the heat can be intense at times during the summers, but the charm of Paris tops the heat anytime. I have spent a lifetime getting to know this city from a local’s perspective, and I am excited to share my favorite café suggestions for your next visit to this magical city.
Le Mini Palais – Best Afternoon Hangout
Warm weather, artisanal cocktails and a spectacular view of the famous deck arch bridge, Pont Alexandre III, makes the architecturally significant terrace at the Mini Palais (inside the Grand Palais) one of the best summer hangouts in Paris. Michelin-three star chef Eric Frechon, with his partner, Executive Chef Stéphane d’Aboville, created a chic meeting spot for a romantic rendezvous or giggle session with great friends. My plan of attack is to eat a light lunch and then split a “Giant rum Baba” (amusing bouquet of ice cream, candies, whipped cream and chocolate) for dessert. Believe me, the extra calories are totally worth the indulgence. Another perk is that they are open until 2:00am, making it a perfect destination for late night snacks.
Hours: Everyday 10:00am to 2:00am
Location: In the Grand Palais on Avenue, Winston Churchill – 75008 Paris
Café de Paris – Best Local Ambiance
Surrounded by one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty food shops, I love being in the thick of this local neighborhood. Sitting on Café de Paris’ large covered patio in any weather is a treat, but I find it particularly nice under the awning on hot summer days. French comfort foods like coq au vin, onion soup, beef tartare and a generously sized chef salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing are a few of their beloved specialties. Reasonably priced bottles of Haut Medoc Bordeaux and delicious bar snacks are just two of the other reasons why this is one of my preferred cafés in Paris.
Hours: Seven days a week for lunch, dinner and late night drinks
Location: 8 rue, de Buci – 75006 Paris
Le Café Marly – Best View of the Louvre
Café Marly’s terrace, under the archways that flank the Napoleon Courtyard of the Louvre, has inspirational views of Chinese American architect I.M. Pei’s iconic glass and metal pyramid entrance to the world’s most famous museum (Musée du Louvre). I find it to be a wonderful place to enjoy the flowers in the square that offer a colorful landscape while savoring the features of the day. A personal favorite combination is a refreshing glass of Rosé Champagne, paired with a rich lobster salad.
Hours: Everyday 8:00am to 2:00am
Location: 93 rue, Rivoli – 75001 Paris (facing the Pyramid, you can access from rue de Rivoli by the Passage Richelieu)
Maison Blanche – Best Contemporary Roof Bar
If a stunning view is one of your goals for a mid-summer night’s dream, Maison Blanche delivers in spades. It boasts breathtaking views of the Seine, the Dôme des Invalides and the iconic Eiffel Tower from atop the Théâtre des Champs Elysées. As the name suggests, the contemporary and trendy spaces are decked out in white décor. The only pops of color come from changing lights at the bar and the greenery in the potted plants on the mezzanine terrace. Note that it tends to be most crowded before and after theater performances, so I recommend trying to avoid these times.
Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 12:00pm – 2:00pm | Dinner Daily 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: 15 avenue, Montaigne – 75008 Paris
La Terrasse at Hôtel Raphael – Best Champagne Bar
Do not forget to bring a camera to snap a few photos at sunset for a memorable experience on the rooftop terrace at Hôtel Raphael. It offers diners and happy hour enthusiasts a fantastic panoramic outlook of the Parisian skyline. No reservations necessary for this Paris hotspot, and one that is my personal favorite for frosty sparkling libations at the “Champagne Bar by Lanson” with dramatic 360-degree views that should be experienced by tourists. However, if you want one of their coveted corner tables for drinks, then you should reserve online. Dinner reservations are required.
Hours: Bar Daily 4:00pm – 11:00pm | Lunch Mon-Fri 12:30pm – 2:00pm | Dinner 7:30pm – 10:00pm (Schedule is seasonal, so inquire directly)
Location: 17 avenue, Kleber – 75016 Paris