Romantic Paris Restaurants: Summer Dining in Paris: Stake out your spot!

In the past, Parisians may have stampeded out of the city in July and, particularly in August, but in recent years the city has done its best to lure residents back with a plethora of festivals, parades – ranging from Gay Pride to Veggie Pride), summer sports and Paris Plage.

In spite of all the events, you may discover that your favorite restaurant (or boutique) is closed for at least part of August. Fodor’s offers a sampling of restaurants and bakeries that do stay open during the summer.

Maybe I’m not very picky about choosing restaurants – but I’ve never found July or August to be a problem for finding a place to eat in Paris. Getting your drycleaning done, or going to the theater or opera – that’s a different story.

When it comes to summer dining, do as Parisians do – the next best thing to getting out of town – is to stake out your spot at restaurants located in some of Paris’s prettiest parks:

i.e. Pavillon Montsouris– or find a restaurant with a terrace view of Paris i.e. Georges at the top of Centre Pompidou (The Restaurant Guidebook I mentioned in a previous post Bars & Restaurants Insolites et Secrets (Unusual and Secret Bars and Restaurants of Paris) has a number of terrace top restaurants listed).




Le Chalet des Iles on the island surrounded by the interior lac of Bois de Boulogne and La Grande Cascade are two luxurious choices for a romantic summer dinner (or lunch).

If your travel budget doesn’t allow for splurging on a high-end meal at one of these gorgeous settings, rest assured there are a number of park cafe/restaurants where you can enjoy a lunch of light fare (that’s also lighter on the pocket-book). My suggestion would be to check out the gazebo/cafes located on either side of park in the Luxembourg Gardens. These green roofed turn-of-the 20th-century cafes can also be found in the Tuileries gardens.

Tuileries gardens

Also, I have to recommend the terrace cafe at La Mosquee (Paris’s 1920s mosque) which is an island of tranquility in the Left Bank student quarter. (even though I don’t get there often, it’s one of my favorite cafes in Paris – you’ll see why when you check out the hotspotonline link!)

Of the three high-end restaurants I mentioned, I’ve dined in only one, the Grande Cascade. According to my 2007-2008 Pudlo Paris guide, the Grande Cascade has changed chefs since our last visit.

The setting is very dramatic and plush Belle Epoque – if I had a second chance to splurge on a meal, I’d prefer the lighter elegance of the Pavillon Montsouris.