Following a trip to the Louvre Museum, many visitors wander around looking for a decent meal and sit down at a random table—not realizing that too many nearby restaurants are mediocre tourist traps. To avoid this unfortunate scenario, keep reading. These are some of the best restaurants near the Louvre, with picks for every taste and budget. With all of these popular eateries, it's always a good idea to reserve in advance whenever possible.
Best for Mid-Range French Fare: Macéo
Situated on a quiet street behind the stately Palais Royal, Macéo is simply one of the finest French restaurants in the area when you're looking for a combination of high quality and reasonable prices.
Offering fresh, market-sourced French cuisine with Asian and Italian influences, Macéo doesn't bank on fads or trendy presentations. The offering is simple and elegant, with seasonal lunch and dinner menus focused around fresh vegetables, fish, and meats prepared to bring out their natural flavors. Vegetarians and even vegans will find excellent choices here, which until recently was unusual at a traditional French table. Recent menu items include scorpionfish and tomatoes with a crust of black olives & basil, saddle of lamb roasted with harissa, Paimpol beans, and fresh mint, and Provence green asparagus with ginger cream and citrus vinaigrette.
The extensive wine list at Macéo was conceived by Mark Williamson, who also runs the much-lauded Willi's Wine Bar next door and is known for his discerning selections. The restaurant boasts of its 10,000-strong collection of wines in the cellar, making this an excellent choice for anyone interested in expanding their palates.
For Regional Classics: Brasserie du Louvre - Bocuse
Calling itself the first brasserie built on the legacy of the late, great Lyonnais chef Paul Bocuse, the Brasserie du Louvre - Bocuse at the Hyatt-owned Hotel du Louvre offers diners a chance to taste some of the culinary giant's signature dishes.
Star dishes at the restaurant include Bresse chicken with cream and mushrooms, browned onion soup, and Lyon-style pike quenelles (fish mixed with bread, egg, cream, and other ingredients and formed into delicate shapes). Sweet tooth? Try the "Grand-Mère waffles" for dessert or brunch.
During the summertime, enjoy al fresco dining on the terrace outside. It affords lovely views of the Palais du Louvre.
For Seafood & Shellfish Lovers: L'Ecume Saint-Honoré
If you're a seafood or shellfish lover, head to this informal, bright "bar à fruit de mers" (seafood bar) located on the vibrant, pedestrian-only Marché Saint-Honoré.
Situated between Metro Madeleine and Louvre-Rivoli, the restaurant is reputed as one of the best poissoneries (fishmongers) in the area, sourcing incredibly fresh products from French fisheries, including oysters, clams, mussels and all variety of fish. Sit at a small, elevated table next to the bar that displays the day's catches, and enjoy a fresh shellfish platter or filet of fish accompanied with a glass of crisp white wine.
"Tasting hours" are Tuesday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.
For Budget Travelers and Kids: Happy Caffé
This cheap and cheerful snack bar on the always-bustling Rue de Rivoli does mostly cater to out-of-towners—but unlike many of the tourist traps surrounding the Louvre, this one uses fresh high-quality ingredients. Its owner is known to whip up delicious crepes and sandwiches with a smile.
Kids will appreciate the eatery's simple, made-to-order crepes filled with cheese and eggs, ham, or Nutella, while adults looking for an inexpensive meal in an area known to be pricey can eat freshly made sandwiches, juices, quiches and more. Many ingredients used here are organic and locally sourced. Some vegetarian options are available at this casual restaurant. Eat in or take your order away for a picnic at the Tuileries Gardens just across the street.
For Uncompromising Gourmets: Le Meurice Alain Ducasse
This one's out of range for most travelers. Still, for a special occasion such as an anniversary or birthday, lunch at this three-star Michelin restaurant helmed by celebrated chef Alain Ducasse is an excellent choice.
In the opulent dining room recently refurbished by architect Philippe Starck and inspired by Versailles, feast on innovative, painstakingly presented seasonal tasting menus paired with fine wines. Three and five-course menus offer diners a complete experience of Ducasse's culinary creations, while the lunch menu is a bit more accessible.
Reservations—preferably well in advance of your desired date—are essential at this high-end table.
For Afternoon Tea, Lunch and Delicious Hot Chocolate: Angelina
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention this institution on the Rue de Rivoli and a favorite among travelers of all stripes. The Vienna-style tearoom opened in 1903 draws you in with its tall ceilings, opulent murals, and gilded decorative elements. Of course, it's also an ideal place to perch for lunch, afternoon tea complete with sandwiches and cakes, or simply a cup of the house's world-famous, rich hot chocolate. Bask in the Belle-Epoque ambiance and imagine some of the famous patrons who once sipped tea here, from Marcel Proust to Coco Chanel
The restaurant also offers a weekend brunch menu complete with savory and sweet treats, coffee, tea or hot chocolate, juice, or a glass of champagne.