David Lebovitz's Tip For Taking Children Out To Eat In Paris

For anyone who dreams of traveling, Paris is often on the list of desired destinations. It is a city that offers the best of the best in food and culture, so it's no wonder why 30 million people from all over the world travel to this chic metropolitan every year, according to Condor Ferries. Art buffs have the Louvre, architecture students marvel at the Eiffel Tower, fashionistas flock to fashion week, and foodies have their haute cuisine wishes come true. Some people save their pennies for decades to take a trip to Paris and, once there, want it to be the best experience of their lives. Sunsets on the Seine and sipping rosé in the Jardin des Tuileries might be on the bucket list.

When an opportunity comes to take such a trip, you might have young children in tow. Parisians love their bébés, and you'll likely see plenty of prams along the Champs Élysées. Traveling with children can be a wonderful opportunity to expose littles to different cultures and be a positive bonding experience for the whole family. But, let's face it, traveling with kids can be stressful, especially when it comes to long lines in touristy places or when trying to sit down to dinner at that restaurant you had to book months in advance. Take heart; it doesn't have to be a nightmare. Just take it from world-renowned chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz, who resides in Paris.

Palate and patience

Lebovitz notes on his website that it's very common to see children dining out with their families in Paris, so you will be in familiar company. However, remember that there are some differences between American and French cultures that may impact the dining out experience. He notes that French children are brought up eating the same types of food that their parents eat. There are rarely "kid-friendly" options at the dinner table. This means that French children are typically less picky and are comfortable trying foods off a regular menu, not a kid's one. If this sounds like your child, congratulations, and they should enjoy French dinner as much as you do.

He also notes that dining out in France is never a quick event. Restaurants are not in the practice of rushing diners, so it is not unusual for a meal to last several hours (plus the typical dinner hour is after 8 pm). If you think your child can sit with such patience, bring them along. If your children are on the rambunctious side, maybe opt for a casual café or a picnic by the river, enjoying all those great market and patisserie treats you can pick up all over the city. If your dining plans include fine dining, Lebovitz notes that even Parisians leave their children at home for such events. However, the blog Paris Muse suggests that more renowned Paris restaurants are beginning to accommodate children.