From luxurious meals fit for royalty to grabbing a falafel and walking the crowded streets of Le Marais, there are a number of ways to have a pleasing culinary experience in Paris on Christmas and Christmas Eve.
We’ve already told you where you can go to experience the best holiday markets the French capital has to offer. But outside is not the only place where visitors to Paris can take in the holidays in the City of Light.
That’s right—despite the day off from work for most, many restaurants stay open on Christmas Eve and Day. Some offer specialty deals, while others opt for the Christmas classics: chapon (roast chicken), red wine and buche de noel for dessert.
These five Christmas Eve and Day meals in Paris are sure to put you in a food coma fit for the day.
Located not far from the Strasbourg-Saint Denis metro stop in the hip 10th arrondissement, the restaurant’s carte des fetes (holiday menu) has everything from parmentier of duck leg with truffle oil to a fricassée of capon leg for the main course, with options of a starter of pumpkin soup and a dessert of creamy caramelized chocolate pie. And all of this for around €20 per person.
La Bonne Franquette
For a classic French meal at a steeper price, head to Montmartre’s La Bonne Franquette for Christmas Eve dinner. At €80 per person, this reveillon meal could definitely also be shared, as it comes with salmon, blood sausage and duck, as well as half a bottle of Bordeaux and half a bottle of Champagne. Be prepared, however, as the local crowd will most likely break out into Christmas songs.
Nothing screams Christmas in France like Alsace. The eastern French region is home to the first-ever Christmas market, as well as a number of German-sounding holiday specialties like flammekueche and kougelhopf.
Luckily you won’t have to go all the way to Strasbourg or Colmar to get a taste of these holiday treats. L’Alsace, on the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, is open for business on Christmas Eve and Day. To really get in the Alsacien holiday spirit, you might also want to ask for some vin chaud (mulled wine).
L’As du Fallafel
One neighborhood where you’ll likely find a lot of restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Day? Le Marais.
Paris’s traditional Jewish quarter has any number of options for Middle Eastern food (and more), but L’As du Falafel (34 rue des Rosiers) may be the classic. If you don’t mind waiting in line, grab a falafel and sit in the Place des Vosges (weather permitting), or grab a spot inside to enjoy any number of Israeli sandwiches, dishes and sides. And try some Israeli wine, while you’re at it.
Le Train Bleu – Gare de Lyon
Perhaps one of the most stunning restaurants in the entire city of Paris, with gilded walls, magnificent chandeliers and renaissance artwork in every corner, Le Train Bleu is located on the second floor of the Gare de Lyon train station.
Like the luxurious environment, the Christmas Eve menu is fit for a king, consisting of a mise en bouche, starter, fish main dish, trou normand (a sort of calvados-based appetizer that comes in between main dishes), meat main dish and dessert. At €145, it’s expensive, but it will no doubt be an unforgettable meal.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Paris? Just add your email address in the form below!
Phineas Rueckert is a freelance writer and master’s student in journalism and international affairs at Sciences Po, in Paris. His writing has been published in Atlas Obscura, Global Citizen, and Frenchly, a site about French culture and affairs. Although he has traveled to France his whole life with his parents, both teachers, he fell in love with the country while teaching English in a high school in Toulouse in 2015-2016.