The French really do have it all figured out when it comes to enjoying life. From delectable food and drink, unbelievable sights and scenery to plenty of holidays and everything in between, France is definitely the place to go to enjoy a leisurely vacation and savour all that the good life has to offer.
My favorite way to enjoy the best of France is with a Paris picnic. With so many stunning backdrops, there is no shortage of places to go to enjoy Paris and also sample delicious food at the same time…
Every Parisian has their preferred side of the Seine River, and after three years living there myself, I’m definitely a “Left Bank” girl. So, it’s only appropriate that I would share my top tips on the best places to picnic and pick up picnic foods on Paris’ left bank.
First, here are some of my favorite places to pick up my picnic essentials…
For the very best breads and pastries available in the city, head to one of the Maison Kayser bakeries that are now dotted all over the city. I frequented the shop at 8 rue Monge (metro line 10, stop Maubert Mutualité) while living just up the street and was consistently blown away by the quality of this boulangerie. Buy yourself a traditional baguette, treat yourself to a sweet pastry or enjoy one of their pre-made sandwiches and you won’t go wrong.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in selection for your picnic and are willing to pay a bit more to taste the best cheeses, pâtés and other delicacies, head over to the renowned Grande Epicerie de Paris in the 7e arrondissement (metro line 10, stop Sèvres Babylone). You’ll be greeted by row upon row of gourmet prepared foods and plenty of other foods that are perfectly portable and ready for a picnic! I always pick up my bread at Maison Kayser and then head over to the Grande Epicerie for some cheeses, olives and salads that are all great for an outdoor meal.
For the best spot to picnic on the left bank, look no further than the Champ de Mars, in the shadow of the iconic Eiffel Tower. There is no spot in Paris that makes me giddier with excitement as the Champ de Mars. With plenty of benches, green grass and legendary views, grab your grub and head here for and afternoon picnic. Or, plan for a picnic dinner to make the most of the glittery lights that adorn the tower from sundown. Closest metro stops are La Motte Picquet Grenelle (lines 6, 8, 10) and École Militaire (line 8).
Finally, my personal go-to spot for picnics is a bit off the beaten path but is unlike any other spot I’ve found in Paris. The Square du Vert Galant at the very tip of Paris’ Ile de la Cité is the ideal spot for a Paris picnic. To get there, take the metro (line 7) to Pont Neuf and head across the bridge. Halfway over the bridge, you’ll find a staircase down to the tip of the island. Walk straight down to the tip of the island and you’ll be treated with the views of a lifetime and the perfect spot to watch boats roll by on the Seine and enjoy your picnic food. I’ve been known to sit here for hours on end!
Wherever you choose to go in Paris, and no matter what you decide to bring on your picnic, be sure to take a minute to sit back, relax and enjoy all the restful and beautiful spots in this gorgeous city.
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About the author: Kathryn Frengs is an American expat who now calls London home after three years in Paris and documents her adventures at home and away on http://withasinglestep.org