What’s Open in August?

Here’s our annual calendar of what’s open during the summer holiday, based on information that we’ve confirmed directly with Paris restaurants. We’ve organized the findings by arrondissement, so you can scroll to see the schedule of your favorite restaurant, and we’ve added color and descriptions to to let you know more about these restaurants at a glance.

Paris Restaurants That Are Good for Groups

In Paris, where restaurants are tiny and can sometimes contain only a handful of tables, dining en masse requires a certain level of strategy. If you’re trying to book dinner for a large group (more than six people) or are planning a special event, we’ve found a selection of restaurants that can welcome a crowd.

Gilles Marchal

The giant madeleine door handle and the tiny seashell shaped sweets printed on the wallpaper are a good indicator of what lies within. The classic childhood treat is here elevated to a work of art in a variety of flavors. Delicately perfumed with crisp, buttery edges, the lemon glazed and salted caramel were particularly excellent. Madeleines were invented in Alsace where pastry chef Gilles Marchal hails from, and, while his are more expensive than most, they’re superlative within their category. It’s no surprise given that Marchal was the pastry chef for a number of years at Le Bristol, Plaza Athénée, and La Maison du Chocolat before striking out to open his own neighborhood bakery.  The madeleines might be the stars of the show, but there are numerous other options including breakfast pastries, after school snacks, an ice cream cart in summer, and artfully presented tarts, such as a piquant lemon tart garnished with meringue cigarettes. There’s even occasionally a solid gluten-free option in the form of a “sacher cake” which resembles a chocolatey tiramisu. There’s no space to sit so plan on taking your pastries to-go and snacking on the steps of Sacre-Coeur.

— Catherine Down, September 2015 

Our Gluten-Free Guide to Paris

Selected addresses for gluten-free goods:

Thank You, My Deer – It’s a silly name but they’re serious about gluten-free goods, good coffee, and good service. This little café bakes their own doughy bread, has soups, salads & sandwiches for lunch, and more involved fare like homemade gluten-free ravioli or potato gnocchi for dinner. Brunch with homemade waffles and other items available on the weekends.

Chambelland  – An excellent gluten-free bakery that specializes in crusty rice/buckwheat breads using flour from their own mill in Provence. A selection of cakes, tarts and even gluten-free chouquettes are available at this trendy café that your wheat-eating friends won’t even realize is gluten-free.

Eric Kayser – The famous baker who has stores throughout the city (and now abroad) has developed a line of gluten-free bread, pastries, cookies and cakes that are all labeled “libre gluten” at his 4 rue de l’Echelle, 75001 location. The selection is limited and prices are higher, but it’s well worth it for those with serious allergies. Kayser took cross-contamination concerns very seriously and created a specific gluten-free lab/bakery to avoid traces of other flours, hired a baker with celiac’s disease, and wraps the bags in two plastic bags to ensure that they’re safe when in the retail location around other wheat products.

Café Marlette – This sweet & stylish café near Pigalle has healthy soups & salads that are often naturally gluten-free, but the real appeal here is the baked goods. Many of their cakes use rice or buckwheat flours, and they have boxed mixes available for home baking. Options include banana bread, fondant au chocolat, a rapadura sugar cake and more. Their mixes can also be found at gourmet food shops like Maison Plisson and La Grande Epicerie.

Bob’s Bake Shop – Bob’s is worth the trek for the (very good) bottomless cups of coffee for 2 euros alone. There’s always a salad or two, a maki roll, and a soup that are good for the gluten-free, but they usually have a satisfying GF sweet or two. We’ve seen gluten-free vegan fruit crumbles on most days, plus nutty macaroons (not macarons) and an excellent moist chocolate-pear loaf cake on occasion.

Helmut Newcake – Classic French tarts & sweets at this dedicated gluten-free café & bakery near the Canal Saint Martin.

Noglu – The first dedicated gluten-free restaurant in Paris with a small grocery and a separate location for take-away.

Bears & Raccoons – A brand new, entirely GF sandwich shop.

Café Pinson – A (surprisingly?) trendy vegan café in the Marais that is sensitive to gluten issues. Their health-conscious soups and salads are often naturally gluten-free and you can usually find a few GF sweets to finish.

Nous – A casual restaurant serving GF rice bowls, salads, soups, fries, and sweets. They now have a second location near Châteaudun.

Le Grenier de Félix – This award-winning boulangerie in the 15th has gluten-free bread available upon special order.

Ob-La-Di – This coffee shop in the Haut Marais has an excellent gluten-free granola mix, and a handful of baked goods that somehow manage to be good gluten-free, and vegan, and actually taste good.

My Free Kitchen – Gluten-free, dairy-free, and all-organic café.

L’Atelier des Lilas – A wholesale producer of well-regarded lactose free & gluten-free quiches, tarts, cakes and cookies. Their products are available at a wide range of grocery stores and shops.

Le Pain Quotidien – It’s an international baked goods behemoth, but they’re always good for gluten-free breakfast & lunch in a pinch.

Grom – The international chain of gelaterias has gone entirely gluten-free, so even the cones are fine to eat.

There are a variety of natural and organic food stores like Naturalia, Bio C’Bon, and Pimlico which have extensive selections of gluten-free goods. Even regular grocery stores like Franprix or Carrefour are getting into the act and you can often find a dedicated aisle for special diets including gluten-free items.

Naturally gluten-free treats from places we like:

Blé Sucré – This excellent bakery is filled (as the name implies) with wheat, but they almost always offer an individual chocolate-raspberry trousseau cake made from almond flour that is naturally gluten-free, plus homemade macarons stuffed with whipped cream and jam.

Crêperie Mad Eo – Many of the savory galettes at this Breton crêperie are made with naturally gluten-free buckwheat flour.

Pain de Sucre – This is a bakery chock full of gluten, but they have a variety of gluten-free offerings including homemade alcoholic marshmallows, cookies made with chestnut flour, calissons made from almond paste, macarons, and ice cream & gelato.

Gilles Marchal – Gluten can be found in abundance at this pâtisserie in Montmartre, but the Alsatian baker makes an excellent gluten-free “Sacher” cake that is reminiscent of a rich, chocolate tiramisu.

Many of the craft coffee shops in Our Guide to Decent Coffee will have a GF sweet or two to accompany drinks.

Most of the Mexican restaurants in our guide utilize corn tortillas and would be mostly gluten-free. Always confirm with the chef/your server. You can order corn chips and tortillas directly from Tortilleria Mil Amores for GF Mexican at home.

Bululu Arepera – Venezuelan arepas are made with cornmeal  and stuffed with meats, cheeses and plantains, and are naturally gluten-free.

gluten

Additional Resources:

David Lebovitz’s fantastic compendium of

gluten-free dining & bakery options

Ob-La-Di Café

Ob-La-Di might be the most Instagrammed café of the 2015 rentrée, but there’s real substance at this stylish spot in the Haut Marais. Most of the baked goods are made in-house, and many of them manage to be vegan and gluten-free, and still actually taste good. Coffee is expertly prepared with Lomi beans by Lloyd, formerly of Boot Café, who also curates a killer playlist most days. Creative offerings include an affogato made with cookie dough ice cream, horchata, a vegetarian burger, and avocado toast that is worth an eye-popping €9 price tag due to the homemade purple potato bread and chimichurri sauce, plus pomegranate seeds.

— Catherine Down, September 2015


An Absolute Favorite

Not Terrible Near the Champs-Élysées

The Champs-Élysées is one of the most historic and beautiful promenades in all of Paris. Chestnut trees line the streets, as do some of the best (and most astronomically expensive) restaurants in the city, but the high-rent real estate also means that there is an abundance of large, mediocre multinational chain restaurants. It's slim pickings, but these are our pickings for what's actually worth seeking out along la plus belle avenue du monde.