I'm wanting to give my family that "French" experience without breaking the bank. Parents are "foodies", our kids tastes are limited but expanding. I think it's more about the "experience" for them than the Michelin star. We will be staying in the 1st arrondissement, near The Louvre. Any such thing as a mid-priced Bistro with a little French ooh-la-la?
There are restaurants all over Paris, tons of outdoor cafes and many of them have their menus and prices outdoors for you to look over before you decide to sit. Part of the fun in Paris is exploring those cafes. I'm a budget traveler and not a foodie, but travelled with some who are. My meals were all reasonably priced- 10-20 euro and all quite good. I fell in love with French crepes and enjoyed several of those- so good and of every variety, as well as different chicken dishes (often served with French fries), duck, French onion soup and I even tasted snails and a few other dishes. All of those outdoor cafes have a certain amount of ooh la la and will be enjoyed by your family. The fun might be in just taking a walk and stumbling upon one to try. Your hotel staff will also be able to recommend places to eat nearby. If the kids get too homesick for the familiar, there is McDonalds there and the Hard Rock Cafes are always fun! Do try the local cuisine though, there is something for everyone. Have a great time on your trip!
Parisbymouth.com is a good resource. Enjoy!
This is another good site to look at restaurants. www.davidlebovitz.com/paris/ We tried 2 from his site with our kids which were very affordable and very French Le Troumilou which had a 23 euro prix fixe and Boullion Chartier.
You're staying in a rather Ritzy neighborhood. For the foodies, I've twice enjoyed the 38-euro, 3-course menu at L'Ardoise, which they translate as "slate," or I'd say blackboard. The menu changes frequently and most items on it are available for the mentioned price (but a couple with supplement). Décor is modern, not at all historic.
I stumbled upon Louise Café for a late lunch after a long morning at the Louvre. It is small but had that quintessentially French feel. The food is delicious. I looked them up and their website lists a St Germain des Pres location as well as the one near the Louvre. They are located at 8 rue Croix des Petits Champs the 1st arrond and the most recent review was four days ago so that location is open. Trip Advisor is showing a reserve online option. Since it is small and you have four, you may consider reserving ahead of time. I had the coq au vin. It was memorable in the best of ways.
I am not so familiar with restaurants in the 1st Arr.; we stay in the 6th (St. Germain area), so I know more of the restaurants close to there. We definitely will go further for dinner, but after a long day, it's nice to stay close to the home base.
When we first took our son to Paris, we had exposed him to lots of different foods, but wanted to make sure the trip would go well. We established one "go-to" item that would likely appear on every menu, that he could order - steak. Also, we took him to a French bistro in our town and had him try croque monsieur, which he also likes (and still likes, as an adult).
He really wanted to have frogs' legs in France, which aren't actually that popular these days. We found them at the delightful Au Moulin a Vent, Chez Henri, on 20 Rue de Fosses Saint-Bernard, a traditional bistro with some of the dishes family style. Near there is Reminet, which we've been to several times. A little more upscale, but still welcoming owners and delicious food.
You might like to check out La Regalade Saint-Honore, nearby and about 30-40 euro per person sans vin. Great food, great presentation, a relative bargain imho-as people interested in good food, you will be pleased.
I always stay in the 1st! I can suggest Cafe Marly, right behind the Pyramid at the Lourvre. It has an outside cafe and inside seating. I try and visit twice when I go to Paris. I like the food and great people watching. It's a fun experience. Not cheap but good food.
Check Yelp. We used it on our recent trip to Italy and Germany and every suggestions was right on. Have fun!
We recently stayed near Luxembourg park. Found Cafe Madam on, of course, Rue Madam the "Cafe du la quartier", and we agree... a broad menu, some classics, continuous service few tourists and really good food. Snails, F-G, steak frites, wonderful omelet, and nice salads, and Xavier never stops serving. A true "like a local" experience.
Café Nemours is special, very French and very good. It's at the entrance to the Palais Royal, behind Hotel du Louvre on rue de Rivoli, across from the Louvre. Everyone in your family will find something they like on the menu.
We have had great success using trip advisor in Paris.
We eat here every time we go to Paris. It's just a little creperie on the Ile Saint Louis. But it's now a tradition. Not fancy, but French!
The first time we were there, our 2-top table was right next to another 2-top table. We ordered our meal. The people next to us (who happened to be German) ordered their meal. 10 minutes later, the owner/server and perhaps cook, brought out 2 delicious looking plates and presented them to the Germans. All 5 of us looked at the plates and immediately knew they were ours. So the waiter whisked them up and away back to the kitchen. 1 minutes later, he arrived and presented our meals - the same 2 plates he had just whisked away.
Funny story aside, the food is good. We've been back with our grown children, and by ourselves. They have good cider, too
So, maybe not for your special French meal, but definitely for a moment!