Where to Get Everything You Need for a Paris Picnic
The essential takeaway food near Paris' most popular picnic spots.
Picnicking outside is a quintessentially Parisian activity. But combining the perfect park location with top-notch takeout food takes the activity from simply an Instagrammable moment, to a real, memorable one. Here’s where to go for a picnic in Paris and what to pick up while you’re there.
At Luxembourg Gardens
Located in the heart of the chic 6th Arrondissement on the Left Bank, the Luxembourg Gardens are the second largest public park in Paris — but maybe the easiest for picnicking, thanks to its proximity to excellent to-go options. Start at Le Grande Epicerie (38 Rue de Sèvres) the multi-floor food emporium from luxury department store Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. The ground floor has everything from fresh produce to a staggering cheese and Charcuterie selection, along with a selection of prepared foods and wines. If you want a simpler option, check out Cosi (54 Rue de Seine), which is not related to the American chain, where they stuff homemade focaccia with a variety of meat or vegetarian fillings. Their wine selection is all hand-chosen from their wine cave La Dernière Goutte (6 Rue de Bourbon-le-Château), usually including three different reds, a white and a rosé.
At Place de Vosges
The Place des Vosges is on the smaller side, more of a square than a full-blown park, but with historic buildings ringing the manicured lawns, it’s hard to think of a more picturesque spot. And since the Marais continues to be one of the hottest neighborhoods in Paris, the food choices are outstanding. If you are feeling the urge to be virtuous, you can check out the healthy to-go options like matcha bowls and quinoa salads at Season (1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis). La Maison Plisson (93 Boulevard Beaumarchais) is part épicerie, part café, part cave so you can get a perfect latte or bottle of wine to pair with your cheese, spreads and baguette. Wander the stalls at Marché Les Enfants Rouges (39 rue de Bretagne) with a stop at the beloved Chez Alain Miam Miam (Rue des Oiseaux) for a sandwich. Or if you crave something less traditional, Miznon (22 Rue des Ecouffes) has taken Paris by storm with Israeli vegetable-heavy options, and they’ll make it all to-go.
At Canal Saint Martin
Sit alongside the hipsters of Paris on the edge of this 19th century waterway in the 10th arrondissement. On a pretty afternoon you’ll see groups of preternaturally attractive young Parisians out with bottles of wine and snacks. Stop in for the same for yourself at the nearby L’Épicerie Le Verre Volé (67 Rue de Lancry) and La Cave Le Verre Volé
Canal St. Martin. La Cantine de Quentin (52 Rue Bichat) combines the epicerie and the wine store into one for those in a hurry. But the most quintessential Canal Saint-Martin way to picnic is to place your pizza order at Pink Flamingo (67 Rue Bichat)and take a pink balloon with you back to the water so your server can find you to deliver your piping hot pie canal-side.
This is picnicking fit for royalty, literally. The Tuileries Gardens were the site of the Tuileries Palace and landscaped into their current configuration by King Louis XIV’s gardener in 1664. Pick one of the iconic green chairs near a fountain as a break from strolling between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. Pick up your picnic essentials at Causses (101 Rue Berger), and then pick between the many options for a delicious dessert to end your meal. Do you want pastel macarons from Ladurée (14 Rue de Castiglione)? Or the Mont-Blanc that has been the signature of Angelina (226 Rue de Rivoli) since the turn of the 20th century? Maybe you want to try famous patissier Sebastien Gaudard’s (1 Rue des Pyramides) lemon meringue tart? We won’t judge if you go with a sampling from all of them.
At the Eiffel Tower
Can it get more picturesque than picnicking at the base of the Eiffel Tower? The Champs du Mars is a perennially popular spot to lie in the grass, so expect to have company around you on a nice day. Picnics in Paris provides just that. You can order ahead online and pick up your picnic at their shop Zia (22 Avenue de Tourville) near the Eiffel Tower. Pick up a baguette, croissant or famed butter cookies at famed bakery Poilane (8 Rue du Cherche-Midi) to finish off your luxurious meal in the grass. Should you want a different view of the famed landmark, cross the Pont d’Iéna to enjoy the Jardins de Trocadero on the Right Bank. While you settle in, you can have your picnic delivered to you by Paris Picnic (16 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth), which allows you to pick the drop-off time and customize the food in your basket.
At Jardins de Plantes
If you want a picnic that fits into a family-friendly day, head for the Jardins des Plantes in the 5th Arrondissement on the Left Bank. You can visit the zoo, natural history museums like the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution, art deco greenhouses, and roam around the gardens with the little ones. On your way in, stop for some libations for yourself at Brewberry (18 Rue du Pot de Fer) or Bières Cultes (44 Rue des Boulangers)to take advantage of the newfound Parisian appreciation for craft beers. Keep the activity theme going by picking up your picnic supplies on Rue Mouffetard, which is a pedestrian-only market street with stalls of local produce, cheese, bread, pastries and pretty much anything you could want to eat while lounging on a blanket in the grass.