How to lunch like a Parisian

Nothing evokes typical Paris quite like lunch in a brasserie or an impeccably curated picnic by the banks of the Seine. Suzy Ashford looks at the capital’s lunching traditions and provides three recipes

Lunch in France is sacrosanct, a fundamental part of the French art de vivre, or ‘art of living’ – cue the accordions!

Even Parisian workers, despite the frenzied demands of modern life, typically spend more than 45 minutes eating lunch each day – a stark contrast to other countries, where lunch tends to get demoted to a quick take-out sandwich eaten at a desk in front of a screen (quelle horreur!).

If not eaten at home, lunch in Paris might be taken in a simple cafe: think entrances shaded with slanted awnings of crimson or emerald and sidewalks lined with inviting rows of Art Deco tables and rattan chairs.

Or it could be eaten at a bistro, the bastion of French lunch (usually open from 11am to 3pm), where waiters glide across black-and-white tiles, past walls adorned with vintage posters, to serve customers engrossed in conversations about everything and nothing; these inspiring establishments were a second home for literary heavyweights like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.

Brasseries are more lavish, both in setting and fare, with ornate interiors, lofty ceilings, dashingly set tables, leather-backed chairs, mirrored walls and often a pastel fresco of creeping vines or ethereal-looking women surrounded by bursts of flowers.

As breakfast in Paris is light – ...

To read the remaining 85% of this article, you need to either

Subscribe now to The Connexion and benefit from access to our archived articles since 2006

Freedom Subscription

Pay every three months. Our most flexible subscription.

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

1 Year Subscription (12 editions)

1 year of great reading in print and online

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

Digital Subscription (1 Year) (Our best value offer)

1 year of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

Digital subscription (freedom - 3 months)

3 months of great reading online *no paper*

Automatic renewal, cancel anytime

More articles from Food and Drink
More articles from Connexion France
Other articles that may interest you

Loading some business profiles...

Loading some classifieds...