Convincing little palates to appreciate French cuisine is less daunting than it sounds. Especially if you center the mission on learning to make heavenly desserts.
Let Them Make Cake.
Cook’n With Class in Montmartre offers kids ages 6-12 a workshop on French desserts, where they’ll learn to create masterpieces like jam-filled Eiffel Tower shortbread, dark chocolate mousse, and raspberry Verrines. The two-hour classes are taught in English and cost $83 per child. Book in advance at cooknwithclass.com.
Pizza in Paris? C’mon. Stop.
We know, we know. But the gourmet pies at Pink Flamingo Pizza on Canal St. Martin are a genius (and delicious) hybrid of a familiar dish from home and adventurous French ingredients: order a bottle of red and select two pies (to feed a family of four)—the Basquiat (gorgonzola, figs, ham) and La Poulidor (duck, apple, chèvre) are super yummy. And yes, there’s a basic La Dante (mozzarella) for the Resistance.
After ordering, you’ll be presented with a hot pink balloon to mark your chosen picnic spot along the adjacent canal. Your pizza is delivered via bicycle about 20 minutes later. For dessert, hit Berthillon, known for its intensely flavored ice creams and sorbets—and, unfortunately, for its long lines.
Take It Up A Notch And Distract Them With A Boat Ride.
Book an evening cruise along the Seine (8:15-11pm) on Bateau Le Calife, which serves up a classically French three-course menu with reasonable options for kids like goat cheese, pepper steak, and an ice cream duo or fruit salad. If bedtime is an issue, go for the lunch cruise (12:15-2:45pm) instead.
Then Hit Them With A Michelin Star.
While five courses stretched out over three hours is the norm at cozy Qui Plume La Lune in Le Marais, the Michelin-Starred restaurant offers a modified children’s menu (really!) with two courses, plus dessert. The filet mignon with poached organic vegetables and risotto was a hit, as was chocolate cake with roasted pistachios and cotton candy.
When All Else Fails, There’s Always Chocolate For Breakfast.
The truth is, it’s easy to fill small bellies on a French diet: just stuff ‘em with pain au chocolate, crêpes, and baguettes. Have a fromage picnic by the Seine. Grab a falafel pocket on the go. You can’t throw a macaron in Paris without hitting an excellent boulangerie, patisserie, or fromagerie. And though some are better than others (make time for Maison Marnay at 24 rue Saint-Martin), they’re all pretty damn excellent.
You’ll Need To Sleep Off The Food Coma.
Book a room just off the Champs-Elysees at Hotel Lancaster; the sweet and centrally located boutique hotel offers large rooms and suites (from $385) with all the bells and whistles of a modern hotel—but decked with gorgeous French antique furnishings. We also love the “Family Moments” deal at the two-year-old Peninsula Paris, which knocks 50% off an adjoining room if you’re traveling with children under the age of 12.