From late July through August, Parisians rush to escape the heat and tedium of the city, preferring to spend their long vacations near to the ocean with friends or family. While this means that the metros and buses are less packed and there are fewer lines everywhere, it also means that many businesses close up shop for long periods of time for vacation. Restaurants and shops can be closed from anywhere from just a single week to the entire month of August.
It can be difficult to know when certain restaurants will be closed for vacation. It’s incredibly disappointing to plan on going to a certain restaurant only to call and reach a voicemail message saying they are closed when you wanted to go. But with some smart planning ahead, you can work around these fermetures annuelles and enjoy many delicious meals in July and August. To help you, we have included some tips for dining in the summer months in Paris as well as a list of some of our favorite restaurants and when they will be open this summer.
3 tips for summer dining in Paris
1) Don’t be afraid to leave the tourist areas!
Even if many of the more famous Parisian restaurants are closed in the summer, there is still great food to be had in Paris. You will be surprised at how many great restaurants will still be open in many neighborhoods away from tourist areas. It might require a little bit more investigation in advance, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food you can find a little off the beaten path.
2) Make your reservations in advance for popular restaurants
Since so many restaurants close in August, restaurants that are open during the month will fill up much quicker than usual. Try to call ahead as much in advance as you can to book your table. Some restaurants will only allow you to reserve a week in advance but others will take reservations a month or more in advance.
3) Get lunch at a boulangerie
Boulangeries are the perfect spot to pick up a sandwich, drink and dessert for lunch. Take advantage of the warm summer weather and get your sandwich à emporter (to go) and enjoy it in one of Paris’ many parks. Boulangeries are also a great place to get a snack in the afternoons since most restaurants close between their lunch and dinner services. And don’t despair if your corner boulangerie closes for a couple of weeks. Normally, the boulangeries in a quartier plan their vacations around each other, so there should be another one open just down the street.
Restaurants open this summer
Blend – Open all summer
Le Dôme du Marais – Open all summer
Terroir Parisien – Closed August 5-20
L’Arpège – Open All summer
L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joel Robouchon – Open all summer
Café Constant – Open all summer
Les Cocottes – Open all summer
Coutume – Open for lunch; closed August 20-September 3
Chez Grenouille – Open all summer
Bistro des Dames – Open all summer
Le Camion qui fume – Open all summer