Restaurant Review: Café de la Paix, Paris, France


There are times in travel where you get a unique opportunity to walk down memory lane. In this instance, it was returning to a restaurant where I had the opportunity to visit some thirty five years ago. When the average lifespan of a restaurant is only eight to ten years, getting the opportunity to visit a restaurant that’s been open for over one hundred and fifty years is something special to be treasured. In this return visit, thirty five years in the making, I would get a repeat of my past dining experience.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Jordan, Israel and France during the end of the pandemic. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Restaurant Review: Café de la Paix, Paris Opéra, France

There are times where travel involves a walk down memory lane. In this example, it involved returning to Café de la Paix.

Café de la Paix was a restaurant I had the opportunity to visit in 1987 when I visited with my dad on my first trip as a twelve year old to Paris, France. On that visit on a warm day in the summer of 1987, I remember being served Coca Cola in tiny 330 ml bottles, by waiters in traditional black and white attire, under a warm August heat. The place had a fast pace to the restaurant, something intriguing in the world for a twelve year old at the time.

The Café de la Paix restaurant has withstood the test of time, and remains one of the more historic restaurants in France. With this background in mind, it was time to re – visit Café de la Paix, for a repeat visit some thirty five years later.

About Café de la Paix:

The Café de la Paix is a historically famous café located on the northwest corner of the intersection of the Boulevard des Capucines and the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France.

The building is designed in the Napoleon III style by the architect Alfred Armand, who also designed the historic Grand-Hôtel in which the café is located. The hotel is now operated by the Inter Continental Paris. The Café de la Paix has a florid interior decorations, historic location, and high-profile clientele have all brought it international recognition as a site of great cultural significance.

The Café de la Paix has had dozens of famous guests over the years. It’s proximity to the Palais Garnier opera attracted many famous regulars including Jules Massenet, Émile Zola, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Guy de Maupassant. In later years, these have included visitors such as Oscar Wilde, and the Prince of Wales.

Locating the Café de la Paix, Paris Opéra:

The Café de la Paix is located across the street from the magnificent Paris Garnier Opéra house. It cant have a more beautiful location against the backdrop of this magnificent structure.

We walked up to the Café de la Paix from our hotel The Westin Paris – Vendôme. After a short ten minute walk through Vendôme, we arrived to the restaurant.

After a short while, we arrived to the Paris Garnier Opéra House. Under the dark of night, it still looked to be an impressive building.

The Café de la Paix Opera house is located just to the left of this building, in the Grand Hotel currently run by Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).

During our fall visit, dining was offered in the restaurant and cafe between 6 PM to 11 PM.

If you’re visiting during non summer hours and you’re hoping to dine in the café, it is recommended to check for adjusted café hours as the café seems to take on more of a breakfast orientation during the off season.


On the Café de la Paix Menu:

The Café de la Paix is split up into a fine dining restaurant, and a bistro café restaurant with an outdoor terrace.

Since we were looking for a more casual dining experience, and a great view of the Paris Granier Opéra House, we opted for the outside dining at the café.

The Menu at the Café de la Paix Restaurant was as follows:

Whereas the Menu at the Café de la Paix Bistro and Terrace was as follows:

While the café offered a simple menu, there were more than enough french favourites there to keep any visitor engaged.


The Meal: Café Supper

We both went for the full café experience with both a starter and a main course.

MrsWT73 and I both went with a starter of french onion soup; described as “French Onion Soup – Created in 1862, Croutons and Comté Cheese”.

It was presented in a white wine broth and served exceptionally hot. It received high marks from MrsWT73; calling it the best ever French Onion soup of her lifetime.

I went with a simple club sandwich for dinner described as “French Chicken, tomato, mayonnaise, egg with our without bacon”. It was really pleasant and hit the spot.

It was also presented with individual private label Maison Laurino mayonnaise, dijon mustard and ketchup; a wonderful upscale touch.

MrsWT73 went with a croque monsieur described as “paris ham with comté cheese withour without egg on top”

We were super impressed with the meal. Although it wasn’t a fine dining experience, it represented exceptionally close to a french bistro café experience steeped in a legacy historic building and location.

We had a slow walk back to our hotel at The Westin Paris – Vendôme for the evening.

My Thoughts on Café de la Paix:

It was a unique memory and experience to be able to return to the Café de la Paix after thirty five years.

Admittedly, not much has changed at this location over the last thirty five years. Although I didn’t enjoy that Coca Cola under the summer sun, I did get the opportunity to catch up on some of the usual french favourites in a casual bistro style fare. The views of the Paris Garnier Opéra house certainly didn’t hurt either.

If you have visited the Café de la Paix, did you enjoy the views ?

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