Ralph's Paris Ralph's Paris © Ralph Lauren

5 of the best al fresco spots in Paris

Soak up the summer sunshine while enjoying Michelin starred French delicacies with our insider's guide to the best restaurant terraces and al fresco bars in Paris.

Everyone loves the ideas of classic French dining al fresco: sunlit terraces, rickety chairs, white tables, those quintessential rooftops glinting in the sunshine and menus that deserve all the stars they’re awarded. Our pick of the best outdoor eateries serve up innovative fare, afternoon tea and sundowners with all the classic Parisian touches. Enjoy the view!

Ralph’s, Ralph Lauren

Hot with Paris’ young professionals, the terrace at Ralph’s on Boulevard St Germain is one of the city’s to-be-seen-at spots. Set in a former hotel particulier in the 6th arrondissement, you can expect chic surroundings and the perfect blend of the American preppy, smart/casual style Ralph Lauren is famous for as well as the Parisian Rive Gauche style. On the menu, salads to pick at or lobster from Maine, Maryland crab or good old steak from Mr Lauren’s very own Colorado ranch, which makes it a great address for those in need of a light meal or long lunch alike. ralphlaurenstgermain.com

Related: 5 of the best pools in Paris

L’Oiseau Blanc, The Peninsula

LOiseau-Blanc---TerraceL’Oiseau Blanc

With possibly one of the finest restaurant views in Paris, the Peninsula’s Oiseau Blanc is a sight to behold. On the 6th floor of the newly revamped Peninsula Hotel, the outdoor deck offers 360° views with the Eiffel Tower as the star, of course. On the menu, it’s all about seasonal, regional and national goodies such as Chef Sidney Redels’s favourite langoustines from Brittany, peaches, avocado and Paris mushrooms amongst others. Although the setting is deluxe, the three course Oscar Bravo menu inspired by the ‘aviation’, theme that runs throughout the restaurant, remains and affordable choice. Inside, the aeronautical feel is utterly charming, an ode to the WWI pilots who tried to cross the Atlantic in 1927. There’s even an (almost) full size replica of the famous Oiseau Blanc 'white bird' plane on the roof. paris.peninsula.com/loiseaublanc

Related: Paris' outstanding outdoor dining for summer 2015

Le Mini Palais, Grand Palais

mini-palais-Mini Palais

As if the beauty of the Grand Palais weren’t enough, the Mini Palais next door is home to another hidden gem: The Mini Palais restaurant has a delightful terrace tucked away in the shade of its impressive marble columns, and a classic French menu created by superstar chef Eric Frechon of Le Bristol’s Michelin starred fame. The perfect spot for lunch in the shade, it’ll suit night owls too as it’s open until to 2am. Menu highlights include the duck breast, the classic beef tartare and the superb pastries. Cocktail amateurs should also give its namesake, the “Mini Palais” mix (angostura, cranberry and orange vodka) a whirl... www.minipalais.com

Related: Open in August: Paris survival guide

Musee Andree Jacquemart

Jacquemart-Andre-MJA9030--CulturespacesMusee Andree Jacquemart

For Parisians in the know, this museum café hides a secret terrace, perfect for a leisurely lunch. While on a rainy day, the surroundings of the ‘Salle a Manger’ can be a little over the top (unless you like your gilt in heavy doses), the outdoor space is a real treat. Away from the hectic Boulevard Haussmann, it’s best known for its patisseries and sweet treats, but also serves up good quiche and plat du jour. Sadly one can’t book so it’s a first come, first served system which means the early birds are better off, especially for the very popular weekend brunch served from 11am. musee-jacquemart-andre.com

Related: Where to find the perfect ice cream in Paris

Il Carpaccio, Royal Monceau

Il Carpaccio Le-Royal-Monceau-Raffles-Paris---La-Terrasse-1Il Carpaccio

One of the regular favourite palaces in town, the ultra smart Royal Monceau boasts a delightful outdoor courtyard, home to Il Carpaccio’s outdoor space. With its bright conservatory lit by an exotic shell chandelier and handful of tables on its intimate outdoor terrace, The Italian Michelin starred restaurant, under chef Roberto Rispoli, transports you to the sunny Amalfi coast. Menu musts include the beef carpaccio, grilled vegetables with buffalo ricotta cream and swordfish accompanied by grilled eggplant, and eggplant caviar. Rispoli also serves up his very own extra virgin oil made in Sicily near the Corleone village. Italian perfection al fresco in Paris. www.leroyalmonceau.com

1 Ralph's
2 L'Oiseau Blanc
3 Mini Palais
4 Musee Andree Jacquemart
5 Il Carpaccio, Royal Monceau