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When I visited Paris last year I was intrigued by an all black tour bus that was parked cross the Arc de Triomphe. It was interesting because it wasn’t just a bus, it was a restaurant-bus (a bustaurant ?). A cool experience by Bustronome Voyage Gourmand. Essentially, they drive you around the center of Paris. You start (and end) at the Arc de Triomphe, go down Chaillot, cross the Seine, up through Saint Germaine, and around back up. The entire thing takes about 2.5 hours. You’ll get to see some cool monuments and attractions just like a regular old tour bus BUT you’re eating a full course meal at the same time! The tours/servings are offered twice a day: lunch and dinner. We opted for the lunch with the wine pairing.
I usually don’t take bus tours but when I do, I prefer a bustraurant LOL!. Generally I like to steer clear of things that are too touristy or “cheesy” but Bustronome is very different. It’s actually pretty sophisticated. They don’t have a tour guide yelling through a loud speaker explaining all the sites or giving you a brief history about things. Instead they give you an audio pen and a map. As you approach a site that you’re interested in you have the option of picking it up, pointing it at the location on the map, and the pen tells you about the monument or site (the pen has a speaker and a headphone jack, dope!) It’s convenient because it allows you to eat and chat without being disturbed or having to talk over anyone. It allows for the “tour” to have more of a “restaurant” feel. Since the bus is covered by a panoramic glass roof you wont miss a thing because your view will always be unobstructed – there’s not a bad seat in the house. Don’t worry about spilling your drink or food; the bus moves along the street very slowly and your drinks are secured on the table.
The food is what you would expect from a fancy landlocked restaurant. The presentation is nice and it tastes great! BUT, it is Paris – everything tastes great, right? The dishes are prepared on the first level of the bus (it’s a double-decker bus, the bottom level serves as a kitchen).
This has become one of my favorite things to do in Paris, especially if you don’t have much time in this great city. Looking at the Eiffel Tower is cool but its even better with a glass of wine in hand. A memorable and unique experience, I haven’t seen anything like this, it’s totally worth checking out. Make sure to make reservations in advance.