Terrasse Colbert at the Louvre

I don’t know how to explain the fact that there were only a dozen other people eating lunch outside at the Louvre’s Terrasse Colbert on a sunny day recently. Maybe it was because the cafeteria is fairly new, and the food limited.

But when even a mediocre baguette sandwich and tartelette citron come with a view of the Louvre Pyramid, and what you need after making your way through the largest museum in the world is a quiet sit-down, this little-known space is worth knowing about.

Unlike the cafés inside the Louvre, Terrasse Colbert, on the roof of the Richelieu wing, feels very much like a part of the museum. Seventeenth century sculptures line the edge of the terrasse. The view of the Pyramid, from one floor above, is fantastic.

Contemporary comforts are minimal: white umbrellas shield diners from the sun, and plastic designer chairs provide respite for tired feet. But the setting is extravagant — and far from the crowds, the quiet feels luxurious.

Hidden, suffused in sunlight, and steeped in history, Terrasse Colbert is a great place to take a break at the Louvre. Access is from the first floor of the Richelieu wing, near the escalator.