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Café Marly

9 Authentic Paris Restaurants

Paris cafés are fascinating, as is the renowned French cuisine, so Paris restaurants have become a beautiful landscape for anyone remotely interested in good food in convivial surroundings.

There are different types of restaurants in Paris and each type has its own name.

Bistro

A bistro is a small restaurant serving in a modest setting, serving moderately priced simple meals such as French home-style cooking, and slow-cooked foods like cassoulet, a bean stew. A bistro should certainly be your first choice to taste French home-style cooking in a home-like environment while in Paris.

Le Bistrot du Peintre

Le Bistrot du Peintre is a two-story Art Nouveau eatery that’s been around since 1902. It’s located in the 11th arrondissement, a short walk from the Bastille and the Marais.

The bistro features tarnished Art Nouveau-style mirrors and a polished mahogany bar. The hastily scribbled menu boards display the day’s plat du jour and the vin du moment.

P1070735 Paris XI Bistrot du peintre rwk

Tables and chairs sprawl onto the street.

Rue Charonne-Bistrot du Peintre 3

Moulin de la Galette

The Moulin de la Galette bistro is part of a windmill of the same name situated near the top of the district of Montmartre in Paris. Nineteenth century owners and millers, the Debray family, made a brown bread, galette, which became popular.

The windmill also included a famous guinguette, a dance hall and entertainment venue for Renoir, Van Gogh, Lautrec and Picasso. Renoir’s festive painting, Bal du moulin de la Galette, has immortalized the guinguette.

Auguste Renoir - Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette - Musée d'Orsay RF 2739 (derivative work - AutoContrast edit in LCH space)

Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Le Moulin de la Galette’ has also immortalized the windmill.

Vincent Willem van Gogh 066

Le Cochon à l’Oreille

Le Cochon à l’Oreille is a discreet little restaurant located in the bustling Montorgueil area and comes straight out of the Belle Époque. It is decorated with period ceramic tiles on the walls depicting scenes from the life of Les Halles in the vicinity of Baltard pavilions, which makes you feel like you’ve travelled 100 years back in time.

Cochon à l'oreille

Brasserie

A brasserie is a type of French restaurant with a relaxed setting, which serves single dishes and other meals. A brasserie can be expected to have professional service, printed menus, and, traditionally, white linen—unlike a bistro which may have none of these. Typically, a brasserie is open every day of the week and serves the same menu all day. A classic brasserie dish would be steak frites.

A brasserie should be your second choice to taste authentic French cuisine in a casual French restaurant while in Paris.

Le Café Marly

The Café Marly is a contemporary brasserie located under the arcades of the Louvre museum in the Richelieu wing.

Café Marly
Café Marly

Le Café Marly offers an intimate setting with its Napoleon III dining rooms, padded banquettes and striking gold gilded woodwork.

Its terrace looks directly onto the Louvre glass pyramid and the Cour Napoléon is only around 50 metres away, which makes it perfect for a late evening drink at sunset when the pyramid is all lit up.

The Cafe Marly, Louvre Museum, Paris 28 June 2010

The nearest Métro station is the Palais Royal.

Bouillon

A bouillon is a traditional, spacious restaurant that usually serves traditional French cuisine, in particular a Bouillon, a broth or soup usually made by the simmering of mirepoix and aromatic herbs with beef, veal, or poultry bones and/or with shrimp, or vegetables in boiling water. The concept was to serve good quality food fast and at affordable prices.

Nowadays, only a few authentic bouillons remain; therefore, don’t forget to try one during your stay in Paris.

Bouillon Racine

Bouillon Racine, which has the most baroque style of Art Nouveau, is in the rue Racine in the 6th arrondissement.

Bevelled mirrors, painted opalines, stained glass, carved woodworks, marble mosaics, and gold-leaf lettering provide an opulent dining experience by its beauty as much as its conviviality.

Bouillon Racine

Bouillon Chartier

Bouillon Chartier is a bouillon restaurant in Paris founded in 1896, located in the 9th arrondissement.

The long Belle Époque dining room has a high ceiling supported by large columns which allows for a mezzanine.

The table service is provided by waiting staff dressed in the traditional rondin, a tight-fitting black waistcoat with multiple pockets and a long white apron.

Bouillon Chartier -2

Auberge

The traditional Auberge restaurants are an excellent and pleasant combination of French gastronomy and art de vivre.

Generally situated in rural areas or at least in remote, peaceful surroundings, such venues are run by independent professional caterers and chefs who want to promote and highlight the products of their regions. Authenticity, simplicity and quality are the Auberge raison d’être.

The other plus of auberges is that the owners are generally extremely friendly, coming to speak with their guests and sharing their local knowledge. Make sure you don’t miss out the rare auberge you may find while in Paris.

Auberge de la Bonne Franquette

Auberge de la Bonne Franquette is a cozy old house in existence for several centuries in the heart of Montmartre, Place du Tertre, just east of ‎Sacré-Cœur. It has two spacious sidewalk terraces.

La Bonne Franquette, 2 Rue des Saules, Paris 2011

La Bonne Franquette was the meeting point of artists Renoir, Monet, Zola, and Van Gogh. Its charming little garden inspired Van Gogh to paint his famous ‘La Guinguette’ displayed in the Musée d’Orsay today.

Vincent Willem van Gogh 043

Gourmet Restaurants

Jules Verne

The Jules Verne is a gourmet restaurant, located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower at 125m above the ground in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The decor consists of gray tones such as iron, and highlights the metal structures of the Tower.

Le Jules Verne

The Jules Verne restaurant is a one of a kind experience that boasts beautiful views through the non-reflective bay windows on the Eiffel Tower, and is accompanied with an intimate yet contemporary and inviting dining experience that plays with the natural light of the day or the city lights at night.

Jules Verne Restaurant

Jules Verne Restaurant

The Blue Train

The Blue Train is a gourmet restaurant style neo-Baroque and Belle Époque of the 1900s located in the lobby of the station Paris-Gare de Lyon in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.

Le train bleu

The interior of the Blue Train is full of sculptures, gilding, moldings, chandeliers, ceremonial furniture, large armchairs and 41 large decorative paintings on the walls and ceilings painted by some of the most fashionable Belle Époque painters.

P1120996 Paris XII gare de Lyon train bleu rwk

The huge dining rooms still have their original features, polished floors, wood paneling, leather banquettes, mahogany furniture, luxurious gilded stucco, numerous sculptures and murals and ceilings depicting scenes from around France.

P1060280 Paris XII gare de Lyon Train bleu rwk

I recommend that you taste authentic French cuisine in at least one bistro, one brasserie, one bouillon, and the auberge mentioned above. Savor their signature cassoulet, steak frites, bouillon… Eat like a Parisian, talk to the owner, while letting your imagination take you back centuries in time.

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Min Min

There are different kinds of artists. Some are more focused and others are more all-encompassing. I would count myself as the art-everywhere type of artist. To me, art is a way of looking at things, of applying creativity in my life. I am a frequent traveler who truly appreciates every tiny beauty of life and have traveled extensively around the world. Different cities inspire me in different ways. My passion is Paris which I have visited more than once, living as a Parisian. I have walked big streets and small alleys in Paris, and every inch of the city has given me inspiration. When I first arrived in Paris it was as though all my senses were heightened, then as I became familiar with the city I learned to see subtleties that I missed at first.

6 thoughts on “9 Authentic Paris Restaurants”

  1. I will give you a hint if you go to “Bouillon Chartier”.
    – First go near the entrance of the “Musée Grévin” on the “Grands Boulevards” subway station.
    – From there, find the entrance of one of the covered paths or covered galleries. It is just on the left if you are facing the museum.
    – Inside you will travel in time, during the old Paris. The shops ketp the ambiance of the old times and if it’s raining, you will be able to drink a hot chocolate.
    – Continue walking til the end of all those galleries and the Bouillon Chartier will be on the right.

  2. Very nice places, and good choice!

    Love the arty and historical stories related to these places. I guess that the fact that most of similar places in Paris have some kind of artistic background, combined with good cuisine and charming enteriers, is responsible for that pleasant art-de-vivre feeling that floats in the air constantly.

    And if you add a glass of fine vine…

    A santé! 😉

  3. This is definitely the most delicious read through. Paris awaits everyone with arms wide open so that no restaurant goes by unnoticed or unseen. I would most certainly like to try all of the famous French meals in some of these restaurants as they contain a story of their own.
    Thank you for sharing the whereabouts and history of these unique restaurants.
    As an aside I just have to mention the movie Julie and Julia as it presented French cuisine as the Movable Feast that it is and it really deepened my love for French food.
    As they say – Bon appétit.

  4. Tasting French cuisine must be like having a new different world in your mouth!
    What I like of your posts is that they are addressed to common people. And you show that you don’t have to be a billionaire to go to Paris and enjoy it. I like your approach to the city; it is very genuine and authentic. You show your readers the real Paris and recommend them to experience it as it is. I like that you not only post the gourmet restaurants but the Bistros, Bouillons and Brasseries which are more affordable and more traditional; all of them with their own beauty.

  5. Paris has many names : The City of Lights, the city of love,
    The city of a hundred villages … But above all , Paris is the capital of gastronomy. We all know that the “french cuisine” is one of the tastier in the world.
    The best Parisian restaurant to me is ” Les Ombres” where you can enjoy panoramic Parisian views while you dine, including the iconic Eiffel Tower not far from the restaurant.

  6. I do agree with the comments above. I would recommend the Blue Train, a great place where one eats both with belly and eyes.

    The Jules Verne is also a must-see (or must-eat 😉 ), it is quite expensive in my view though, but really is worth trying.

    I never heard about any of the other restaurants quoted above, though I did visit Paris many times, so I discovered them.

    Many thanks for this yummy blog post!

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