Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by April Verge
Are you on the search for the best bouillon restaurants in Paris?
I’ve got you covered! Keep reading…
The original old school restaurants of Paris, France, bouillons dish up informal French staples in beautiful, welcoming settings, including boeuf bourguignon, oeufs mayo, and crème brûlée.
The establishments that continue to exist today first appeared on the French culinary scene in the late 19th century and maintain their heritage of serving traditional food at reasonable prices with quick service.
Pierre-Louis Duval, a butcher who served laborers in the bustling Les Halles neighborhood of the capital, sold straightforward yet fulfilling meals comprised of beef and bouillon (broth), gave birth to the bouillon restaurant in 1855.
The idea was straightforward: speedy service of affordable, filling cuisine. The concept caught on, and by the turn of the 20th century, there were some 250 of these well-liked cafes spread out across the City of Light (some even consider bouillons the first restaurant chain!).
Bouillons were not an exception to the Art Nouveau movement’s influence on the interior design, furniture, and construction of well-known buildings as it swept across Europe, especially after Paris hosted the World Fairs in 1878, 1889, and 1900.
As charming to look at as they are to eat in, the interiors of these restaurants from the Belle Époque era feature carved wood, gleaming ceramics, vibrant mirrors, and glass paintings.
Discover a few of my favorite bouillon restaurants in Paris listed below!
If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of the best bouillon restaurants in Paris:
What are bouillon restaurants?
Traditional Bouillons are huge, high-cover establishments that serve traditional French cuisine at a reasonable cost. These Paris restaurants serve soups or broths, which is how the word “bouillon” is translated into English and how they got their name.
The initial bouillons were developed to provide fast-eating workers with nutritious meals at reasonable prices.
Adolphe-Baptiste Duval, a butcher, opened the first bouillon in 1854. His initial menu consisted of just one meal, which fed the employees at the nearby market and contained a cut of meat and soup (a bouillon).
These days, people from all social groups enjoy them, and they enable travelers to Paris to experience French cuisine on a budget.
There are now only few genuine bouillons left, including the one in Rue Racine, which has the most baroque Art Nouveau architecture, and the one in the Faubourg-Montmartre.
The popularity of Parisian bouillon has increased since 2017. In 2019, Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse, which had recently operated as a brasserie called Montparnasse 1900, returned to its previous name.
Additionally, the Moussié brothers have introduced two new bouillons: Bouillon Pigalle in 2017 and Bouillon République in 2021.
What to Expect Bouillon Restaurants
When you dine at a bouillon restaurant in Paris, you can expect a casual dining experience with simple yet tasty dishes. These restaurants were once popular among the working class as a quick and inexpensive meal option.
These days, they have become a popular tourist destination for those looking for a taste of traditional French cuisine.
Most bouillon restaurants serve traditional French dishes such as pot-au-feu (beef stew), coq au vin (chicken in wine), and lamb shank. You can also expect to find a variety of French wines on the menu.
The best bouillon restaurants in Paris
These classic French restaurants provide tasty food fast and at reasonable pricing. Continue reading to discover the benefits of dining at a bouillon at least once when visiting Paris.
This is a classic establishment where customers come for both the food and the experience of having their orders written by the waiter on the paper tablecloth rather than on a pad.
It was initially inaugurated in 1896, precisely in time for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, and is remarkable, authentic, and the sole surviving example of the initial wave of bouillons established in the late 19th century.
Service may be a little quicker here than elsewhere, but it could just be because the employees subsist on tips and a cut of the earnings. Definitely not the place to linger… But the commotion and the lengthy line that moves (very fast) at the front entrance are also appealing aspects of it.
With their black vests and bow ties, the waiters give off the impression that they have stepped out of a historical tale.
Their entrees begin at just €1! On the starter menu, you’ll find blue cheese salad, leeks with vinaigrette, and garlic snails. In comparison to other bouillons, there are some more daring French main dishes offered, such as grilled pork feet and andouillette sausage (made from a pig’s big intestine).
They also serve pretty nice steak, roast chicken, sausage & lentils, and confit duck if that isn’t enough to convince you.
Practicalities of Bouillon Chartier
Address: 7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009
Tel: +33 1 47 70 86 29
Open: 7 days a week from 11:30 a.m. to midnight
Website: Bouillon Chartier
The Bouillon Racine is my most recent exploration, and I was really happy with the results. It’s interesting to note that it was created in 1906 by the Chartiers, who owned the Bouillon Chartier (the name Chartier is still on the front).
The service was so welcoming and kind that I almost thought I was at an American restaurant. This was unusual in the middle of Paris, but it was nonetheless appreciated. Foreign tourists coming by for an a meal (after making a reservation, of course) would probably feel right at home here.
The Belle Epoque furnishings, particularly upstairs, are what really catch the eye. If you close your eyes, you would think that the 20th century is just around the corner, that wonderful time of transition and anticipation.
The cuisine was lovely—not extraordinary, but definitely above average. I was quite unhappy to have to sponge up the last bits of my mango Pavlova after my delicious pork ribs did not let me down.
It was big, but it could have been twice as big and twice as happy. I felt content enough to know that I’ll return without a doubt.
Bouillon Racine was designated as a historic monument in 1995.
Practicalities of Bouillon Racine
Address: 3 Rue Racine, 75006 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 44 32 15 60
Open: 7 days a week 12:00-11:00 pm
Website: Bouillon Racine
The excellent modern bouillon known as Le Bouillon Julien is actually a revamped version of the once-famous Restaurant Julien. The restaurant was originally constructed in 1901 by French architect Edouard Fournier, and was adorned with Art Nouveau decor, which fortunately has not changed.
The four stained glass windows and the mahogany bar are both original works that were created by renowned French artisans. The gorgeous dining room with the stained glass ceiling is worth seeing just to take in the amazing architecture!
Under its present name since 2018, Bouillon Julien serves a meal in the bouillon style. I’d say it costs a little more but is of higher quality than its competitors. The starters include all of the usual suspects, including very good escargots, which may be hit or miss, and a fantastic rabbit terrine with pickles.
The steak frites served with fries or sautéed potatoes is one of the main dishes. With a peppercorn sauce, the bavette steak was perfectly cooked and soft. Their bouillon, a beef broth with noodles and flavors of coriander and lemongrass, is their distinctive main course.
The beef is offered at just €9 and is flavorful and tender.
During her visits to the restaurant in the 1940s, it is reported that singer Édith Piaf sat at table 24 as she awaited the arrival of her lover, boxer Marcel Cerdan.
Fun fact: Singer Edith Piaf is said to have visited the restaurant in the 1940s, sitting at table number 24, and waited for her boyfriend, boxer Marcel Cerdan, to join her.
Practicalities of Bouillon Julien
Address: 16 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10eme Paris
Tel: +33 1 47 70 12 06
Open: 7 days a week from 11:45 am-12:00 am
Website: Bouillon Julien
👉READ NEXT | Looking for vegetarian and vegan options in Paris? Try these best vegetarian and vegan restaurants.
This is the most recent entrant, having debuted in 2017. It also happens to be primarily to blame for the resurgence of interest in this kind of restaurant. The emphasis on classic French dishes dishes and reasonable costs have made it the talk of Paris, despite its modern, pleasantly streamlined design, crimson banquettes, and wooden chairs.
From the cordial greeting to the amount on the bill—€15.80, at dinnertime no less—this was an exceptional experience overall. It’s also located in a unique neighborhood, close to the Moulin Rouge and right in the heart of the sex shops.
The situation is actually quite calm, although I wouldn’t venture out alone late at night.
Pigalle is so well-liked that it gave birth to the Paris Bouillon République, a younger brother that is also receiving high praise.
Practicalities of Bouillon Pigalle
Address: 22 Bd de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 42 59 69 31
Open: 7 days a week 12:00 pm-12:00 am
Website: Bouillon Pigalle
Their extensive cuisine selection, which includes many French classics, is generally extremely good. There are several excellent duck terrine options as well as oeufs-mayo (hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise), French onion soup, and snails cooked in garlic butter.
They often feature a few seasonal dishes on their main course menu that change seasonally, but they always have some of their favorites like Beef Bourguignon with coquillettes pasta.
Their steak-frites and quarter-roasted chicken with excellent French fries are other noteworthy main courses. A small selection of French cheeses and some excellent sweets are offered to round out the meal; I always have their Île flottante.
Their drinks are extremely affordable while yet being of very high quality, just like the other bouillons on my list.
Practicalities of Bouillon République
Bouillon République, 39 Bd du Temple, 3eme Paris
Tel: +33 1 42 59 69 31
Open: 7 days a week 12:00 pm-12:00 am
Website: Bouillon République
Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond
Another historic long-standing bouillon with a claim to fame is The Pharamond, which is tucked away in Les Halles, formerly known as the “stomach” of Paris but currently being renovated and modernized.
The Pharamond family established their business here after relocating to Paris from Normandy, providing traditional foods at affordable costs under the first name A La Petite Normande (which still adorns the restaurant’s façade).
The menu is authentic bouillon −
No doubt I’m not the only one who enjoyed the food here; the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, not to mention a number of French presidents and artists, are also said to have visited the bouillon.
The Pharamond drips with Belle Epoque style in every nook and cranny, but the third floor has a special touch: a collection of private rooms you may reserve to dine with your friends away from the masses.
I wouldn’t mind trying out this wonderful idea, but there is also appeal in the jumble of tiny tables crammed next to one another.
Practicalities of Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond
Address: 24 Rue de la Grande Truanderie, 75001 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 40 28 45 18
Open: 7 days a week 12:00 pm-12:00 am
Website: Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond
👉READ NEXT | Paris Restaurants That Parisians Love
Bouillon Restaurants in Paris Map
To add this map to your Google Maps account, click the ‘Star’ icon next to the map name. You can then view it on your cell phone or computer by heading to your Google Maps account, click the menu and add it to ‘Your Places’.
Final Thoughts on Bouillon Restaurants in Paris
Fall is the best season for a bouillon lunch, and I frequently visit Paris during this time. The same can be said about Paris in the winter, when it’s chilly outside and you’re in need of some hearty, rib-sticking French cuisine.
France Travel Planning 🇫🇷
For any trip to be successful, preparation is key. Do it the easy way:
- Booking.com – Find diverse accommodations, enjoy easy booking with great deals, and rely on real reviews and 24/7 support.
- Expedia.com – With its user-friendly interface, it simplifies the process of booking hotels and holiday packages to France.
- VRBO.com – Your go-to platform for unique and comfortable vacation rentals in France.
- DiscoverCars.com – Offers a seamless booking experience, ensuring you find the ideal car for your adventures in France.
- GetTransfer.com – Is the ultimate solution for your travel transfer needs, offering an efficient, flexible service and comfortable transportation.
- Trainline.com stands as a quintessential tool for savvy travelers seeking to navigate France’s extensive rail network with ease and confidence.
- Skyscanner.com – Simplifies your travel planning with its user-friendly interface, offering a comprehensive comparison of flights.
Attractions, Activities and Tours 🇫🇷
- Viator.com – Stands out as a trusted resource for travelers seeking unparalleled experiences across the globe.
- GetYourGuide.com – Offers an extensive collection of tours, activities, and attractions in France.
- ParisCityVision.com – This tour company specializes in crafting exceptional experiences across Paris and France.
- Orange Sim Card – Discover seamless connectivity on your French travels with an Orange Holiday Europe Sim Card, a top choice for tourists.
- Airalo.com – The world’s first eSIM store that solves the pain of high roaming bills by giving travelers access to eSIMs (digital SIM cards).
Travel Insurance ✈️
- SafetyWing.com – Travel with peace of mind knowing you’re protected in almost every corner of the world.
- Travel Insurance Master – Visit their website to discover the ideal insurance plan that aligns with your travel dreams.
These are only a few of my favorites; for more, see my comprehensive guide to the top travel booking websites for France.