Bouillon Restaurants in Paris: The 6 Best Places to Eat

Last Updated on June 3, 2024 by April Nicole

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Ever since moving to Paris in 2021, my culinary journey has been a delightful exploration, leading me to the heart of the city’s gastronomic culture – the bouillon restaurants.

Known for their rich history and exquisite French fare, these establishments offer an authentic taste of Paris.

Among the numerous bouillons I’ve savored, Bouillon Pigalle holds a special place in my heart, embodying the perfect blend of ambiance, flavor, and Parisian charm.

I’m going to take you on a gastronomic tour of the best bouillon restaurants in Paris, sharing my experiences, insights, and the hidden gems that these culinary havens have to offer.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, prepare to be enticed by the irresistible allure of Parisian bouillons.

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.

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.

Bouillon Chartier

bouillon restaurants
bouillon restaurants

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

Bouillon Racine

bouillon restaurants
bouillon restaurants

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

Bouillon Julien

bouillon restaurants
bouillon restaurants

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

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Bouillon Pigalle

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

Bouillon République

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

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Bouillon Restaurants in Paris Map

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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.

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