Les Bouillons: The Most Typical Parisian Restaurants

Where To Go For Authentic & Affordable French Food
Belle Epoque restaurant in Paris Belle Epoque restaurant in Paris

© Bouillon Chartier

January 21, 2020
With a name that literally means ‘broth’ (one of the signature dishes), these traditional French restaurants serve quality cuisine quickly, and at affordable prices. Read on to learn why you should eat at least one meal at a bouillon when in Paris.
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by Fred

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If you’re after an oh-so-French dining experience, you can’t do much better than a meal at one of Paris’s historic bouillons. These spacious, authentic, and budget-friendly restaurants serve up simple but delicious French dishes in beautiful settings.

Although originally working class lunch spots, today, bouillons are loved by hip Parisians and tourists in-the-know for both their hearty meals and Belle Époque décor.

Inside the Bouillon Julien Paris restaurant
Beautiful Belle Époque interiors of Bouillon Julien. Photo by Renata Haidle.

The first bouillons appeared in Paris back in 1855, when a butcher by the name of Pierre Louis Duval came up with a clever and innovative restaurant concept. To quickly and cheaply serve quality meals to the masses of blue-collar workers in the city center, his restaurants had just item on the menu: a dish of meat and a broth, or ‘bouillon’.

It was a recipe for success, and by 1900, there were nearly 250 bouillons in Paris.

Looking for unique culinary experiences in Paris? Discover our offering of authentic gastronomic activities in the City of Light.

interior of Parisian restaurant
Photo © Bouillon Chartier

Today, Paris’s bouillons offer many more options on their menus, but the cuisine remains as straightforward and satisfying as it was at the turn of the 19th century. They’re the perfect place to sample no-frills French fare like marrow bones, egg mayonnaise, blanquette de veau (a white veal stew), flank steak and french fries, or of course, bouillon.

And all without breaking the bank! At most bouillons, you can enjoy a full meal (coffee and glass of wine included) for less than 20€! Bon appétit !

The Best of Paris’s Historic Bouillons

  • Bouillon Chartier, 7 Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, 75009 Paris
  • Bouillon Chartier, 59 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris
  • Bouillon Pigalle, 22 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris
  • Bouillon Julien, 16 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris
  • Bouillon Racine, 3 Rue Racine, 75006 Paris

Hungry for more authentic French food? These gastronomic experiences in Paris give you a taste of pastries, caviar, and more.

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