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.
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.
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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 !
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