The Best Bistros in Paris

Allard

Established in 1931, Allard remains one of the city’s most beloved old-guard bistros, and for good reason. Dishes like escargots in parsley butter, house foie gras terrine, and roast duck with olives are top-notch.

Allard

Recipe cards at the restaurant; almost as old as the establishment itself.

Allard

41 rue St-Andre des Arts, 6th arrondissement (33/1/4326-4823). Expensive.

Aux Lyonnais

Since taking over this famous old bistro in 2002, Alain Ducasse has artfully updated the menu while preserving the soul of the bistro.

Aux Lyonnais

A waiter serves braised veal breast with artichokes.

Aux Lyonnais

32 rue St-Marc, 2nd arrondissement (33/1/4296-6504). Moderate.

Chez Georges

Time stands still at this century-old bistro in the heart of Paris, which serves classics like blanquette de veau (veal breast served with a lemony cream sauce), chicken liver terrine, and wonderful cream puffs with hot chocolate sauce.

Chez Georges

Pan-fried steak with mustard cream sauce.

Chez Georges

1 rue du Mail, 2nd arrondissement (33/1/4260-0711). Moderate.

L’Ami Louis

Come to this temple of classic bistro cuisine for generous portions of garlicky, crunchy potato galette, grilled veal kidneys, whole roast chicken with heaps of frites, and tender milk-fed lamb.

L’Ami Louis

A chef in the kitchen.

L’Ami Louis

32 rue Vertbois, 3rd arrondissement (33/1/4887-7748). Expensive.

Le Bistrot Paul Bert

Chef Thierry Laurent serves some of the best terrine de campagne in Paris at this genial new bistro.

Le Bistrot Paul Bert

A waiter serves sole meuniere.

Le Bistrot Paul Bert

18 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrondissement (33/1/4372-24-01). Moderate.

Frenchie

The brilliant market-menu cooking of chef Gregory Marchand features cosmopolitan dishes like crab-stuffed ravioli with parsley juice and shellfish. 5 rue du Nil, 2nd arrondissement (33/1/4039-9619). Moderate.

L’Ami Jean

Chef Stephane Jego, who worked under bistro wizard Yves Camdeborde, founder of La Regalade, serves market-driven southwestern French and Basque cooking.

L’Ami Jean

27 rue Malar, 7th arrondissement (33/1/4705-8689). Moderate.

La Regalade Saint-Honor&eacute

At this new branch of La Regalade, chef Bruno Doucetes menu has been a phenomenal hit ever since it opened seven months ago. 123 rue St-Honore, 1st arrondissement (33/1/4221-9240). Moderate.

Le Chateaubriand

Aizpitarte’s globally influenced cuisine de vagabonde exhibits stunning imagination, as in dishes like sea bass with red chicory and lemon creme fraiche.

Le Chateaubriand

129 avenue Parmentier, 11th arrondissement (33/1/4357-4595). Moderate

L’Epigramme

This tiny place has been a hit ever since it opened two years ago. 9 rue de l’Eperon, 6th arrondissement (33/1/4441-0009). Moderate.

Jadis

In French, the name of this popular two-year-old bistro means “in times gone by,” a nod from talented young chef Guillaume Delage to France¿s rich culinary heritage. Pictured here, pork belly with lentils and escargots. 208 rue de la Croix-Nivert, 15th arrondissement (33/1/4557-7320). Moderate.

Le Cochon a l’Oreille

In the old market district of Les Halles, a diverse crowd of happy Parisians packs into this 97-year-old bistro’s compact Belle &Eacutepoque; dining room to tuck into dishes like confit de canard and stuffed pork with lentils. 15 rue Montmartre, 1st arrondissement (33/1/4236-0756). Moderate.

Chez Michel

Aptly named chef Thierry Breton’s Breton-inspired cooking is reliably delicious, with dishes like kig ha farz (a stew of pork and veal served with buckwheat stuffing).

Chez Michel

The bistro serves one of the best Paris-Brest pastries (a ring of choux pastry filled with hazelnut cream) in town.

Chez Michel

Since it’s one of her favorite restaurants, yes, that gorgeous blonde in the corner at this vintage bistro near the Gare du Nord just might be Catherine Deneuve. 10 rue de Belzunce, 10th arrondissement (33/1/4453-0620). Moderate.

Le Baratin

Le Baratin is a small, crowded bistro in Belleville, one of the last bohemian neighborhoods in Paris.

Le Baratin

It’s a major expedition from the city center, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming the place where chefs like Joel Robuchon and Yves Camdeborde come for a night-off feast of chef Raquel Carena’s fabulous home-style cooking.

Le Baratin

The daily-changing menu ranges from oxtail braised with citrus fruits to ragout of cod and shrimp with saffron. 3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 20th arrondissement (33/1/4349-3970). Inexpensive.

La Fontaine de Mars

This popular, well-mannered bourgeois bistro with lace curtains, red-checked tablecloths, and wry but polite waiters always gets it just right, with a superb roster of good old-fashioned Gallic food. 129 rue St-Dominique, 7th arrondissement (33/1/4705-4644). Moderate.

Chez Denise

5 rue des Prouvaires, 1st arrondissement (33/1/4236-2182). Moderate.

Chez Denise

Boisterous, friendly, and completely Parisian, Chez Denise serves trenchermen’s portions of headcheese, charcuterie, lamb brains (pictured here), and rib steaks with fabulous frites until 5:00 A.M.

L’Ecailler du Bistrot

Sister restaurant to Le Bistrot Paul Bert, this may be the best seafood-oriented bistro in Paris, with impeccable fish at reasonable prices. 22 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrondissement (33/1/4372-7677). Moderate.

Where to Stay in Paris

Hotel Bel-Ami 7-11 rue St-Benoi t — 75006 Paris Phone: 33 1 42 61 53 53 http://www.hotel-bel-ami.com
Marriott Renaissance Arc de Triomphe 39 Avenue de Wagram — 75017 Paris 33 1 5537 5537
Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris 31, avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France Tel. 33 (0) 1 49 52 70 00
A table of Parisian food
Not pictured: Afaria, Auberge Pyrenees Cevennes, and Chez Dumonet/Josephine. See the full list of Paris Bistros Landon Nordeman