The 50 best dishes in Paris: bistro favourites

Both traditional and trendy

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  • © Time Out / Oliver Knight

    Read out review of Le Repaire de Cartouche

    Pâté en croûte at Le Repaire de Cartouche

    Though it has spent a long time out of fashion, the pâté en croute (a sort of gourmet pasty) has come back in full force in recent years, and the version at Le Repaire du Cartouche is formidable, with a thick crunchy crust, strongly-flavoured seasonal ingredients and a light refreshing jelly. It’s at its best in autumn, a mix of game and truffles. A good, solid bistro classic.

  • © Time Out / Oliver Knight

    Read our review of La Gauloise

    Pot-au-feu at La Gauloise

    The ultimate in comforting stews, the best pot-au-feu is a cauldron of treasures: boiled beef and vegetables, ideally with a marrow-rich bone. Generous, full of flavour and unostentatious, at La Gauloise it’s served in its own little black casserole with bouillon, carefully-chosen meat from Aubrac and a pile of baby vegetables. With this dish, you’ll outlast the winter.

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    Read our review of Brasserie Mollard

    Onion soup at Brasserie Mollard

    If Parisian nights turn blue, this is the dish to bring the colour back into your cheeks. The version at art nouveau-themed Brasserie Mollard comes without frills in its plain white bowl, thick, steaming, garnished with big croutons and covered in a pillowy layer of grated cheese that’s as comforting as a hug. Best for states of extreme hunger and/or nostalgia.

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    Read our review of La Pulpéria

    Beef entrecôte at La Pulpéria

    If bistros had a muse, it would be the entrecôte. At La Pulpéria, it’s revisited by a talented Argentinean chef and takes on some of his fiery temperament as the ‘churrasco de pampas’, an arresting, magnificent, bloody steak served with rissole potatoes and herby, garlicky, spicy chimichurri.

     

  • © Time Out / Laurie Grosset

    Read our review of Ribouldinge

    Calf’s head at Ribouldingue

    Famously the favourite dish of former President Jacques Chirac, it’s easy imagine the entire face of a baby cow arriving on your table with a flourish. Don’t worry, at Ribouldingue, famous for its offal, it comes rolled and fried, with the grilled brains and an exquisite sauce gribiche. So if you’re up for giving it a go, head here.

  • © Time Out / Oliver Knight

    Read our review of Jadis

    Veal blanquette at Jadis

    The pearly whiteness of the butter sauce, lifted by lemon juice, gently enfolds carrots, Paris mushrooms and slow-cooked meat – all the secrets of a good veal blanquette. A lovely dish, a bourgeois extravagance that was served as a starter in the 18th century. At the end of the Second World War, blanquette with a side of white rice became a main dish. At Jadis, it’s made with the veal cheek, making it exceptionally tender.

  • © Time Out / Laurie Grosset

    Read our review of Bistro Volnay

    Pheasant and foie gras pie at Bistro Volnay

    Just the name alone is almost enough to sate an appetite. A royal dish that takes two of the most valued fowls in French gastronomy and put them together in a whole that’s crunchy, firm and fine all at the same time. The version at Bistro Volnay is beyond perfect.

  • © Maurice Rougemont

    Read our review of Caméléon

    Veal liver at Caméléon

    A divisive dish in France, some think of veal liver as a buttery creation with the comfort of childhood, while other regard it with the same school-dinners-induced horror as they do beef tongue. Still, this is an unmissable delicacy. For a seriously high class version, head for Caméléon. The king of liver in Paris will never lose his crown, and for good reason: the liver, from Corrèze, is first glazed in wine vinegar before being served in a thick slice accompanied by a royal macaroni cheese.

  • © Time Out

    Read our review of Au Pied de Cochon

    Tentation de Saint-Antoine at Au Pied de Cochon

    Enough to tempt even the most asetic of medieval monks, this legendary dish is as calorific as it is delicious. The pig snout is breaded and soft, the muscly tail fibrous and full of flavour, with crunchy ears and a tasty foot that needs to be patiently picked apart (it's got 32 little bones). It comes with chips and béarnaise sauce, which push the indulgence to extremes – there’s nothing catholic about this ‘temptation’, but we’re not saints.

  • © Time Out / Laurie Grosset

    Read our review of Chez L'Ami Jean

    Saddle of hare at Chez L'Ami Jean

    It’s best not to think too hard about the rear end of the hare from which the ‘saddle’ is taken, and to just appreciate the flavour when it turns up on your plate. It’s easy enough at Chez L’Ami Jean, where this is the speciality, among other game. The recipe is constantly reinvented, and the dish cooked in all seasons and with all sauces. In winter, for example, it is prepared with hops, vanilla and a spike of cocoa.

© Time Out / Oliver Knight

Read out review of Le Repaire de Cartouche

Pâté en croûte at Le Repaire de Cartouche

Though it has spent a long time out of fashion, the pâté en croute (a sort of gourmet pasty) has come back in full force in recent years, and the version at Le Repaire du Cartouche is formidable, with a thick crunchy crust, strongly-flavoured seasonal ingredients and a light refreshing jelly. It’s at its best in autumn, a mix of game and truffles. A good, solid bistro classic.

Our selection of Paris bistros

  • La Gauloise

    La Gaulouise is an institution. Becoming more and more modern, it offers excellent seasonal cooking at reasonable prices.
  • Jadis

    Jadis

    Young chef Guillaume Delage revisits classic dishes with a light and contemporary touch.
  • La Pulpéria

    A friendly, carnivorous bistro enlivened by the talents of its Argentinean chef and his South American team.
  • Le Repaire de Cartouche

    Specialising in game, cooked with great character.
  • Ribouldingue

    It's always full here, and everyone – including critics and chefs – comes here to eat simple and inspired bistro dishes.
  • Brasserie Mollard

    One of the oldest brasseries in Paris, which should be visited at least once in your life.
  • Au Pied de Cochon

    This brasserie is open all night; it's the kingdom of pork in all its forms.
  • Le Caméléon

    A bourgeois bistro that gives customers a royal welcome.
  • Bistro Volnay

    Smiling waiters, a welcoming dining room, a well-stocked cellar and a menu that offers the ideal balance between modernity and nostalgia.
  • Chez L'Ami Jean

    This basque venue with traditional décor and with contemporary cooking is never empty.

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