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Le Petit Fer à Cheval

Bars and pubs Le Marais
5 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Petit fer à cheval
Camille Griffoulières Petit fer à cheval


Gorgeously atmospheric, the rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais offers such a surfeit of cute boutiques, come-hither cafés and stylish bars that it can be difficult to pick a spot for lunch. Three of the venues on the street are run by the same outfit from Xavier Denamur – L’Etoile Manquante, La Belle Hortense and Le Petit Fer à Cheval – and this last is an excellent choice. Even a miniature Shetland pony would be pushed to squeeze his hoof into this fer à cheval (horseshoe) – the adorable little café, in business for more than 100 years, has one of France's smallest bars.

The tiny entrance, flanked by a couple of postcard-sized pavement tables, conceals a generous dining room at the rear, while in front the shining bar welcomes drinkers, quick lunches and dining alone. Stylishly shabby, Le Petit Fer à Cheval has the air of an authentic bistro, all dark wood, reclaimed Métro benches, patchy plaster, arty posters and gilt-edged lettering on the signs outside. The menu, too, is solidly bistro – affordable sandwiches, coffee, drinks and snacks, and a more substantial, beautifully done selection of things like duck confit, steak and salads. Brisk but cheerful staff keep the buzzing tables happy during peak hours, and people linger long over their coffees in the afternoons. All in all, a lovely atmosphere, good food and classic Parisian vibe – right down to the hole-in-ground toilet at the back, which is best avoided if possible.



Venue name: Le Petit Fer à Cheval
Address: 30 rue Vieille du Temple

Opening hours: 9am-2am daily
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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Had dinner here with my mum on our last night together in Paris as my sister had recommended it as a local hangout. We were both thrilled about it. Something about it felt inherently French, maybe the round bar with the menu written on the mirror, or the fact that we could sit outside, drinking from our wine carafe and watching all the people passing by on the road. The staff was very kind and humoured my broken attempts at French and it felt cozy and romantic.The food was alright (they had run out of chips!), not as good as I'd have expected from the amazing reviews but the great atmosphere made up for it and we didn't pay exorbitant prices so we were happy. 

This is overrated. I went to the restaurant because of this positive review. The restaurant is brightly lit, no candles, full of tourists with bog-standard to borderline bad food. It has a school dinners feel. I never write reviews online but I'm amazed that there only seem to be good reviews of this place and wanted to redress the balance. There are so many fantastic and cheaper restaurants in Paris, don't waste a precious night out here.

Went here a few years back with very young daughter for a quick supper. After a long day [including an earlier lunch at Allards] this was the perfect respite - good food, great service & economical [after lunch!] even the 5 year old adored it & wolfed down her steak-frites. Highly recommended.