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100 best restaurants: Bistros

Our pick of the new batch of gastro bistros


Les Arlots Bistrot Paris ©Time Out Paris


Les Marches Bistrots Paris ©Time Out Paris


La cave de l'os à moelle Bistrots Paris ©Time Out Paris


L'Office - Bistrot Paris - DR / © L'Office 


Le 6 Paul Bert - Bistrot Paris © Time Out Paris


Le 6 Paul Bert - Bistrot Paris © Time Out Paris


L'Office - Bistrot Paris - DR / © L'Office


Le Comptoir du Relais -  Bistrot Paris © Time Out Paris / Laurie Grosset


Le Comptoir du Relais - Bistrot Paris © Time Out Paris / Laurie Grosset


Tempero - DR / © Tempero - Mathieu Guinet


Le Pantruche - Bistrot Paris © Time Out Paris / Thierry Richard


La Cantine du Troquet - Bistrot Paris © Time Out Paris / Oliver Knight

They’ve been termed ‘gastro bistrots’, ‘néo-bistrots’ and other things besides. And with good reason: much like Britain’s gastropubs, this new breed of smart bistros offers affordable, creative cuisine in classy surroundings. Bistros, while a French institution, don’t have a clear-cut cuisine of their own; cue some of the country’s most creative chefs, who spice up these venues with some interesting – and always delectable – dishes. Can't find your favourite on our list? Let us know in the comments box below.

Recommended: The 100 best restaurants in Paris

Our pick of Paris’s smartest and most inventive bistros

La Cave de l'Os à Moelle


Thierry Faucher's two addresses, L’Os à Moelle and its cave, on the Rue de Vasco de Gama belie their 15th arrondissment location. The first is more gourmet cuisine, the second a homier affair, where guests perch at a large wooden tables and make the most of a decent-value ‘help yourself’ menu (two courses are €19 at lunchtime), laid out on hot plates. The rustic starters include terrine, grated carrot, eggs, smoked herring and red cabbage salad, while mains span fish soup, salt cod brandade, tripe, ratatouille and polenta. It’s all great, humble, comforting grub - just leave room for the cheese platter and puddings.

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15th arrondissement

Le Baratin


Star pastry chef Pierre Hermé visits this cheerful little bistro and wine bar high up in Belleville at least every two weeks to fill up on Raquel Carena's homely cooking with the occasional exotic twist. Typical of her style, which draws on her native Argentina, are tuna carpaccio with cherries, roast Basque lamb with new potatoes and spinach, and hazelnut pudding. If the food weren't so fantastic, it would still be worth coming for the mostly organic wines. Le Baratin attracts gourmands from all over Paris - so be sure to book.

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Eastern Paris

Le Bistrot Paul Bert


This heart-warming bistro gets it right almost down to the last crumb. A starter salad of ris de veau illustrates the point, with lightly browned veal sweetbreads perched on a bed of green beans and baby carrots with a sauce of sherry vinegar and deglazed cooking juices. A roast shoulder of suckling pig and a thick steak with a raft of golden, thick-cut frites look inviting indeed. Desserts are superb too, including what may well be the best île flottante in Paris. The lunchtime prix fixe menu is remarkable value too.

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Eastern Paris

Le Bon Saint-Pourçain


Run by David Lanheur (also behind VivantRacines and Racines 2), Le Bon Saint-Pourcain more than lives up to its predecessors. The interior is classic, with stone walls and white tablecloths and an open corner kitchen where chef Mathieu Techer constructs his exceptional dishes. Let the bubbly sommelier guide you to a starter glass from the alluring list while you contemplate the chalkboard menu; terrine de campagne, duck leg with fennel, whole asparagus in cream and raspberries with Chantilly cream and mascarpone on a lime meringue. The ideal special occasion dinner spot.

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Le Grand Pan


Young chef Benoît Gauthier trained with Christian Etchebest at the nearby Le Troquet, and he's come up with a clever formula that surfs the current Paris preference for great produce simply cooked. At dinner, a complimentary starter of soup is served - maybe courgette or white bean - and then you choose from the selection of grilled meats and lobster, many of which are designed for two people. Everything comes with a delicious mountain of homemade chips and green salad. Desserts run to homely choices like strawberry crumble or rice pudding with caramel sauce.

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Beyond the centre



Brother-in-law to the chef-owner at Frenchie, Alsatian-born Nicolas Scheidt is making a name of his own in a neighbourhood not known for its bistros. Wallpaper-decorated pillars, big mirrors and hanging lights give the dining room a modern spirit that's reflected in the food. Not everything works perfectly but there are flashes of brilliance, as in a salad of squid, cherry tomatoes and olives, or the slow-cooked guinea hen. Good to know about in this area, even if the bill is a bit steep.

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Faubourg Montmartre

Le Pantruche


The name is old-fashioned (Pantruche is an old slang word for ‘Parisian’) and the Pigalle location a little frenetic, but once inside Pantruche its charm is immediately apparent, with a classic and cosy bistro décor, myriad mirrors and smiling staff. Young chef Franck Baranger, who cut his teeth at some of the most prestigious Paris establishments, offers simple yet sophisticated cooking at affordable prices – there’s a set menu for €17.

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Les Arlots

Tucked away at the top of the Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, charming bistro Les Arlots has the jovial atmosphere of a Sunday lunch round your grandparents’: sociable, homely, reliable, and almost certain to fill you up. Go for sausage and mash (€17) – an admittedly simple dish, but one that’s incredibly well done here  – or the mature undercut of beef, which comes served with sautéed potatoes and a red wine and wild garlic sauce (equally unoriginal and yet still very well executed). 

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10th arrondissement

Les Marches

It may come as a surprise that one of Paris’s three official ‘relais routiers’ (restaurants catering to truck drivers) can be found in the 16th arrondissement, just behind the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Palais de Tokyo. The spot is definitely an original with its blue and red ‘Les Routiers’ logo, red-checked tablecloths, and a menu that features classics like oeufs mayonnaise, veal brains and baba au rhum. For dessert, the profiteroles come enrobed in a homemade chocolate sauce: the perfect ending to the meal. 

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16th arrondissement



Sparky Brazilian owner Alessandra Montagne works wonders in the kitchen, turning top quality ingredients into a sophisticated menu of elegant and hearty 'neo-bistrot' dishes. The food is flawless, from the starter (crispy pork with saté mayonnaise) to the large main of superbly braised pork (with a celery purée, beetroot and glazed carrots) and dessert (poached pear with aubergine compote and a vanilla-rosemary ice cream). The prices are exceptional for cooking of this quality: three courses is just €20. The wines are also very reasonably priced, the cheapest for €3, and the most expensive for €6.

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