'You don't become a legend by accident' boasts Bouillon Chartier on their website. Certainly, the two brothers who founded the place in 1896 – heads held high and collars starched – pulled off something special. Today, the site in a former railway station expresses all the charm of Paris at its Belle Epoque best, all high ceilings, enormous mirrors and twinkling lamps.
Classic or cliché? The uniformed waiters scurry around, your neighbour at the next table will probably try to engage you in conversation, and American couples loudly discuss the merits of their saucission ardéchois. Everything required for the 'typical' Parisian brasserie is here, making it the sort of place you go to cheer yourself up and feel part of another world, a process in which the clichés are strangely important. Of course, you don't need the spirit of Joséphine Baker to dispatch a rump steak with peppercorn sauce and chips (€11.50), but all the same, the cheap glass of Bordeaux (€2.50) tastes a lot better, here in the jolly art deco brouhaha, than it would anywhere else.
The menu is vast and covers everything you could ever want from a Parisian brasserie: snails (€6), oeuf mayonnaise (a slightly unbelievable €2.50), sweet pepper salad (€5), andouillette with mustard (€11) and several types of steak frites. The affordable prices and friendly service convinced us in the end to upgrade Bouillon Chartier from an amusing, clichéd spectacle to our new regular hangout.
7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre
|Opening hours:||Daily 11.30am-11pm|
|Transport:||Métro : Grands Boulevards|
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Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
The people giving this place positive reviews must be smoking crack right before hand... the prices are very cheap which is nice but the food is worse than McDonald's, literally some of the worst food that has entered my body, I've had microwaved pies with more flavour than anything I ate here. The Parmesan cheese was tasteless, the spaghetti bolognese was watery and just tasteless, no quality, cheap over cooked pasta. Chips were just junk.. worse than fast food fries. Bread was cold and hard.. veal chop was small and had barely any meat on it, also was covered in a really shit mushroom sauce which I expects but didn't think it would be quiet as shit as it was, the spaghetti on the side was plain, with no sauce which is normal but was all watery and overdone like the spaghetti from the bolognese. Overall it was just shit, might as well pop down to McDonald's for a chicken mayo burger for only 99p
Yes it's touristy but wow has it got charm. Insane value (still) and remains on my must-do Paris list.
Easily one of the best value for money bistros in Paris - I've been coming here for years on the recommendation of my grandpa (who came here regularly for the 40 years before that..!)
Just to update the view on chartier. This restaurant is a must visit in Paris. The food isn't fine dining but is good honest French cuisine at astonishingly good prices. The staff are friendly and helpful and the belle epoch interior is stunning but for me the best part of visiting here is the atmosphere. On my first visit, being a typically reserved Englishman the thought of being seated next to diners that I had not met before was somewhat discomforting but I should not have worried. The clientele is a broad mix of locals and tourists from all over the world and I have had many interesting chats with people who I would not ordinarily have met. My 5 star rating is reflected in that I have been dining here over a twenty year period and have never been disappointed including my last visit in December 2015.
Those that have given this a poor review are totally ignorant of what a cheap, Parisian Bistro entails. If you're looking for Michelin quality food for fast food prices then realism is something which has past you by. Chartier is popular all year round, day or night with the local Parisian crowd for no-frills grub for an amazing price. Worth trying if you understand the concept - if the concept is beyond you perhaps stick with McDonalds. To the pleb below - the cheese is Gruyere not Parmesan which, funnily enough, is why it doesn't taste like Parmesan!