A French friend first introduced me to Le Bouquet Saint Paul in the spring of 2008, and I soon realized is has everything you want in a Parisian bistro. It's small, but not too small. It has a real bar, cozy lighting, and lots of window-side tables for people-watching. The wait staff is friendly, but not overbearing. The crowd is heavily local. And the food, oh, the food! From a simple croque monsieur (on pain poilâne, bien sûr), to a juicy entrecôte, to lasagna fait maison, to a hearty boeuf bourguignon, I have never eaten a bad meal at Le Bouquet Saint Paul. What's more, the prices remain very reasonable, with a recent meal of two drinks, two main dishes, two desserts and two espressos costing €52, which includes tax and tip. And, ladies, the bathroom is clean. That in itself, in Paris, is nothing short of a miracle.
In my experience, finding a good meal while traveling - one that is delicious, reasonably priced, and eaten in good company - can be a terribly frustrating endeavor. Especially in a city as large as Paris, where the sheer number of options threatens to leave you overwhelmed and disappointed if you make the wrong choice. So while I always like to try new places, I also like to have a few sure things in my back pocket. Le Bouquet Saint Paul has become one of my favorite go-to Parisian addresses. What are yours?
Le Bouquet Saint Paul
85, rue Saint Antoine
Open 7 days a week, 6am to 2am
Metro: Saint Paul