Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Best Brasserie in Paris

Whether you live in Paris or are just passing through, you have to eat at my favorite brasserie. This particular eatery is so good, so perfect, so Parisian, that I'm willing to put myself out on a limb and call it the best brasserie in all of Paris. It's a big claim to make for a city that has a brasserie on nearly every corner, but Le Bouquet Saint Paul, tucked into a busy corner just a short walk from Notre Dame, La Bastille, and the heart of the Marais district, is simply that good.

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
Paris 75004
Open 7 days a week, 6am to 2am
Metro: Saint Paul


Cancemini4 said...

Love the pics! Really wish I had time to check this place out last month, oh well, guess there's always next time :)

Zhu said...

Thank you for the address! Brasserie can be extremely good and friendly, but some are just... yuck and overpriced. Good to have an address!

RasoirJ said...

Two good spots from my last visit to Paris in 2001. Don't know if they're still in biz, but we had exquisite dinners at the tiny Au Bon Accueil and wonderful late-afternoon café au lait and fruit crumble with cream at Deux Abeilles.

Tanya said...

@Cancemini4, Yes, there's next time. You're on the Paris once a year schedule now, right?

@Zhu, You hit the nail on the head: yuck and overpriced. It's so hard to find a truly good brasserie. This is definitely one of them. Enjoy!

@RasoirJ, I'll look into these when I'm there in December and let you know if they're still around.