Erin Hagen

10 Best Bistrots in Paris

The bistro or bistrot is as important to French culture as the café and croissant. Defined as a small restaurant that serves both coffee and alcohol, the bistro is the center of daily life for most Parisians, as well as a delight for travellers! In this article, we will explore some of the best bistros in Paris. You don't want to miss this quintessential French experience on your next trip to the City of Lights!


To begin at the beginning, where did the term 'bistrot' come from? Spoiler alert: it isn't French. Legend has it that the term was coined by the invading Russian army after Napoleon's defeat, in 1814. Frustrated by the slow restaurant service, the Russian soldiers yelled 'bistro!', or 'hurry up!", and the term has stuck ever since. The sign that is proudly displayed outside La Mère Catherine (Montmartre), indicates that the term originated at their establishment.

#1. Chez Janou

Nestled in the bustling Marais district, Chez Janou offers a tranquil escape on a serene side street, far from the city's hustle and bustle. This charming restaurant is a true culinary haven, boasting a strong influence from southern French cuisine. Guests can immerse themselves in an authentic dining experience, surrounded by the establishment's unique art deco decor. Chez Janou's commitment to creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere is evident in every detail, from its carefully curated menu to its thoughtfully designed interior, making it one of the best bistros in Paris, for those seeking a taste of southern France in the heart of the city.

Address: 2 rue Roger Verlomme, 75003, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#2 Le Bistrot du Peintre

The Bistrot du Peintre is an Art Nouveau treasure, and is a definite 'must visit' for any Belle Epoque enthusiasts. In operation since the early 1900s, it was and is simply one of the best bistrots in Paris! A short walk from Bastille, it is off the regular tourist's path. A great spot to sit and watch the world go by. Hot tip: their 'Ravioles du Dauphiné' is to die for!

Address: 116 Avenue Ledru-Rollin, 75011, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#3 La Tartine

Art Deco magnifique! La Tartine is a jewel. It might just be the perfect place to start your day with a quiet French breakfast. Tartine is often placed at the top of many top bistros in Paris lists, and for good reason. Make sure you give it a visit.

Address: 24 rue de Rivoli, 75004, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#4 Le Bistrot du Paris

Opened in 1965, Le Bistrot du Paris will certainly have you feeling like you've stepped back in time! On the other hand, it is a wonderful place to make new memories while enjoying authentic French cuisine. Also, this lovely bistrot has reasonable prices, and a charming ambiance!

Address: 33 Rue de Lille, 75007, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#5 La Recyclerie

Located near an abandoned railway line, dining at La Recyclerie is one of the most unique experiences in Paris. Conveniently, it is also situated near 'Les Puces' one of Paris' largest flea markets. La Recyclerie's focus on freshness, as well as their commitment to ecological practices and education is remarkable! Their menu varies every day depending on the availability of seasonal produce. They also offer a variety of educational courses, and have an urban farm. Also, any organic waste left over from the day is fed to the animals at their farm. "Waste not, want not"!

Address: 83 Boulevard Ornano, 75018, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#6 Le Bistrot d'Oulette

This tiny bistrot might be the perfect place for a romantic rendez-vous! The traditional French menu, and many happy Google reviews don't lie!

Address: 38 rue des Tournelles, 75004, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#7 Aux Petits Onions

Located in the 20th arrondissement, Aux Petits Onions is favoured by the hip crowd. With friendly staff, a cool ambiance, and simple yet delightful food, it is highly recommended!

Address: 11 Rue Dupont de l'Eure, 75020, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#8 La Mère Catherine

La Mère Catherine has been a staple of Montmartre since 1793, and is a self-proclaimed 'best bistrot in Paris'. As mentioned earlier, this bistrot proudly boasts that it is the first one in Paris. Steps away from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, it faces the famous Artist Square (Place du Tertre). Certainly, it is a joy for art enthusiasts, for those who love to people watch and let the world pass by!

Address: 6 Place du Tertre, 75018, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#9 Le Petit Marché

Le Petit Marché might just have it all! This bistrot has charming bohemian decor, creative modern menu, and a cozy atmosphere...this could end up being your new 'home away from home' in Paris!

Address: 9 rue de Béarn, 75003, PARIS

Menu: please click here

#10 La Palette

Located in Saint-Germain, La Palette has hosted the likes of Cézanne, Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, and even Jim Morrison. The exterior and one of the main rooms were classified as a historic monument in 1984. Many of the ceramics and works of art that decorate the bistrot date from the 1930s. Even the late greats can agree, it is possibly one of the best bistrots in Paris. In conclusion, simple yet divine!

Address: 43 rue de Seine, 75006, PARIS

Menu: please click here

La Vie Parisienne

In conclusion, we hope that you enjoy some of the best bistrots in Paris! Of course, it is all a matter of taste...we guarantee that once you find your favourite, you might become a regular.

p.s. If you happen to be wondering where to find the best pastries in Paris, we can help! Try here.

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