bouillon restaurants paris

Guide to the Bouillon Restaurants of Paris

If you’re looking to find out more about the Bouillon Restaurants in Paris then our guide has you covered. You may have done some research on Paris or seen videos on social media on busy restaurants with ‘bouillon’ in their names. I can tell you that they’re popular for a reason – they serve up cheap, great quality, traditional Parisian bistro food.

Sounds good? Read on and discover more about the amazing historical restaurants.

What is a Bouillon?

Bouillons are traditional, large, high-cover restaurants serving classic French food at an affordable price. The word ‘bouillon’ means broth or soup in English and are served at these restaurants which gave them the name. The original bouillons were started to offer high-quality, low-cost meals to workers who needed to eat quickly.

The first bouillon was opened in 1854 by butcher Adolphe-Baptiste Duval. His first menu offered one dish included a cut of meat and a soup (a bouillon) and fed the local market workers. Nowadays they’re popular with all classes of society and allow tourists to try French food on a budget in Paris.

Bouillon Julien

Le Bouillon Julien is superb modern bouillon that is actually a new iteration of an old restaurant (formerly Restaurant Julien). Originally built in 1901, the restaurant was decorated in an Art Nouveau style which, fortunately, has remained unchanged to this day. The mahogany bar and the four stained glass windows are all original and were designed and built by well known French artisans. It is a stunning dining hall and well worth the visit just to see the incredible design!

Bouillon julien paris

Re-opened in 2018 under its current guise, Bouillon Julien offers a bouillon style menu. I’d argue it’s slightly more expensive yet better quality than its rivals. The starters contain the usual suspects including an excellent rabbit terrine with pickles and very good escargots (garlicky snails!) which can often be hit and miss. The main courses include steak frites which comes with sautéd potatoes or fries. The bavette steak was well cooked and tender and came with a peppercorn sauce. Their signature main course is their bouillon – a beef soup with noodles and flavoured with lemongrass and coriander. The beef is tender and full of flavour and priced at only €9.

The desserts are equally as well done – expect choux chantilly, sorbets and their own creation – a fruit cake slice doused in a chocolate sauce. Finally their drink selection is similar to the other bouillons yet slightly more expensive. However you can get 2/3 of a bottle of wine (50cl -red or white) for only €9.

pate de campagne

What to know before visiting

  • Open every day from 11:45am to midnight
  • You will need to queue during peak hours

Address: 16 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010
Tel: 01 47 70 12 06

Bouillon Pigalle & République

Another very modern yet excellent bouillon with two locations – one just off the Place de la République and one next to the Pigalle metro station. I’ve included both locations in one section as they have very similar menus and close to an identical set-up. Their first location in Pigalle opened in 2017 and has been enormously successful and is very popular with locals. One of the best bouillons in terms of the quality/price ratio, it’s great to go for a quick meal or for a long sit-down dinner with lots of wine!

bouillon restaurant paris Pigalle

Their large food menu covers a lot of French classics and are, on the whole, very well done. For starters there’s œufs-mayo (hard boils eggs with mayonnaise), French onion soup, snails cooked in garlic butter and a really good duck terrine. Their main course menu generally has a few seasonal dishes that rotate but they’ll always have some of their classics such as Beef Bourguignon with coquillettes pasta. Other mains to note is their steak-frites and quarter roasted chicken with great French fries. To finish there’s a small selection of French cheeses and some very good desserts – I always get their Île flottante. Like the other bouillons on this list their drinks are incredibly cheap yet very good quality.

beef bourguignon

What to know before visiting

  • Both locations are open every day from midday to midnight
  • You will need to queue during peak hours at both locations – up to 1 hour


22 Bd de Clichy, 75018
39 Bd du Temple, 75003


Bouillon Chartier

One of the oldest bouillons still going, the Bouillon Chartier was opened by the Chartier brothers in 1896. They have 3 bouillons in Paris but their original location is near the Grands Boulevards metro, on the right bank. The old, original dining room is beautiful and is as traditionally French as you can get. The service is old school with the servers all wearing smart attire including bow ties. Don’t come here expecting a relaxed dinner – it’s loud yet slightly manic with servers rushing round getting food and drink to customers’ tables. That said, it is incredibly fun.

Bouillon Chartier queue outside

Bouillon Chartier is one of the cheapest bouillons in the city – their entrées start from only €1! You’ll find garlic snails, blue cheese salad and leeks with vinaigrette on the starter menu. For mains there’s some more rustic French dishes (for those who are daring) available compared to other bouillons including grilled porc feet and andouillette sausage (made from the large intestine from a pig). If that doesn’t tempt you they also have really good steak, roast chicken, sausage & lentils and confit duck! Finally, be warned as in the old bouillons you may be seated next to other diners on certain tables. As one waiter said “it’s a bouillon, that’s the point!”.

Bouillon restaurant profiteroles

What to know before visiting

  • Open every day from 11:30am to midnight
  • You will need to queue during peak hours – up to 1 hour
  • You may be sat next to strangers!

Address: 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009
Tel: 01 47 70 86 29

Bouillon Racine

Bouillon Racine is certainly the bouillon on the higher-end of this guide. It’s located on the left bank, near Odéon and the popular latin quarter. Opened in 1906 and first ran but the Chartier family (owners of the Bouillon Chartier) it started life under the name Grand Bouillon Camille Chartier. Nowadays it’s known as Bouillon Racine (after the street, rue Racine) after re-opening in 1996 after extensive an renovation. Similar to Bouillon Julien, its dining room is classic Art Nouveau and it’s beautiful.

The kitchen is headed up by chef Alexandre Belthoise (former 1* at Auberge des Templiers) who offers high end takes on classic French dishes. The food is much refined than other bouillons and, as you would imagine, the prices are higher. Starters include foie gras mi-cuit and seabass tartare seasoned with kalamansi lemon. Their take on pot-au-feu focuses on spiced, tender, braised brisket with glazed carrots. The most expensive dish on the menu is €28 – veal rump with morel mushrooms. Despite the high prices it’s worth a visit if you’re on the left bank in the city.

What to know before visiting

  • Unlike other bouillons, they don’t offer non-stop service
  • You can reserve online

Address: 3 Rue Racine, 75006
Tel: 01 44 32 15 60

Comments 2
  1. We are two adults staying on the Left Bank close to Musee D’Orsay. We are willing to Uber to one of the restaurants that you have suggested. Which of these is your favorite and would you recommend above the others? Thank you so very much! Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle,

      My favourite has to be Bouillon Julien and then Bouillon Pigalle in 2nd place. Bouillon Julien generally has a smaller queue and I find the food to be slightly better quality. That said I’ve probably visited Bouillon Pigalle more and I’ve never had a bad experience (it’s slightly cheaper too). Hope that helps!

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