One of the most iconic bistro in town when in Paris is Bouillon Chartier. It is one that is popular with both locals as well as tourists. A bistro served up which is said to have its roots from Paris is a local small restaurant, serving affordable simple meals with alcohol. Bistros are defined mostly by the foods they serve. You can expect to find French home-style cooking, and slow-cooked foods like cassoulet, a bean stew in them. Let me just say that Bouillon Chartier is nothing but small or modest. It is one of the most famous dining joint in Paris. Serving up iconic French dishes since 1896, it is more than a century old. Located in the 9th arrondissement which is also the main shopping district, it is perfect after a long day being on your feet. It is also open from 11.30am to midnight everyday. No reservation is allowed. Do expect long queues at peak hours although given the amount of tables, it move rather fast.
I arrive there slight around 8 and the queue was still manageable, there is still around 20 people in front of me. Inside the restaurant though is super packed and crowded. This place is definitely one of the most busiest bistro in town. I love the decor of the restaurant itself which is so Parisian and so gorgeous. High ceilings, hanging lights. Charming. The restaurant is open all year around and the menu is on traditional classic French cuisine.
Prices are also another reason why this place is so affordable. 10.60 Euros for Duck Confit, hit me up! A mcdonalds meal in Paris might be just as much. Most of the mains lies between 8.50 too 13 Euros. Service was also pretty good and they are well dressed. I was not expecting much in France but the server turn up to be awesome. I even use my “menu anglais s’il vous plaît” seems that my french is still usable. Menu are a little foldable ones from the server pocket. Of course given the crowd it is not attentive.
We decided to skip the starter and go straight to the mains. We got 4 of them to share. Grilled Pig Trotter, Roasted Chicken, Duck Confit and the Pollock Fillet. We also got a jug of Sangria to share which comes in at 6 Euros. A side of bread was also left by the waiter although it is nothing memorable to talk about. As per a bistro, they only serve a couple of dishes, it is something like their speciality. This perhaps also explains why the food arrive super fast. The wait was literally negligible.
First up was the Pollock Fillet with Leek Sauce. This is one out of the two fish dishes here. The fish was alright only. I will say that it is fresh, although the pollock isn’t something of my taste since it is a little too mushy. The dish also comes with some boiled potatoes. The leek sauce however was awesome and not too creamy. This cost 10.50 Euros.
We also got the Roasted Chicken with french fries. The chicken cost 9 Euros. Look at the price of it! This is very good. The chicken was moist, but the highlight here is that veloute which is so delicious and flavourful. It goes so well with the fries that literally act like a mop to wipe off all of it. A little pity would be the chicken skin, the dish would be perfect if it’s crispy! French and Roast Chicken never goes wrong!
Duck was awesome and my favourite out of all the dishes. After all you can never fault French and duck. They are literally the duck experts. The Duck Confit is also a very classic french dish. It came with fingering potatoes. The skin was crispy like a chip and the meat is super tender. The perfect example of how a Duck Confit should be. The duck cost 10.60. Worth it! I love it so much.
The Grilled Pig’s trotter was nothing to talk about. This is an absolute waste of my 10.50 Euros. It is just full of fat and there is no meat at all. Skip it at all course.
I am definitely recommend everyone to come to Bouillon Chartier. You are able to get classic French dishes at an affordable price in the city centre. Furthemore you get the real ambience of a French bistro with “French” service. It might just be the cheapest restaurant in Paris. The popularity might leads to lines in the courtyard or sometimes on the sidewalk outside. Tables are shared between strangers and presentations is simple. Check is also simple with the dishes written right on the tablecloth.