Help with making my last ' Traditional French Bistro ' Decision

Glad to announce that, after a ’ TWICE ’ postponed, Covid impacted European trip, we are now finally set to visit some of my favorite foodie destinations across the ocean!
For our ’ Parisian & nearby ’ eating itinerary, we have already finalized our choices…except one!!
…A ‘Reliable Traditional French Bistro’, serving well executed old-fashioned classics, on the evening of our arrival from Barcelona. Based on proximity to Metro and high ratings on other websites, I have narrowed down our choices to these three:

  • Chez Fernand ( 75006 )
  • Chez Germaine ( 75007 )
  • Aux Crus de Bourgogne ( 75002 )
    Love to pick on your expertise and brains to make one last selection. And do feel free to recommend other better ’ yummier ’ choices!

Thank you in advance!

FYI, our other Parisian and neighborhood choices include: Alliance, Granite, Assiette Champenoise, Clamato, Les Enfant du Marches, Josephine chez Dumonet, Opium-La Cabane.

I’m surprised not to see Chez Denise in Les Halles on your list.

Which Chez Fernand ? I believe there are two in the tourist-packed upper 6th. But whichever, I have no recent experience of Chez Germaine or either of the Chez Fernand. And the local tom-toms say little about them.

Aux Crus de Bourgogne, yes yes!

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There are indeed two Chez Fernand in the 6th, one is Chez Fernand Christine (on the rue Christine) and the other is Chez Fernand Guisarde (on the rue – you guessed it – Guisarde). I’ve been to the former but not the latter, but based on the website they are essentially the same. Good wines, traditional food that’s good enough to good, probably better at lunch than at dinner.

I’ve not been to Chez Germaine.

Aux Crus de Bourgogne is good, has good wines, and is probably a bit brighter atmosphere than Chez Fernand. Plus you can eat outdoors.

Just thought of another addition to exacerbate the anguish of choice. Au Moulin à Vent on the rue Fossés Saint-Bernard near the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th. Close enough to the tourist zones so probably convenient for Charles but a bit removed enough not to be just another tourist resto (despite having French onion soup on the menu). Very honest and authentic trad cuisine, all made from scratch unlike many other trad restaurants who sneak in sauces from huge vats and factory-made desserts from Metro cash-and-carry. (Admittedly, factory-made food from Metro is pas mal/ not bad or as dire as factory-made food in many other countries).

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I like Chez Georges.


So do I. Its where I learned, during my 1st trip to Paris in the '90s, that the large pot of herring set on our table after I ordered it as a 1st (entree) was not meant for me to eat all of it, but to take a portion and let the wait staff remove it.


NYT article today on the 6 best bistros in Paris that you absolutely have to go to……

…please, make them stop.

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Did you eat them all?

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To be fair, it’s not the “best” bistrots, just six to try. It’s a much better list than I’ve come to expect from Lobrano – good for him.

But …

Parcelles is so booked up, his mentioning it is not going to make any difference.

Les Parisiens may get a temporary boost (see below), in which case good for them, they deserve it, and location may make the boost more lasting than for the others.

Janine, which I wrote up here last January, deserves the recommendation, but I don’t imagine too many tourists leaving the single-digit arrondissements to try it. Likewise for Géosmine and des Terres, both of which were already on my list of places to try.

Last, Bistrot des Tournelles – perhaps more of what I think of as a Lobrano-type recommendation – has received enough unenthusiastic reviews from sources I trust that I have no interest in trying it, especially when looking at the website which makes it seem thoroughly unexceptional for Paris, and so I have no concern about the effect.

Based on other NY Times Paris recommendations in the past few years, I think fewer people follow them than in the past, and whatever boost in traffic there is seems to be short term.


Chez Denise is classic but the food is sad.

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Nothing sad about my favourite dishes like haricot de mouton, chou farci, daube de joue de boeuf, blanquette de veau, etc at Chez Denise. But I agree the offal, because it is done just as it was in 1950 for the unrefined working classes, does not suit modern tastes and can seem a little sad to some.


I had an underwhelming cotes de boeuf a couple of weeks ago there, but like a lot of what they cook.

“dishes like haricot de mouton, chou farci, daube de joue de boeuf, blanquette de veau, etc at Chez Denise.”

@ParnParis , as always, excellent advice.

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In the 7th arrondissement there is also La Fontaine de Mars and L’Auberge Bressane, the latter recently written up by Meg Zimbek in Paris by Mouth.

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Thank you so much! In fact Auberge Bressane was on my initial list!!
However, my daughter ate there last year ( …and loved it ) so for this upcoming trip, I wanted to pick something good and different for her!

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Sometimes you’re better off roasting the bird in hand than chasing the one in the bush.

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Still tested positive, 10 days after catching the Covid bug. Self imposed isolation at home provided me with ample time to do more research.
Came across a couple of candidates with menus that tickled our party’s fancy. Your feedback is much appreciated.

  1. Le Jacobine - They do not have a website. Reservations by phone only. Question?! - Does any of its
    staff who answers the phone speaks English? Food looks to have a bit of North African influence. Is my
    observation correct?
  2. La Poule au Pot - Did I by chance stumbled across the ’ Chateau Petrus ’ of Parisian bistro?
    :laughing: How come their price point is 30-40% more than most of their competitors?
    eg., Terrine de foie gras, 40 euro! cf to around 25 euro of others. Soup a l’oignon 20 euro cf to 14 euro
    and Steak au poivre, a whopping 70 euro cf to around 40 euro! Are quality and taste worthy of such
    hefty premium?? :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

Overall, how’s L’Amarante ?..looks a bit different from your typical bistros?
Interesting menu offering Veal brains, crispy pig’s trotter and pigeon.

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We’ve had a couple of excellent meals at Bistro Paul Bert in 11th. My favorite steak au poivre anywhere. Haven’t been since pre Covid and I’ve heard hard to get a reservation. We did try Bistrot des Tournelles and perhaps ordered incorrectly. Nothing memorable. Loved Parcelles on our May trip, but not really traditional bistro, I think?

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Amarante is a controversial restaurant. There’s a discussion of it in this thread if you scroll down a bit. Some people love it, others, such as I and Parn, find it “triste.” Everyone has to decide for him- or herself.