Bouillon Chartier Review

“Bouillon” is a term used to describe a type of restaurant that initially served workers from factories, particularly from Les Halles.

Bouillon Chartier is arguably the most renowned establishment of this restaurant style in France. While the prices are quite reasonable, let’s explore whether this is a dining destination worth considering.

The restaurant


❝ Offrir un repas digne à un prix modeste ❞

Les frères Chartier / 1896

Bouillon Chartier is aiming to deliver a decent and affordable meal for workers.

On this occasion, we decided to dine at Bouillon Chartier, situated in the 9th arrondissement of Paris near the Opera, to be more precise, in Les Grands Boulevards.

Despite being an economical dining choice, many Bouillon Chartier locations exude a sense of grandeur. Upon entering, one could easily mistake it for a high-end restaurant based on its appearance.

Usually, this place has a huge waiting line that prolonge to the streets. But if you are getting sooner around 6pm. You’ll enter in the restaurant quite quickly.

The interior space is often expansive and visually impressive. It bears a striking resemblance to Brasserie George in Lyon, albeit with a slightly more upscale ambiance.

Given that the Chartier brothers established their restaurants in 1896, I would imagine that the décor remains true to the era and has undergone minimal changes since then.

This, in my opinion, is a positive aspect as it imparts an original and authentic charm to the establishment, unlike modern franchises.

Even the restroom facilities bear a striking resemblance to those of a classic establishment from the era.

While I typically refrain from taking pictures of bathrooms, these were quite noteworthy and share a design reminiscent of what you might find in Parisian metro stations.

The menu

Alright, let’s begin with this: how often do you come across a menu with the date printed on it? It’s rather remarkable and speaks volumes about the popularity these establishments enjoy.

The menu is absolutely ideal for this kind of establishment. It’s simple and straightforward, devoid of any pretension whatsoever.

They serve the kind of food that people typically enjoy on a daily basis, nothing overly fancy or out of the ordinary. Nowadays, even in regular restaurants, you often find fancy options, but here, there’s no pretentiousness – they’re just too authentic for that.

The menu is quite simple : Starters, Fish, Main Courses, Veggies, Cheese, Desserts and Ice creams.

The menu offers some choices for wine and appetizers, but that’s pretty much it. It’s so succinct, with just a few lines, that most people could make their selection in a matter of seconds.

Obviously since this is a french restaurant for workers, they obviously have a dedicated card for alcohol and drinks.

Bouillons are bustling and brimming with energy. People relish the opportunity to leisurely dine, sip drinks, and engage in conversation over food. This shared love for communal dining is perhaps the most universally appreciated aspect, and it’s what I value most.

I visited this place with my French friends for a birthday celebration one day, and we nearly got asked to leave. But hey, that’s just how you embrace life here, and although I am an introvert, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our experience

One aspect I adore about this place is its popularity, allowing you to enter without fear of judgment, and even wear your hat indoors.

Here, you won’t encounter attempts to educate or condescension towards your grounded demeanor. In fact, this place is about as down-to-earth as it gets.

The waitstaff here are impeccably dressed and highly skilled. They jot down your order on the table and calculate the bill right before your eyes using mental arithmetic.

I must admit, I’m rather impressed; it feels like stepping back in time a hundred years and discovering that people were more refined and intellectually adept in those days.

Appetizers are straightforward and reasonably priced, resembling what you might find in a school cafeteria for the most part.

We opted for the snails, which arrived piping hot and appropriately seasoned—neither too salty nor bland. Similarly, the avocado with shrimp sauce was uncomplicated yet satisfying.

My wife ordered the fish and was taken aback to discover that it was served without lemon or sauce. However, the fish emerged from the oven perfectly cooked—crispy on the outside yet tender and moist inside, a feat that’s often challenging to replicate at home.

Despite the absence of sauce with the fish, the seasoning of salt and pepper proved to be sufficient, rendering the dish quite enjoyable and allowing us to savor the true flavor of the fish.

I opted for the confit de canard with potatoes, and once again, it was exactly as I anticipated. The duck was almost fried on the outside, resulting in a wonderfully crispy texture, while remaining well-seasoned and moist on the inside.

The potatoes were equally well-seasoned. Frankly, they seemed like they could have come straight out of a frozen package or even a can. However, given the popularity of the place and the rich flavor, I didn’t mind. In all fairness, a can of confit de canard these days can cost a hefty 15 euros, so the value is certainly evident.

We also ordered a saucisse frite for our son, and the Frankfurter sausages were tasty and less salty compared to those purchased at the supermarket.

The fries were delightfully crispy and came unsalted. In my opinion, this meal was ideal for a child, surpassing some options found in other restaurants.

We also decided to indulge in a crème caramel, which was made with real caramel and was incredibly sweet.

Typically, you’d expect a diluted syrup, so it had been quite some time since I’d tasted real caramelized sugar to this extent. It was so rich that I had almost forgotten how intense the flavor could be.

Again the desert was nothing fancy very straight forward and deliver as it should.


9.0 out of 10.

Alright, I must admit that this review may not be entirely impartial, given that my favorite people in the world are always down-to-earth, and this place caters to such individuals.

For me, Bouillon Chartier epitomizes what a true endeavor should be. It’s not merely a profit-driven entity but an organization striving to achieve a noble goal.

Delivering a decent and affordable meal is precisely what this establishment excels at. Moreover, the overall experience is delightful: the venue exudes a remarkable ambiance, the waitstaff are exceptionally competent and well-presented.

The menu is straightforward, offering food that is simple yet satisfying. In the realm of art, we often say that simplicity involves subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. Bouillon Chartier embodies this ethos perfectly.


Bouillon Chartier Grands Boulevards

Address: 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris

Phone: 01 47 70 86 29



What do you think?

Written by dudeoi

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings