Café des Musées

Address: 49, rue de Turenne, 75003
Hours: Open every day for lunch & dinner
Telephone: +33 1 42 72 96 17
Website / Book Online / Facebook / Instagram

Café des Musées has changed hands many times over the years, and as a result, quality has been highly variable. In its most recent iteration, Café des Musées is a more-than-serviceable bistro with a particularly notable beef bourguignon (22.50€). The meat is caramelized, slow-cooked for five hours until fork tender, and glazed in a rich red wine sauce. Escargots here come out of their shells and are served stuffed in mushroom caps, which soak up all that tasty herb and garlic butter (11.50€).

Beef bourguignon

Unfortunately, the ups and downs in quality over the years seem to have alienated the locals. Anglophones may forget they’re in Paris, seeing as the dining room is usually monopolized by fellow visitors. But those looking for a classic, reasonably-priced bistro in the heart of Paris – one that’s open every day of the week – will be hard-pressed to find another like this one.


Café des Musées in Pictures


In Other Words

Télérama (2019) writes that following a decline in quality after Pierre Lecoutre’s departure, Café des Musées is, once again, a “joyous bistro.” The Japanese team in the kitchen turns out French classics including the star, beef bourguignon in a cast-iron cocotte.

Restos sur le Grill (2019) goes so far as to claim that this beef bourguignon surpasses that of the reviewer’s mother – a master of the dish.

Le Figaro (2019) nods to the mainly American clientele seeking an ultra-traditional Parisian experience. The outlet names this one of the top tables in the Marais and named its beef bourguignon the best in Paris in 2018.

Reviews under previous management.

Table à Découvert (2014) “C’est ouvert le lundi midi, ce qui est pratique, ils sont bien aimables, ce que j’aime aussi, rapides et la cuisine s’avère efficace et goûteuse. Parisiens, gens de tous âges, de tous styles, Américains, moi j’aime bien cette multiplicité, je m’y sens toujours plus à l’aise que quand c’est monogenre. La cuisine présente dans l’entrée, le vieux carrelage, les banquettes, les tables et le niveau sonore élevé nous introduisent tout de suite dans la quintessence du bistrot parisien et à 17€ la formule déjeuner, je ne demande pas mieux…”

John Talbott (2014) “Although they are trying, the front room man and rest of the staff were great but the new chef needs to shape-up.”

Reviews with Pierre Lecoutre as chef/owner.

Les Grands Ducs (2014) “Excellente préparation des légumes, plutôt rare dans l’univers bistrotier.”

David Lebovitz (2014) “The meat is seared so it gets a nice crust, rather than some of the ropey-dopey steaks you come across, and the French fries are freshly made from real potatoes and cooked until crisp and brown. The portion is so generous that you can afford to share them with tablemates.”

Patricia Wells (2012) ” … fun and funky… Chef-owner Pierre Lecoutre is a master at the stove, and diners can watch him perform in his tiny, open kitchen, shifting copper pots, stirring and searing, offering up gorgeous, giant entrecôte (beef rib steak), frying up deliciously crisp and golden French fries…”

Le Figaro (2011) “Que du bon… La saison s’exprime aussi à travers une salade de girolles (excellentissime), un colvert rôti, coing et potimarron, un parmentier de faisan et quelques fantaisies tripières.”

David Lebovitz (2007) “… a terrific restaurant in Paris… a neighborhood-type restaurant where people just go for good food but are welcome to linger…”

Photos by Meg Zimbeck © Paris by Mouth

11 Replies to “Café des Musées”

  1. We had a great meal; Beautifully presented, tasty french classics, really friendly staff and not expensive.
    The rabbit croustade was delicious.
    Only down point surrounded by tourists!

  2. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants and my one stand by for a great meal, but it changed owners and what a disappointment, from the all too bright lighting to mainly the food, which was mediocre, I ordered chicken which was under cooked and bland, I brought 3 people with me, every dish was tasteless, I will sadly never go back.

  3. Since this place was sold, cleaned up and re-opened this September, it has gone tragically downhill. This was my neighborhood joint, but no more.

    All my respects to the waitstaff, who have to put up with an owner who knows far less about the restaurant business than they do, and “cuistots” who were probably trained at McDo’s.

    I would strongly suggest PBM go back for another visit – Dr. Talbott’s review was fair warning. This is not the same restaurant it once was – only the name remains the same.

  4. Can’t say this was my favourite meal by any stretch of imagination. I went to this place since it was conveniently located in the neighborhood where I wanted to be. The service was rather random as was the food. Not on my list to retry.

  5. I remember reading somewhere that the restaurant is closed from 1-7 Jan but I can’t seem to find where I got this information from anymore. Can any one confirm if the restaurant will be on vacation on the same dates in 2013?

  6. Based on all the recommendations for Cafe des Musees, we decided to give it a try. I would say it ranks as one of the worst meals I’ve ever eaten out. We had chicken (tasteless) and the steak and frites (very mediocre, frites were blah). It’s very touristy and doesn’t feel at all like a typical French bistro. Go someplace else if you want a great meal in Paris.

  7. Just went on the recommendation from your site. My husband and I loved it. He had the cocotte poulet (next table saw it on our table and ordered it!) and I had the ribsteak frites-excellent. Staff was lovely and attentive. The place had a good energy. Exactly what one wants out of a Paris corner bistro. Authenticity, straightforward quality food and value. You guys know what your talking about.

  8. The menu is very simple, but everything was executed very well. We had the escargot with mushrooms, pork and steak. The sauces were uniformly excellent and everything was what you’d imagine a corner bistro to be. You can taste the difference and quality. It’s an exceptional little place.

  9. We recently dined there. Personally, I found the restaurant’s menu to be mediocre and ordinary. It reminded me of cheap eats where we went 40 years ago – on the rue Saint Benoit in Saint Germain. No reason to go back.

  10. Based on a friend’s recommendation, I took another friend here for his birthday during a trip to Paris. The food was great I had scallops and he had squab), and the service was even better. While opening my bottle of cider, the waiter managed to shower a nearby table and we all had a great laugh. It’s tiny, but well worth seeking out. We both still talk about Cafe des Musees and can’t wait to go back.

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