The Bistrot Paul Bert boasts one of the most charming dining rooms and patrons in town, appearing to first-time visitors like the Paris bistro of their dreams. Their menu is torn straight out of the classic bistro playbook, with options like steak frites, andouillette, soufflé and tarte Tatin. Compared to many other bistros, Paul Bert shines bright because of superb ingredient souring and careful cooking. Owner Bertrand Auboyneau is a real wine lover and supporter of vignerons, and his list is a joy to drink from.
All that charm has created a tsunami of demand, especially among foreign food lovers. They are utterly unable to manage it. In the fall of 2022, they essentially stopped answering their phone, the only means of making a reservation. Auboyneau admitted that the phone rings almost non-stop, and they don’t have a solution.
We can’t continue to heavily recommend a restaurant that can’t manage their reservations – it creates too much frustration among our readers. Restaurants go through phases, and we hope they’ll solve this problem soon. In the meantime, we have plenty of other delicious options to share in our list of 50 Favorite Restaurants in Paris.
LE BISTROT PAUL BERT
18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011
Open for lunch & dinner Tuesday-Saturday (closed Sunday & Monday)
Book by phone: +33 1 43 72 24 01
Their Instagram / Our Instagram
Bistro Paul Bert has been resting on its considerable laurels for years. The incompetence of the reservation system faithfully reflects a more general inattention to service. The owner cant find a solution to a phone that won’t stop ringing? Has he never heard of online reservations? The insolence of the staff seeps into the food — though the Grand Marnier soufflé remains divine.
What a shame…a victim of their own success, and for Americans, Anthony Bourdain probably had a hand in it. We dined at Paul Bert in 2018 and had a wonderful time.
How on earth is anyone making reservations? I have been calling for four days (minus Sunday and Monday when they are closed). At first, I tried at times when I figured they’d be less busy, but now I am just trying repeatedly during opening hours- lunch and dinner. I either get a busy signal or no answer. I am about to give up, which is too bad. I had wanted to try it!
We live in Paris and I consider Paul Bert one of my favorites. I die for the steak in cream sauce. It’s hard to get tender steak in Paris, but I found it here ( and 2 other places)
We always arrive at 2 pm after a long walk from our apartment and always get a table.
Good service means you wait, so you can enjoy conversation and food.
I have eaten in most of the 5* restaurants and refuse to go anymore. I don’t want pretty food that is tasteless.
Give me butter , cream , cheese, heavy sauce and lots of sugar in my desserts.
And walk ladies and gentleman, thats all I do so I get to enjoy my food without worries.
At the end of October, my wife and I were in Paris for a long weekend during which we dined at different restaurants. Bistro Paul Bert was one of the restaurants. We selected Bistro Paul Bert based on reviews in various culinary/travel magazines with descriptions such as “the quintessential Parisian bistro”, “heart-warming bistro” and “one of the most reliable, approachable and consistently great French bistros in Paris”. Regrettably, my wife and I found it to be anything but.
Indeed, the food was entirely inedible as it was drowning in sauce and butter and the house wine was undrinkable. When we attempted to address the issues with our server, she was dismissive and rude.
In sum, we took a 30-minute trip to Bistro Paul Bert only to pay €175.00 for food we didn’t eat, wine we didn’t drink, and astonishingly rude service. Suffice it to say, we will never eat here again.
4 of us from London had dinner here on Friday 5 th October. I had booked about 3 weeks before and speak French. The table was booked for 8p.m.and I asked not to be in the back of the restaurant. We arrived at about 7.55p.m. and were placed at the back of the restaurant. It was empty and when I asked to be moved I was told it was not possible. I began to be cross and was going to leave but did not because we did not know any restaurants nearby where we might get a table. We stayed. I am glad we did. We had a superb dinner. The back of the restaurant filled up quickly and we soon got in to conversation with a number of people- French,English, American, young and old(we are old) all of whom were “tres gentility.” The food was good from beginning to end-I had the most beautiful rare filet au poivre-the wines were fine and the waitress could not have been more helpful. This was the third time I have been there over a period of some years. Each time I have been very pleased. This time we were in Paris for 4 days and we ate well and in good restaurants. This was the best and I could not have been treated more courteously. I normally am treated with courtesy perhaps it may be because I am an Anglo-Saxon who always speaks French.
They are incredibly rude at Bistro Paul Bert. They continue to put all of the foreigners in back, and the locals up front. When I asked politely, in French, to move to another table they argued with me dépité obvious open tables. I refuse to go into a restaurant and be treated like a second class citizen. Do they think we don’t notice that they put us all in the back? Arrogant and rude-there are too many lovely bistros in Paris to spend my evening rather than waste my time here.
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Had dinner last month and were extremely disappointed. The service was slow and waiter rude. The fish–supposedly with no bones was almost impossible to eat–and the manager would not replace after our complaint. The steak was supposed to be without sauce and again, wouldn’t be replaced. In all, a bad experience–and the manager simply shrugged and let us know that was our problem and not his.
Awful. Huge disappointment. Not an “absolute favorite” of mine. Disgusting service. When we asked to move to a different table (after seeing that two other tables were open), the waiter said “If you don’t like it you can leave.” So we left. Arrogant service from a dumpy, loud bistro. You would think they were the only bistro in Paris. Not for me.
Funny story, “The Mouth,” we did just as you’d pretty-much recommended…arrived about 11:30, went into the joint, my wife (who can charm anyone) asked in poor French if we could have a table at noon?…well, maybe a half hour after that…we scoped the neighborhood, came back, about 12:15, were greeted nicely and seated–first people in the room– and dealt with in English–and it was about 12:45 that I realized, WE WERE IN THE WRONG RESTAURANT! –6 Paul Bert, not Bistro Paul Bert, and having an absolutely wonderful time…”modern” food, chef’s menu, beautiful plates, every taste a treat & discovery….(not a potato or a steak in sight)… a happy mistake.
thanks, didn’t see your answer until Saturday morning–that’s exactly our plan, to be there a few minutes before noon, with a back-up plan in mind. it’s not so much “fear” as shyness, though….been in plenty of restaurants where I don’t speak the home language, and had great times….
Hi Bruce – it’s a well-known and popular restaurant, so always better if you call to make a reservation. They’re used to English speakers, if that’s your fear. If you do insist on walking in without a reservation, be there when they open (probably noon), but be prepared to be turned away.
question, really, what are our chances of a table at Bistro Paul Bert as walk-ins at lunch time?
People have to get over this place, are you kidding? Paris is full of great bistros unaffected by their own press. This place exploits people, especially Americans. Bistros are crowded like today, we get it. But poor service has no place in a competitive market. People will stop coming.
Hi Wes, the chalkboard menu changes all the time so it’s hard to name a dish, but my favorites over time have been a thick cut steak with bone marrow melting on top, a plate of sunny side up eggs with shaved black truffles, and a tarte Tatin with thick cream. – Meg
What is the best thing on the menu?
Hi I’m going to Paris this month! Any idea whether they would be open this year for August? Like around 24th August? It looks like a lot of restaurants are closed.
Absolutely awful and a huge disappointment.
I had always been a foodie and a big fan of parisbymouth,however this restaurant is clearly overrated. I have to admit that the service was good but the food is nothing but horrible, we ordered 3 starters, 1 main for 2 to share. The fois gras was average, the st jacque was the best out of everything, but the potion was tiny. The egg with truffle was supposed to be their ‘signature dish’ but the truffle tasted very earthy and lack of truffle scent, instead, the odour was very ‘fishy’ and the eggs were just, well, eggs. The dish obviously doesnt worth 30 euros at all. But the above were not sufficient to sum up as ‘absolutely awlful’. The côte the beef for 2 was appalling, horrifying and honestly I am running out of expression to express how shocked I was. The beef had gone off! The meat is not just tough or plainly tasteless butt the meat had literally gone bad, it literally smells disgusting, I cannot be more shocked for such a famous bistro for making the biggest mistake in a restaurant. Although they did not charge us for this dish and offered to make us something else I was already mortified by the quality of the food. In conclusion, we will never ever return. Ever
Hi Lindsey, they should indeed be open during the first week in September.
Hi Joseph, I’ve been able to get same-week reservations in the past before, so it’s certainly possible. One thing to watch out for, though, is you may end up with a 22:00 or 22:30 reservation if you wait until the last minute.
Am I likely to still get a booking for dinner if I arrive in Paris for a week and try to book on arrival?
I absolutely love this Bistro. Best steak I’ve ever had! Will they be open the first week in September?
We don’t have an email address for them, so you may need to try calling. I realize this is intimidating, but you could write out (and Google Translate, if needed) what you want to say before you pick up the phone.
Good luck and happy eating!
Do you know if they have a contact e-mail address? I would like to find out of they are open for New Year’s Eve and, if so, make a reservation. I can’t wait to take Paris by Mouth!
Hi Hayley – Bistrot Paul Bert will be closed all of August.
Will they be open the first week in August?
Had a near-perfect dinner here last month. Of course it didn’t hurt that we had the great fortune to dine with dorie and michael greenspan. Every dish was a complete delight.