Bistrot Paul Bert

The Bistrot Paul Bert currently holds the #4 ranking in our list of favorite Classic Bistros in ParisThe Bistrot Paul Bert boasts 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. Overall, while many long-time fans will admit that it’s not quite at the level it once was, Le Bistrot Paul Bert remains a top recommendation for anyone wanting to experience a classic bistro in Paris.

Practical information

Address: 18 rue Paul Bert, 75011
Nearest transport: Faidherbe-Chaligny (8), Charonne (9, 11)
Hours: Closed Sunday and Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner
Reservations: Book a few days in advance
Telephone: 01 43 72 24 01
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Le Bistrot Paul Bert in photos

What people are saying

Le Fooding (2016) asks “Is Bertrand Auboyneau’s unbeatable motherhouse a hotspot for tourists seeking out the real Parisian experience? In any case, they’ve found it: authentic decor (ceramics, white tablecloths, busy servers), a menu that’s just as lively as ever, and bottles of wine that will give you a healthy flush,” and advises that “at lunch (except on Saturdays) they serve an unbeatable set menu for €19.”

Patricia Wells (2015) says “this here is the quintessential Parisian bistrot that remains completely authentic and honest despite its wild popularity.”

Condé Nast Traveler (2015) quotes Dorie Greenpan saying “although it opened in 2000, it has the feel of a place that’s been around forever. The wonderful steak is served with Cognac and peppercorns, or you can get a single fried egg with truffles.” Alice Waters adds that “you’ll hear plenty of English and French in the dining room because everyone—local and foreign—loves the place for its time-honored classicism.”

TimeOut (2012) says “this heart-warming bistro gets it right almost down to the last crumb. A starter salad of ris de veau illustrates the point, with lightly browned veal sweetbreads perched on a bed of green beans and baby carrots with a sauce of sherry vinegar and deglazed cooking juices,” and raves that “desserts are superb too, including what may well be the best île flottante in Paris. If you’re in the area at lunchtime, bear in mind that the prix fixe menu is remarkable value.”

Le Figaro (2011) praises the “… rapport simple au produit et ce culte de la gourmandise. Même soin apporté à la terrine de campagne maison qu’aux envolées plus fines (pigeon rôti et petits légumes; lotte au gingembre…) et aux incontournables, dont le mythique paris-brest.”

David Lebovitz (2010) says that “it’s hard to go wrong with anything here. You can order from the fixed price menu or split a Côte de Boeuf (steak for two, which they will not cook further than medium-rare), which includes house made frites.”

Gourmet (2008) advises that “Le Bistrot Paul Bert has become so popular it can be tough to score a table. What drives this trio of cozy dining rooms decorated with flea-market bric-a-brac is some of the best traditional bistro cooking to be found in Paris today. The chalkboard menu changes often but runs to dishes like coddled eggs with cèpes, coucou de Rennes (a Breton breed of chicken prized for its delicate flesh) in a sauce of morels and vin jaune, and their much-loved signature dessert, a sublime Paris-Brest, the praline-buttercream-filled round choux pastry created to commemorate a bicycle race between the two cities from which it takes its name.”

Le Bistro Paul Bert in video

Anthony Bourdain’s Paris episode for “The Layover.” The segment on Le Bistrot Paul Bert begins around the 14:40 mark.

20 thoughts on “Bistrot Paul Bert”

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  3. John P Proctor says:

    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.

  4. Disappointed says:

    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.

  5. Bruce Colman says:

    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.

  6. Bruce Colman says:

    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….

  7. The Mouth says:

    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.

  8. Bruce Colman says:

    question, really, what are our chances of a table at Bistro Paul Bert as walk-ins at lunch time?

  9. Chris Oterio says:

    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.

  10. The Mouth says:

    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

  11. Wes says:

    What is the best thing on the menu?

  12. melissa says:

    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.

  13. Nicole says:

    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

  14. The Mouth says:

    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.

  15. Joseph says:

    Am I likely to still get a booking for dinner if I arrive in Paris for a week and try to book on arrival?

    Thank you

  16. Lindsey says:

    I absolutely love this Bistro. Best steak I’ve ever had! Will they be open the first week in September?

  17. The Mouth says:

    Hi Aidan,

    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!

  18. Aidan says:

    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!

  19. Mouth says:

    Hi Hayley – Bistrot Paul Bert will be closed all of August.

  20. Hayley says:

    Will they be open the first week in August?

  21. casey ellis says:

    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.

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