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Les Papilles

Les Papilles is an old-school cave à manger near the Luxembourg gardens. Bring some friends to share in Bertrand Bluy’s family style lunch and dinner, which consists of a prix fix menu that usually begins with soup, continues with a braised meat dish served family style, and finishes with dessert and cheese. It’s an affordable and delicious spot for omnivores. Wines are sold at caviste prices to-go, or with a modest corkage fee to open at the table.


30, rue Gay Lussac, 75005
Open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30am to midnight
Closed Sunday & Monday
Reservations at +33 1 43 25 20 79 or

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IN OTHER WORDS (2013) “A lot of chefs like to go there on their day off because they don’t have to think about it…”

The New York Times (2009) “The food is often Michelin-star quality, and though the menu offers no choices — everyone gets the same soup, main course, salad and dessert — as long as your tastes are broad (or you’re a not-super-hungry vegetarian) you are going to be not only satisfied but happy…”

Le Figaro (2009) “Taillée dans un mouchoir de poche, cette cave à manger-épicerie fine, par ailleurs très convaincante, affiche souvent complet. ”

David Lebovitz (2006) “This first thing you notice about Les Papilles is the wine, and the place does double-duty as a wine bar. The window has boxes and boxes of bottles of wine stacked neatly, and as you walk in, one side of the restaurant is entirely devoted to wine and a few choice food products…”


13 thoughts on “Les Papilles”

  1. We had a wonderful time. An excellent dinner and a bottle of one Dominique Laurent’s 1’ers off the shelf. Karen and his wife Karen who dined in ‘14 and who had a birthday candle incident and then were appropriately spanked by Baldy the chef can go f themselves as Baldy so aptly recommended. To Karen: You Sir or err Madame are an example of why things have gone so badly in our country. Bravo Baldy Chef for a great meal when we were there and for putting Karen in his place when whiney boy didn’t get a birthday candle.

  2. We ate there in January, ’19. The service was charming, food excellent except maybe for the camembert. We sat next to young Americans who didn’t get the concept of a set menu, both made different requests on every single course except dessert. To my surprise they were treated with kindness and the kitchen accommodated them.

  3. Richard Fitzgerald

    I just have to respond to the review left by Jeff S above. We have been going to Les Papilles a couple times a year since it opened and have NEVER had a bad experience. We’ve NEVER had even a mediocre experience. Bertrand has been unfailingly charming and welcoming. We’ve gone by ourselves and with groups of ten or twelve and the service and the cuisine never cease to be amazing. What they do from such a tiny kitchen is spectacular. I simply cannot imagine the level of rudeness a customer would have to present for Bertrand to react the way “Jeff” says he did…if indeed he did. Bertrand runs one of the most successful restaurants in Paris and yet, in my many times there, never fails to treat each customer as special. You simply must go there and see for yourself.

  4. Christine – it is still good, although my last visit was my least favorite. I go here every time I am in Paris, so do recommend you try it as it is high quality and authentic. Since there is no menu, I think my last experience may have been influenced by the fact that I don’t really care for duck, and that was le plat. The soup, whatever it is on the day, is always outstanding. Reading the other comments, I have to say I really like Bertrand. He can be a little finicky, but he works very hard all night long. I hope you enjoy Les Papilles.

  5. A wonderful dinner-carrot soup with speck and croutons, chicken in a sauce with fresh basil and thyme, brie and creme caramel. Wonderful in every respect. I think the owner can be a little prickly. He was annoyed by some Americans who requested a wine he clearly did not approve of and he made a couple of comments under his breath. However, he did it in French so it wasn’t a big deal. I just let him pick and we were both happy.

  6. I had exactly the same experience as Jeff Schneider. The guy is, in my view, a bit off. He offered us a horrible table and when we asked to be seated elsewhere he told us to leave.

    I am not sure I would have felt ok eating dinner there given what I saw.

    I would just say that it may be worth a pass.

  7. I strongly second what Ptipois said. Often complaints tell more about the writer than the alleged perpetrator. I will definitely book LP on our next visit.

  8. Whew. I’ve known Bertrand for years and he’s a very sweet person. What a pain in the ass you must have been to trigger such a reaction. The client from hell or something like that.


    Please don’t support this restaurant.

    Not because the food was overpriced and underwhelming—which it was.

    And not because, after multiple reminders and confirmations, they somehow forgot to put a candle in my fiancée’s dessert for her 30th birthday—which they did.

    And definitely not because the food was merely mediocre after so much hype on review sites like this. Wait, did I already mention the less than spectacular food?

    No really, please don’t support this restaurant.

    Because after I went to speak with the owner/manager (tall bald guy with used car salesman grin) about how he forgot the candle, the same candle about which I reminded him right before sitting down at our table, he sent the waitress back into the kitchen to bring out a bowl of sugar with a candle poking out from the center of the mound. It was the saddest thing I had ever seen.

    So I bet you’re wondering what’s up with the title of this review. Well, after they brought the check to our table, I went back to the owner to POLITELY inform him that the whole candle situation was really unfortunate and that we’d be leaving the restaurant with a bad taste in our mouths, pun intended. I thought maybe he would comp us a glass of wine or something. A simple apology would have been just as good. Any other decent restaurant I’ve been to would have done this without a prompt.

    Again, I can’t stress how calmly and politely I approached this man, which is why I am still baffled by his response…

    First he calls me an *sshole. At this point I immediately remove myself from the situation and tell my fiancée that it’s time to leave, but as I’m walking back to my table, baldy steps out from behind the counter, pulls me aside, and whispers in my ear, “Go f*ck yourself.”

    Look, I know French service isn’t known for its courtesies, but I have never elicited a reaction like this from anyone, anywhere in my entire life.

    And I really wish this was the end of the story. But it’s not…

    As my fiancée and I walk from our table to the exit (yes, I paid the check), French Max Brenner actually elbows me in the ribs as I walk past him while he takes an order from another table.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t have even bothered to write a review of this place if the story ended just before the *sshole comment.



  10. We had lunch there in June this year and there was no choice of dishes, though their choices were excellent: cauliflower soup, maigret de canard as Barbara Austin describes above, Fourme d’Ambert, and panna cotta.

  11. Just a note on the price for dinner at Les Papilles – the restaurant only serves the full 4 course prix-fixe menu at 33 euro. Lunch is more flexible where individual dishes can be ordered.

  12. Busy and hectic, a real circus, with perhaps 45 covers on this November evening. Pumpkin veloute ladled over chestnuts and bacon bits with a dollop of creme fraiche. Lamb shank, caramel brown in a rich wine sauce with with tomatoes, mushrooms and green peas. Blue cheese wedge with poached plum and plum puree, followed by a layered dessert of banana puree, topped with panna cotta, topped with caramel foam. The dessert was outstanding and the rest was satisfying but rather on the bland side, lacking real depth of flavor. Great presentation throughout, and overall a fond memory.

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