From corner bistros to charming neighbourhood eateries, Paris has no shortage of affordable pit stops. But it pays to be in the know. The bouillon – the no-frills, accessible eating house of the 1900s – is starting to make a comeback. Drawn by that elusive rapport qualité-prix (value for money), penny-pinching students rub shoulders with families and the well-heeled at Bouillon Pigalle restaurant. Its chef, Clément Chicard, knows a thing or two about eating well on a budget. Here are his Paris picks.
“Hailing from Bayonne, chef Sébastien Gravé takes inspiration from the Basque region in this small, charming restaurant. Everything at Pottoka is fresh, made in-house and prettily plated. The lunch menu is great value.
Try the day’s special; I have fond memories of his spin on the classic pot-au-feu stew.” Two-course lunch menu, €23.
“This is a great spot on the canal for a coffee. The Bellerive has a great terrace with views of the canal boats and a pétanque pitch – it doesn’t feel like Paris at all. Office workers flock here for the lunch menu of bistro classics.
Check the chalkboard for the butcher’s plate of the day. The home-made fries are excellent.” Two-course lunch menu, €12.50.
“Le Galopin is a bit more of a splurge, but I don’t know anywhere else in Paris that does a tasting menu for €55. I took my girlfriend there for dinner when we lived in the neighbourhood. The three starters, three mains and three desserts were beautifully crafted.
I had a butternut squash velouté, a light tuna tataki and some perfectly cooked fish with a fennel emulsion. We were bowled over.”
“I know the chef at Les Arlots from a collaboration in the early days of Bouillon Pigalle. He’s a really nice guy and I like his style of cooking – simple, but efficient. He makes everything in house, including black pudding, which is a bit of a faff in the kitchen.
His sausage and mash is award-winning, and just €17.”