Dining Out

All About That Bouillon

All about that Bouillon

Bouillons are a thing of simplicity and beauty, whether we’re talking about the liquid or the restaurant. Let’s start off with understanding the difference between the two bouillons. 

Bouillon is most widely known as a savory liquid (water-based) that has been simmered with meat, fish, or vegetables for a certain period of time. Although it is usually used in preparation for other food items, but it can also be eaten alone, as a soup. 

Bouillon is also a type of French restaurant that has been around since the early 19th century. The name of this type of restaurant derives it’s name directly from the term bouillon as a soup because it was served on the menu alongside other traditional French dishes. Originally started as a quick-paced place where the working class could get an affordable meal, the idea quickly grew in popularity and there were soon around 250 bouillons across the city. 

Accounts seem to differ from what I can gather, there was a butcher, Adolphe-Baptiste Duval, who used the bits and bobs that were left over from the cuts that he served to high-society households. These scraps he turned into a dish that he served to the working class for a hearty and affordable meal at his establishment in the working quartier of Les Halles. 

Have you been to a Bouillon? These classic French restaurants are a specific style of service/operation. Most known for their super affordable menu, classic French dishes, and fast-paced environment, it’s certainly worth checking out! There aren’t many left, of the 250 from the beginning, but those that are still operating, are worth noting. 

If you’re planning on checking out a bouillon, here’s a few tips:

🍛If they offer a reservation (very few do), make it. If there’s no option for a reservation, be ready to wait in line.

🍛Show up around open/beginning of service or if you can, during off-peek hours.

🍛 Your average check will be around 25€ (entree, plat, dessert, boisson).

🍛 Best way to experience traditional French dishes at a price that won’t break the bank!

My top 3 Bouillons:

🍴 Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond
24 Rue de la Grande Truanderie, 75001 Paris
Métro: Étienne Marcel, Line 4

🍴 Bouillon Julien
16 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris
Métro: Strasbourg -Saint Denis, line 4

🍴 Bouillon Pigalle
22 Bd de Clichy, 75018 Paris
Métro: Pigalle, line 2 & 12

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