Stellar Paris Bistros at Amazing Prices – Where Parisians Flock But Tourists Rarely Find

It was the early 1990s when young chefs rocked the restaurant scene in Paris by breaking away from the haute cuisine practiced at such high end restaurants as Les Ambassadeurs at Hotel Le Crillon (where most of them trained under master chef Christian Constant). They sent the French food-writers into a feeding frenzy by opening small bistros scattered across Paris in far-flung arronidissments where they offered gourmet meals at bargain-basement prices.

There was Yves Camdeborde and La Régalade in the 14th Arrondissement, Thierry Breton with Chez Michel and Chez Casimir in the 10th, Rodolphe Paquin of La Repaire de Cartouche and, in the 15th Arrondissement, Thierry Faucher 's l'Os à Moelle. These guys set the tone for the generation of chefs to follow: using traditional French ingredients to express their own style of cooking and show us something new, as if we've never tasted it before. Today, Thierry Breton's restaurants in the 10th are still on our circuit and some of our other fave restaurants are still chef-led.

Chez Michel

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Chez Michel

The menu at Chez Michel is based on the food Thierry Breton grew up with in his native Brittany, in the west of France on a peninsula sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean.

We always start with his famous fish soup when it's on the menu. The broth is aromatic, pungent, puréed, tasting of the sea. The food at Chez Michel never disappoints, and we're not the only ones who think so! Be sure to make reservations.

  • Chez Michel
  • 10 Rue de Belzunce 75010

Chez Casimir

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Chez Michel

Chez Casimir is the sister restaurant, next door to Chez Michel.

In real life, they are brother and sister, one restaurant named after Chef Thierry's son, the other after his daughter.

This restaurant in Paris is simple and small with maybe thirty-five rustic wooden chairs and a few banquettes. You shake your head in disbelief at the low prices and delectable selection.

The food is regionally hearty, flavourful, and perfectly done. Between us we ordered slow-cooked, rich pork stew, Mediterranean scorpion fish, veal cooked in a white sauce, and ratatouille.

More recently Chef Thierry has opened up a wine bar in the space between the two restaurants. It's very casual and a lot of fun.

  • Chez Casimir
  • 6 Rue de Belzunce 75010

Jacques Faussat – La Braisiere

One Michelin Star

La Braisiere

La Braisiere is one of our newest fave restaurants and Jacques Faussat our newest fave chef in Paris.

The restaurant itself it hidden on a small street in the 17th Arrondissement that tourists are unlikely to find. Yet, in this unassuming location you'll find some of the best food you've every eaten. .

Chef Faussat was raised loving food near the Basque country in southwest France. By age 12 he was already working in a local restaurant and 14 left home to attend cooking school. But, to this day, the flavours of his childhood and his region influence everything he cooks.

La Braisiere is very much worthy of its one Michelin star, but we won't be surprised if we hear he's been awarded a second star. The menu is not as low-priced as the others in this article, but it's worth every cent.

  • La Braisiere
  • 54 Rue Cardinet 75017
  • tel: 01 47 63 40 37
  • Website


A Paris Insiders Guide favourite


We felt like real Paris Insiders the first time we turned into the constricted street and walk toward the patch of soft light coming from one of the most popular restaurants in Paris.

The sign on the building was like the those you see on abandoned boulangeries in rural France: dark, faded, hard to spot in the dimness. Gregory Marchand, a young chef from Nantes with the celebrity of a rock star, trained in New York City and with Jamie Oliver in London, where he acquired the nickname Frenchie, which he, improbably, also named his restaurant.

All the dishes are good. Really good. The first night we ate there, the smoked trout entrée was one of those last-meal-in-my-life choices. The blend of the smokiness of the fish with the roasted peppers and oils was a wonder.

Marchand knows about cooking, and his meals are like fine art. In the half door of the kitchen we watched Chef Marchand tending to every single dish, bent down to get eye level with the food to make sure all is perfect.

Our first meal there was a few years ago. Since then Chef Marchand has pretty much taken over this formerly neglected street with a wine bar, Frenchie to Go, and other food ventures. Rue du Nil has now become a true gourmet destination.

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