Bouillon Chartier’s third Paris restaurant, located in the 10th arrondissement, opened just across the Gare de l’Est. It replicates the elements that have made Bouillon Chartier such a beloved Parisian institution. Classic French food, art nouveau inspired interiors, waiters dressed in a traditional rondin (a fitted black waistcoat with several pockets, along white aprons and white shirts), and affordable prices transport you to another epoch.

Though lacking the high ceilings and grandeur of the locations on boulevard du Montparnasse and rue du faubourg Montmartre, it still has all the elements that make people flock to it, and other similar traditional restaurants like Bouillon Julien and Bouillon Pigalle for a decent meal at an unbeatable price. What it lacks in vastness is made up for in charm and – crucially – the lack of long lines that sometimes deter us from the other locations. How long the lack of queues will last remains to be seen.

Les Bouillons and Bouillon Chartier – origins

The first location in the Grands Boulevards district opened in 1896 by the brothers Camille and Frédéric Chartier. Located in the 9th arrondissement, the art nouveau dining room is housed in a former railway station. The name le bouillon in this context refers to a type of brasserie providing an affordable stew to workers. The original, very simple concept, was to offer quality traditional French cuisine, served fast and at good prices. Today, Bouillon Chartier still adheres to these roots and each of its locations remain evocative of Old-Paris.

Interior Design

The original Chartier location on rue du faubourg Montmartre was rightfully classified as a historic monument in 1989. A second location opened in Montparnasse in 2019 and has similarly grand interiors as the original.

The opulent dining room of Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse with high, stained glass ceilings, wood panelling, ornate wood framed mirrors surrounded by painted tiles and tables with table cloths covered by white paper.
Top: photos by Pronoti Baglary; Above: Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse photographed by Per-Olof Forsberg

The Gare de l’Est location opened in 2022. It also has interiors evocative of the late 19th/early 20th century, but the size and feel are more intimate than the other locations. It is a beautiful place that is more relaxed than the other locations.

The Dining Experience

Based on repeated visits from our team members the restaurant, as expected, offers value for money, good service, delicious food and the feel of a bygone era. The staff is super friendly and relatively laid back – more so than in the other locations, likely due to less hustle and bustle present at this particular location. And as always, out of town friends visiting for the first time marvel at the good value.

The interior of Bouillon Chartier Gare de l'Est
photos by Pronoti Baglary

On a recent visit, we arrived at peak hour on a Thursday (around 20:00) on an unseasonably warm autumn evening. We were pleased to be seated at a table for two immediately. The crowd was a mix of travelers with suitcases from the nearby Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord, locals, tourists, and a few solo diners. All the hallmarks of Chartier were there. The charming interiors, orders written in pen on the paper tablecloth, French comfort classics and rock bottom prices minus the rambunctiousness and long lines.

Being so inexpensive along with the “Frenchness” of it all contributes to the fun of visiting Chartier. Part of the fun also comes from the sense of abandon one feels ordering in a place like this. Can’t decide between oeuf mayonnaise or poireaux vinaigrette? At 2 euros and 3.50 respectively, why not order both?

And so we proceeded, in the name of research, as though we had deep pockets ordering escargots, a salade frisée aux lardons, and Rosette de Lyon to start plus a half bottle of wine. The escargots were buttery, garlicky, hot out of the oven, and all you want and expect from the classic. The salade was made with fresh ingredients and smokey bacon. It was as good as similar salads we’ve had at pricier bistros. Was the rosette de Lyon exceptional? Not exactly, but it was good and true to the rustic roots of this type of saucisson. Along with a fresh baguette, French butter, and cornichons washed down with a very good glass of Bordeaux it’s hard to not be satisfied.

Left: the dining room of Bouillon Chartier Gare de l'Est with a yellow and wood paneled walls, red table cloth covered with white paper tablecloth and the back of diner's head; right: a table at the same restaurant with escargots; a glass of red wine, bread basket, bottle of bordeaux wine, a plate of charcuterie with butter and cornichon, and the edge of a salad bowl.
photos by Pronoti Baglary/HIP Paris

A main course of choucroute garnie was hearty fare. Quenelles de Nantua had a wonderful savory sauce and were pure comfort food. Keeping within the spirit of generosity (or greediness), we ordered celeriac remoulade as a side. The celeriac flavor was woody and fresh, the mayonnaise perhaps heavy handed but at the very reasonable price of 2.70 euros, who’s complaining?

Left: the interior of Bouillon Chartier Gare de l'Est with wood panelled and yellow painted walls, and an old style phonograph under a sign in red saying pot au feu; right: a plate of quenelle de Nantua and rice.
photos by Pronoti Baglary/HIP Paris

By dessert we had to admit it was time to slow down. Still, we mustered enough appetite to share a profiterole. The show-stopping presentation and pure indulgence of the rich chocolate sauce, fresh choux pastry and vanilla ice cream for less than a fiver encapsulates the delight of the whole experience. Simple French cuisine, at fair prices.

Left: a table setting at Bouillon Chartier with a white paper table cloth and napkin with Chartier written in dark red letters; right: a profiterole covered in dark chocolate sauce and sliced toasted almonds on a white plate with a spoon on the right side.
photos by Pronoti Baglary

Is Bouillon Chartier Gare de l’Est the place for exceptional haute cuisine? No. But it is a great place to taste delicious, simple dishes and traditional French food such as boeuf bourguignon, steak frites, roast chicken and french fries, escargots and baba au rhum. For authentic cuisine without the long lines, you can’t beat Bouillon Chartier Gare de l’Est, a beloved Parisian institution with good reason.


Bouillon Chartier Gare de l’Est – 5 Rue du 8 Mai 1945, 75010 Paris


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HiP Paris

HiP Paris is a lifestyle website about everything Paris and beyond. We enlighten and entertain our community, and share tips and recommendations. We believe in respect for French culture, timeless luxury, being comfortable in your skin, and the simple beauty of French life. Started in 2008, HIP Paris has evolved into a hub for expats and Francophiles. We have been featured in the New York Times, Business Insider, Bloomberg, Buzzfeed, Eater, Bon Appetit, Refinery29 and many other publications.

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