The Brasseries, where the spirit of Paris lives, are much more than just restaurants where you can eat and drink. Those are the places where you can even write your debut novel. Simone de Beauvoir, Emile Zola and Jacques Prévert, they all spent time writing at a table of their favourite brasseries. “The beer was very cold and wonderful to drink. The pommes à l’huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil delicious”, wrote Ernest Hemingway a chapter of his famous memoir at a table under the staircase of the Parisian brasserie Lipp. The brasseries are typical Parisian restaurants where the traditional French dishes like onion soup, pot au feu or magret de canard, are served. There is even something called a typical brasserie atmosphere, as they are often glamorous places with remarkable décor, where you can observe the ballet of bow-tied waiters. In this article, I will share with you, three most interesting Parisian brasseries worth visiting, in my humble opinion.
Le Train Bleu (The Blue Train) is a brasserie located in the hall of the Gare de Lyon, a Parisian railway station. It was created for the Universal Exposition in 1900. The dining room is decorated to represent cities and regions of France. Many artists and writers, like Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, Colette, Jean Gabin and Marcel Pagnol were regular guests, and several movie scenes were filmed here like "Nikita" by Luc Besson, "Place Vendôme" by Nicole Garcia or "Les vacances de Mr Bean" by Steve Bendelack. This brasserie is classified as a French historical monument since 1972.
Les Deux Magots is a brasserie in the Saint-Germain-des-Près, a charming Parisian district. Acquired in 1914 by a modest Parisian waiter Auguste Boulay, this place is now helmed by his great-great-granddaughter. Les Deux Magots had a very important role in the Parisian cultural life and was frequented by numerous famous artists and writers like Aragon, Picasso, Prévert, Hemingway, André Breton, Sartre and Beauvoir. In 1933, even a literary award the Prix des Deux Magots was created as an alternative to the Prix Goncourt, considered too academic.
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”, Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
The Bouillon Chartier is a Parisian brasserie opened in 1896 by two brothers. This brasserie is worldwide known for its beautiful “belle époque” dining room, high ceilings, stained glass windows and chandeliers. But what makes this place so special are its waiters. Serving some 1,500 people per day, they are elegantly dressed in a black waistcoat and a long white apron and still scribbling the check on the paper tablecloth.
The Brasseries, where the spirit of Paris lives, are the perfect way to live like Parisians, so don't miss to visit them. The brasseries are open all year round, and at The Bouillon Chartier, you can even celebrate the New Year Eve!
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