In Paris, brasseries are everywhere!
No matter what neighborhood you decide to wander, you will come across one.Some more famous than others, some in existence for decades, you will inevitably visit one at least once during your stay.Yes, we are talking about brasseries! What’s more Parisian than these bistros, where the French come to drink their coffee at the counter, with their wicker tables and waiters in white aprons?Paris Attitude lets you in on the secrets of these typically Parisian restaurants.
Parisian brasseries are veritable living spaces, anchored in the Parisian landscape for years.You can spot them, first of all, by their retro décor: wicker tables and chairs, lots of wood, mirrors, servers decked out in their Sunday best, and serving simple, traditional cuisine.Originally, they only served beer, but gradually they began to serve meals, which was an immediate success!
The waiter: an institution!
There is no more emblematic figure of Parisian life.Some still wear the black and white outfit that they are known for: Black pants, multi-pocket vest (to hold the change), long white apron open in the back, and bow-tie.But where does this uniform come from?No one really knows.It dates back to the 19th century and appeared in the cafes of the Grands Boulevards, with the simple purpose of distinguishing the waiters from the customers!
A few essential brasseries
First and foremost, there is Maxim’s, known the world over for its art nouveau decoration. Opened in 1893, the brasserie’s wooden façade was installed in 1900, for the turn of the century’s World’s Fair. Here, you can dine in a stylish and glamorous ambiance of yesteryear.There is a similar ambiance at the Bouillon Racine, where you will enjoy traditional French cuisine, in a listed historic building, decorated with mirrors and iron work .Then there is Brasserie Lipp, located in the Saint Germain neighborhood, and still frequented by intellectuals and celebrities.Here, in a nod to tradition, the waiters are dressed in black and white, and serve orders on a platter. As for Brasserie Mollard (from the same architect who built the Moulin Rouge), it’s one of the oldest brasseries in Paris, having opened its doors in 1867. And lastly, for those who want to eat a steak/frites at 5 in the morning, there is also the Pied de Cochon, open 24 hours a day. As its name implies, grilled pigs’ feet are this brasserie’s culinary specialty.
Maxim’s –3 rue Royale, 75008 Paris
Bouillon Racine – 3 rue Racine, 75006 Paris
Le Lipp-151 bd Saint Germain, 75006 Paris
Brasserie Mollard –115 rue Saint Lazare, 75008 Paris
Le pied de cochon – 6, rue Coquillière 75001 Paris
Are you on vacation and want to act like a true Parisian? Before checking out one of these brasseries, read our article on “clichés about Parisians”, to find out how they really are.