Paris is a city filled with landmarks, but far too rare is the opportunity to dine at one (or at least one that won’t break the bank–Cafe de Flore, we’re looking at you). Luckily, Resaurant Chartier, which opened its doors in 1896 is serving hearty classic French food at a reasonable price to locals and visitors alike in its Belle Epoque building.
Located on Rue du Faubourg Montmartre near the Grands Boulevards Metro stop, the restaurant is set back from the street. Not to worry; the neon sign with an arrow pointing to the restaurant easily makes it the most visible place on the block. When you walk in, your first thought is not “Where am I?” but “When am I?” The large dining room looks like it hasn’t changed much over the last century. Frosted globe fixtures hanging from the ceiling light the wooden tables and brass fixtures and wood paneling adorn the walls.
The patrons are attended to by an army of servers, all dressed in white aprons, black vests, white shirts and black bowties. Like bees in hive, their movement looks chaotic, but is in fact carefully orchestrated. When they come to your table, they will scribble your order on the paper tablecloth, adding to it as you order more wine and dessert.
Oh the dessert! Whatever you get to eat, save room for dessert. It is all amazing. You may be tempted to just order one and split it with your sweetie. You may think this will be romantic because you are dining in Paris. You would be wrong. It is so delicious, you will not want share. For the sake of your relationship, get one dessert each.
Chartier’s well-deserved reputation for quality food and great prices makes it a popular destination. Show up after eight and you may have to wait.
Chartier is delicious, yet inexpensive; noisy yet elegant and should not be missed.