France, Paris, Travelling
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Where to Eat in Paris: Brasserie Balzar

Brasserie Balzar, Paris

Food is changing everywhere all the time. That’s life, and that’s a good thing, in the main. You’re as likely to find Scandinavian inspired haute cuisine in Paris now as a soufflé, so it takes a little research to find somewhere that does the old school classics and does them well.

Brasserie Balzar, Paris

When in Paris, and especially when in Paris in January. I want French Onion Soup. I need French Onion Soup. I need it’s comforting rich beefy stock and sweet sleepy slippery onions beneath their heavy cheese blanket. I need to pierce that cheese and bread with my spoon and drag some soup out, savouring every gentle spoonful before diving back in.

Brasserie Balzar, Paris

It helps if I can then follow this with a fresh rich steak tartare, sharp with mustard and capers, and creamy with egg. Spreading it on toast, all the while not really wanting to talk but to watch everything going on. Watching the waiters, the other tables, sipping some wine, soaking it all in. Enjoying Paris, enjoying the characters, the families eating Sunday lunch, the solo diners, not many tourists but a few, although I expect they are academics from the Sorbonne next door. I continue, eating more tartare, sipping more wine, and loving Paris and my little January escape.

Brasserie Balzar, Paris

Brasserie Balzar, next to the Sorbonne, is a Paris institution since 1898. Previously home to Sartre & Camus and their argumentative lunches, it is now more likely to house lunchers from the Sorbonne, and in season tourists, but don’t let this put you off, it is well worth a visit.

I need to get back there soon.

Brassierie Balzar
49 Rue des Ecoles
75005 Paris, France
01 43 54 13 67 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            01 43 54 13 67      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Nearest metro: Cluny – La Sorbonne

(Ps – apologies re slightly blurry photos, I was more focussed on my food than my camera, which is how it should be :)




  1. Charlotte Wilmots (@CharlottePRCo) says

    One for my little black book with Paris addresses! Love a good onion soup!!

  2. You know I’ve past this so many times and never gone in (I usually stay in the 5th). That soup looks so good I’ll put it on my Paris list right now. I really must book a Paris trip soon.

  3. sigh, a January escape which includes French onion soup and steak tartare. so jealous. x s

  4. suzanne says

    Lovely writing. I automatically assume the food was as comfortably erotic as the way it oozes from the page.

  5. Isabel Willshaw says

    Thank you Niamh, I really love your photos – and they don’t need to be perfect!

  6. Healthy Organo Gold Coffee says

    The onion soup looks so good …. Paris ….. someday!

  7. Restless Native says

    Mmmmm Onion Soup, I was making good onion soup in Germany. The bread and cheese suited it well. Real bread with Emental Comte or Gruye (I forget wich one).
    Followed by steak tartare also makes me happy, perhaps you have something your site with info/recipe. MPW did a venison one, on T.V. once. The John Torode claims only fillet tail will do, Hugh F. W. uses rump.
    Another cool post, keep them coming.

Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)