Bistrot Victoires, Paris

When you’ve visited a city a few times, you accumulate favourite places that you just can’t wait to go back to every time you return.

For me this is Bistrot Victoires in Paris.

The first time we went it was jam packed full of people (obviously not in the photo above!) and the waiter had to pull the table out into the room to allow us the space to sit down before he returned it to its rightful position. That’s how popular this place is.

And it’s no surprise, considering the quality of every single dish that comes out of the kitchen and their ridiculously reasonable prices (main courses mostly come in under €11, sandwiches €9 and desserts €5.50). The staff are friendly and helpful and the atmosphere is quintessentially French. It’s not that far from the Louvre, so the restaurant is extremely central, but it’s down a fairly quiet street which makes dining here not just an ease to get to, but such a pleasure too. Especially compared to the busy thoroughfares and high priced menus at other nearby locations.

On our most recent visits we purposefully went for late lunches/early dinners to avoid the crowds, and I definitely advise doing it like that. We had the most relaxed time eating and drinking, and then eating some more, and then drinking some more. I love holidays like this.

I think I had my best meal there during our trip back in June, which was the first time I had tried their beef tartar. It was utterly delicious, melt in the mouth and full of flavour. The day was a scorcher in the high 30s so I was after something cold, but not a salad. This fit the bill perfectly, and of course it came served with piping hot fluffy fries which I devoured regardless of the heat.

The entrecôte steak (which I had here) is also a show to behold, arriving with burning and smoking thyme on the top of it.

If you’re in need of something lighter perhaps try the open faced sandwiches (on the famous Poilane bread) with salad, although I can’t say that my choice (the Savoyarde) of melted cheese, bacon, onion, sour cream and potato is necessarily light on calories!

If the traditional French black pudding style sausage is on offer (it was a special) then that is also a great option, as is the duck confit. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, served with potatoes cooked in duck fat (traditionally), with garlic and parsley. Yum.

There are starters but only after 6.00pm so we’ve never been there at the right time to try them. There’s always next time!

French baguette and tap water is always plentiful which helps to soak up all the wine you will inevitably drink. A small glass of house wine (150ml) will set you back €3.20 (other wines are available and none go above the €5 mark), which will allow you to try all of the 7 house wines on offer! Maybe not all 7 in one sitting, but they are all very drinkable….

Whilst with our main courses we like to try a little of everything, our desserts never alter (except once for the cheese plate). We always order the profiteroles and the creme brûlée. Well, when in Paris…

The creme brûlée is scrumptious. Crisp on top and creamy underneath, just as you would expect and hope!

The profiteroles on the other hand are a little less traditional, as the little spheres of choux are filled with a nougat ice cream and then topped with a healthy portion of hot, dark chocolate sauce.

They are heavenly.

We always share them as neither of us ever want to pick just one.

Then we sit back with a glass of wine in hand and people watch out of the window until we decide it’s time to wend our way through the streets of Paris full of food and happy with life.

Bistrot Victoires – 6 Rue de la Vrillière, 75001, Paris

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