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Bistros are usually pretty casual neighborhood restaurants that offer French cuisine. They serve lunch and dinner at fixed hours; noon till 2:30-3PM for lunch, 7:30PM till about midnight for dinner.

Brasseries serve throughout the day, till sometimes very late at night and have a larger menu, with usually very traditionnal French cuisine: you are likely to find the same dishes in many different brasseries, like “steak tartare” or “les huitres” or “coq au vin” or “choucroute garnie”: it will then be up to you to compare  the quality of the food and the wait staff, the decor, ambiance, price… and decide which one is your favorite :-)

Here is an article about Bistros in Paris: I don’t know any of these: do you? Any favorite Bistro of yours? Post a comment, we could end up with a nice list :-)

The 2 pictures of this post are from the restaurant Le Square Trousseau, 1, Rue Antoine-Vollon, 75012 Paris, in the Bastille quartier, were we ate during our Paris gettaway.

trusseau-2 At a few meters from la place d’Aligre (and it’s famous market), “Le Square Trousseau”serves very typic French food: steak tartare, Andouillette, steak frites… with home made fries that are to die for (thin style, very crunchy).

We had not planned to eat there, we just stumble upon this fantastic place which served one of the best “steak tartare” I ever ate. We must have been lucky, since we didn’t watch the time and arrived there pretty late – around 2:45PM – so not French of us! -hence finding a table outside right away. My guess is that this place must get crowded pretty fast. The setting is gorgeous: the street is very calm (after market hours that is…), and the 1900 décor is sublime. We’ll definitely go back !!


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Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 20 years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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