This blog post was updated on May 10, 2018.
[mks_dropcap style=”rounded” size=”52″ bg_color=”#ff2323″ txt_color=”#000000″]A[/mks_dropcap]merican chef, author, host, and lover of French cuisine Julia Child explained, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Her words detail the philosophy of the French bistro. Generally serving up traditional dishes, the bistros of France have become key components of French culture. Detail oriented, these eateries lend classics composed of seasonal, good quality ingredients, generally at affordable prices. As The Guardian recently outlined it’s readers’ favorite Parisian bistros, our stomachs started growling for that certain je ne sais quoi the French bistro embodies.
If you can’t snag a ticket to Paris anytime soon, take a seat at a café table or booth, at some of these renowned Parisian style bistros across the U.S.
Located in the West Village in New York City, Buvette epitomizes the French bistro philosophy. The establishment sets out to meld restaurant, bar, and café into one. With a certain old world café charm meets neighborhood eatery, Buvette serves everything from your morning espresso, to shared dishes over lunch. Buvette is led by Chef Jody Williams and also boasts a Paris location!
Frequently labeled as the closest you can get to a French bistro in Chicago, Le Bouchon lends a true taste of Paris in the Windy City. Set up in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, the bistro’s menu features staples like foie gras, escargot, and whole roasted Peking duck. With its small and cozy atmosphere, Le Bouchon keeps with tradition, offering classic French fare in a homey environment.
Settled into downtown Portland, Little Bird is the vision of James Beard Award winning chef, Gabriel Rucker. Known for his sister restaurant Le Pigeon, Little Bird is the more affordable output of Chef Rucker. With the goal of being accessible to the everyday diner, Little Bird serves lunch and dinner in a Parisian bistro atmosphere, with a Portland edge. For lunch, diners can feast on roasted marrow bones and salads, while dinner brings double Brie burgers and steak with frites!
Brasserie By Niche
Led by James Beard nominated chef Gerard Craft, this St. Louis bistro might have you checking to see if you’ve really landed in Paris. Located near Forest Park, Brasserie By Niche features a pressed tin ceiling, checkered tablecloths, and outdoor terrace. Serving dinner and brunch, the eatery sources all of its ingredients from nearby farms. Classics on the menu include onion soup, braised beef, and croque madame.
[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#dd9323″ txt_color=”#000000″]The beauty of the French bistro comes in its backbone for simplicity.[/mks_pullquote]You don’t have to have a ton of money or the most developed of palettes to appreciate what’s on the menu. Dishes are downright classic, and served in environments where your neighbor could easily walk through the door on any given Friday night. While nothing beats the bistros of Paris, these U.S. based French bistros help the imagination wander overseas, without the jet lag. Their traditional, and fresh dishes are what make the French bistro culture unique.
What’s your favorite French bistro in the U.S.? Share your pick with us in the comments below.