Blanquette de veau, or veal stew, is one of the ultimate classics of French cooking. A typical fixture of Sunday dinners with the family, it has been prepared in the same way in the many brasseries of Paris for generations. The meat is delicately cooked, certainly never browned, and served in a sensationally buttery and creamy sauce, usually with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and celery. Read on for our list of the best spots in the city to try this tender treat for yourself.
La Ferrandaise is a great little restaurant in the Latin Quarter, right on the doorstep of the Jardin du Luxembourg and a five minute stroll from the Boulevard Saint-Germain. It specializes in traditional French cuisine, particularly that of the Auvergne region. The chef uses only organic, seasonal, and locally produced ingredients and its classic dishes like blanquette de veau, boeuf bourguignon, and pot au feu are paired wonderfully with wines from a select list of producers.
📅 Open Monday to Saturday (except Saturday lunch).
Le Mauzac is a local favorite for traditional French fare in the 5th arrondissement. It has a laid back atmosphere and a resident black cat, who has become a bit of a social media sensation. The menu has all the classics. Try a glass of Mauzac, a sparkling wine from the Southwest, to cap off the experience, ideally on the terrace if the weather permits.
📅 Open from 12:00pm to 2:30pm and from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.
Aux Charpentiers, an authentic French bistro in the 6th arrondissement, has been in business since 1876 and is a preferred hangout for the literary and political players of today. The owner Pierre Bardeche and his wife Colette are also in the habit of regaling customers with stories from the restaurant’s illustrious history. The tables by the front windows and on the terrace also make a perfect spot for people watching, the number one pastime in the neighborhood of Saint-German-des-Près.
📅 Open daily from 12:00pm to 3:00pm and from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.
A Parisian institution, the Brasserie Lipp, which opened in 1880, is renowned for its delicious food and the crisp black and white uniforms of its waitstaff. If you want to try their blanquette de veau, it will have to be on a Tuesday when it’s one of the specials of the day. However, on any day you’ll find something on the menu of equal indulgence. Perhaps uniquely, the restaurant also runs an annual literary prize, the Prix Cazes, for a previously unawarded writer under the age of forty. The winner is usually announced in April.
📅 Open daily from 8:30am to 1:00am.
Polidor has retained all the charm (and the décor) from its 171-year history. It was once a regular haunt for the likes of Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, and the menu hasn’t changed much, if at all, since their days. Egg mayonnaise, snails, salt pork with lentils, flank steak with shallots, steak tartar, and, of course, blanquette de veau all remain must taste highlights. The restaurant also has a healthily stocked wine cellar – over 20,000 bottles, including French and Spanish varieties – and a substantial liquor cabinet as well. You can see why it was so popular with Hemingway now, right? Reservations aren’t possible, but the welcome is always warm and space can be easily made.
📅 Open daily from 12:00pm to 2:30pm and from 7:00pm to 12:30am (except for Sundays when it closes at 11:00pm).
La Petite Chaise was founded in 1680 during the reign of Louis XIV. Behind its famous porch are three rooms spread over two floors capable of accommodating 70 people in a quaint and cozy environment. The menu takes its inspiration from France’s royal era and you’re most likely to find the blanquette de veau as a daily special.
📅 Open daily from 12:00pm to 2:00pm and from 7:00pm t0 11:00pm.
Le Petit Rétro is beautifully decorated in the style of the Années Folles and Belle Époque and offers classic dishes prepared in a thoroughly modern way. Located in the chic 16th arrondissement, the bistro originally opened in 1904 and came under new management in 2013 with a team passionate about this era in Paris’ history. The blanquette de veau comes just the way French grandmothers have been serving it for generations.
📅 Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00am to 11:00pm.
The Chez Monsieur (Royal Madeleine) is located in the heart of the elegant 8th arrondissement, close to Place de la Concorde, La Madeleine and the luxury shopping district of rue Saint-Honoré. The restaurant has a real buzz about it and its blanquette de veau is served pleasingly in an individual copper pot.
📅 Open daily from 12:00pm to 2:30pm and from 7:00pm to 10:30pm.