last bistro standing

It seems that every day another hotspot is opening up in the Marais. New bars and restaurants around every corner. What about those that remain? Does anyone frequent the old haunts?


Le Bougnat is a restaurant I walked by almost every day, and often I wondered what when on in there (and who ate there), discreetly positioned on rue de Saintonge just steps away from trendy rue de Bretagne. One night my Italian and I decided to find out.


Much to our surprise the place was bustling, it was Friday night after all. There were young and old, mingling at the bar, filling up both small dining rooms… In their jovial manner, I could tell many of them were regulars.

IMG_1362IMG_1357Seated next to an elderly French couple, we quickly found out they were regulars. They advised us on what to order, all of the dishes being traditionally French. Somehow through the dinner our tables were pushed together and the next 3 hours were spent in conversation. If felt much like being in a small village far away from Paris. How friendly and hospitable everyone was!


After dinner we had a digestif with our new friends. Learning that this brasserie had been in Paris for many decades and was quite a hotspot (and still is) to those who knew the Marais before the term bobo was even invented. May it remain there for decades to come!

Le Bougnat is located at 28 rue de Saintonge and is open only on Friday and Saturday.

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  1. Claire March 29, 2013

    Hi Kasia, I stepped into this bustling restaurant 2 years ago for lunch…it was like stepping back in time into a Jean Gabin movie. You were surrounded by regulars, elbow to elbow, back to back, belly to belly with people’s coats hung up on the walls. At the time, there was a cloth storage unit tacked to a wall at the entrance to the back room. It had cloth pockets, each filled with the napkin of a regular. Home away from home! The food was hearty, comfort fare, generously served. How sweet to see this place on your blog and know that it is still there, true to form!

  2. Carina March 30, 2013

    I stood outside here in the warmer months taking photos, the doors were wide open and the mirrors and lighting was so charming. Locals smoking in the doorway and a buzz coming from the packed dining room.
    Personally, I find it terribly sad that so much of the charm is being ripped out of Paris and replaced with modern. I’ve started to take my café creme and meals in places where there is history. It keeps the charm of Paris alive for me, and hopefully does a little toward keeping these places from disappearing.

  3. Kathryn R March 30, 2013

    This looks like a wonderful place, and your evening there sounds perfect – thank you for investigating for us!

    • Kasia April 21, 2013

      Add it to your Paris eats list, Kathryn! 🙂

  4. What a charming place!

  5. Anne March 31, 2013

    How on earth do they make a go of it being open just two days a week?!

    • Kasia April 21, 2013

      Anne, they serve lunch other days but dinner twice a week. I suppose they are busy enough when they are open to endure!

  6. Danielle April 1, 2013

    Love finding these little gems, especially in the neighborhood! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  7. r4 April 24, 2013

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