The Best French Onion Soup in Paris

Best French Onion Soup in Paris featured photo

Overview

The People’s Dish That Rules Soup-remeAn Intro to French Onion Soup 
#1 La JacobineLatin Quarter Neighborhood
#2 Brasserie FlottesOpposite the Tuileries Garden / Le Premier 
#3 La Poule Au Pot Halles Neighborhood
#4 Les PhilosophesLe Marais Neighborhood
#5 Le Comptoir de la GastonomieMontmartre

The People’s Dish That Rules Soup-reme 

Praised as the supreme hangover elixir of France, French soupe à l’oignon Is a true ‘People’s Dish.’ 

Many French folks prefer this as their first meal after a night out, or at the end of a big wedding. 

You’ll smell it oozing out of a modest kitchen, just as likely as you’ll pay the big bucks for a tiny bowl of it at a Michelin-rated restaurant. 

While there are kingly legends about this pungent and steamy sensation, food historians think it has humble origins. 

If we trace back just a few hundred years ago, we find French onion soup in the historic, bustling Les Halles market. 

There in Les Halles, servants sold the scraps from banquets to the poor. 

Eventually, some historians think, this soup re-emerged from the onion scraps. (Although, it was definitely more watery back then.)

If you peel back even more layers, to the Antiquity period, Rome’s slaves and poor ate a very similar onion soup topped with bread. 

In the Middle Ages, French onion soup found its way into French cookbooks.

Some still swear it came mystically to France, out of King Louis XV’s barren cupboards. 

Either way, we know the people of modern-day France have loved soupe à l’oignon for quite some time. 

Parisian chefs have now elevated it from its humble beginnings by adding a few steep ingredients and extra steps. 

They sweeten it by caramelizing the onions and adding wine to the stock. Then, it’s endowed with a beaucoup layer of grated cheese (usually gruyere) and slid under the broiler to crisp. 

Depending on the quality of these extras and the restaurant’s Michelin status, you’ll pay a lavish price compared to the original soupe à l’oignon lovers. 

This staple won’t be going away anytime soon, and folks are still finding ways to make it better. 

For me, a delicious French onion soup uses high-quality, homemade beef stock, organic yellow onions, raw gruyère cheese (to get that extra creamy molten cheese layer on the top), and the white wine boiled in for some tartness. 

Also, many prefer this hangover cure / comfort food to have a healthy proportion of French bread on the top. 

Few things in this life are better than crispy bread with butter— the perfect thing to sop up that steaming beef broth. 

Now that we’ve got your mouth watering, we’ve cooked up a list of the best French onion soups in Paris. 

#1: La Jacobine

La Jacobine
La Jacobine Entrance

Hours

Tuesday—Sunday: 12PM—11PM; Monday: Closed. 

Address

 59-61 Rue Saint-André des Arts, 75006 

Telephone

+33 1 46 34 15 95

Price Range

$$—$$$

Why We Love It

Other than its French onion soup, we love La Jacobine for its homey atmosphere and value. 

Here, you can sip on house-made wine and relax. 

La Jacobine’s French Onion Soup
La Jacobine’s French Onion Soup

To go with your onion soup, you’ll have a choice from some other outstanding French classics. 

We recommend the escargots and duck confit, but La Jacobine is an overall people-pleaser. 

Also, this place offers terrific value and service for its prices, unlike the many tourist traps in Paris. 

If you want to unwind and escape the widespread pretensions of the culinary scene, you should definitely get your onion soup from La Jacobine. 

#2 Brasserie Flottes

Brasserie Flottes
Painting of Flottes

Hours

Sunday—Saturday: 7AM—11:30PM 

Address

2 Rue Cambon, 75001

Telephone

+33 1 42 60 80 89

Price Range

$$—$$$

Why We Love It

Flottes grants a slightly more upscale, yet still cool and casual, experience.  While Parisians love its French onion soup, it’s also known for stellar seafood and ambience.  

In fact, their menu calls the French onion soup “famous.” 

If not for the onion soup, people come for the fish and lobster. 

The Famous French Onion SoupBelle Sole Française à la plancha
Left: The Famous French Onion Soup / Right: Belle Sole Française à la plancha or miller

However, they also cook up some delicious beef and chicken specialties, such as the Châteaubriand beef filet and the farmer’s “red label” roast chicken.

Flottes’ Châteaubriand beef filetThe farmer’s “red label” roast chicken
Left: Flottes’ Châteaubriand beef filet / Right: The farmer’s “red label” roast chicken

This is an ideal place to bring the family or your co-workers, since the menu includes several sharing platters. 

Flottes’ Dining Area

As far as the look and feel, it seems that they’ve put in just enough lighting, with the right amount of deep colors and comfortable furniture. 

At Flottes, you can come in either your semi-formal wear, straight from sightseeing, or for a business gathering. It’s not so formal that you’ll feel out of place in your day clothes, or vice versa. 

If you want stellar onion soup alongside a gourmet meal, definitely try out Flottes. 

#3: La Poule Au Pot (Michelin-Rated) 

La Poule Au Pot
La Poule au Pot Front View

Hours

Tuesday—Saturday: 12PM—2PM, 7PM—11PM; Sunday & Monday: Closed 

Address

2 Rue Cambon, 75001

Telephone

+33 1 42 36 32 96

Price Range

$$—$$$

Why We Love It

Translating to “The Chicken in the Pot,” this Michelin-rated restaurant didn’t rise to celebrity status overnight. This gem has stood for 80 years in the Les Halles neighborhood. 

Owners Chef Jean-François Piège and his spouse made their menu with a goal in mind: to showcase the best of the best of French cuisine. 

Sinya Usami, the executive chef, has modernized the menu items while keeping the original, rustic charm. 

La Poule au Pot Dining Room
La Poule au Pot Dining Room

When you walk in, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve gone back in time. The vintage wallpapers, soft pink table covers, and delicate decorations reflect 1930s Paris, when the restaurant originated. 

If you want to enjoy your French onion soup in an old fashioned setting, definitely consider here. 

#4: Les Philosophes

Les Philosophes Front View

Hours

Wednesday—Sunday: 12PM—1AM; Monday & Tuesday: Closed 

Address

28 Rue Vieille du Temple 75004

Telephone

+33 1 48 87 49 64

Price Range

$$—$$$

Why We Love It

This next stop in Le Marais neighborhood is recommended by critics and featured on Taste Atlas

This is the classic Parisian bistro, including street corner position, raw, organic ingredients,  white-shirt-and-black-vested wait staff, and French favorites. 

The owner, Xavier Danamur, keeps transparent about his cuisine and the ingredient sources.  That’s why he makes sure to put the suppliers’ names down on the back of the menu, as well as on the website.

When you come, you should definitely try their house-made wine or their organic barrel beers. Either would make a lovely compliment to their popular French onion soup. 

If you’re extra hungry, their salmon and creme brulee draw in folks from all over the capital and country. 

Philosophes’  French Onion Soup
Philosophes’  French Onion Soup

It’s atmosphere— formed by its large-stoned walls and spiraling stairwell— is reminiscent of Old Paris. 

We definitely recommend you see for yourself after all those hours of shopping in the Marais neighborhood. 

#5: Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie Front View

Hours

Monday—Saturday: 10AM—10:30PM; Sunday: 10AM—6PM

Address

34 Rue Montmartre, 75001

Telephone

+33 1 42 33 31 32

Price Range

$$—$$$

This is a terrace restaurant that makes their own cheese, cold-cuts, and other impressive specialities. 

It’s located adjacent to their own gastronomie boutique, and we just need to say this— come here if you love meat and cheese. 

While they do have vegan and vegetarian options, this is a beer-meat-and-cheese lover paradise above else. 

Comptoir de la Gastronomie Boutique
Comptoir de la Gastronomie Boutique

Their homemade sandwiches go great with a craft beer and a bowl of…French onion soup, of course!

If you’ve just had one too many drinks the night before, this place is perfect to let French onion soup do, well, its job— cure your hangover. 

Sandwiches stuffed with high quality meats and cheeses don’t hurt when you’re in that state, either. 

Right now they have limited-hour specials (5PM—9PM only): Duck Foie Gras, Scottish smoked salmon, and more

Also, Montmartre is a Parisian neighborhood with its own quait, village-like feel. That means less traffic horns for those raging headaches. 

Related Articles

The Best Escargot in Paris

Overview Helpful Hints & How to Eat Escargot (A Must-Read!) Chez Fernand Christine Saint Germain-des-Prés L’Escargot Montorgueil Les Halles Chez Janou Le Marais Bouillon Chartier

Read More »

Best Bakeries in Paris

Overview Blé Sucré Bastille Pollâne Saint Germain Des-Prés Du Pain et des Idées Canal Saint-Martin Boulangerie Utopie 11th Arrondissement (Bastille / Oberkampf) Chambelland Canal Saint-Martin

Read More »

Best Ice Cream in Paris

At a Glance Berthillon Île Saint-Louis La Bac à Glaces Champs-Elysées Glace Bachir Montmartre Une Glace à Paris Le Marais Pozzetto Le Marais Introduction We’ve

Read More »