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Chartier Restaurant - A Real Slice of Paris

As a special birthday treat, my sister took me to this iconic restaurant in Paris. Arriving early to miss the long line that forms later in the night, we enter a vast room and feel we have stepped back in time. The glass ceiling soars above while wood panelling and antique lighting gives warmth to the room and tall mirrors accentuate the perspective.

And what about the famous wooden racks with numbered drawers that line the walls? These symbols of Chartier, as old as the restaurant itself, were when every customer had their own napkin and could store it safely until they returned for their next meal.

Amazingly, while Chartier has been nourishing hungry customers in Montmartre for over two centuries, there have only been four different owners since its creation in 1896.

However, the same simple and beautiful ambition has endured. From the very first meal at the turn of the 19th century, the idea was to serve blue collar workers an affordable hot meal, bouillon, a mixture of meat and vegetables. While the food is classic home style traditional French cuisine, the wait staff are still distinctively dressed in le rondin, a black waistcoat with many pockets and a long white apron.

Today, the meals are still excellent value: only the diversity of the clients and the menu have changed.

When to Eat at Chartier

Although Chartier accepts customers for dinner until 10:30pm every night, it's best to get there early as a queue forms later in the night. Don't be too perturbed by the long line however; there are lots of tables, the waiters are very efficient and the line moves fairly quickly. Unlike many Parisian restaurants, Chartier is open 365 days a year.

Despite the restaurant being a popular tourist attraction, dining at Chartier remains a true Parisian experience.

Getting to Restaurant Chartier

7 rue de Faubourg, Montmartre in the 9th arrondissement. Jump off the metro at Grands Boulevards.

Chartier can be easy to miss as it's in a covered passageway. Go through the alley, across a courtyard and there's the wooden and glass revolving door to take you to another world ..