The Case for a Touristy Restaurant

Like many other “touristy” restaurants found in guidebooks and reviewed on TripAdvisor, Chartier has gotten a bad rap. But not going to these institutions because you’ll eat less than stellar food (OK, they use some frozen food, get over it) means you’ll be missing out on a potentially memorable experience. All of these big brasseries offer superb settings and old-world wait staff who may be abrupt and snarky, but they can also be a lot of fun if you know what you’re getting into. As for Chartier, the rock-bottom prices to sample some traditional French fare in a century-old eatery doesn’t pretend to be anything else. If you want high class fare and a bit of pretention, there’s plenty of that in Paris. If you aren’t as interested in photographing your food as in living an experience, then there’s no reason to avoid Chartier.


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