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Oct 8, 2008 02:38 AM

Authentic French Onion soup in London


My friends and I are just coming back from 3 days in Paris, where we never ended up eating at a place with French Onion soup. So now we are craving it!

Does anyone have a recommendation for an affordable, gooey, delicious French Onion soup? Either West End area, or East/City area, or by Hampstead?


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  1. I had a pretty much perfect one at Villandry a few months ago. It was almost as good as l’Gueuleton's in Dublin (which is the best I have ever eaten!).

    1. I fully expect to be ridiculed for saying this, but I really enjoyed the one I got from Eat yesterday lunchtime :)

      3 Replies
      1. re: monkeytennis

        I've never eaten at Mon Plaisir in Soho, but they might have a good onion soup.

        1. re: monkeytennis

          I'm with you then opening myself to ridicule Monkey - I LOVE the french onion soup from Eat! Its so thick and gooey and tasty! Certainly one of my faves from there

          1. re: monkeytennis

            I think the Eat one is pretty good too! I think you should only be ridiculed for trying the Ainsley Harriot Cup a Soup version!! Now that WAS disgusting. I don't know why I was surprised....

          2. i'm with you guys. Eat's French Onion is rather nice!

            1. Have a go at this, it's great:


              I use a tin or two of consomme instead of stock. In fact it's a brilliant cheat ingredient in almost any beefy casserole/stew.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Robin Joy

                I always try to use the Sweet onions usually found in Sainsbury's and sometimes in Tesco. They taste a lot better (at least to me) and are helpful for people who have trouble digesting regular onions. They're expensive, but what the heck.

              2. Thanks for the suggestions! I haved enjoyed the soups I've tried at Eat. I'll definitely try the French Onion next time I see it.

                Also, love the VideoJug site. Thank you so much for that link! I'm sure I'll be looking at a lot of those videos.

                We ended up at Cafe Rouge, because it was close. Turned out fine. The soup was good...not great but better than the one we had in Paris. The roast chicken was delicious, and my friend loved her Moules Frite.

                Thanks again!

                4 Replies
                1. re: Just One Bite

                  I liked the french onion soup they do (did?) at Chez Gerard. Thick, loads of onions and a giant piece of garlic bread with cheese plonked on the top. A main course of its own, really.

                  1. re: Just One Bite

                    Glad you liked the link. The presentation is sometimes a bit irritating, but I think it's one of the better foodie sites.

                    Can I just agree with DietStartsTom. about the qualities of Chez Gerard? In about 1996 I was the first to book at their new branch in Bishopsgate which opened on Bastille Day. Six of us had a very extended lunch which started with a couple of bottles of gratis Champagne. When the bill arrived it was clearly far too little, as they had not charged for wine. They simply would not take any payment, so we ordered another couple of rounds of Armagnac, insisting that we were paying, but they were having none of it. They finally chucked us out as their Press launch was at 5 p.m! Top people, top place.

                    Years later I remain a fan. A far superior experience to the gloomy Gaucho nearby. Cheaper too.

                    1. re: Robin Joy

                      Is the branch of Chez Gerard at CG also worthy? I've passed it but we've never eaten there.

                      P.S. I also liked that website... very helpful for those who haven't cooked a lot of British classics.

                      1. re: zuriga1

                        Lunched there once, out on the terrace. Must be over 10 years ago, so memory does not really serve, but if it was anything but good I would certainly recall it.

                        Many people are quite negative about chains, even the smaller ones, but I've never had a problem with them. I'm perfectly ok with Cafe Rouge, Thai Square etc. and actually I think that the modern pub/restaurant chains like All Bar One or Fine Line are a vast improvement on the smelly old boozers of yesteryear.

                        I think I'm a bit off subject............