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Where is the Best Onion Soup?

Sorry if this is redundant but I searched past posts & couldn't find the answer. I am looking for a place where we could walk in without a reservation and order a light dinner-perhaps just onion soup & a glass of wine. I'm sure there are many opinions about who makes the very best traditional onion soup in Paris, but if I could find one really, really good one . . . you know, the kind that tastes of the deep complexity of the meat stock, the high quality slowwww simmered onions, the good bread, the realllly good cheese gooey on top, not so salty that my hands & feet puff up like a blowfish afterward. Mmmmmmm . . . So maybe not necessarily the very best in Paris (since I'm looking for a casual situation), but maybe one of the best? One of the pleasures of visiting in the off season on a cold autumn evening!

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    1. Which place has the best onion soup - casual or not?

      9 Replies
      1. re: jwurz

        I have no idea but I have to ask: where did you guys get that onion soup idea? Who actually already had one that was really good? Where? When? I like OneMoreBite's description but it mostly feels like the good feeling of a warm soup in a warm winter: the critical thing is that you walked in the cold for hours before.

        1. re: souphie

          O comeon, Soup, it must exist. Must have existed once. Must exist in its Plantoniic onion-soupness state, which means somewhere in France it must be there screaming: "bite me!"

          1. re: Parigi

            My partner loves a good onion soup, but it isn't a standard restaurant dish these days. We tend to happen across it by chance every now and then. I suspect it is now a characterture dish, that sits along side bike riding, beret wearing men in striped jumpers with strings of onions around their necks. More common in French themed bistros in other countries than in France itself.

          2. re: souphie

            This one on Simon's blog looks delicious. Souphie - how is the restaurant?

            http://francoissimon.typepad.fr/engli...

            1. re: jwurz

              It looks good, yes, but the link’s written review says it tasted like soap. (“Le Pied de Cochon” -- ouch! -- I though this was one of the things LPC does well.)

              I posted a similar question about a week ago ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/680690 ), and this reminds me that I’m still hoping for a current real recommendation for Gratinée/ onion soup. We get good onion soup near my office in San Francisco (at “Bistro Clovis”), and I’d hope to be able to have at least that good when we’re in wintry Paris . . . .

              Jake

              1. re: Jake Dear

                I'm not sure that's possible -- let me try Bistrot Clovis when I'm in town.

                1. re: souphie

                  Souphie, when you are in San Francisco, let me know. Bistro Colvis also has the best (and properly carmelized) tarte tartin I've even had -- much better than any we've had in France. As they make the dish, it takes 20 minutes, and so it's often ordered at the start of the meal . . . .

                  Jake

                  1. re: Jake Dear

                    Sounds great. Writing it down. Will be early March.

                    1. re: souphie

                      Souphie, if it’s “written down,” it must be real. Great – I’ll send you an email. Recall, I said the onion soup/ Gratinée at Bistro Clovis is “good”; I don’t promise more than that. But the caramelized tarte tatin – that, I’m confident, should be superb -- at least it was the last ten times I had it there.

                      Jake

        2. The best onion soup I've ever had-- and it is awesome, like you describe it-- was at the Savoy in Raleigh, NC. I have yet to find anything here in Paris that comes close (it's definitely not to be found at Au Pied du Cochon).

          4 Replies
          1. re: tortoiseshell

            Jeez. I make a mean one but the best I've had was not near Les Halles at Le Pied de Cochon but in Sai Gon (I went to Le Pied de Cochon after an article, not by Joe Ray whom I respect, but someone else and it was blah). I'm not sure there is a place anymore for one here. That's 1950's stuff.

            John Talbott
            http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

            1. re: John Talbott

              "the best I've had was not near Les Halles at Le Pied de Cochon but in Sai Gon"

              Makes sense.
              South Asians sure "get" broth.
              (But they sure don't "get" cheese, and onion soup is all about b+c, no?)

              1. re: Parigi

                Do you really need to "get" cheese to add it on top a broth?

                1. re: souphie

                  I suppose you could "make" the cheese, but that sounds more difficult.

          2. Well, I stumbled on the best onion soup grantinee I've had since they pulled Les Halles down. It was at the 5 1/2 month old place Chez Grenouille in the 9th that only Pudlo and Astrid T'Serclaes TMK have tumbled onto. It cost all of 5 Euros and was on the "menu" today so no guarantees they'll have it tmrw. No dishwater thin, yucky bread, stupid cheese stuff; this was the real thing. Who'uld'have thunk it, and in the midst of theaterland. The rest of the (meat) meal was equal to it. Full report at http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

            John Talbott

            4 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              John, many thanks! Just in time for us -- we'll call before we go there to confirm that they still have Gratinée on the menu . . . .

              Jake

              1. re: Jake Dear

                Even without it, the place is cool and undiscovered, friendly and all locals.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Yup, it's on our short list in any event. (And it also sounds like the kind of place where I can find my other wintry pursuit: tripes a la mode de Caen.) -- Jake

                  1. re: Jake Dear

                    Well, Madame explained it was not exactly Caenoise but a very old recipe (Jadis sort of stuff).