Cheese. Meat. Bread. Wine. Baby bottles.
All the ingredients you need for a good hearty meal, so says Refuges des Fondus in Paris. This little restaurant on Rue de Trois-Freres in the Montmartre area is my favourite place to eat in Paris.
I first discovered it after my friend Kev and I had done a 300-mile bike ride across France and were on the lookout for a good night out. That night we saw the queues, decided it must be amazing and gave it a chance. It was definitely love at first fondue.
I went again a few years later, and then last week I took my favourite girls there too. They loved it so much I decided it was time to write about it.
Why so good?
On arrival you need to be prepared for the fact that half your party will have to climb over the table to get seated, so make sure you nominate the agile ones beforehand to avoid any on the spot awkwardness.
For just €21 (I think it’s only gone up a euro in 5 years) you get:
- A welcome drink
- Selection of tapas including sausage, gherkins, olives and cheese
- Cheese or meat fondue
- Fruit salad
- As many baby bottles full of wine as you can drink during the meal
Seeing as there were 5 of us what you see here is a meat fondue for three and a cheese for two. It was just the right amount of enough. When I’ve been just the two of us I’ve had to choose one or the other so it’s definitely a good idea to go in a group to taste the whole menu.
By the time we got there we were absolutely ravenous. The tapas only lasted about the time it took to take this photo.
They bought baskets of chunky crust out and the raw steak to tease us. Next came the piping hot cheese and a pan of oil to dip our meat. There were also a few bowls of potatoes to dip too.
My friend Kayte (blonde sniffer) ‘comes from a long line of butchers’ as she liked to remind us, so she liked her steak bleeding. I prefer it a little more well done – the best thing about a fondue is you can cook it however you want.
After the fondue there was the opportunity to upgrade to a fancier dessert if you wanted but I was happy with the tinned fruit to cleanse my palate before we carried on with the baby bottles.
Les Refuge des Fondus is a great place to go in a group. It’s easy to split the bill, there’s some great bars around for after and the staff in here were really nice and friendly. It’s so good I can’t actually imagine going to Paris and not going here.