I was on a mission to find THE BEST French Onion Soup in Paris.
How do you find the best onion soup? Well you eat a lot of it, but not so much that you come to hate it.
I have a dream to find the best french onion soup in Paris.
But, well, Paris is big.
So I decided to try as many as I could within Montmartre, where we were staying.
There were three contenders –
First Trips Favourite – La Piazza
Last Trips Favourite – Cafe De La Butte
And the New Comer – Cafe d’Albert
From these three contenders we would assess three crucial elements of any onion soup: onion:soup ratio, depth of flavour, and the toasted cheesy croutons on top. Plus as some added bias protection, the score out of 5 from my partner. Price is not being discussed here because all were within 5.50 and 6.50.
Onion:Soup Ratio – 5 Points
This is important because, well, onion soup needs onion. But it can also be unpleasant to wade through knee deep onions to reach the soup.
Depth of Flavour – 5 Points
Soup can so easily be cooked into oblivion – especially in high traffic restaurants – and taste of salt and nothing else.
The Toasty Cheese Factor – 5 Points
The best onion soup has to have the best dipping bread, and the best dipping bread has cheese.
Totally Reliable Unbiased Second Taster (TRUST) – 5 Points
I like to examine food, he likes to eat it and say if he liked it or not. Plus it makes my score a nice round 20 😉
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First Trip Favourite: La Piazza
I first visited Paris in 2014 with my best friend from Australia. We were flat broke and more days than not our lunch was a shared baguette and brie wheel.
Piazza was just around the corner from out hostel, and it was directly across the road from Jules Joffrin Metro station.
I won’t talk about the service, except to say that it was satisfyingly, stereotypically, French. The waiters wait, they don’t try to be your friend or put a big fake smile on – they just do their job.
To the soup!
Onion:Soup Ratio: this was heavy, there was A LOT of onion, and chunks of garlic. Which was very helpful for our immune system but also rather hard work towards the end. The chunks of garlic were a surprise.
Depth of Flavour: There was a very good balance of flavours, it was salty but in a moreish way. The onion, though copious, was very well cooked – it retained its sweet flavour and had good bite.
Toasty Cheese Factor: Good quantity and good toastiness, but they may want to add a meltier cheese into their mix – this was a very strong dry cheese, probably Parmesan or crumbly cheddar and it did go a little solid as it cooled.
TRUST Score: He was not a fan. too much onion, too strong flavoured cheese. But he did like the actual flavour of the soup, and not a bite was left!
11/20 – enough to pass, but the restaurant location is its prime attraction factor.
Last Trip Favourite: Cafe De La Butte
This was a life saver last time, I was grumpy, me feet hurt, and the stairs to Sacre Coeur unending. So I stopped in and had the duck, I loved the atmosphere, and so we absolutely had to visit this trip! There will be a full review of our food here next week, stay tuned.
Now, la soupe.
Onion:Soup Ratio: Gorgeous ratio, enough to make you feel like there’s substance in the bowl, but not so much you feel like you’re eating a pile of boiled onions with some sauce.
Depth of Flavour: This could have been a little more seasoned for me, there was no discernible garlic and only a hint of salt.
Toasty Cheese Factor: Upsettingly low. The bread wasn’t toasted, the cheese was tasty but I definitely think they microwaved it to get it there.
TRUST Score: This was his favourite, he was very happy with everything, and if we were to go back this was his choice for seconds.
14/20 – Very respectable score, would we go back? Abso-frickin-lutely.
The New Comer : Cafe d’Albert
This was somewhere we tried because we were cold, if you turn right out of Jules Joffrin and cross the road you will find Cafe d’Albert. It is warm, it appeared to be quite local – often we were the only people speaking English in there (we may have eaten there three nights in a row because I, sadly, do not posses the ability to consume three mains in one sitting). There will also be a full review of this cafe in coming weeks.
Right, soup time.
Onion:Soup Ratio: In my humble opinion it was a little on the light side. But, I DO like a lot of onion.
Depth of Flavour: I liked this a lot, the onion had good flavour, the salt level was perfect, and you could taste the other things like garlic and the herbs without getting chunks of it. This definitely smelled the best as well.
Toasty Cheese Factor: I would eat an entire baguette of this. It was fresh cut baguette – we saw her cut it – and a good cheese selection. Plus, the cheese was copious – melty, with some toasty bits, with good flavour, and just …. god someone get me some cheese.
TRUST Score: He enjoyed it, he agreed with me that there could have been more chunky onion.
16/20 – A fantastic score, and a fantastic meal!
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Have we found the best french onion soup in Paris (Montmartre)??
The New Comer, The Underdog, The One, The Only –
Best Onion Soup in Montmartre is served at – Cafe d’Albert!
We loved all the food we had at Cafe d’Albert, not to mention that the service and atmosphere was some of the best I’ve ever had while travelling.
So, Enjoy Your Soup – and Enjoy Paris!
In between finding the best onion soup in Paris there are a tonne of amazing things to do – maybe you want to visit the Louvre, have an amazing evening enjoying the nightlife of Paris, have you thought about visiting the incredible Chartres for a day? Whatever you decide to do – let us know!
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