Authentic with a dash of kitsch, La Bonbonnière has the atmosphere of a French country brasserie. Yet despite its down-to-earth, rustic-ness it sits at a very sweet location with a view of streets that have featured in the great episodes of the city of Paris and France. Mont Saint Genevieve that bears the name of the city’s patron saint stands in birds eye view. Rue Saint Jacques that formed one of important axes upon which a Roman-inspired urban plan was developed for the city is also an artery that feeds La Bonbonnière. The historic palatial residence and tribute to the Medici’s lies not too far either: Jardin Luxembourg is only a few steps away.
If the two-in-one deal of a centrally located place to eat and a homey atmosphere are not appealing, the cranberry tart is worth a visit, all by itself. The sheer act of writing about the tart recreates a vivid memory of my encounter with it. Now, that cranberry tart shall most certainly come to me in my dreams.
It is also a favoured haunt of an interesting mix of clients from doctoral students to overdressed old bourgeois Parisiennes, to the perfect caricatures for ‘man on the street’. It all adds to a non-pretentious, authentically Parisian ambience.
La Bonbonnière at 36 Rue Gay-Lussac, 75005 ,in my view, is worth a visit for a taste of very ordinary everyday life in this beautiful, bewitchingly stunning, cosmopolitan city.