À la Bonne Franquette
In French “À la bonne franquette” means “it’s a simple or informal meeting or get-together”
For example, “Nous avons mangé à la bonne franquette” (We ate informally), or “C’est une réunion à la bonne franquette’ (it’s an informal reunion).
So, this is a perfect name for a restaurant in France, and there is one in Montmartre, Paris. This well-known inn and bistro is in the heart of old Montmartre, directly opposite the equally famous Le Consulat, and just up the hill from the small Montmartre vineyard.
As their sign tells us, it used to be known as “Aux Billards en Bois” (roughly, “at the wooden billiards”). It’s existed for around four centuries but became well-known in the late 1800s, famously as a rendezvous for artists, such as Diaz, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Monet and Zola. Van Gogh used its garden as the model for his celebrated painting “La Guinguette”, painted in October 1886 and exhibited at the Orsay Museum.
Nowadays, À la Bonne Franquette is very popular with tourists, especially groups, but as far as we can tell it hasn’t become too “touristy”. Their motto is “Love, Eat, Drink and Sing” and they seem to succeed, as the ambience is good, cheerful with red-checked tablecloths, and various musicians and dancers regularly perform. They serve traditional French cuisine, such as garlic snails, French onion soup, duck, tarte au citron (lemon pie).
We like the small wine bar, called Aux Bons Vins, on the side facing Le Consulat and
will usually stop there for a glass of wine and a cheese plate.
Address: On the corner of 2 Rue des Saules and 18 rue Saint Rustique (18th arrondissement)
Telephone: +33 1 42 52 02 42
To see more and check the whole menu, go to their web site: