Churrasqueira Galo: Roast Chicken in Paris

I’ve hesitated about sharing this place with you, but have finally succumbed. After all, everyone has a right to find a great roast chicken place. Especially one that’s incredibly affordable. And pretty delicious.

chicken

Churrasqueira Galo is a dive, a place where there’s a always a lively cross section of residents of this transitioning quartier, including families out with the kids, drag queens, Portuguese soccer players, and assorted dubious characters (like me) looking for a good, inexpensive meal.

And beware of going during the full-blast heat of the summer: last year we had to leave mid-meal because it was so stifling hot. When I asked the sweating owner, who was manning the fiery rôtisserie, why they didn’t get a fan, he told me: “They’re so expensive! A fan cost the same as a day’s earnings in Portugal.”

I didn’t want to point out that A) We’re not in Portugal, we’re in Paris, and B) A cheap fan costs about €20. No one asked me, but I think twenty euros is a pretty good investment if your customers are leaving.

But no matter, just go prepared for anything and if you’re looking for linen napkins, fancy crystal, and a television that plays something other than the Portuguese soccer game, forget it.

chicken gallina's

I always get a bottle of Aveleda vinho verde which I love drinking, although I didn’t always. The first time I tasted this “green” wine, I was in a restaurant in Portugal and was put-off by the slight sparkle of the carafe of wine that was presented, and thinking the wine was off, I brought it to attention of the waiter. Everyone at the surrounding tables erupted and told me that was normal, that the wine was meant to be that way.

And now? I love it and it’s one of my go-to summer wines because it’s light and refreshing. Plus it also has half the alcohol of other wine so you can drink more without getting into trouble. Which is especially important at a place filled with Portuguese soccer players and assorted other types.

menu

I don’t think the menu changes and for €9 you’ll get a half-chicken, French fries (like elsewhere, they have trouble cooking them ’til crisp—so ask…or beg, as we always do…), a mound of rice, a little gesture of salad, and the fullest glass of red wine you’ll ever come across.

Churrasqueira Galo
69, rue de Dunkerque (9th)
Tél: 01 48 74 49 40
(Open daily, 11am-11pm)

UPDATE: As of 2012, Churrasqueira Galo is under new owners.


On another note, I’ve added a few addresses to my Paris Hamburger List:

La Montagne
13, rue du Pot de Fer (5th)
Tél: 01 43 36 61 52

Respectable burger with outstanding house-made French fries, cooked until deep-golden brown. My burger could have been seasoned with a bit more salt but it was served juicy and pretty rare. Very friendly service and a deal at around €11.

Le Scoop
154, rue St. Honoré
Tél: 01 42 60 31 84

My friend Heather took me here for a belated birthday and I had a very good birthday-burger. On the plus side, it was juicy and seasoned just right. Plus at lunch, it’s a deal; €13 gets you a hamburger and an excellent milkshake. I’ll shave a few points off for not toasting the bun, and they serve roasted potatoes, rather than fries. (In their defense, they may not have a fryer.) But all is redeemed since they make their own ice cream!

Café Charlot
38, rue de Bretagne (3rd)
Tél: 01 44 54 03 30

I was pretty miffed at this terribly bobo café since when took over the corner where a lovely old bread bakery was. But their redeeming quality is they serve up a very good cheese burger with excellent, crisp thin-cut fries. The service is pretty “eat it and beat it”, which is unusual in Paris, but the staff is amiable and they serve Moroccan-style mint tea, for those with the fortitude to linger.

23 comments

  • I could go with some chicken and fries right now. I think I ate too much chocolate.

  • Yum! We have a similar place that has just opened near my office. I haven’t gotten there yet but feel tempted each time I drive past and smell their yummy chicken fumes. I doubt ours will sell wine though. Our liquor laws are a bit provincial compared to France.

  • This post has me missing my favorite Churrasquiera called Gaucho’s which closed last year and now the closest one to us is a 3 hour drive to Dallas. There is nothing quite like spit fire roasted meats.

  • Oooooh wow – my mouth is watering already!

    Thank you SO much for sharing this place…I might have to head over there this weekend!

  • Oh WOW… I could definitely go for some of this right now! I love it.

  • I suffered one of the worst hangovers of my life after drinking too much vinho verde at a churrasquiera in Newark, New Jersey. I still have no idea how this happened.

  • Sounds phenomenal. I love places like this. The more dive (but still great food), the better. Thanks for sharing it. I know how one debates to let others in on finds like these ’cause they end up stealing your seat! ;-)

  • This sounds wonderful. Thanks for the recommendation; I am hoping to take my husband to Paris for the first time in the near future, and we both love whole in the wall types of eateries.

  • It’s funny how roasted chicken seems to slowly (?) become THE Portuguese traditional food in big cities like London or Paris, and how everybody seems to absolutely love it. For me personally as much as I like it, roasted chicken is something you have when there’s no time to cook or a bunch of people arrive for dinner without a previous note. But of course, that’s what you do in Lisbon, plus I get to have a good ‘churrasqueira’ in almost every street of my neighborhood. Now regarding ‘vinho verde’, I’ll take a glass anytime! Can you get hold of ‘Muralhas de Monção’ in Paris? I prefer it to ‘Aveleda’.

    Just wondering why they’d called ‘churrasqueira galo’ (=roaster)… Although I’m guessing it’s because of our traditional ‘galo de Barcelos’ and has nothing to do with France’s symbol, it’s a rather fitting name for a ‘churrasqueira’ in Paris.

    Thanks for sharing, David. I will NOT go there in my next trip Paris just for fear of finding Cristiano Ronaldo at the counter – I’d rather have a walk in the Marais and, like last summer, bump into Chico Buarque wearing his Portugal football shirt instead!! ;-)

  • Hi David!

    Nice to see some portuguese references on your blog!

    Next time may you try the “Alvarinho” instead of “Aveleda”. Here in Portugal we do consider it the best Vinho Verde of all. And it was on the menu list as well…

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for the tip! This place is actually pretty close to out future rented apartment (Rue Fontaine, in June). Do you know any additional family-style-not-too-expensive places in the area?

    PO: Personally, I don’t really get the obsession with french fries, as I’ve been in Paris twice, and it was literately in every deal meal I could find.

    Regards, Igal

  • If someday you come to Brazil, more precisely to Sao Paulo, you can visit a place called “Galeto’s” were it’s served the best roast chicken of all! The specialty of the restaurant is a roasted deboned cornish hen, which is tender, soft and moist.
    There are several branches of this restaurant in the city, all of them very well presented and not too expensive. Their webpage (in english, too): http://www.galetos.com.br.

  • Yummy, Roast chicken is one of the most universal menu items I know; it can be parlayed into just about anything, IF, one is lucky enough to have left-overs, but generally this lovely item is consumed totally at the first go-round.

    Finding a good local hot-spot that serves a good one can be tricky, but its definitely one of those items that can mark the spot for many return visits if done correctly.

    I hope you enjoy a wonderful vacation. You are so deserving. :) Try posting if you can, but by all means, enjoy your free time. I’ll bet we all return when you do.

    ;)

  • Joana: We did try that one once (when you have an American accent, some folks like to give you the more expensive one, unless you specify) and it was good, but I still like the other one better : )

  • What a lovely find! Thank you so much for posting. I was just putting together a list of restaurants for our up-coming trip, and this one shot way up the list. Yes, yes, the fancy places, sure. But I bore of it. This looks darn amazing.

  • David – that sounds divine. It reminds me of a Portuguese bakery/restaurant in Montreal that was around the corner from my apartment. They made the most delicious roasted chicken sandwiches I have ever had, so if you’re ever in Montreal keep a lookout for the Portuguese bakery on rue Rachel!

  • I’ve just read your post and I must confess that I found it a little bit snob… probably I am being excessive on my critic, but it really sounds [me] like…
    I would like to suggest Alvarinho instead of Aveleda, its much better, believe me.
    Also want to ensure you that, as far as i know, the Portuguese soccer players are just obtuse, not dangerous.

    Enjoy!

  • Ah, I can relate. I am so cheap that I will sit in my apartment during hot weather with no air conditioning. I do, however, have a fan, I will admit.

  • I just came back yesterday from Paris. This place is great! There was so much food on my plate, 1/2 chicken, rice, salad and fries. OMG what I wouldn’t do to have it now. Thank you for this find.

  • Great post. LOVE Portuguese Roast Chicken!! We found a sensational place in Cais Cais several years ago, but cant remember the name, or the location. I fear we may have suffered from the same disease as Barbara, which may have something to do with the amount of Vinho Verde consumed. Speaking of which, I agree totally with Ana, and Joana, and Suzana, the Muralhas is the stuff. As two old Portagees our own selves, we have developed a particular fondness for that wine. We have a grand little Portuguese restaurant here in Sonoma, LaSallette, but they dont do roast chicken. But they do serve the Muralhas, and usually lots of it…i wonder, if i keep drinking that stuff, will my name morph into Tonyana?
    (What is with all the ..anas loving the Muralhas?)

  • Hi, I just came across your site. I like it a lot, specially this suggestion for Roast Chicken in Paris.

    I’m Portuguese, I live in Amsterdam with my wife, and I just bought a new motorcycle, a Honda Pan-European 1100 and I was thinking of taking it for a longer spin all the way to Paris. It’s only 500Kms, but it will do. lol

    And now I have the perfect excuse.

  • I just got back from Paris and loved Churrasqueira Galo. We actually ate there twice in ten days. I wondered if you had any idea what is in their “secret sauce,” the little glass filled container of a red/garlic/herbed condiment?? Any help would be great. I loved it!! thanks

  • I don’t know what it is but you can probably call and ask them, or perhaps is a Portuguese red sauce of some sort and you can search online for it.