Le Baron Rouge

I’m a big fan of wine bars. Not only because there’s nothing more I’d rather do than work my way through a large list of wines available to sip by the glass or pot, but because they’re some of the most enjoyable places to eat in Paris.

charcuterie

And with summer coming up, bringing warm weather and longer, lazier days, I find I’m more interested in eating simply, preferring to snack on interesting cheeses or share a slab of pâté, a mound of unashamedly fat-rich rillettes, and slices of chorizo and saucissons, accompanied by a nice glass of Sauvignon blanc or a cool, fruity-red Brouilly.

Le Baron Rouge is one of my favorites. With the wines on offer, you can make a more than decent meal with a large or small platter composed of various cheeses, or pile up some of their excellent charcuterie on a crust of baguette.

On weekends, the crowd spills out onto the sidewalk, where fresh oysters are heaped in baskets and a young man pops each one open, serving them by the half- or full-dozen on a tangle of gllistening seaweed.

le baron rouge

Because I’m trying to be a bit more vert, I’ll sometimes bring my own green-glass bottle and buy wine, which is stockpiled in the enormous wooden barrels lined up by the door. (You leave 50 centimes for the bottle, which I do, and it’s refillable or replaceable on subsequent visits.) I’d call these wines a little “wild” because they vary in quality from “pretty-good” to “what do we do with the rest of the bottle?” Still, that’s part of the fun of exploring new foods and wine—the hits, and the inevitable misses.

And don’t be discouraged by the crowd. There’s lots of regulars hanging out here, which makes you feel like you’ve crashed an insider’s-only place. And if you’re standing at the bar but need more time to make your selection, they might not wait patiently for you to choose from the hand-written blackboard. But if you ask for advice, whatever they point you toward, it’s usually worth sampling. And the mecs that run the place are no-nonsense, but quick with the joke and a they like to give a certain américain a little ribbing when he stops in for his weekly fill-up.

Another downside is they’re not open later in the evenings, which is the time that I usually want to go out and eat. But if you go in the morning, since le Baron Rouge is adjacent to the popular Marche d’Aligre, if you feel like stopping in for a mid-morning glass, you won’t be alone.

Le Baron Rouge
1, rue Théophile-Roussel (12th)
(Map)
Tél: 01 43 43 14 32

(Closed Monday. The hours are listed on TimeOut, although they’re subject to change.)

le baron rouge


Related Posts & Places in the Vicinity

Blé Sucré: The Best Madeleines in Paris

Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris

le Verre Volé

Bazin

Le Rubis Wine Bar

Racines

O-Château

Sunday Dining in Paris

French Menu Translation

Aux Caves d’Aligre

Verjus

51 comments

  • I read about this place before our trip to Paris last September but we never made it there…wish we had now.

    As for oysters and R months, I’m going out today to an oyster and poached salmon party. I’ve never had a bad oyster and am willing to take my chances with this particular pleasure, no matter the time of year.

  • Hi David,

    Sorry to bother you but I was wondering if I could pick your head with regard to a couple of different baking/pastry courses I’ve been looking at in the Bay Area (we’re moving there in July from southern England).

    One is called Tante Marie Cooking School and their part-time course which starts in October is priced at $9500. The other course is through the SFBI and is again, part-time for 6 months but is priced at about $16K. Do you know of either of them and, if so, would you mind giving me your opinion?

    Thanks so much!
    Amanda

  • Are those pickles on top of that dish? That looks delicious!

  • For your information Tom, you can eat oysters all through the year, even in a non-R month !
    it’s an old legend that you shouldn’t, coming from times
    1) it was forbidden to collect wild oysters in july/august to let them breed (now, they’re not wild anymore and the livestocks won’t suffer eating oysters in these month)
    2) oysters couldn’t suffer transportation

    off course in the spring/summer months oysters are full of soft roe (huitres laiteuses) , and one may like it or not..
    And David, thanks for that address !
    I might actually go there with a friend or two this week !

  • I hope the oysters only make an appearance when there’s an R in the month.
    There was a recent (May!) fatality in London where a first taste led to a woman’s death. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article6344790.ece

    Having said that I recall a Christmas day spent in bed after eating a half dozen on the eve.

    Information on oyster safety can be read here. -dl

  • I love this place! The people hanging outside and drinking up against parked cars… it brings me back to my Kansas youth. Except with Bordeaux instead of Bartles & Jaymes…

  • I love wine bars! This sounds like a great spot, David. Nice write-up!

    I have been stuck on Lemon Sorbetto Cocktails for cooling down, recently. I just love them!

    I discovered them in Padua, Italy six years ago. They are decadent, but marvelous, frothy creations made of lemon gelato, prosecco and vodka . Have you ever heard of them? They seem like something you would love.

    I hope you are enjoying the season fully!

    Cheers,

    ~ Paula

  • This is my local, though I must confess to having always been dubious about the wine in barrels. As for the oysters, it’s only a shame that their seasonality doesn’t align with warmer weather. This past December, I discovered exactly why oysters are best not eaten while wearing leather gloves…

  • Hi everyone. Apologies for the wackiness in the comment order. I think the national holiday in France got things a bit screwed up, but hope to be less topsy-turvy from now on..

  • Wine… unpasteurized cheese… cured meats… David, you really know how to flirt with the preggos! ;)

  • For your information Tom, you can eat oysters all through the year, even in a non-R month !
    it’s an old legend that you shouldn’t, coming from times
    1) it was forbidden to collect wild oysters in july/august to let them breed (now, they’re not wild anymore and the livestocks won’t suffer eating oysters in these month)
    2) oysters couldn’t suffer transportation

    off course in the spring/summer months oysters are full of soft roe (huitres laiteuses) , and one may like it or not..
    And David, thanks for that address !
    I might actually go there with a friend or two this week !

  • That is precisely the first meal we eat whenever we go back to France. All that lovely charcuterie which we can never get in the States..especially the rillettes! Yummy!

  • Le Baron Rouge? I thought for sure this would be a post about frozen pizza….

  • We stumbled on Le Baron Rouge last fall on the way to the market. Had the best time there slurping oysters and wine and eating their fabulous charcuteri. Amusing watching the regulars picknicking off the hoods of the cars.

  • Hi David,

    Just finished reading your book. Loved the book and now love you too! Get ready….next time I’m in Paris I’m coming to visit!!!

  • For once we agree this is one of my favourite spots. Best time is Sunday after shopping at the marche d’Aligre.

  • Thanks for this post! It brings back many fond memories of my time in Paris in the early ’90s. The Baron Rouge was a favorite spot for me and my friends back then. We called it the proletariat wine bar because of the regular clientele’s propensity to look a bit like the folks that sold the socialist papers on the Metro.

    I have to ask – is the guy (forgot his name) who always wears overalls (sans chemise) and has the long cigarette holder still there?

  • To quote a certain awful French pop song, j’adOOOOOOOOOOOre Le Baron Rouge.

  • I have fond memories of eating incredibly fresh oysters with Chablis at Le Baron Rouge one Sunday spring morning after shopping at the market. My husband and I lined up on the sidewalk outside the bar where staff were shucking the oysters straight from the crates. We stood and waited patiently and apparently invisible while the locals came and went with their plateful of oysters. It did seem to be an “insiders only” gathering. However, after 30 minutes, when all of the locals were served, the shucker turned to us and said, ” ahh… so the patient Americans are still here.” When we told him we were Canadians, they became very friendly and chatty. The wait was worth it – the oysters were the best and although the wine we purchased inside was just OK, the bartenders inside were friendly and swift and the ambience memorable. What a great way to enjoy a Sunday morning – leave it to the French to teach us how to live!

  • Ok so I’m heading over in August and I’m storing away tips and recommendations like a squirrel in fall. Thank for another to add to the list!

  • I would be delighted to teach Amanda how to bake any and all pastries that she desires for $16,000.00. Service compris.

  • I gotta love this place; first time I was there I was sharing a communal barrel (table) with two other parties. Some friends of one other party came in and not knowing if we were friends of their friends or not, decided they should “faire la bise” with everyone at the table, just to make sure they would not offend. This included us 3 Americans. Yes, these were locals! Great fromage and charcuterie, but you gotta go on Sunday and get the oysters! YUM!

  • David, your fabulous charcuterie plate photo is so hauntingly gorgeous, it showed up in some of my dreams last night – and not just one, several.

    Did you construct that plate yourself, or was it served that way? I love it!!!

    I am planning a return trip to Paris this year – even though I really shouldn’t, just yet – and it’s almost all your fault! Thank you for the inspiration, you wicked pimp! ;)

    XOXOXOX,
    ~ Paula

    P.S. Have you seen the Daniel Craig Popsicle yet? Yum!!!

  • This was a favorite! After being caught by the Metro Police for not having a ticket when leaving the metro, paying a fine, arguing with the Mister (my hubby) getting lost, we found this place and drank sancerre and had oysters. On leaving a man comes in with a 2 1/2 gallon oil can and fills it with wine from a barrel. I look at some one next to me, he says–you’re next, and voila we leave with a bottle of cotes du rhone. It was perfect.

    It made me realize that I could love Paris, and Paris could love me (to quote a movie).

  • Sounds like an amazing place!

  • OH! I love this place! I went there with a local friend on a weekend and I loved how casually everyone spilled out onto the street. I tried to tell some friends to go there on a recent trip but they didn’t seem to get it (and didn’t go). Their loss.

  • Gotta love a nice plate of charcuterie!
    BTW, David, I saw your tweet about your love for radishes. Philippe Starck used upside-down bunches of radishes in silver buckets for table decoration in Sunday’s NYT Magazine. They were gorgeous and I thought of you. He also had some major charcuterie for snacks as well.

  • Ahh, Daveed: This has nothing to do with charcuterie – for which I apologize – but I recently bought an ice cream maker and it is even now churning its way through your chocolate sorbet. I got the recipe from Epicurious, and your ice cream, etc. book is on its way from Amazon. You should be very pleased – this is the first print cookbook I’ve bought in over 5 years, but if the taste of the mix is an indication of what the sorbet is like, I’m going to be an extremely happy person in 2 hrs or so. Thanks for my first sorbet :)

  • As for the delicious rillettes do not fall for that puritan within yourself automatically
    ashamed of the deliciousness of animal fat – les rillettes are as knowledgable about what is good as your grandmother and no fat is better for your health.
    Let alone very dark chocolate such as the unbeatable tablette of 90 percent taux de cacao from that master on rue d´Antibes in Cannes, Schies, unbeatable in balancing an absolute minimum of sugar with the finest beans for a passionate velvety result, longue in bouche.

  • What a beautiful and amazing Place to Live:)

  • This is one of my favorite spots in Paris. The oysters are so good and affordable. I think the most expensive bottle of wine there is about 22 euros. You can not miss this place if you come to Paris. I was planning to go this week but I think after this post…everyone will be there and it will really be cramped…all the more fun!

  • Shira & Nancy: I’ve worked my way around the wine in most (ok…all…) of those barrels and the best is the organic Côte du Rhone.

    amanda: I don’t know much about the cooking schools as I haven’t lived in the states since 7-8 years. I always recommend anyone interested in the restaurant or baking business go work somewhere, even as a volunteer, to see they’re suited to that kind of work before plunking down any money. You might want to check out my post: Should you go to culinary school?

    Bob Y: Am glad you like it. That’s a recipe for people who love chocolate, like me. The sorbet is meant to be super-rich, but without any dairy or excess fat. Enjoy!

    Jan & Jenn: Yes, the ‘regulars’ can look a bit intimidating, but they’re not in the least. It’s really like walking into any bar where the regular customers are all friends. And the men who work there are very nice (the woman I’ve not been able to get a smile out of) but the mecs are pas mal, as they say.

  • David,
    Your posts are a complex & sumptuous madeleine of taste/memories…,each unlocking a new quartier. The beau mec shucking oysters in front of Le Commerce on New Year’s Eve, big smile, the briny aroma, white burgundy…plate of charcuterie, small brown pot of hot mustard, the pate with cornichons and onion confit in a crowded wine bar, one of the most convivial of Parisian experiences. just great! Unlocks many, many good times….thanks…keep up the “good fight” on the front lines! john

  • I fully expect photographs of you enjoying a Daniel Craigsicle! You are the King of Frozen Treats after all. I want photos, flavor lists, and the biggie…. is the Daniel Craigsicle anatomically correct?

    At a meeting this AM a client asked if I could import this new frozen treat for an upcoming dinner party. I’m looking into it :-)

  • This is indeed off topic, however this is something you should know about! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebritynews/5416143/Daniel-Craig-in-007-lolly.html Daniel Craig as a popsicle :o) Enjoy! hehe

  • And now i realise, you do know about it… haha! well enjoy! ;op

  • I visited Le Baron Rouge in January and feasted on delicious oysters and sauvignon blanc….for breakfast.
    Next time, I will definitely go for the Brouilly and charcuterie.
    Cheers
    Amy

  • Hi David,

    I have a housekeeping question of sorts. Could you pretty please, give a subject title for your blog besides/in addition to your name? I keep every single one, but then oo-la-la, how to find those precious recipes, etc.? Of course, you David Lebovitz, are the darling subject of each and every post. But if you could just give us a hint, say “Wine Bar” t’would be such fabulous housekeeping help. Many tidy thanks.

  • Hi David,

    I have a housekeeping question of sorts. Could you pretty please, give a subject title for your blog besides/in addition to your name? I keep every single one, but then oo-la-la, how to find those precious recipes, etc.? Of course, you David Lebovitz, are the darling subject of each and every post. But if you could just give us a hint, say “Wine Bar” t’would be such fabulous housekeeping help. Many tidy thanks.

  • Hi Wendy: Thanks for your message. At the end of each post are Tags, so the posts are organized by subject and if you click on one, it’ll take you to related posts. (My webmaster is doing some work on the site, so they may be temporarily down.) Also at the end of each post are Categories, so entries are organized under various categories as well. Also in the sidebar is a list of the Categories as well.

    I’ve listed all the recipes on my Recipe page, for easy perusal. Hope that helps!

  • Aligre and le Baron Rouge are part of our favourite sunday routine. Always crammed with tourists, fighting to get their order … always something to smile about there !

  • Great post ! I remember going to Le Baron Rouge years and years ago with Paule, she of the famous tart making hands on your blog here ! After a visit to the market we sat inside and I loved it for the French ambiance, for the totally French food (same platter as your top photo of course) – so I tried to do as all the French around me. Mimicking Paule (or so I thought), I remember taking a piece of baguette and slathering butter on it, and grabbing some charcuterie to follow, saucisson sec. So far so good. And then I did the same thing with the rillettes – and I can still picture her face !! “Rillettes AVEC DU BEURRE” ?! Talk about a French food faux pas ! Did I want some fat with my fat ?! ;) Haven’t done that again since, thanks for the fun blast from the past David !

  • Kerrin: What was funny was the first time I went there, and had the charcuterie platter, I thought I’d act like a local and ask for some mustard with it.

    The guy bellowed at me, “Pas de tout! Our charcuterie is too good for mustard!”

    And you know what? He was right!

  • so there you have it then, Le Baron Rouge as first stop on the “how to eat like a French local” trail ! ;) what NOT to do ! !

    and about the rillettes with butter, Paule was right too ! hello heart attack… !

  • i love Le baron! our landlady took me there – she dutifully brings her bottles to refill. the Middle Eastern market at the corner is also quite great. and part of the fun of walking up to l”Aligre is spotting the Space Invaders…

  • I loved going to this place when I lived nearby. The guys who run the place are super cool. I’d go in there by myself and they’d feed me glass after glass. Loved that place.

  • Hello,
    I am a US Marine, and my unit is coming to France for Memorial day weekend. I have become very interested in wine over the last few years, and was really hoping to delve into some french vin while there. I have an old ‘Top 10′ book of Paris (2007) and Le Baron Rouge was listed and when I googled it and came up with your blog. I noticed Le Baron Rouge is not open on Mondays which is our day off in Paris, but we will have some time Tuesday in the afternoon so I’m still hoping to get there. I also saw some of the other wine bars listed on your site, but my questions are; Are the other bars on your link, open on Monday? Are there any other wine bars you would recommend? And for novices of French wine what would you recommend trying (within military budget)?
    Thanks for your time and answers (if you choose to reply), and if you’re free on Sunday we will be performing (we’re a musical unit) at Belleau Wood in commeration of World War I around 9:30am.

  • Hi Chip: Am not sure what other places are open on Monday, but for wine tasting, you might wish to contact O-Chateau in Paris, which has public and private wine tastings in their caves near the Louvre.

    Another good place to sip wine is Les Rubis (10, rue du Marché St Honoré) which is also a restaurant (for decent, standard French fare) or you might like to try Le Garde Robe (41, rue de l’Arbre Sec) which features ‘natural’ wines.

    Dr Vino also compiled an interesting map of Paris wine bars and shops, which is downloadable.

  • I could not agree with you more, David, about French wine bars! Especially in the Summer. Have you tried Lavinia? I mentioned it in a recent post and it is really something (I have been loving everything French recently, but particularly love the food and wine). I am off to Provence soon and have never been… do you have any recommendations? I don’t know if you know my favourite area of London (EC1), but there are some great French wine bars there…one, Comptoir Gascon offers very special wines by the glass and saucisson, pates, cheese, pain de campagne, fois gras… fantastic. Enjoy living in such a wonderful city!
    City Girl (EC1) x

  • Sorry David, I gave the wrong blog address – this is my correct one.

    Thank you.

  • I’ve written about Nice and the Côte d’Azur several times on the blog. You can find various entries using the search engines, and I list places, markets, and where to find great socca (!)