Best fondue in Paris
If you’re looking for the most heavenly melted cheese and bread in Paris, look no further than the 18th district.
Le Refuge des Fondues is located conveniently in Montmartre, tucked between walking streets of outdoor cafés, boutique shops and stylish but simple bars. It’s a small restaurant, with only two long rows of tables jammed up against each other. Be prepared to get cozy with the strangers beside you, and to be helped over the table (not out the side) by waiters if you need of a bathroom break!
However, that’s just a slice of the ambience here, a hole-in-the-wall with markered-up graffiti walls and pas de musique (no music, just chatter). But this restaurant, so nonchalant that you’d pass by without looking twice, is best known for its gimmicky way of serving wine.
Yes, the house red and white comes in a plastic baby bottle with a teat. At first it weird, but then I really loved it. Looking back, I wish I could only drink alcohol this way. It was easy and certainly takes care of inevitable spillage.
The fondue itself was amazing (especially after two baby bottles). The set for one person (€22) is a great value, not only according to Paris’ astronomical prices but also for the amount of food you get. It starts with a fruity welcome drink , welcome platter (green olives, sausage, cheese and pickles) and baby bottle of your choice.
The fondue is served in the traditionally steaming hot communal pot. You can choose to dip either beef in water or cheese in bread. We also got some aioli dips on the side.
The set also comes with a simple dessert at the end, like fruit salad or pudding. Our group of five had a big lunch not long before dinner, so the waiter (a funny French character who was constantly doling out sarcasm and grins) cut us a nice deal for smaller portions and no dessert. We had beef and cheese fondue, all the welcome trimmings and no dessert. It was the perfect amount for €100 split five ways.
I’ll definitely head back to Refuge des Fondues next time I’m in Paris! Get there early if you can — the place is small an chances are you’ll end up just like us, pushing the closing hours and knocking back baby bottles!