Party Earth Review Facing an array of shops on bustling rue des Archives, Les Marronniers offers people-watchers a stellar terrace experience in the heart of the über liberal Marais. Afternoons see the many wicker chairs under the venue... ... read full review
18 Rue des Archives
1, 11: Hôtel de Ville
01 40 27 87 72
Marais - 3eme / 4eme, Paris –
Facing an array of shops on bustling rue des Archives, Les Marronniers offers people-watchers a stellar terrace experience in the heart of the über liberal Marais.
Afternoons see the many wicker chairs under the venue’s deep red awning fill with chatty students, buff gay couples, and groups of girlfriends dissecting the day’s gossip over an inexpensive bottle of red.
As waiters navigate the sea of guests – fighting that stereotypical French aptitude for ambivalence as they josh and flirt with the local regulars – patrons watch the comings and goings of the neighborhood and snack on traditional bistro cuisine like duck confit and salmon tartare.
The restaurant’s name means The Chestnuts in English, a name no doubt inspired by the nearby chestnut trees that filter the sun on clear days, or perhaps by the requisite attendance of boisterous groups of boys with perfectly sculpted chests and finely manicured…never mind.
Large crowds perpetually fill the rows of long tables that make up the quaint downstairs bar, but those in the know head straight for the staircase lined with red candles that leads to the second level, where strawberry-red chairs surround little black tables and semicircular windows provide another vantage point on the street below.
With main courses and bottles of wine available for around €20, Les Marronniers serves up casual fare amid a busy but warm atmosphere, making it an excellent spot for a meal among close friends – or brand new ones.
Diverse mix of gay and straight university students, trendy casual Parisians, curious tourists, shoppers taking a break from working their way down Archives, and relaxed older locals, 20s to 50s.
Simple traditional French bistro menu includes duck confit, salmon tartare, grilled sausage, burgers, and creative salads.
Appetizers €7+, sandwiches and burgers €8–€9, salads €10.50–€11.80, entrées €12.50+, desserts €6+.
Beer €4–$7, wine €5/glass or €20+/bottle, champagne €7.50/glass or €60+/bottle, apéritifs €4+, juice, coffee, tea, €2+.
Neat casual: pressed slacks, V-necks, striped sweaters, skirts, silky shirts, fitted dresses.
Venue is consistently busy, but Friday and Saturday nights are a good bet to join the biggest crowds of energetic pre-gamers, while sunny weekend afternoons usually make for the best people-watching.
Le Petit Fer à Cheval (34, Rue Vieille-du-Temple) is a more intimate place to chat over cocktails, mainly because the place is so tiny patrons can’t help but get up close and personal with everyone around.