The Ne Plus Ultra of Paris Brasseries
, there’s a brasserie on virtually every corner, but few have stood the test of time as this one has. Yet it’s a bit of a mystery why the century-plus-old Chartier (as it’s commonly referred to) remains so popular, with long lines out the door day and night. Yes, the Belle Epoque dining room is glorious—with high ceilings, ornate detailing, enormous mirrors and lots of brass fixtures. But the food isn’t particularly special or even very good (though it is remarkably cheap). Waiters scribble your order on your paper tablecloth and serve it with crisp, if borderline rude, efficiency. There are tourists, many of them. And yet, there is a magical quality to the whole buzzing, bustling scene—drawing you in and making you feel like you are utterly and completely “in Paris.” And not many places can still do that.