When you are staying in Paris and looking for a place to eat, the results you find on the Internet can be overwhelming. The best reviews are reserved for the priciest restaurants, so if you’re looking for a fancy night out ($$$$), that’s easy. However, if you’re looking for a more low-key dining experience, the mixed reviews for the more affordable eateries ($$-$$$) keep you scrolling the ratings until it’s much later than you expected to venture out for dinner. Most likely you’ve spent the day shopping, sightseeing, and walking (a lot!), and your appetite is stirring after coming back to your apartment and relaxing for a couple of hours. By the time you actually start looking for a place to eat, it’s well into the evening. That’s the experience my wife and I had one night before we finally decided to forgo the reviews altogether and eat at whatever place we stumbled upon that had a menu we both liked. So at 10 pm, we walked out of our St. Germain apartment rental, turned a few corners, and found ourselves outside of the Brasserie Vagenende. What we found there was perfect for our needs—it was open late, the décor was enchanting, it had a menu with plenty to choose from, the service was great, and the food was satisfying. We left the establishment very happy.
Walking along the streets of St. Germain, we were drawn to the beautiful Belle Epoque style interior of the Brasserie Vagenende that we could see through its softly lit windows. The mirrors and woodwork are remnants of the patisserie it once was, maintained since the restaurant’s creation in 1904. After we quickly resorted back to our smartphones to determine that it was open until midnight, we had a look at the menu they had displayed on the sidewalk.
The menu consists of classic brasserie fares, with a range of meat and seafood items including dishes such as old-fashioned style andouillette sausage, beef tartare, shelled king prawns on a skewer, and half-cooked tuna marinated in lime. The alluring entrée menu provides many mouthwatering options and their desserts and cheese plates leave nothing to be desired. The price range for the main courses is 18-30 euros, which is a little bit more than average, but two people can still eat for under 50 euros, which is what we were hoping for that evening
The service was great and the staff was friendly. We were waited on by several staff members, including the Maître D’, so our needs were always met and we were always greeted with a smile when someone approached our table.
For the main course, I took the souffléed pike quenelles, which are fish and egg white dumplings poached in a creamy lobster sauce. They were served with a side of rice and the meal was delicious. I highly recommend this dish. My wife took the steak frites—the meat was tender, the fries were hot and crispy, and she was very pleased. We cleaned our plates, and our only regret was that we didn’t leave room for dessert.
On our way out, after two or three staff members wished us a good night, we caught sight of a table being served the “profiteroles maison au chocolat chaud”. These French cream puffs are the restaurant’s house dessert, and the Vagenende Brasserie fills their profiteroles with ice cream and pours hot chocolate sauce over them. They looked amazing and the table being served looked very excited. We stopped and stared in envy and vowed that the next time we were in St. Germain we would come back for these profiteroles. So if you find yourself in St. Germain, and it’s late, and you’re hungry for some traditional French food, try the Vagenende Brasserie, even if it’s just for something sweet.
Brasserie Vagenende: 142, Bld. Saint-Germain 75006 Paris / Tel: 01 43 26 68 18
Guest Experience Specialist