I am just back from a couple of days in Paris and I don't think I've ever indulged in quite as much amazing food and drink in a weekend break before. From cheesy French onion soup, to the softest baguettes and pastries, to the smoothest glass of Chablis I've ever had, everything was fantastic.
However, one meal completely topped them all, which tells you how good it must be for me to declare it the absolute best restaurant in one of the top foodie cities in the world!
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte: the absolute best steak frites you'll ever try, and even better, the food is unlimited! I saw this place mentioned numerous times on Instagram and just knew it had to be part of our short and sweet Parisian experience. Read on for my review and what to expect when (and I mean when, not if) you add this dream of a place to your Paris itinerary.
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte: Locations
You can find Le Relais de L’Entrecôte in numerous locations in France and Switzerland, but it started in Paris and is undeniably traditionally French. We dined at the Marbeuf location, not far from the Champs-Élysées but there are two others in Paris, and a restaurant in Geneva and Zurich also. You can see all their locations here.
The street the restaurant was on was very pretty, so if you do need to queue for an hour or more (entirely possible, but hopefully avoidable if you follow my tips in the next section) then it is a pleasant place to wait.
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte: Tips
I had no idea the food was going to be unlimited at Le Relais de L’Entrecôte (is unlimited steak frites not the actual dream?!) so we made the mistake of having a decent sized breakfast before we visited at 12 noon. If I'd known I would have definitely eaten less beforehand so my first tip is to go really hungry!
The queues are notoriously long but we read on Time Out to try and get there 15 minutes before opening (12 noon for the outlet we visited). We did this on a cold February Monday and a reasonable queue had already formed. Luckily as soon as the doors opened at 12 we were let in as part of the first sitting, and there were a few spare tables so you could possibly arrive at 12 and be seated immediately.
All I would say is, if you don't want a long queue then I'd recommend visiting close to opening if you are able to or do be prepared for a long wait (which is seriously worth it).
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte: The Food
Oh, the food. The steak was one of the absolute best I have ever tasted and my mouth is seriously watering whilst I am writing this. There is no menu in the restaurant and all you will get asked upon being seated is what you would like to drink and how you'd like your steak.
They have a great wine list but I have to admit we both went for a coke as we had indulged quite heavily in local wine the night before... 12 noon just felt a little early for us to start again on this occasion!
Everyone starts with a walnut mixed salad with a French mustard dressing, which was very tasty. You also get a large basket of beautiful bread. I would recommend going easy on this so you can make the most of the unlimited steak and fries which will be coming next.
Oh how I wish I had known it was going to be bottomless steak as I scoffed greedy handfuls of this warm bread washed down with huge mouthfuls of coke!
Onto the main event and it was as good, if not better, than it looks.
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte use some kind of top-secret, special sauce on the steak which is green and utterly delicious. I have no idea what it is other than it has a garlic taste, definitely a meaty element to it and some kind of butter. It's quite hard to describe so you'll just have to get there and enjoy it for yourselves!
The steak was so tender and I loved how it was already sliced so it was really easy to eat. The frites are double-cooked and completely delicious, crispy and golden. Perfect for dipping into the secret sauce!
After a few minutes of eating, the black-and-white uniform clad waitresses will start to bring round silver platters full of extra steak, frites and sauce. Feel free to fill your boots as much as you like and they will come round a few times, it really is unlimited so don't be shy.
I read that the desserts are fantastic but I am much more of a savoury fan so I was happy to fill my boots with steak frites and leave desserts on this occasion. If you have been and tried the desserts then please let me know what they were like - I am perfectly happy to have a good excuse to go back.
Le Relais de L’Entrecôte: Final Thoughts
For me, any Parisian experience would be incomplete without a good steak and I can't think of a better place to have a traditional, unlimited steak frites meal. I really want to go back to Paris for more food and this restaurant would be top on my list to re-visit so I think that says it all!
It is not a cheap lunch- we paid €33 per head for the standard menu and a coke, but it is an experience I promise you won't forget in a hurry. I hope this has given you enough of a reason to go and try Le Relais de L’Entrecôte, please let me know in the comments if you try it so I can get serious steak frites envy!