Les Philosophes


Tel: +33 1 48 87 49 64
Address: 28, Rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 Paris
Cuisine Type: French

Les Philosophes is located in the Marais district of Paris, and has enjoyed a good reputation for a number of years. I first ate in there back in 2004 after it was recommended by a friend who had lived in the area several years before, during which visit they served a cauliflower soup which I liked so much that I still remember it today. I was keen to visit again, and recommended the place strongly to my co-diner, a fellow vegetarian. We arrived around 8pm on a Friday night, and although the place was busy, they were still able to seat us straight away.

The restaurant has a traditional feel to it, with exposed bricks and subdued lighting. It is however child-friendly, and there is also outdoor seating at the front facing the road for smokers. The menus are displayed on black wall-mounted boards, but the waiter also brought paper versions. Being traditionally French, the menu is centred around meat and fish dishes. Starters range from €7 for French onion soup, tomato tart tatin or the starter of the day to €14 for a selection plate.

Main courses include steaks from €14 – €16, ‘old fashioned’ duck leg, fish of the day and various salads. There were limited veggie options, but we went for the soup of the day (vegetable) plus the only non-salad vegetarian main course, the assiete de legumes (plate of vegetables) for €13. According to their web-site, they also offer peppers stuffed with goat’s cheese, but this is a daily special and was not listed when we ate. There is also a French traditional breakfast menu available at weekends.

The wine list at Les Philisophes varies, but at the time of our visit they were offering a glass of either red or white wine of the month for €3.50. We opted for a half-litre of very drinkable house white at €12.

Our soups were served with bread and arrived reasonably fast, but took long enough for concern. The vegetable soup was pepper and courgette based, and very tasty although not enough to dispel my memories of the cauliflower version back in 2004! The vegetable plate was listed as five seasonal items, but actually contained more: roasted potatoes, fennel, broccoli, a pepper-based ratatouille, green beans, courgettes and a warm tomato-salsa-style dish.

The bill arrived quickly after being asked for and came to a reasonable €52 for two soups, two main courses and the wine. All parts of our meal were tasty and the combination of soup plus the vegetable plate worked well, making the meal both satisfying and filling. This is somewhere I would definitely recommend to other veggies and visit again.