1 Chartier Founded as a soup kitchen in 1896, Chartier hasn’t strayed far from its original mission to provide simple and satisfying food, with dishes such as snails, steak cuts and veal stew making up the reasonably priced menu. The setting is grander – a Belle Epoque dining room beneath a vast lightstrung ceiling (restaurantchartier.com; 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre; mains from $12). 2 Le Trumilou This Parisian institution has clocked up more than 100 years of custom in the same spot overlooking the Seine near Notre Dame. The menu is as authentic as a Parisian bistro gets, and changes depending on what’s on offer at market, but canard aux pruneaux (duck with prunes) and ris de veau grand-mere (veal sweetbreads) are specialities (letrumilou.fr; 84 Quai de l’Hotel de Ville; closed mid-August; mains from $16). 3 Chez Paul This long-standing local haunt in the Bastille district appears little changed since Monsieur and Madame Paul opened their bistro here in the 1940s. With its pavement tables, tiled floors and cosy interior cluttered with old knick-knacks and photos, it’s still the archetypal bistro and offers classic dishes such as steak tartare (the house speciality) and beef stew. Be sure to book ahead (chezpaul.com; 13 Rue de Charonne; mains from $18).