If you are a fan of French cuisine, you should check out the best brasserie in your city. These casual restaurants serve classic dishes like steak frites, escargot and onion soup, along with a selection of beers and wines. Whether you’re looking for a cozy spot for a date or a lively atmosphere for a group dinner, this guide will help you find the perfect brasserie for your next meal.
What is meant by a brasserie?
A brasserie is a type of French restaurant that serves simple, hearty dishes in a casual atmosphere. Brasseries are known for their relaxed atmosphere and friendly service, making them a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
One of the most famous restaurants in the style is the Lipp Brewery and Brasserie in Paris, which has welcomed and served many celebrities from politics and culture. This establishment’s hearty specialties include cod, Bismarck herring, roast chicken and calf’s head with sauerkraut.
Where does the word brasserie come from?
In Europe and the U.S., the terms “bistro” and “brasserie” are often used interchangeably, but in fact they are two completely different gastronomic establishments. In both types of eateries, you can enjoy country specialties while soaking up the French flair, but the brasserie is more upscale than the simple bistro and approaches the opulent gourmet restaurant in its offerings. The term “brasserie” comes from Celtic and was translated into French from Vulgar Latin with the word “brewery”. The first written record of the word “brasserie” in English is found in the British travel magazine “Realm,” in the June 1864 issue.
The text is about a famous personality “whose monument may survive in all brasseries”. In America, the term appeared in 1882 in the literary treatise of a New York critic. In the essay, the author writes of “comrades who sang cheerful songs in the brasserie.” The first pubs of this type were either owned by beer manufacturing companies and specialized in selling the barley juice, or at least were associated with it and offered the beer with their food. It was usually home cooking typical of the country – as it is still served today in most establishments of this type throughout Europe and the USA. According to records, the first brasserie existed in Alsace.
What makes a good brasserie?
A good brasserie is more than just a place to eat – it’s an experience. The best brasseries offer a warm and inviting atmosphere with friendly staff who are knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations. The food should be simple, hearty and delicious, with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. And of course, a wide selection of beers and wines can not be missing! Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a casual dinner, a good brasserie is the perfect place to relax and enjoy good food and good company.
What is the difference between restaurant and bistro?
The former “brewery” has long since become a popular gastronomic establishment, usually offering a wider range of food than most other types of French eateries such as cafés, osterias or trattorias. New brasseries are popping up all over the world all the time, setting themselves apart from other restaurants with a cozy to casual ambiance and typical French flair. Some of them are nicknamed “restaurant” to emphasize the rich food offer. This is specifically focused on traditional French cuisine and offers hearty home cooking as well as numerous delicacies.
When you go out to eat in a brasserie, you can therefore expect, for example, hearty dishes such as steak tartare with fries, sauerkraut with sausages or chicken braised in wine, but also specialties such as seafood in all kinds of preparations. Usually there is always a menu of the day. While in the original “brewery” there was only beer to drink, the modern brasserie now also serves wine or cider as well as various non-alcoholic drinks with the meal. Most of the time the kitchen of the restaurant is open throughout the day until late at night.
The Brasserie as a place to feel good and enjoy
You want to go out to eat and a fancy restaurant is too formal or seems inappropriate for a first casual date? You want to sit down with other people in a cozy atmosphere, choosing from a wide range of dishes from the French cuisine? You want to enjoy real French flair in a restaurant with coffee and pastry or hearty home cooking? In all these cases, a brasserie is just right for you, whether you are alone or in company, or perhaps even choose the pub as a regular place for regular meetings with dear friends.
A typical brasserie is expected to have ample space, serve quality food and provide professional service. In addition, in a “brasserie-style” restaurant, the tables should be set in white and the waiters should wear black clothes. The prices are in the middle segment, the menus usually cost less and are often even downright cheap. The portion sizes are similar: they are usually average and just right for a usual meal.
Translations of the “Cuisine Francaise Traditionelle
In most cases, you will eat “á la carte” in a brasserie, whether in France or in your home region. This translates as “as it is on the menu” and means that no particular sequence of courses is specified and the composition of the meal is individual according to your wishes.
This contrasts with the “menu”, which consists of several courses determined by the operator or chef of the catering establishment. And then there is the “buffet”, where the food is arranged and presented on a separate table. Usually there is a unit price for this, no matter how often you serve yourself and how much you eat. Served in a brasserie “Cuisine Francaise Traditionelle”, that is, dishes from the real French cuisine.
“Amuse Guele.” The literal translation is “mouthfuls of joy,” which are small appetizers served before the actual meal.
“Hors d’oeuvres”: this is the name of a cold or hot appetizer.
“Apéritif”: this term usually refers to an alcoholic beverage drunk before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
Afterwards, in a real brasserie, you will eat, for example, “choucroute garnie” (sauerkraut with sausages), “coq au vin” (chicken braised in wine), “foie gras” (fat or foie gras from goose) or a “soufflé” (from “blow” or “breathe” derived a light egg dish, prepared sweet or savory). A classic component of a buffet, for example, is the “parfait”: semi-frozen or aspic, terrines and pâtés. Seasoning in French cuisine is often done with “Fleur de Sel”, a salt obtained by the evaporation of sea water. Fatty food is usually accompanied by “baguette”, which is white bread on sticks.
For example, a “Beaujolais” (wine from Burgundy), “Chardonnay” (wine from Burgundy, Champagne or other regions) or “Champagne” (sparkling wine from Champagne) is drunk with the meal.
“Meringue”: this pastry made of beaten egg whites and sugar translates from French to “kiss” and is served as a dessert.
“Petit Four”: literally, this term means “small piece”, which refers to a pastry specialty from French cuisine. Usually the dessert bites are served on an “etagere” (serving system with several levels).
“Tarte”: cake made of a special kind of short pastry, prepared sweet or savory. The smaller versions, often topped with fruit, are called “tartelettes” and are popular with coffee.
“Digestif”: this term can be translated as “digestive liquor”, which is intended to relieve the stomach with special oils and herbs after a rich meal.
The best brasseries in your city
If you are looking for the best brasseries in your city, here you are! We’ve scoured the culinary scene to bring you a list of the best brasseries in each city. From classic French cuisine to modern variations on traditional dishes, these brasseries offer something for everyone.
The best brasseries in Germany
Mon Amie Maxi
Mon Amie Maxi Brasserie, originally decorated in classic brasserie style, has been transformed into an opulent retreat after a complete makeover. The ambitious project was implemented within a few weeks and convinced even the most skeptical critics. The brasserie received the title “Design Concept of the Year” from Busche Verlag and was named a favorite in the “France” category by the gourmet magazine DER FEINSCHMECKER. The Mon Amie Maxi is now known by the press, insiders and food lovers as the ultimate Place-2-Be.
Brasserie Lamazere, also known as the French heart of Charlottenburg, invites you to discover the French “bistronomie” culture. In addition to the daily changing menu presented on chalkboards, they offer an excellent selection of French wines and fine beverages. The atmosphere of the Brasserie combines pleasure, culinary delights and relaxation, while the competent team will make sure to fulfill your every wish.
Stuttgarter Platz 18, 10627 Berlin
Tel. +49 30 31 80 07 12
Le Plat du Jour
For over 30 years, the Brasserie has presented a little piece of France in the heart of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg. They invite you to discover the typical French brasserie tradition with simple, uncomplicated dishes made from fresh market produce. In addition to classics such as Gillardeaux oysters, duck foie gras, Lyon saucisson or rump steak “Bordelaise”, this year they have expanded the menu with a variety of new dishes, including for example “Pot-au-Feu”, oxtail “Beaujolaise” or quenelle “Des Halles Paul Bocuse”.
The best brasseries in Austria
The Bank Brasserie and Bar
On the menu of the popular The Bank you will find beef tartar, seafood on ice, fresh fish in various preparations, meat from the lava stone grill and vegetarian dishes. For the sweet finale, the in-house patisserie serves classics like the famous Rahmschmarrn, a Grand Cru chocolate soufflé, homemade sorbet and much more.
Brasserie de la Marie
Brasserie de la Marie offers both locals and city travelers a varied cuisine that includes cold and hot dishes from French and international gastronomy. Words can only convey so much – visit the Brasserie to experience the unique atmosphere and especially the culinary delights for yourself.
Petrus Café Brasserie
A café, a brasserie and a restaurant – all this can be found in the historic building in the heart of Bregenz’s old town with a view of the Herz Jesu Church. The ambience combines French, Belgian and local influences. The Café Brasserie with restaurant and terrace is perfect for a petit déjeuner, lunch, business lunch, dinner or a drink to end the day and is one of the most beautiful places in Bregenz. Uncomplicated, stylish and tastefully designed, this project was realized by Ursula and Peter (or actually Peter). It’s worth getting to know them – whether spontaneous or well-planned.
The best brasseries in Switzerland
A sense of taste – reinterpretation of classic European cuisine. Baur’s restaurant in Zurich represents the refined rediscovery of the classic brasserie. Contemporary chic meets international guests in an elegant yet warm atmosphere. Baur’s celebrates classics of European cuisine, while vegetarians and vegans will also find something on the colorful menu. Only fresh and seasonal products of the highest quality are used. Not to mention the wine list, curated by Head Sommelier Marc Almert, is also impressive.
Enter, take a seat and feel comfortable…. Savoir-vivre at the Brasserie Engel in Schwyz. Whether with friends, family, acquaintances or business partners – enjoy the French cozy atmosphere and feel welcome. Eat, chat, discuss, dine, get together, meet and much more. Products from Schwyz and the surrounding area stand here for first-class quality and make it possible to spoil you with dishes made from the best regional ingredients.
Whether for a stylish lunch, an upscale dinner or simply for a glass of wine and small appetizers before or after a visit to the theater, Brasserie Küchlin is always worth a visit. In the heart of Basel’s promenade, the Brasserie serves tasty French specialties in a typically French and cozy setting. For example, try authentic Alsatian tarte flambée from the fireclay oven or treat yourself to a juicy entrecote Café de Paris. Also for the small hunger in between there are always delicious dishes.