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Imbibed Biberons at Le Refuge des Fondus

04/05/2012 at 9:00 am

Posted In Food & Drink, Paris

by meg gagnard">meg gagnard

Le Refuge des Fondus is an itty-bitty treasure in the heart of Montmartre. On the hillside of the Sacre Coeur, Rue des Trois Frères has little red storefront that will be hard to miss while roaming this charming neighborhood. The whole place is run by the most old fashioned, fantastic Parisian there could ever be, and you will be so thankful to have stopped in.


This little restaurant has the most personality possible for the number of meters squared it takes up. You’ll run into two rows of tables down the two walls as soon as you open the brass baby bottle handled door into the land of fondu à    la parisienne. The walls are covered from floor to ceiling with carvings and messages of all styles and colors- some dating back decades and others from a few days prior. Before you can get all snug you’ll have to climb over the table to get into the bench side- and no the server will not pull the table out for you- he will simply offer a hand and you’ll hope you don’t knock over the cute couple next to you’s bowl of fondu. It’s all a part of the experience!

When he comes by to take your order, you probably will not have thought about it yet- as you’ll be eyeing the baby bottles they use for wine left and right”¦ and about halfway through the meal you’ll realize why they made that wise serving decision: these small tables will have you elbowing over things every few minutes!




For about 25 euros you’ll get the fondu of your choice (cheese or meat) with an apéro, 1 baby bottle of wine, dipping delights and a dessert. Even if you don’t speak French, show off your skills and memorize “fromage” (cheese) or “viande” (meat)–the two choices of fondu they have–and the Parisian that runs the place will be so happy you’ve made the effort.


It’s the perfect place for a date or a group dinner and you’ll be laughing bottle after bottle in a hustly bustly and joyous atmosphere. This is definitely a meal you can’t miss in Paris. It is a staple of Montmartre, and you will leave with a belly full of fondu and an amazing memory of an unforgettable hole-in-the-wall.

Le Refuge des Fondus [map]
17 rue des Trois Frères
75018 Paris
Metro: Abbsesses

Get in touch with the author @marhabameg.

14 Comments

  1. Jenna says:

    Great write up! I am hoping to visit Le Refuge in two weeks with my Canadian friends.

    Do you know if they take reservations? Also, any additional tips on fondue etiquette?

    Merci bien!

    • Meg says:

      Jenna! I’m so sorry about the late reply, but yes they take reservations! I highly suggest them! They are just mega picky- you can’t be seated until your whole group is present and if you’re more than 15-20 minutes late they’ll seat other people! No games for them ;-)

      Hope you like it!

  2. Erika San Miguel says:

    This was one of my most vivid memories while in Paris. Out of all of the artsy type, beautifully worn places you took me, this was probably my favorite. The thrill of rubbing elbows with complete strangers while sucking on a baby bottle would in most situations be quite embarrassing but in this case adds to the whole experience. Beautiful review and lovely pictures, as always.

  3. Pat McD says:

    Le Refuge is a MUST when in Paris. Great food & experience. [& Great post + pictures, Meg!]

  4. aaron butts says:

    lol looks fantasic never knew i could find a smal quaint place to eat my fondu. willl have to check this out on my next visit!

  5. Annie says:

    Can’t wait to go this Friday!

  6. phoenix says:

    this place has been so much fun when we’ve gone! perfect way to celebrate somebody’s first time in paris :)

    also cute pictures!

  7. Caro says:

    Always a fun time au Refuge

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  9. Jay says:

    I love how kitschy-ness of this place! it looks like a blast, and now i kind of want to try wine (or any drink in general) out of a baby bottle…

  10. OH MY! I absolutely love Le Refuge! I feel like I’ve been there 9328302 times – and yet I had never noticed the brass baby bottle handled door. This is a great review, it definitely does the place justice. And I’ll make sure to notice the door handle the next time I’m there (which from your mouth-watering pictures might just have to be as soon as next week…).

    • Meg says:

      Thanks, Ana Clara! Yes, the door handle definitely was the cherry on top when I finally noticed it. It was just too darn clever. I’m glad you like the post, and I hope your trip there will be just lovely!

  11. Karen Spotts says:

    I can’t wait to see this little gem in May when we come! I have been on this street before, and wondered what it was….little did I know! It’s definitely on my Bucket List of Not to be Missed in Paris!

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