Located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, it remains one of the last authentic French gourmet bistros. Today still, the establishment is filled with the spirit of Marthe Allard, « mother cook » who founded the restaurant in 1932. Allard is above all the story of a peasant from the Burgundy region who traveled up to Paris carrying her sincere and generous family recipes of cuisine.
In early days, on the crossroad of rue Saint-André des Arts and rue de l’eperon, stood a wine shop, as still visible by the metal bars on the windows – a law passed by the regent dating back to 1720, requiring the profession to secure their shops in this manner. In the early 20 century, Vincent Candré moves into the neighbourhood, opening a bistro then called « La Halte de l’eperon ».
Here were served modest local wines (vins de pays) accompanied by terroir dishes created by Joséphine, one of the first « mother cooks » of Paris. in the 1930’s, Vincent Candré sells his restaurant to Marthe and Marcel Allard who build a veritable institution over the years. « Allard is above all simplicity in tradition, and tradition in simplicity! » as described by the customers.