Joia Bun: We tested Hélène Darroze’s burger joint, and here’s what we thought

Star chef and Top Chef juror Hélène Darroze has opened Joia Bun, a Parisian pastry address dedicated to burgers. Homemade street food revisited with Basque-Landes sauce.

When an American diner meets the Basque Country. That’s the promise of Joia Bun, the new Parisian restaurant that Hélène Darroze opened on March 7th. An address in a retro setting and a stone’s throw from the Opéra Garnier, where the star-winning chef serves up burgers with touches from Landes, which is where she is.


This street food show, launched by Top Chef friend Philippe Etchebest to “respond to restaurant closures during the health crisis in 2020 and 2021”. “It is with great regret that we have given up on this activity,[but]I have found the perfect place to express this new face of Goya and to satisfy the pressing demand of those who are nostalgic for our burgers,” he says.

Six burgers to grab or take away

Like other big names in French gastronomy like Alain Ducasse, who opened a vegan burger stand on the Place de la Bastille last year, Hélène Darroze at Joia Bun has imagined a variety of these iconic sandwiches prepared with seasonal produce and entirely homemade. On the menu you won’t find winter tomatoes, but six recipes (from €14.50) to savor on the spot or take away through a window open to the street to avoid the constant comings and goings of delivery people at lunchtime.


Leaving one of the high tables (for two people only) adjoining the open kitchen, we finally settled down on one of the soft, comfortable seats of this Parisian diner, enjoying, in passing, a playlist peppered with songs by Johnny Hallyday and jazz legends.

Since the health crisis, the teams have kept a QR code registered on each of the tables which must be scanned with their smartphone to consult the menu and order directly online. If this little black and white square seems to make service more fluid and avoid, at the same time, repainting Muriel Robin’s bill at the end of the meal, it still limits human contact. Hats off to the head, however, the servers are reactive and smiling.

The opera beef melt and spelled steak were to die for

Give way to savoring with the arrival of the Pantxoa burger (from the Basque name for the chef’s father) with poppy seeds and an airy sesame bun that features ground rare opéra beef, gucelli (dried pork cheek), leeks in red wine, BBQ sauce and forme dampert.


Delicious, but not quite as good as the amachi, a plant-based burger that won over all diners, even those who swear by meat. Its subtle blend of pesto and hazelnuts uplifts the steak, and pairs perfectly with smoked Basque blue cheese, mushrooms, and red onion.

As an accompaniment, let yourself be tempted by the fried chicken (€12), yellow chicken pieces straight from Landes, marinated in buttermilk, then fried and seasoned with the estimated lemon zest. On the other hand, the rosemary fries (€6), which replace the traditional French fries, are disappointing because they are too crunchy. Hard to find the taste of shredded lamb cheese.

Si Joia Bun ne propose pas de menu incluant une boisson ou un dessert, on ne résiste pas à l’appel d’un maritozzo à la pâte à tartiner aux noisettes (6 €), cette délicieuse brioche fourrée à la crème qui fait des ravages In Italy. which remains Helen Drews’ guilty pleasure. We get it.

Joia Bun, 16, rue de la Michodière, Paris (2nd). From 11:30 AM to 3 PM and from 6 PM to 11 PM on weekdays. Continuous service on weekends.