An address that often seems to get overlooked or underrated in the perennial 'Best Bistrot' features these days is chef Thierry Breton's first restaurant, Chez Michel, opened in 1995.
The reasons why are manifold. For one, it's near Gare du Nord, and despite now owning practically the whole block, Breton has proved unable to single-handedly disperse the neighborhood's tenacious loiterers and miscreants. The Paris gastronomes who do brave the trek to the restaurant might still be put off by its glamourless clientele, mainly tired train-travelers and Asian tourists. In my own case, I neglected to dine at Chez Michel for years because the restaurant retained a reputation for being incongrously pricey, a result of an ill-advised and since abandoned highbrow push sometime in the past few years. (This 2011 blog post by Bruno Verjus, for instance, reports that the menu then was 50€. It's 34€ now.)
Whatever the restaurant's ups and downs over the years, it's in a fine groove right now, having attained an effortless sweet-spot consisting of informal service, an idiosyncratic, well-priced wine list, and a menu rendered exotic for its unswerving devotion to Bretonne country-cooking.