These Chairs Make My Porch Feel Like a Parisian Sidewalk Cafe

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A review of French bistro chairs

Tessa Cooper

Rattan bistro chairs seem to blend into the fabric of Parisian streets. It wasn't until my second trip there that I actually noticed these chairs adorned nearly every sidewalk cafe in various colors. Immediately, I knew I wanted to own some. I remember jotting down the brand name engraved on the little silver plate on the back, thinking it would be fun to order a couple when I returned home.

However, I soon realized owning an authentic pair of French rattan patio chairs would currently be out of the question budget-wise. With a little more research, I found several aluminum versions with a rattan-style powder coating. The lower price point drew me in first. I also appreciated how an aluminum frame might be sturdier and longer lasting for outdoor use than true rattan, which can become brittle after long periods of exposure to rain and sunlight.

Safavieh Outdoor Collection Rosen French Bistro White Stacking Chairs (Set of 2)

outdoor french bistro chairs safavieh


I fell in love with the simplicity and circular shape of this set by Safavieh in white, and with the cost being nearly two chairs for the price of one authentic chair, I took a chance and ordered them. They came fully assembled, and upon unboxing them, any worry I had about the fake rattan frame looking tacky completely vanished.

At the time, my husband and I lived in an apartment without a personal balcony or patio, so we decided to use them as indoor kitchen chairs until we bought a home. For the next three years, they served us super well as dining chairs.

My husband is 6 feet, 5 inches, and I am 5 feet, 2 inches, so we can attest that they are great for pretty much any height. Also, the synthetic woven seat is very comfortable to sit on, and I appreciate that they are slightly reinforced on the bottom. They are so easy to clean with a simple wet cloth. You get the comfort of a padded fabric chair but without the worry of spilling red wine on them. 

A pair of French bistro chairs with sparkling water

Tessa Cooper

When we moved into our house about seven months ago, we decided to order a full set of indoor dining room chairs and put our Safavieh bistro chairs on our porch. This past weekend we watched a spring thunderstorm roll in while sitting on these chairs. As the heavy winds drew raindrops in our direction, I realized these chairs do occasionally get physically damp, and still, no rust. Also, they surprisingly attract hardly any dirt. They look exactly like they did when we bought them more than 3.5 years ago.

While the aluminum's cold touch and metal clinking sounds may not give off the same “je ne sais quoi” as genuine rattan when you move them around, I still adore these chairs the same and will be hanging onto them long-term. Plus, they feature their own silver metal plate with Safavieh's maker's mark on the back, just like the real deal. I think it's a nice little testament to the quality and level of detail put into this product. Overall, they have all the attributes that I want in an outdoor chair—they're durable, comfortable, and beautiful.