October 10, 2014
The 20ème is one of the largest neighborhoods in Paris, covering the areas of Nation, Gambetta, Ménilmontant, and Belleville. Largely overlooked by tourists, this unique quartier is full of locals-only bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, charming backstreets, hidden pockets of nature, and a diverse population. As much as I love the familiar streets of the Marais and the Latin Quarter, after spending three months living here this summer, a part of me will always be called back to the 20ème. Here are a few of my favorite historic and cultural spots worth discovering.
View from La Bellevilloise
A historically working class neighborhood, the 20ème was the center of opposition to Emperor Napoleon III during the eve of the First World War, and the very last neighborhood to surrender during the Paris Commune of 1871. Predominantly an immigrant community for the last century, nowadays young entrepreneurs, artists, and bobos flock to the area for its affordable rents, active nightlife, and thriving arts scene.
October 8, 2014
Hoards of travellers and locals alike flock to Paris’ flea markets in search of antique wares and one-of-a-kind finds, and rightfully so. The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is one of our favorite markets and this series will detail some of its top vendors. Today we look inside the best of Mid-century Modern. Enjoy! – Erin
The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is the largest flea market in the world, welcoming over five million visitors to its maze of stands and alleyways each year. And a maze it truly is—the sprawling complex houses over 1,700 vendors, from art dealers to artisans to purveyors of second-hand furniture.
Marché Paul Bert
So, you might ask, how do you find your way through this market, and where do you start? While there is value in going simply to get lost, this won’t work if your goal is to really sort the treasure from the trash. It should help that the Puces de Saint-Ouen is divided into 14 separate markets, some of which generally have better quality items than others. The Puces website has a description of each market here.
Marché Paul Bert
September 1, 2014
There is nothing more Parisienne than underwear that oozes sexy attitude with understated elegance, and there is nowhere better for a decadent splurge on intimate underthings than the area around the Carrefour de la Croix Rouge on the Rive Gauche. Over the last few years this magical little triangle of land has attracted some of the most seductive names in the lingerie industry, with a La Perla store that is set to open any day now.
Sophie d’Annunzia on the rue du Cherche-Midi is what the French call a multimarque, carrying a little bit of everything from not-so-sexy girdles to sumptuous cashmere shawls, with a lot of lace in between. She carries every size for all ages in her timeless little boutique.
July 15, 2014
There are few things in the world that make me happier than living in the 18th arrondissement. One could argue that it’s pretty great living anywhere in Paris, but there’s something about this quartier that has my heart forever. From the cinematic charm of Montmartre to the seductive side streets found beyond the Butte, this corner of of the city is full of friendly neighborhood addresses, unique boutiques, and rich cultural diversity.
Marche de Barbes
With the recent renovation of Le Louxor cinema (whose rooftop café offers magnificent views of the Sacre Coeur) increasing amounts of visitors are venturing to the foot of Boulevard Barbès, the entryway to the Goutte d’Or neighborhood. With its mosques, African markets, and North African pastry shops, this diverse and lively area has recently emerged as the city’s most eccentric up-and-coming neighborhood.
Sacre Coeur; Marche Dejean
Probably the most emblematic address of the Goutte d’Or is Thierry Roche’s Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or. Opened in 2012, the brasserie boasts the title of the city’s first microbrewery and has set an example for Ile-de-France brewers and Paris craft beer bars alike. Thierry takes inspiration from the diverse culture of the Goutte d’Or, using ingredients such a rooibus and kola nut in his beers, which can be found at nearby outdoor markets.
If you’re interested in finding your own inspiration at the market, visit Marché Dejean near the metro Chateau Rouge, rue Dejean. Open Tuesday to Saturday mornings, this chaotic jumble of a market is stuffed with overflowing baskets of exotic foods, fish heads, and cell phones of dubious origin. Get everything you need for a Senegalese feast or Cameroon cuisine. Here bartering is encouraged and the overall ambiance of the market transports you to another part of the world.
Get cosy with local shoppers and squeeze your way through Marché Barbès (Bld de la Chapelle, metro La Chapelle) on Wednesday or Saturday morning. Standard market stands such as fishmongers and cheese sellers are in the minority at this busy market, which reflects the ethnic diversity of the area. North African breads and pastries, inexpensive produce from abroad, mangoes and other foreign fruits lend an exotic air to this market, which draws deal seekers and tourists alike. An overwhelming aroma of mint accompanies your visit to Marché Barbès as you pass by piles of herbs and spices and items that likely “fell off a truck” before making it to the market.
Goutte d’Or is about to welcome a unique new market to its collection. Just down the street from the Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or is the future site of La Louve Coopérative, a Park Slope Food Coop inspired project set to open in June 2015. Watch this space for more information on this exciting addition to the list of “bio” shops in Paris.
In the meandering side streets around the historic Eglise Saint-Bernard de la Chapelle, you’ll find a selection of boutiques and bars that are a testament to the transformation of the neighborhood. Design team Cocobohème has their studio and showcase on rue de Jessaint, where you can shop for unique home decor, children’s clothes and toys, and handmade jewelry and accessories.
If you need a drink break after a day of shopping, pop into Le Tout Monde, a perfect spot for a pit stop and some small plates paired with natural wine. Recently open for lunch, keep this bar in mind for a break between boutiques or before a beer tasting!
For a proper sit down meal of tagine and mint tea, head to neighborhood favorite La Môme (16 rue Stephenson). An extensive menu of African specialties offers something for everyone (there’s even a vegetarian tagine option). Don’t miss out on the specialty La Môme beer that the Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or made especially for the restaurant!
If you’re weary of running around the city, opt for an indulgent afternoon and head to Azhar Hammam & Spa an affordable and authentic option for a traditional hammam experience. Enjoy a steam, massage, or mani-pedi that will refresh and restore, leaving you ready to explore some more!
The constantly growing scene of creative commerce and collaborations makes the Goutte d’Or neighborhood one to watch. Whether sipping on locally brewed beer or natural wine, catching a matinée, or shopping for unique handmade gifts, be sure to take pause and soak up the energy of one of the city’s most vibrant and swiftly changing neighborhoods.
- Le Louxor – 170 Boulevard Magenta, 75010 Paris. Tel: + 33 (0)1 44 63 96 96
- La Louve Cooperative – 61 rue de la Goutte D’Or, 75018 Paris.
- Cocoboheme – 22 rue Jessaint, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 62 40 60
- Le Tout Monde – 4 rue Affre, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 54 29 51
- Le Mome – 16 Rue Stephenson, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 23 35 64
- Azhar Hammam & Spa – 59 rue Stephenson, 75018 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 58 02 02
- For more tips on the 18ème arrondisement, check out My Parisian Life’s neighborhood round-up
- Chocolate & Zucchini’s guide to the best bio shops in Paris
- David Lebovitz writes about the Marché Barbès
June 24, 2014
Regulated by French law since 1906, stores are only allowed to have sales twice a year in Paris.
When the Soldes begin, it is like hunting season, with each shopper tracking their prey.
This year, Les SOLDES begin June 25th and last one month. Here are some hints for getting ahead of the competition…
June 19, 2014
No matter how much I try to avoid it, I occasionally succumb to speaking in clichés regarding my fellow female Parisian citizens.
To recap: Parisian women don’t get fat, Parisian women look fabulous with minimal makeup, Parisian women are more rock and roll than their anglo-saxon counterparts. Unfamiliar with this last one? Allow me to explain.
April 16, 2014
Acide Café & Blou
Montmartre, the Marais, Canal Saint-Martin; these are all well-known Parisian neighborhoods, their names immediately recognizable to any visitor. But Batignolles? That’s a local, well-kept secret.
This mostly-residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the 17th arrondissement is off of the standard beaten tourist track. There are no large monuments on visitor to-do lists, and beyond Place de Clichy, there are few names that the outsider will recognize. But that keeps it an out of the way gem, a place to explore when you’re craving a local dose of Paris.
Marché Biologique Batignolles & Parc Martin Luther King
The hub of Batignolles is Square des Batignolles, a quaint and well-maintained park that lies behind the church, Sainte-Marie des Batignolles. From here you can explore rue des Batignolles, full of a variety of small and independently owned stores. For the food lover there’s the epicerie Mary, which houses specialties from Corsica, including wines, honey, cheese, charcuterie and more.
April 7, 2014
It has long been a generally accepted fact that French women don’t get fat. It is now also increasingly accepted that they don’t succumb to spots and wrinkles either.
A glance at the beauty pages of my favourite glossy magazines reveals a veritable fascination with the rules of French skincare. The consensus on what those rules are however is far from clear. There is the minimalist, soap-and-water camp embodied by Charlotte Gainsbourg, who swears by Embryolisse, a simple, French pharmacy classic.
Juliette Lévy (The founder of Oh My Cream !)
That icon of Parisian chic, Ines de la Fressange, espouses an even more minimalistic approach: to eradicate wrinkles, a smile will suffice! On the other side of the fence, we have the French facialist camp. They book their appointments with Parisian skincare gurus months in advance and apply complex sounding creams with scientific precision.
March 11, 2014
The Finish Institute (Anna Brones)
Clean lines, fresh food, cozy cafes – it is no surprise that so many of us have an obsession with Scandinavia. Paris is having its own love affair with the Nordic countries, and if you want a mini-escape to the cultures of a colder climate, you don’t even have to leave the French capital. From food to fashion, there’s plenty of Scandinavia to be had on the streets of Paris.
Whether it’s a little grim, gray and rainy out, or you’re treated with blue skies and sun, Le Café Suédois at l’Institut Suédois is equally inviting. This cozy café space in the Swedish Institute in the Marais feels like stepping into any café in Sweden, complete with strong dark filter coffee and plenty of Swedish baked goods.
In the summer you can sit in the beautiful courtyard and eat your kanelbulle (cinnamon roll), or come for lunch and order a classic Swedish open-faced sandwich.
Icone (Anna Brones)
At the Institut Finlandais you’ll find Coutume Institutti, a partnership with local coffee roaster Coutume. The Finns are known for their coffee consumption, and in this typically Scandinavian designed café, you can sit for hours nursing a big cup, catching up on some work on your computer, or simply sitting and feeling a wave of Scandinavian inspiration.
February 25, 2014
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
Rue Riquet, which stretches from the edge of the 18th arrondissement to the quai of the canal in the 19th arrondissement, is now home to an increasing number of charming meeting points for locals and visitors looking to see a new side of Paris.
En Vrac (Emily Dilling Poulain)
The renovation of Marché couvert La Chapelle (or Marché de l’Olive as the locals refer to it), which was completed in 2010, brought new life to the neighborhood which was mostly known for its Asian supermarkets and smoke-filled bars and cafés.
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
The market is open six days a week and is home to one of the area’s finest (and friendliest) fishmongers as well as an excellent cheese and dairy stand. Alumni of the market include the owners of En Vrac who went to open a brick and mortar shop a few paces away, beginning the conquest of rue Riquet.