For decades, Pigalle was known mainly for its sex shops, seedy shows and working girls. During WWII, this sketchy section of Paris earned the nickname “Pig Alley” thanks to its bawdy rep. But these days, Pigalle has earned a few new monikers as well as a cleaner reputation. Now, in NYC fashion, trendy locals refer to it as either NoPi (North of Pigalle) or SoPi (South of Pigalle).
While both North and South have plenty to offer, it’s SoPi that’s become the latest neighborhood to watch. Moving beyond nighttime entertainment, SoPi is packed with plenty of destination restaurants, food shops, cafes and enough to make an itinerary that runs from morning until nighttime.
To get a day’s worth of enjoyment out of one the city’s hippest ‘hood, kick start things with some caffeine at Rocketship. Like many places in Paris, they don’t open until later in the morning, so make your way there leisurely. In keeping with the neighborhood’s NY-inspired nickname, this concept coffeeshop works a Brooklyn vibe and offers chai lattes alongside coffee from Coutume.
After coffee, take time to browse the boutique. Benoit, the owner, prides himself on finding unique treasures and includes a good number of pieces from SoPi-based artisans.
Le Rocketship, 13 bis rue Henri Monnier, Paris, 75009, +33 1 48 78 23 66
Afterwards make a detour just a few doors down to check out Natier. The lovely lady behind this chocolate shop, Madame Letterrier, stocks up on everything you need from small treats to pretty Parisian gifts to take home. Here you’ll find classic truffles from artisan chocolatiers, jewel toned pate de fruit and a sweet selection of teas from Palais de Thes.
Natier, 1 rue Henri Monnier, Paris, 75009, +33 1 42 81 35 75
If you’ve spent the appropriate amount of shopping time, you should now be ready for lunch at le Depanneur. Paris nightlife entrepreneur Oliver Demarle has pulled in the Cantine California crew of Paris food truck fame to give what was a dying dive bar an overhaul with a sunnier outlook and totally revamped menu.
Join local trendwatchers on the sidewalk terrace for big, sloppy burgers topped with Frenchified condiments like bleu cheese or Beaufort.
Le Depanneur, 27 rue Pierre Fontaine, Paris, 75009, +33 1 48 74 48 74
But don’t forget to save room for a little dessert at your next stop! Walk off your late lunch on the way to award-winning pasty chef Sebastien Gaudard’s SoPi location. Don’t be fooled by the retro and minimalist décor – here, it’s the flavors that really pop.
Grab a handful of macarons or a sorbet to go and walk north back up rue des Martyrs, lingering for window shopping (or more) at its many bakeries, cafes, and wine, sweet, oil and food shops.
Patisserie des Martyrs by Sebastien Gaudard, 22 rue des Martyrs, Paris, 75009, +33 1 71 18 24 70
Hopefully you’re ready for cocktail hour now because you’re close to the city’s latest and greatest tiki joint, Dirty Dick. This bar embodies the spirit of the new Pigalle. In a naughty wink to the past, they’ve kept the name of the former girlie club in which they reside, but completely upgraded the offerings into something new, relevant and lighthearted.
A bamboo bar, umbrella topped drinks, and tiki totems give the place a fun and frivolous feel. At the same time, the relaxed staff knows their stuff and delivers delicious drinks with a smile. It’s the perfect Pigalle spot to sink into for a pre-dinner drink or two.
Dirty Dick, 10 rue Frochot, Paris, 75009
If you’re ready to experience more of the neighborhood for dinner, there are plenty of options such as Pantruche, Premices, Maison Mere and more. But, possibly the best option now is to wander the winding streets and discover something on your own. While a set itinerary is great, there’s nothing more rewarding than finding your own hidden gem. And, fortunately, SoPi is now full of them.
Written by Forest Collins for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Didier Gauducheau, except where otherwise noted. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.