Located in the east of the city between Belleville and the Père Lachaise Cemetery, you’re not likely to find Ménilmontant in most guidebooks. Originally a hamlet on the outskirts of central Paris encircled by stone quarries and vineyards, the hilly neighborhood has remained true to its working-class and bohemian roots.
Today, art studios, community gardens, and narrow vine-ladened back streets rub shoulders with hip hangouts, street art, and contemporary eateries. Here are our top places to eat, drink, and mingle with the Ménilmontois.
Nestled on a little square near the Ménilmontant métro station, this friendly bar is le quartier general, or go-to hangout, for many locals. Its walls offer neighboring artists a chance to showcase their work and weekend nights are kept abuzz with concerts or slam poetry.
Formerly Le Roseval, this unassuming venue next to the Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix de Ménilmontant church was converted into a Italian neo-bistro by chef Michele Farnese in 2015. Pasta and Italian delicacies like you’ve never tasted, the two-course weekday lunch menu is a steal at 17€, and the pricier-but-worth-it nightly tasting menu is a true delight.
Meaning “Eat! Eat!” In Vietnamese, this tiny fusion restaurant is big on flavor. Palate-popping dishes range from bánh cuốn, a rice flour crêpe with mushrooms and a truffle emulsion, to crispy pork belly stuffed with herbs and served with turmeric-flavored potato purée and braised endives, available in a weekday two-course lunch menu of 16€.
Halfway up the Ménilmontant hill is one of two branches of this renowned baker-pastry chef, known for his quality ingredients. You can either take away some of Castel’s divine treats or sit down for teatime or all-you-can-eat brunch on Saturdays and Sundays (€29, no reservations).
Located right on rue de Ménilmonant, this resto-bar is a sign of the changing times of the area. A friendly ambiance around the long bar seating and cozier back tables, the menu features seasonal Mediterranean small plates and cocktails designed by award-winning mixologist Jennifer Le Nechet.
The seemingly never-ending rue de Ménilmontant is interrupted roughly midway by a semi-square at the mouth of rue Sorbier, where several bars and restaurants create a lively village-like feel. La Laverie is the coolest of these. If you can’t get a seat on its overflowing terrace, the inside is equally inviting with its eclectic collection of mismatched furniture and reasonably priced food and drinks.
A hybrid venue par excellence since its reinvention in 2005, this former late-19th-century cooperative has become a unique cultural outlet in the neighborhood. The vast interior hosts art exhibitions, festivals, markets, concerts, and other special events (dress-up bingo anyone?), whereas the peaceful back garden terrace is perfect for apéro or Sunday brunch.
A leather goods factory that was revamped in 2003, this slightly edgier next-door neighbor to La Bellevilloise is known for its indie concerts and late-night clubbing. It also has a nice terrace and restaurant open to all.
Lou Pascalou – 14 rue des Panoyaux, 75020 Paris
Dilia – 1 rue d’Eupatoria, 75020 Paris
An Di An Di – 9 rue du Liban, 75020 Paris
Benoît Castel Ménilmontant – 150 rue de Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris
Mino – 42 rue de Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris
La Laverie – 1 rue Sorbier, 75020 Paris
The Bellevilloise – 19-21 rue Boyer, 75020 Paris
Maroquinerie – 23 rue Boyer, 75020 Paris
- Read more about the delicious dining at Dilia.
- And, the artisan boulangerie and brunch spot Benoît Castel.
- You can also find pork buns and dumplings at Wen Zhou.
Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Photography by Ali Postma. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.