Restaurant Reviews

A Guide To Paris’s Ménilmontant Neighborhood

by Lily Heise

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.

An old boulanger/patissier that has been covered in promotional music posters. An elderly man to the left is looking up at the posters while a young woman is walking past, slightly blurred.

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.

Two images of the same street artist's work. Left: the artwork is a man on a bicycle upon a tight rope with primary coloured umbrella, kites and balloons. There are also some black cats and rabbits. Right: the artwork is a man climbing up the side of the building with a red kite, yellow moon and red rocket, there are also some black cats.

Lou Pascalou

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.

Left: the facade of a restaurant. The window frames and awning are black and there are two wooden tables and chairs on either side of the front door. Right: a close up of the restaurant's sign. The sign is black with the name of the restaurant 'Dilia' written in cursive.
Dilia

Dilia 

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.

The facade of a boulangerie. There is a vintage sign above the windows. A woman is looking in the windows at the pastries on display.
Benoît Castel

An Di An Di

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€.

Left: the window display of a boulangerie with various types of patisseries. The sales assistant is picking up one of the patisseries. Right: the interior of the boulangerie. The glass display cases are full of bread and pastries. The back wall is mirrored and the vintage art nouveau roof is reflected.
Benoît Castel

Benoît Castel 

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).

Left: the facade of a restaurant. The facade is wood panelled with blue door and window frames and blue awning. On the awning is the name of the restaurant 'Mino'. A couple are walking past, blurred slightly.
Right: A wooden street bench that has been painted in all different colours.
Left: Mino

Mino

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.

Left: the painted, graffiti covered facade of a bar. There is a lamp post in front and a woman is exiting the bar. Right: A cobblestone road leading to a shop with a red facade and a street art covered facade next door.

La Laverie 

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.

The interior of a cafe/restaurant. There is a sign with the name of the place 'Bellevilloise' on the right wall. There are four trees with circular tables around them. There are also square tables and chairs.
La Bellevilloise

La Bellevilloise

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.

Left: Two brown rusted signs with art nouveau lettering on the outside of a building. The first has the name of the cafe 'La Bellevilloise'. Below is a sign with the word 'Cafe'. Right: A large street art piece on the side of a building. The entire wall is painted red, there are five white figures dancing in a circle, musical notes, and the words 'C'est nous les gars d'Menilmontant'.
Left: La Bellevilloise

La Maroquinerie 

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. 

The facade of a kindergarten. The words 'Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite' are at the top of the building, lower down are the words 'Ville de Paris, Ecole Maternelle'. There is a French flag flying above the front door. There is a man walking past.

Addresses 

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

Related Links

  • 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.

Written By

Lily Heise

Lily Heise has been living in Paris for more than 10 years. When she's not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel, and culture. Her writing has been featured in Frommer’s Guides, the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness Guides, and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T'Aime, Me Neither, and Je T'Aime... Maybe? lively novelized memoirs on her romantic misadventures, and continues to share dating tips, stories and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. View Lily Heise's Website

One comment on “A Guide To Paris’s Ménilmontant Neighborhood

Any groups for tourist seniors who want to meet locals?

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