After living in the 18ème for three and a half years, at the end of last year, I made the move to the rive gauche and the Latin quarter. While I was sad to leave my beloved Montmartre behind, I was excited at the opportunity to discover a whole new arrondissement.
The 5th is a “nice” arrondissement, clean, safe, and quiet (excluding the bustling rue Mouffetard and Place de la Contrescarpe). With the Sorbonne nearby, there are a lot of international students around, making locals more accustomed to foreigners, and I’ve found, more friendly.
When I used to visit Paris before moving here, I would stay in the 5th. Back then, I didn’t find there was much of a food scene. But how things have changed! There are now plenty of options when it comes to dining out. Here are some of my favorites:
Located on a quaint cobblestone road off rue Mouffetard, Chinaski is a small neo-bistro by night, café by day. The team are all ex-Dersou, and serve up modern small plates using seasonal ingredients from the open kitchen. Friendly service is the cherry on top.
With their first address in the 10ème (which is currently closed), the team behind Le Bel Ordinaire has opened their second location at the bottom of rue Mouffetard. This contemporary bistro creates dishes using seasonal and market products. It’s also a wine cellar, where you can find over 150 cuvées to take away from organic, biodynamic, or natural winemakers.
The former manager of another popular 5ème spot, Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, has opened this corner bistro which is perfect for an afternoon apéro on their petite terrasse. The ex-Bel Ordinaire chef offers fresh bistrotière cuisine to be accompanied by natural wines from their cave.
Bonvivant is a French bistro with a cave and pizza shop across the street. The bistro focuses on fresh, seasonal products with largely organic, biodynamic, and natural wines. The pizza shop serves up pizza romaine, meaning a thin and crispy base using organic flour. I like that they get a little adventurous with their toppings (I tire of the same pizzas at many of the Italian restaurants in Paris), using ingredients such as veal carpaccio, octopus, asparagus, broccoli, peas, and celery.
Zaoka is a small Taiwanese fusion restaurant providing a modern take on street food from the country. On the menu: braised pork, fried chicken (my favorite), and vegetarian udon for mains, with their famous gua bao, pork meatballs, a seasonal salad, and sweet potato fries as entrées or tapas.
After I moved from the 18th and my beloved Le Ruisseau, I had to find myself a new local burger joint. And Buns fills that gap perfectly. They make delicious smash burgers (even via delivery)! I was the love heart eyes emoji when I saw they do halloumi fries, but I also like their herby fries (with herbes de Provence, bien sûr), which remind me of my favorite burger place in Melbourne. Vegetarians can treat themselves to a halloumi or falafel burger. They also have fried chicken buckets, and salads for those feeling virtuous.
If it weren’t for the crowd of people waiting outside at lunchtime every day, you might miss this tiny hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese takeaway shop. And it would be a shame, because the Vietnamese food here is some of the best I’ve had in Paris. My go-to order is the BBQ chicken bánh mì (€6) or bò bún (€10), which come with a generous heaping of vegetables and herbs (which isn’t always guaranteed in Paris). A warning: Service can be slow.
Bingsu is the specialty of this Korean cafe, a popular dessert made out of shaved ice with sweet toppings and condensed milk. I love the mango bingsu, which I’ll often get with a watermelon juice—delicious, surprisingly filling, and perfectly refreshing on a warm day. Other versions of the bingsu are Oreo, matcha, coffee, and red bean. You could also try the omija, a tea with the five flavors: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, and savory.
- Want to stay in the 5th arrondissement? Haven In has the perfect apartment.
- Check out our guide to the Latin Quater.
- And the most romantic places over at Je T’Aime Me Neither.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. 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 or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person (when possible)? Check out new marketplace shop and experiences.