Restaurant Reviews

What to do in Paris’ Pigalle Neighborhood

by Verity McRae

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Not long ago, Pigalle, Paris’ former red-light district had a naughty reputation. Fast forward to 2021, this lively area located at the base of Montmartre has reinvented itself as one of the city’s trendiest quartiers.

Pigalle’s once grimy bars have transformed into hipster establishments accompanied by a wide array of artesian coffee shops, tasty restaurants, and stylish shops. To make it easier to find the best spots in the neighborhood, I’ve compiled a brief guide to this re-vamped quartier in the city of lights:

Pigalle Classics

To start your day off, head along Pigalle’s main boulevard and you’ll find one of Paris’ most underrated museums: The Phono Museum. This 140 year old music lovers haven is jam packed with old timey music boxes, antique gramophones and rare vinyl. Be sure to check out the vintage record shop located at the back of the museum to take home a musical memento

A photo of the outside of the Moulin Rouge in Paris at night.
Top: Left: @dumboparis / Right: @veritymcrae
Above: Lola Delabays

When night falls, it’s worth a trip to Pigalle to check out the famous Le Moulin Rouge cabaret. However, the real must-do comes after the glitter smothered show in a tucked away bar nestled behind the Moulin Rouge’s turbines. Le Bar à Bulls is the perfect spot to debrief after the spectacle on the Japanese styled terrace overlooking the busy boulevard.  

Where to eat in Pigalle

Whatever food you’re craving, Pigalle will have you covered. For a classic French fix, check out Le Bon Bock and be taken back in time to the 19th century. Said to be one of the oldest restaurants in the area, Le Bon Bock serves delicious traditional French cuisine in a cozy wooden eatery.

For non-meat eaters, Pigalle has one of the best vegan restaurants in Paris. Check out brEATHE for incroyable plant based sweet treats and vegetarian dishes that are not only tasty but delightfully instagramable.

A photo of the interior of the restaurant brEATHE in Pigalle, Paris
@breathe.restaurant

Craving something slightly less healthy but still delicious? Head to Dumbo on rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle for one of the best smash style burgers around. And for those who can’t decide what it is they feel like munching, simply stroll down rue des Martyrs: an iconic Parisienne street stuffed with cafes, fromageries, boulangeries, restaurants, delicatessens, and almost anything your hungry brain can think of.

  • Le Bon Bock – 2 Rue Dancourt, 75018
  • brEATHE – 16 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009
  • Dumbo – 64 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009
Left: a photo of rue des martyrs in the 9th arrondissement of Paris on a sunny day. Right: a photo of people drinking on a terrace in Pigalle.
Left: @jeremydionphoto / Right: @tipsinthecity

Where to drink in Pigalle

If you’re more down for some apéro and cocktails, there is plenty of choice in Pigalle.

For penny pinchers, head to rue Frochot and check out Lipstick or B9. Both have great happy hour deals, decent cocktails, and a lively atmosphere. If you’re after proper craftmanship, walk a few minutes further and you’ll find Le Mondain. The bar’s friendly owner Jerome is a class A mixologist who serves up some of the tastiest cocktails I have tried in Paris.

After something in between a bar and a restaurant? Lao is your place. Pop in for some sensational tapas paired with Asian fusion cocktails. I recommend giving the ‘Lao Mule’ a try – an Asian twist on the famous Moscow Mule!

Left: a photo of the sign of the club Le Bus Palladium in Paris. Right: a photo of four different coloured cocktails lined up on a bartop.
Left: @serrepantin / Right: @laopigalle

Where to go for a night out

Pigalle’s naughty trait mostly alludes to its fantastic nightlife scene these days. One spot you shouldn’t miss – especially if you’re a fan of live music – is Le Bus Palladium. First opened in 1965, Le Bus Palladium has been visited by dozens of celebrities over the years, including the Beatles.

Left: a photo of people dancing inside le Bus Palladium club in Paris. A photo of a girl dancing inside Le Bus Palladium club in Paris.
@lebuspalladium

Next, head off down the street towards the Moulin Rouge and you’ll stumble across another legendary Paris club that’s been around since 1875 – Le Carmen. Party in its historic haussmannian style club that’s filled with mirrors at every spin.

Left: a photo of the interior of the restaurant in Pigalle named Frenchie Pigalle. Right: a photo of a girl waiting breakfast and reading her book on a balcony in Paris.
@grandpigallehotel

Where to stay in Pigalle

Right in the middle of all the Pigalle madness you’ll find the iconic Grand Pigalle Hotel, which is also home to one of Michelin-starred chef Gregory Marchand’s restaurants Frenchie Pigalle. This boutique and swanky hotel will keep you amid it all while feeling on cloud nine.

Also on the main boulevard you will find the luxurious five hotel: Maison Souquet. In true Pigalle style, the former brothel is now a stunning boutique 20 room hotel, decorated with period paintings and antiques, all subtlety hinting back at its playful past.

For those looking for plush Paris apartments to truly settle in and feel like a Parisian, be sure to check out Plum Guide for chic and cozy vacation rentals to make yourself at home in the area.

A photo of a woman sitting on a bench in the garden of the hotel Maison Souquet in Pigalle, Paris.
@maisonsouquetofficial

In summary…

There’s no doubt about it – Pigalle will show you a good time – whether you’re after a stroll through vibrant and picturesque streets, a party, or a fantastic journey into a trendy quartier of Paris.  For those who want to enjoy a lively, fun, and hip side to Paris – make sure Pigalle is top on your list to discover.

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Written by Verity McRae 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.


Written By

Verity McRae

Verity is a Kiwi expat and hobby writer currently living in Paris. Before moving to the other side of the world in 2020, she worked as a PR consultant at a corporate communications agency in New Zealand for three years. Later this year Verity will begin a masters degree in Paris in pursuit of an international career in communications. In her spare time, you can find Verity wandering in and out of Parisian bookshops, sat down with a coffee at her favourite cafe Loustic or going for scenic runs along the Seine. View Verity McRae's Website

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