HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 2Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

It’s no secret that some of the most interesting things in a city happen off the tourist grid. New restaurants, music and, of course, lots of art gets made in places where the rents are cheaper, the residents funkier and the tourists far fewer. Paris is no exception. Such is true of the area in north eastern Paris in and around the 19eme. Thanks to some major cultural attractions and a smattering of fun eateries, it just may be on the brink of its moment.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 4Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

Setting off from Metro Stalingrad one recent afternoon, I discovered a quartier in exciting transition. Where its once dilapidated streets were lined with international call centers and cut rate shops, a new energy is palpable in a smattering of neighborhood boutiques, vegetarian eateries and performing arts centers.

HiP Paris Paige Frost Le Louxor Erin DahlLe Louxor (Erin Dahl)

Here are the highlights.

Le Centquatre. In 2008 the Marie de Paris unveiled Le104 (Le Centquatre), a performing and visual arts center that serves as the creative hub of the area. It’s a vast and luminous space that features rotating exhibitions and installations from this summer’s epic Keith Haring retrospective to “interactive” work that quite literally invites audiences to experience art first-hand.

HiP Paris Blog, dalbera, 104 CENTQUATRE
Le Centquatre (Dalbera)

Ample area is provided for performers and entertainers to indulge at will; groups of swing dancers perfect their steps alongside semi-professional jugglers and musicians. Kids happily run amok (or make art in the kid’s atelier) as parents lounge in the sunshine on deckchairs (with books borrowed from the on-site lending library). Here I felt the creative heartbeat of Paris – the beauty, the freedom of expression, the simple love of creation. Peek through the windows of resident artists’ studios, enjoy the outdoor café or take in a film. Just go and see it for yourself.

Le Centquatre (Skeen)

Le 104, 5 rue Curial, 75019 Paris. 01 53 35 50 00

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 17HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 13Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

Un dejeuner sain et bio. Organic eateries are the latest thing in Paris but to find one in this quartier is particularly rewarding. Lila, the chef and owner of Cantine Vagabonde, has created a quirky and unabashedly girlie space (not a single male in sight amid the happily chatting tables of filles) that serves up fresh veggie tarts, salads and soups on an array of mismatched china.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 7HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 5Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

The cheerful, welcoming spot feels like a breath of fresh air for the neighborhood and is the perfect place for a mid-day bite before a visit to Le Centquatre or a film at the Palais du Cinema.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 6HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 14Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

The highlight of my recent lunch was a cold beet soup with the perfect hint of sweetness and tart orange, washed down with a crisp glass of white. Menu options are limited to two starters, mains and dessert options and very affordable at just 12euros for a prix fixe menu. Brunch is served Saturdays only.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 8HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, La Cantine Vagabonde 16Cantine Vagabonde (Didier Gauducheau)

Cantine Vagabonde, 11, rue d’Aubervilliers, 75018 Paris, 01 46 07 44 89

HiP Paris Blog, www.cinemalouxor.fr, Cinema LouxorLe Louxor

For architecture and film lovers. The area adjacent to Metro Barbès-Rochechouart got a serious boost this spring with the long-anticipated reopening of the Palais du Cinema, a stunning neo-Egyptian theater that shows what it calls “mainstream art-house films” on its three screens. Like Le Centquatre, renovations on the space, dubbed Le Louxor, were funded entirely by the City of Paris and show Mayor Delanoe’s commitment to bringing the arts to every quartier. It has a wonderful history. Originally constructed in 1921, it housed a movie theater and nightclub over the years before falling into disrepair. The renovations are fabulous and the “neo-Egyptian” interiors are complete with colorful, scrolled mosaics and sculptures of pharaohs’ heads. Educational programing and film festivals are planned for the venue.

All in all, there’s more than enough here to make for a memorable day of culture off Paris’ heavily beaten tourist track. Enjoy!

Louxor – Palais du Cinema, 170 Boulevard de Magenta, 75010 Paris

Written by Paige Bradley Frost for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Paige Bradley Frost

Paige Bradley Frost spent nearly a decade in Paris after which she relocated to California serving as Executive Director of the nonprofit organization, Women’s Empowerment International. She has written extensively covering culture, parenting, education, travel, food and politics. Her work as been published by The New York Times Motherlode blog, Huffington Post, Forbes Travel Guides and extensively at HIP Paris.


  1. Dear Anna,

    You are definitely right that the 18eme is not exactly “up-and-coming” anymore, but we found that certain parts of this area — specifically, around the border of the 19eme — remain somewhat undiscovered and wonderful!

  2. Only one of these establishments is in the 19e. It would have been nice if the focus was actually put on the 19e – the 18e hasn’t been “up and coming” in a long while; it’s pretty much bobo paradise.

  3. Hi! I spent a great deal of time in the 19th, working at the science museum and you need to know the LCC Cafe on Corentin Cariou is outstanding as well as its sister restaurant, La Violette! Cheers!

  4. Firstly I would like to admit that I am a big travel freak, I love to travel. If there won’t be any money issues, I like to travel till my last breath. The longer I travel, the more I strive to connect with the culture of every destination I visit. I remember my Paris visit i have been most of the places and tastes most amazing cuisines of the world here. Truly an incredible tourist destination, want to go there again.

  5. I love the article! Can you write the 11eme or 12eme? I hoping to move to Paris next fall and I don’t know which district to choose or whether I choose somewhere else? Thoughts!!

    Thanks for the great read! I love your website!

  6. I have to do some research .. I want to find out rents 🙂
    I have lived back in the US since March and I am feeling like moving again. This time with no furniture and to Paris.

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