my Paris: the 10th Arrondissement

The 10th Arrondissement is the first place I stayed when visiting Paris this past year, and it’s been the place I’ve returned to practically every time. Centrally located with Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est being not only major train stations, but hubs for many metro lines it’s definitely a convenient place to stay.

Besides its location, the 10th is a vibrant and diverse district, home to a growing food scene within Paris. Loaded with restaurants that are proud of their culinary heritage, they’re delivering delicious and inventive dishes, pushing boundaries and revolutionizing the food culture in Paris. Not only that but these fine establishments don’t require a six-figure salary to afford. They cater more to those who live and work in Paris.

The crowd is definitely a younger one, and you’ll see tons of them crowding bars along Rue de Paradis, sitting on the curbs of Cour des Petites Écuries, or along the banks of Canal Saint Martin enjoying a beverage (beer is super trendy right now!) and life in one of the hippest parts of Paris.

I hope you enjoy it too! Below are some of my Must’s in the 10th.

Image courtesy of © Francisco Anzola/Flickr

 

Neighborhood Favorites

 

See:

Canal Saint-Martin

This might be one of my favorite places in all of Paris. A local hotspot, especially for the Bobo (the French for “Hipster”) 20-30-somethings, you’ll spot them all sitting on the canal’s edge at dusk with a bottle of wine enjoying the night air. It’s where all the cool kids go – or at least it feels like that.

But during the day it’s equally as charming, with its bridges that crisscross from one side to the other. There are also lots of cute boutiques, cafes, lunch spots and restaurants that line its banks or the many streets that branch off of it. Enjoy these delicious and affordable places or do as the locals do and grab yourself a good bottle, a baguette, some cheese and picnic along with the rest of Paris.

Images courtesy of The Tasting Table, Girls Guide to Paris, © Francisco Anzola/Flickr

 

Streets:

Musts

Image courtesy of Paris Burger

Maybe Nots

There are very few areas in Paris that are unsafe these days. The 10th Arrondissement is a gritty and very diverse district but that’s part of its appeal. That said there are a few streets that aren’t as picturesque…

  • Boulevard de Strasbourg is a big boulevard with not much going on. I wouldn’t recommend staying here.
  • By Gare du Nord & Gare de l’Est or any train station for that matter is always a little extra rough. The location might be ideal in terms of proximity to transportation, just know it’s not going to be as idyllic as other areas.

 

Stay:

ART Hotel Lafayette

I’m not gonna lie… we got this hotel from Priceline’s Express Deals–you only know the neighborhood of the hotel, star-rating & price, and once you book it (non-refundable) you find out the name of the hotel. It’s a tad risky (and exhilarating), but this time we definitely scored with ART Hotel Lafayette.

Situated at the north-most end of Rue d’Hauteville its location couldn’t better with Gare du Nord an 8-minute walk away, and the nearest Metro station, Poissonnière, just 3-minutes. And with neighboring streets like Rue de Paradis and Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, breakfast and dinner spots abound! Essential for those late-start mornings when the tummy’s grumbling, or those late-night dinners when your feet just wish they could magically find themselves back in bed.

While the lobby’s seen better days–a bit worn from use, the rooms are nice and stylishly dressed. The bathroom was smaller but the shower was large and luxurious, with amazing water-pressure (showers in Paris tend to be tiny.)! But by far the best part of the room was the view from our shared balcony of Église Saint-Vincent de Paul! Worth every penny! The staff was kind and helpful, and the front desk was manned 24-hours. Would definitely recommend this hotel when staying in Paris!

Images courtesy of Booking.com, Expedia & TripAdvisor

 

Eat:

Peonies Paris

On Rue Faubourg Saint-Denis there lies a sweet feminine oasis of coffee, cakes and flowers. Dressed daintily in shades of blush and kelly green Peonies Paris is every girl’s (or Instagrammer’s) heaven. The beautiful brunette with the big Bambi-eyes behind the counter is Clementine Lévy–florist, barista and owner of this part cafe, part floral shop. Come in and enjoy a delightful cup of coffee and slice of their freshly made cake (they usually have one that’s gluten-free) or partake in their vegetarian lunch that changes daily – a seasonal salad, vegetarian rolls or the ubiquitous avocado toast. Either way a stop at Peonies Paris is sure to please. Just please don’t leave without at least smelling the peonies! Better yet buy a bouquet to take away…

Images courtesy of © The Socialite Family & Joelix.com

 

Cafe Marlette

With two locations, one in South Pigalle on Rue des Martyrs and the other on the amazing Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, Cafe Marlette is where it’s at if you want a delicious, generous and affordable breakfast or brunch. As with many places in Paris they focus on quality, bio (organic) ingredients and offer a few different formulas ranging in size & price. The one I love is Le Marlette: a coffee of choice (here you can actually order a latte or cappuccino and they even have alternative milks too!), freshly-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, yogurt with granola, and a slice of one of their in-house cakes (yes, they’ve got a gluten-free one!). If something savory is more to your taste they also have a number of egg dishes on their à la carte menu. Definitely grab a window seat, and if you’re wondering how to recreate that delicious cake you ate, fret not! They sell their pre-made mixes online and in-store.

Images courtesy of Atelier UOA & Cafe Marlette 

 

Holybelly

If you’re not into the traditional French breakfast of a cigarette, espresso and croissant; if you’re hungering for something more substantial; if you’re homesick for a giant stack of fluffy pancakes, you’re not alone. This fact will become glaringly obvious when you round the corner onto Rue Lucien Sampaix and survey the crowd of Bobos lined-up, waiting their turn for a table at Holybelly. Both their name and slogan “It’s good because we care” say it all… serving up great coffee and food, mostly of a breakfast/brunch nature, with a smile. Their pancakes are legendary, but their eggs, served all day, are equally as awesome—be sure to order a side of hashbrowns & sausage patty. The service is always friendly and spot-on in this cool shoebox-sized place- the line attests to the truth of these statements (they don’t take reservations, so get there early!). Thankfully they’re expanding!!! So be sure to check their website or Instagram for hours and updates as they’re undergoing the expansion.

 

Soucoupe

Just a block or so down from Cafe Marlette is Soucoupe. But this is not just a coffee shop as its gorgeous turquoise storefront reads. Owned and operated by two sisters, there’s a constant flow in and out during the lunch hour by Parisians ordering their formulas à emporter–to go. And you can see why… You get: a beautiful baguette sandwich or choose from their fresh salad offerings, a juice-of-the-day or beverage-of-choice, and a delicious dessert–all for €11-12!!! The ingredients are not only fresh but sourced from local farms and the menu changes daily. Their coffee is also exceptional and they offer their own homemade almond milk for those avoiding dairy. Take your coffee or lunch to go, or sit and eat in with a view of their lovely secret garden.

Images courtesy of Les Foodeuses & TimeOut Paris

 

Urfa Dürüm

If you’re a fan international food, a walk down Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis is a must. And if you want the best Kurdish sandwich/wrap of your life look for the place with the mustard-colored awning, miniature tables and chairs (yes, these are for adults), and a line that snakes single-file out the door. Then you know you’ve arrived at Urfa Dürüm. We heard about this place when watching Anthony Bourdain’s Paris episode in his series The Layover. A must watch!!! Needless to say we were not disappointed. The flatbread is handmade, rolled-out and baked in the giant stone oven in the front of the shop. The meats are grilled up right before your eyes and the dürüm (the name of the sandwich you just ordered) expertly flung together with just arugula, red onion, tomatoes and parsley. Simple. Delicious. The menu is listed on a chalkboard in the front: agneau (lamb), poulet (chicken), viande haché (beef), foie d’agneau (lamb’s liver) or vegetarian. The owner speaks English but that’s about it… Yes they do take cards. No this is NOT halal. Yes you should try it!

Images courtesy of Yelp, YouTube & © Julian Hay

 

Café Aux Fourreurs

If you want that traditional café experience–you know, sitting on one of those quintessential woven café chairs under an awning people watching as you sip a Spritz–then you can’t go wrong with Café Aux Fourreurs. Not only is it about as picturesque as it gets, but the small menu of food is actually amazing (not always the case with most cafés–you’re going for the experience), and the people watching along Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière is supreme. If you can’t find an outdoor seat available (it can be a pretty happening spot with the locals), the interior is just as charming with a glam-retro feel. Be sure to order their Planche Mixte – a charcuterie & cheese board of epic proportions that’s one of the best I’ve had in Paris. Or if you fancy something fresher try La Fraïcheur, a salad with smoked salmon, crayfish, tomatoes, green beans and avocado. It’s phenomenal. The desserts also look incredible. Definitely worth a stop if only for a drink!

Images courtesy of Facebook & Mappy.com

 

Chez Minna

I’d passed by Chez Minna number of times as it was less than a block from my friend’s flat in Paris, and always wondered about it. But with so many other restaurants on my hit-list, I’d never considered it till one evening when Ryan and I were “winging” our dinner plans and we just happened to wander by. The restaurant looked so inviting with it’s warm yet industrial interior. And the Corsican menu looked sublime: an starter of Burratina with myrtle, beet carpaccio and apple shavings or a main of Grilled Octopus with herbed bulgur and a spicy mayo? Yes please! And with mains coming in at the oh-so reasonable price range of €16-21 we were sold. Unfortunately I’m still left wondering what all these mouth-watering delights taste like… No reservation? Not happening. So don’t make the same mistake we did… book ahead! This hot-spot on the Michelin Guide is worth a try. At least to tell me if it lives up to all the droll-inducing photos.

Images courtesy of Chez Minna & RestoAParis.com

 

Les Vinaigriers

Of all the meals I’ve had in Paris Les Vinaigriers has provided me with one of the best… In my top three. And I’ve had a lot of meals in Paris. The ambiance is perfectly Parisian, with a spiral staircase and warm wood finishes throughout, utilizing the wall of paned windows to bring in the light and life of the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood. The ever-changing menu is beautiful, featuring for the most part traditional french dishes but allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves. They’re the stars here. The staff is very friendly, and while they do speak english and even have an english menu, most of the people you’ll find sitting around you are locals. The wine list is plentiful and the prices are some of the most reasonable in Paris with staters going for €8-13, mains between €16-26 and cocktails from €7-8. Their Menu Midi (lunch formula) is also quite good and worth checking out if you’re wanting a more indulgent lunch. If you only go to one restaurant in the 10th I can guarantee Les Vinaigriers won’t disappoint.

Images courtesy of Facebook & Take Me There

 

I hope during your stay in Paris you have the opportunity to check out the 10th Arrondissement, or at the very least eat a meal in this burgeoning foodie district. Your wallet and tastebuds will thank you. I promise!

Bon Appétit!

justJessika

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