HOME > Chowhound > France >


Ile Saint-Louis

My husband and I will be in Paris for the first half of June. We are renting an apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis, overlooking the Seine. We plan to visit some of the markets and do a bit of our own cooking. Does anyone have a favorite market, charcuterie, boulangerie to recommend?
Also, cafes as we are out and about - all information appreciated - thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Did you search under Paris market, café, charcuterie, boulangerie, and find nothing you liked?

    1. Market at President Wilson Boulevard, 16th. Wed. and Sat.
      Baguette at Le Grenier a Pain Abbesses, 18th
      Pastries at Hugo & Victor, 1st and 7th, and Pain de Sucre, 3rd
      Ice Cream at Bac a Glaces, 7th
      Cheese at Dubois, 5th
      Oil, vinegar, mustard at Leblanc, 6th
      Butter, Bordier demi-sel, Da Rosa, 6th or Grand Epicerie, 7th

      4 Replies
      1. re: Nancy S.

        Many thanks for your suggestions, Nancy! This is exactly what I needed. This will be only our second trip to Paris - first trip was very fast and too much 'by the book'. This time we plan to just let things unfold. Last time we stayed in Saint Germaine and loved it. I'm kind of worried about being 'isolated' on the Ile St. Louis (have heard there are no restaurants to speak of there). Your suggestions work perfectly with our plan to get out there and roam, picking up things as we go. Thanks again!

        1. re: anne e.

          Also, I would suggest you look at the site parisbymouth.com. There is so much excellent information, including lists of "favorite" places.

          1. re: Nancy S.

            Great site - thank you once again. Very helpful!

          2. re: anne e.

            "I'm kind of worried about being 'isolated' on the Ile St. Louis (have heard there are no restaurants to speak of there)." - best to walk over the bridge to the left or right banks (it must be all of 50 meters) and eat and shop there. The left is best IMO but the Marais isn't far on the right bank - 10 minutes walk - hardly isolated.

        2. There are lots of restaurants on Ile Saint Louis but none get good reviews on this board except, perhaps, Mon Vieil Ami.

          Mon Vieil Ami, 69 rue Saint Louis en l'Île 75004 Paris Tél. 01 40 46 01 35 closed Mon Tue
          Restaurant L'Ilot Vache 35, rue Saint-Louis en l'île Tél: 01 46 33 55 16 closed Sun
          Le Tastevin 46, rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Île 75004 Tél. : 01 43 54 17 31
          Lutetia Ile Saint Louis 33, quai Bourbon 75001 Paris tel: 01 40 51 80 30
          Aux Fous de L'Ile 33 rue des Deux Ponts - 75004 Paris Tél. : 01 43 25 76 67 closed Sun
          L'Orangerie de Paris 28 Rue Saint Louis en L'île T. : +33.(0) closed Mon
          Le Fin Gourmet 42 Rue St Louis en l'Ile, 75004 Paris tel: +33 01 43 26 79 27 closed mon tue
          La Chaumière en l'Isle 4 Rue Jean du Bellay tel: 01 43 54 27 34
          L'Auberge des Deux Ponts 7 Rue des Deux Ponts 75004 Paris tel: 01 46 34 29 33 closed mon
          Brasserie de l'Ile St. Louis 55, quai de Bourbon 75004 tel: 01-43-54-02-59 closed Aug
          Le Relais de l'Isle 37 Rue St Louis en l'ile 75004 tel:01 46 34 72 34
          Nos Ancestre les Gaulois 39, rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile Tél : 01 46 33 66 07 / 01 46 33 66 12

          My research has found other recommended food shopping on the Ile:
          Gabriela Boulangerie Patisserie des Deux Ponts 35 Rue Deux Ponts, 75004 Paris, France
          +33 1 43 54 57 59
          La Ferme Saint-Aubin (fromagerie) 76, rue St-Louis en l'Ile, 75004 Paris.tel: 01-43-54-74-54
          Hours: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm; closed Mon Proprietor: Christian Lelann

          And recommended markets within easy distance:
          Marché Baudoyer 4e Location: Place Baudoyer Metro: Hôtel de Ville
          Open Wed from 12:30 to 8:30 pm and Sat from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

          Marché Maubert 5e Location: Place Maubert Metro: Maubert-Mutualité
          This is one of Paris' oldest open-air markets, with roots in the medieval period.
          Open Tue and Thur, 7:00 am to 2:30 pm, and Sat from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

          Marché Bastille 11e Located on Boulevard Richard Lenoir, between Rue Amelot and Rue St-Sabin.
          Open Thur from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and Sun from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm Metro: Bastille

          Marché d'Aligre 12e Location: Rue d'Aligre Metro: Ledru Rollin
          This is one of Paris' most-coveted open-air markets, thanks to top-class products, friendly and professional vendors and dizzying variety.
          Open Tues to Sun, 7:00 am to 2:00 pm (stands stop selling ca 1:30 pm)

          None of these are personal recommendations as we don't arrive until August. This is just my research from this board mainly and elsewhere.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Watson

            The Marche Maubert is very nearby Ile St. Louis and it is a very good market indeed. You can get everything you need at the market or the nearby shops.

            1. re: Watson

              Many thanks for this information! :)

              1. re: Watson

                Hi Watson, have you been to L'Orangerie? If so, what is it like? We have dinner booked there next Sunday.

                1. re: keedm002

                  Hi keedm,

                  We didn't get to L'Orangerie, only walked past it a number of times and it always looked busy. Please report back after you go.

              2. i lived there for several months last year...don't worry, it's not isolated at all...while i didn't have any fav restaurants right on the island, it's a charming walk to either the Left or the Right, and i really felt like i had the best of both worlds -- thoroughly decadent to be able to walk out the front door and decide Right or Left and have so many options...

                i did love the cheese shop there though...it's on rue St. Louis, on the opposite side of the street from Hotel St. Louis -- walking in the direction of Notre Dame, it's on your right, close to that end of the island)...amazing selection, charming staff, and i also used to buy most of wine there too (they had a Sancerre Rouge which was my delicious default wine choice)...

                4 Replies
                1. re: Simon

                  Thanks so much for the good feedback. I feel encouraged! So, to sum, there will be lots of great opportunities to visit markets and we can decide Right or Left. Fun! As long as we can find bread, cheese, wine (you know, the necessities of life) we'll be in great shape. As I mentioned, our last trip was so 'planned', I think this way will actually open the door for some surprises. Thank you!

                  1. re: anne e.

                    hi anne e.,

                    yeah, that cheese(+wine) shop and the bakery two doors down will be all you need for those kind of necessities :)

                    ...and for organic yogurt, fruit, nuts, eggs, i sometimes walked to a place at 30 Blvd St. Germaine, called Touch of Bio (in case, like i do, you crave some of those things at staples)...

                    Also, one of my fav takeout places when i lived there was about a 10-15 minute walk to the Left Bank -- Lebanese place called Al-Dar, on R. Frederic Sauton...i've never been to the sitdown part, but the takeout (braised chicken livers, hummos, fried cauliflower) is incredibly tasty, and many a night i got some of those things to go, and then enjoyed them watching the Seine and drinking Sancerre in my apartment, on the quai down below...enjoy...

                    1. re: Simon

                      I second the recommendation for Al-Dar. Chicken shawarma rarely gets better than that in Paris.
                      While we're at it, the Marché Maubert and its surroundings are remarkable for the presence of the Dubois cheese shop. There's a good butcher on the same sidewalk too. And you can have lunch at Le Pré Verre nearby.
                      You've got the (IMO) very best couscous in Paris at Chez Hamadi, rue Boutebrie. Head for the Saint-Séverin church steeple and it's quite close.
                      Excellent phò (in two services) at Pho 67, rue Galande.
                      Best Mexican in Paris at Anahuacalli, rue des Bernardins.
                      Jamon ibérico at Terres de Bellota, rue du Cardinal-Lemoine, almost facing La Tour d'Argent.
                      Best Moroccan I know in Paris at L'Atlas, around the corner. Has opened a catering business a few doorsteps away.
                      Around Mouffetard: Dans les Landes, Androuet, Moisan, Carl Marletti, Nonna Ines (a good little trattoria), a terrific Syrian pastry shop...
                      A nice little Afghan restaurant, Koutchi, rue du Cardinal-Lemoine.
                      Le Bistrot des Gastronomes (same street), pretty good.
                      Mitra — a nice, quiet, discreet Persian restaurant on rue Jussieu. Seems to be open at lunch only or to close early. They do special dishes if you order ahead.

                      All within a 20-minute walk.

                2. Berthillon for ice cream. Cannot miss it on a warm afternoon. Huge lines outside! They have window service so the wait is not long.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wrldtrvl

                    It just sounds like heaven. EXACTLY what I have been hoping for. Thank you, Simon and wrldtrvl. We'll definitely try the takeout you suggested, too! And the Sancerre! And in the days, spending time in the museums and taking long walks - just living and taking in the beauty and history all around us. Counting down the days now! :)

                  2. One more idea. Again, across the river in the 5th arrondissement, not so far from the Marche Maubert. Just across from Notre Dame, on the left bank, is a little chruch, St. Julien le Pauvre. About one block east of St. Julien and about one block south of the Seine, at the corner of Rue Galende and Rue Lagrange, is a pastry shop/salon de the which does not appear to have a name. It is absolutely always been one of my favorite pastry shops in Paris. We stay in the 6th so it is a bit of a walk but we always stop by at least twice. Make it your last stop on your way back to your apartment as some of the creations are delicate/need to be refrigerated fairly quickly. I am sure it is closed around lunch and at least one day a week, not sure which. Yummy.

                    1. Can't add much to all these excellent and spot-on suggestions but will say that I've spent several weeks for the last 6 years in an apartment on the Ile and the location is fantastic. Easy walk to 5th, 6th, Marais, even parts of 11 & 12. The cheese shop is wonderful and almost a daily stop, the little grocery opposite is surprisingly well stocked, and each of the three bakeries on the Ile have their different high points. Good verger on Deux Ponts as well. In a pinch the Brasserie is an institution, and Fou de L'Isle is just fine and lively. Have happily and successfully built meals shopping each of the markets mentioned, Bastille/Lenoire being largest but the others all quite well stocked. But as good as the food is, for me nothing beats the nighttime stroll around the quiet and beautiful quais of the Ile.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Gman

                        What fun to begin my day with so many wonderful endorsements -- Gman, like you, we love to do the nighttime strolls. All of the suggestions match the way we live -- thank you, all!

                        1. re: anne e.

                          just another random suggestion: the Pont Marie metro is just over Pont Marie on the Right Bank -- like 100 metres walk from Quai de Bourbon...from there, i used to take the 7 line to Chinatown (Tolbiac stop) and eat at my fav Thai/Isaan/Lao restaurant, named Rouammit...and then sometimes take a very long (70+ minute) walk home up Blvd de l'Hopital, past Gare Austerlitz, and follow the Seine home (and it's nice to see the island up the river from that angle, and think "Wow, i live there" :)

                          1. re: Simon

                            Loved your suggestion and memory, Simon! It's amazing how the long walks kind of go into that timeless state and they're really a pleasure. I feel so much better about the location now. It feels like the perfect place to end each day, doesn't it?

                            I have one question I hope doesn't sound too elementary -- did you brew your own coffee while you were there and if so, did you have a favorite place to buy it? The perfect cup of French Press cafe creme with a croissant in the morning...

                            1. re: anne e.

                              hi...re: coffee, alas i can't offer help...because, a) i drink a pot of green tea to start every day...and b) later on in the day while wandering, i like simple brewed American coffee, which is hard to find, so for coffee i usually went to Starbucks on Blvd. St. Michel :)

                              but, i'd say ask the nice folks at the cheese shop on r. St. Louis...they'll surely know...

                                1. re: anne e.

                                  We brewed at home after picking up croissant or baguette or both from one of the bakeries. I'm no expert and have been happy with the bag of Carte Noire from the supermarche, which for all I know is the equivalent of wretched folgers here... But then again, I think not. If you want a quick stand-up shot of java both the St. Regis on Rue St. Louis en L'Isle and Rue Jean du Bellay and Le Louis IX on Rue DES Deux Ponts will do. Re: copious walking... The only way to eat like royalty, non?

                      2. The OP has probably already come and gone. I hope your trip to Paris was marvelous, anne e.!

                        Everyone else had great information about shopping. I want to add my two cents about local restaurants. We stayed near Ile St. Louis last summer for 10 days and had two favorite "normal" restaurants we loved. Neither of these is expensive, and in fact could be considered inexpensive by Paris standards. I recall house wine/dessert/coffee being less than 70 euros for the two of us, and I'm almost certain it was more like 55 euros.

                        First is Les Fous de l'Ile (the fools of the island). I thought the food was great. I usually had the chicken with cream sauce, but once I had a fish dish that was a revelation. (Don't remember what it was.) My husband had beef carpaccio (sp?) and foie gras, at separate meals, of course. Also, it's an adorable place, very "French," with chicken decor everywhere. I'm not sure how it landed in the "discard" pile, but I wouldn't overlook it, especially if you're tired and want to dine locally. You'll need reservations for a normal dinnertime -- most nights it was overflowing with Parisians at 9pm -- but my husband and I usually walked in around 7:30 and were seated immediately.

                        My second recommendation is La Rotisserie du Beaujolais, a bistro-ish place just off the island. While they have other dishes on the menu that I'm sure are good, the rotisserie chicken is the star. It was the best I've ever had, and (for those of you in the know) it actually beats Costco's rotisserie chicken. High praise indeed. It comes with either mashed potatoes or fries, both of which are excellent. The juice from the chicken takes it over the edge. (I think I just drooled a little.)

                        "Beaujolais" is an actual cat that is the mascot of the restaurant. He curled up in the seat next to me one night and slept on my scarf. Trop mignon! The restaurant itself is adorable and colorful and looks like it would be listed in a "Hidden gems" article as "charming and earnest."

                        To answer the question you've been asking me since the beginning of the last paragraph, NO, the cat doesn't get into the food! I talked to the manager about the cat -- an extremely nice man who is earnest and obviously takes pride in his work -- and he assured me the cat is not interested in eating the rotisserie chicken. I was quite doubtful until Beaujolais sat next to me and sniffed disdainfully when our meal arrived. He was eating SOMETHING, though, because he was a rather large-bellied cat.

                        BTW, you can see a photo of Beaujolais if you go to their page on FaceBook and look for the photo posted by a woman who said she'd snapped a photo as she left. This is not a huge corporate restaurant and it is not run by young people, so I'm impressed at their presence on a social network. Still, no online reservations. I just made my reservation for this Thursday via email.

                        Enough of that. There's plenty to eat on the island and immediately surrounding!

                        7 Replies
                          1. re: Dyanne

                            O o o o o, Beaujolais is terminally cute. Am going even if the food sucks.

                            And thank you for such an informative report. I do hope readers use the search function more and put reports like yours to good use. Your report really tells us everything , - the what, who, when, where, why, how, - about a resto.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              We discovered Les Fous de l'Ile on our first trip in 2007 and have gone back almost every trip since. It has been renovated since the first few times we went and it is more polished and shiny looking than it was, but the food is still very good, especially for the price. It doesn't crop up on any must do lists, but it's a nice place for a nice meal at nice prices. I had the marquis de chocolat for dessert our first time and hubby has been dreaming about it ever since!


                            2. re: Dyanne

                              Hi Dyanne and Everyone who posted additional information on the Ile St. Louis -
                              We are back from Paris and had such a good time, I find myself drifting back there several times a day. It was just wonderful, start to finish.
                              Just wanted to thank you all for all of your insight, comments, and wonderful suggestions! As it turned out; we lived for 2 weeks without an agenda and did almost all of our own cooking (or brought back food from Gerard Mulot). We have never done anything like that before. I had a few mixed feelings about cooking while on vacation but the quality of food we bought at the market was so good, every time we ate any misgivings I had dissapeared. More time to wander back streets and just absorb Paris, my favorite city in the world. Best, Anne

                              1. re: anne e.

                                You lived like true "foodies", which means making the best use of Paris's wonderful markets, instead of eating out twice a day.

                                1. re: Parigi

                                  *sigh* I do so miss Paris.

                                  Do you have any food highlights to share?

                                  Like cheese stories...Or pastry...Or a favourite wine?

                                  1. re: Luna2372

                                    {sigh} Me, too!

                                    We're planning another trip for Summer 2013. The upcoming summer will find us in San Francisco and the Wine Country. Putting together a fun list of places to eat. We plan to base out of Healdsburg and Yountville while in Wine Country. When we go back to Paris, we plan to spend a bit of time in Saint Germain and the remainder of the time on the Ile St. Louis. Had too much fun doing some of our own cooking!

                            3. Mon Vieul Ami and L'Orangerie only if you want to dine with Noisy American
                              Tourists (the former) or the facelifted ex-pat crowd at the latter. That said, the food at Ami is excellent, but for a more Parisian experience try Westermann's food at Drouant. Okay Parigi, I'll watch the spelling, same with St . Germain. Keyboard is trop petit.

                              1. There is a tiny place called Le Relais de l'Isle where I wasn't able to get a reservation, but which gets great reviews on tripadvisor, and features jazz piano every evening. I'm surprised not to see it mentioned on chowhound.

                                I"ll also give you the recommendation of a lifetime, which isn't food related, so I hope the chowhound staff doesn't delete it. There are regular concerts held in the Ste. Chapelle, quite close to you, and to hear music in this twelfth century masterpiece is unforgettable. Nobody seems to know about it, and tickets can be easily obtained on the internet. Don't miss it.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: MarkC

                                  "concerts held in the Ste. Chapelle, quite close to you, and to hear music in this twelfth century masterpiece is unforgettable. Nobody seems to know about it"
                                  It is very well known. It is not discussed here the same reason astrophysics are not discussed here.
                                  If you go to a travel site like slowtrav, there is very recent and detailed info on the Ste Chapelle concerts.

                                  1. re: Parigi

                                    I meant that you don't see it mentioned in the popular guidebooks, which is true. There is a world outside of chowhound. While every other attraction in Paris is swamped, it is easy to get tickets to this one.