METRO COURONNES--anything unmissable nearby?
This part of belleville/ menilmontant is a multicultural melting pot but somewhat marred by redevelopment in the '60s and '70s. There's lots of variety but not exactly abundant quality. If you are young and hip, you might like CAFÉ LE CANNIBALE on the rue jean-pierre timbaud @ rue moulin joly as your café du quartier for mornings and afternoons (but it turns into a very edgy music venue at night) ... you can also try the similarly hip LA BOUCHE on the rue eupatoria for surprisingly good food... on tuesdays on fridays (?) there's also a street market on the boulevard belleville near couronnes ... somewhat exotic and not the best quality but good enough
LE CHATEAUBRIAND on the avenue parmentier is sorta in walking distance if you want really superior food but very difficult to snag a table. The same with the tiny but fabulous LA TETE DANS LES OLIVES on the rue sainte-marthe @ rue st-maur. BTW, the place sainte-marthe at the other end of rue ste-marthe has become one of the cool places for sunday brunch for the under-35 hipsters.
It is an off-center metro in an off-center area.
The only "great" eatery I know of is Le Chateaubriand.
Les Deux Amis on Oberkampf and Philou near Canal St Martin have quite good food, dunno about great.
Le Chapeau Melon on rue Rebeval is a very good wine bar. Rue Rebeval has quite a few interesting eateries and cafés.
Neraby Astier is a fun bistro.
Sorriest none of this is what you asked for - "great".
Couronnes, being a metro station and so out of the way, is not much of a reference.
If you search under Belleville, or Canal St Martin, or Oberkampf, which are the nearby 'hoods, you will find much more info. Again, not sure about not-to-be missed greatness.
You don't have to walk far from Couronnes to get to the following places:
Le Baratin. Rue Jouye-Rouve in the 20th, north of Couronnes. Continue along the boulevard till you get to the Belleville station, then go up rue de Belleville, it's the third street on your right.
I would qualify "Le Baratin" as a "truly great" Parisian bistrot. It's not Michelin-starred food, and doesn't try to be. But it is a stalwart of Parisian bistrot culture. Almost all the serious French "foodies" I know are Baratin fans. It's two steps away from "Le Chapeau Melon", which is similar in spirit, and also very good (the guy who runs it used to co-run the Baratin).
I must add, though, to be fair, that the Baratin has also gained a bit of a reputation for brusque service. You might not get that, but don't take it personally if you do. It helps to speak a little French, and to show that you care about good food. But do not fear, you won't be the only English speaker there (those days are long gone).
Both the Baratin and the Chapeau Melon are wine bars, specialising in organic/natural wine. The Chapeau Melon is also a "caviste" (wine shop).
Another wine shop I can recommend, not far, which also has a few stools and a table for you to sit down on and open up your bottle, plus some cheese and saucisson to nibble on while you do so, is "Au Nouveau Nez", rue Saint Maur (south of Couronnes - go down past Place Jean-Pierre Timbaud, and turn right onto rue Saint Maur, and it's not far). The lady who runs the show is passionate and knowledgeable, and will spend time with you discussing what you're after and introducing you to producers - she's personally visited a good number of the winemakers whose wares she sells. Don't know if she speaks English; wouldn't be surprised if she did. Also specialising in natural/organic wine.
Chateaubriand - already mentioned twice - on rue Parmentier is really not much further away. And once you're there, the Verre Volé (on the other side of the Canal Saint Martin) is actually close by...
Enjoy the neighbourhood. Some of the most interesting views of a city come from "off-centre" places. But you can get a lot further "off-centre" than this...