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Paris: Best Foodie Neighborhood?

s
sidnek Nov 21, 2012 06:30 AM

Which neighborhood would you stay in if you could stay in any neighborhood in Paris for a week?

My wife and I (both mid 30’s) are heading to Paris with my parents for a week at the end of April and beginning of May. We are trying to figure out which neighborhood to stay in to have the best local neighborhood foodie experience. Specifically, I’m looking for a neighborhood that includes:

- quality neighborhood (not touristy) cafes, bistros, wine bars and markets, and
- lovely, walkable streets (preferably off the beaten path), plus
- access to the metro;
- a nice farmer’s market nearby;
- hopefully, this neighborhood will also be leafy and green and include a park;
- and will have an arts scene of some type such as art galleries, local theater, small music venues;
- and a bonus weekly flea market as well

My main concern is that we can have a local foodie experience without leaving the neighborhood. In comparison to NYC, we are looking to stay in the village or Lower East Side, not on the Upper East Side or, heaven help me, in midtown, near Times Square or near Columbus Circle. We are considering either renting a house for the week or staying in a hotel but the neighborhood is the main concern. I would really appreciate your recommendations along with some highlights of the neighborhood you suggest. Thanks for your help!

  1. Giannis Mar 4, 2014 03:48 PM

    The previous time I stayed right in Champs Elysees, great location for walking around but not much as for foodies.

    The last time I stayed in rue Cler. It was very nice, many stores, bakeries, groceries, cheese shops etc. I could smell poultry and liver in the morning.

    1. John Talbott Feb 27, 2014 08:35 AM

      So it's time to revive this old Feng Shui thread because after two meals at the Petit Mathieu and Les Vinaigriers and a batch of pastry from Liberté, I'm guessing that the rue des Vinaigriers is in Parigi's Feng Shui groove - leaving aside the Sunken Chip (too parkbench jammed and pretentious with four types of fish), the Taverne de Zhao (don't do Asian), Piccoli Cugini, Sol Semilla, Entre Deux, Cafe Craft, Chez Maurice, Atelier Porte Soleil, La Paella, Chez Fafa, (which cannot all still be open), not to mention Bob's Juice Bar and Holybelly (too hip even for me) nearby.

      14 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott
        Parigi Feb 27, 2014 08:51 AM

        The 9th, the area around rue des Martyrs, is showing very good food fengshui all of a sudden.
        Let's see:
        Kiku, the 2 Chinese fondu places on rue Fbg Montmartre, Les Saisons, les Canailles, la Buvette, La Cantine de la Cigalle, Pantruche…
        I think I am leaving out a bunch.

        1. re: Parigi
          John Talbott Feb 27, 2014 09:13 AM

          Tsubame and Le Bon Georges coming up. And Miroir up the hill a bit.

          1. re: Parigi
            chompchomp Feb 27, 2014 11:04 AM

            I second that emotion. During our holiday trip, we were most impressed with the rue des Martyrs area. A feast of riches.

            1. re: Parigi
              Parigi Feb 27, 2014 11:38 AM

              I left out the chock-a-block award-winning boulangeries (Landemaine, Delmontel, Hubert), cheese temples like Beillevaire and Ferme St Hubert plus pâtisseries Sébastien Goddard and Aurore Capucine.
              And high-quality traiteurs like Les Papilles Gourmandes and Terra Corsa.

              1. re: Parigi
                John Talbott Feb 27, 2014 11:40 AM

                And my friend, we now have a Landemaine over the hill, best thing that ever happened to my street.

                1. re: John Talbott
                  Parigi Feb 27, 2014 11:45 AM

                  Its croissant au beurre ! Its pain au céréal !

                  1. re: Parigi
                    John Talbott Feb 27, 2014 12:48 PM

                    Actually, I prefer the almond and kuglóf.

                  2. re: John Talbott
                    Rio Yeti Feb 27, 2014 02:28 PM

                    I tasted the caramel tart at the Landemaine near the 18e Mairie... And it was really delightful, refined, and subtle. Not a tart that screams at you with its decadent and teeth screeching sugar, no it was a whispered melody.

                    Really impressed (and loved the bread too of course).

                2. re: Parigi
                  John Talbott Feb 28, 2014 09:20 AM

                  Parigi, as always, is spot on, especially when it comes to feng shui food neighborhoods and Tiananmen Square.
                  Spectacular meal today in the 9th at Le Bon Georges.
                  http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                  1. re: John Talbott
                    Parigi Feb 28, 2014 12:13 PM

                    Going tomorrow night. But after another multiple orgasm chez L'Ami Jean this noon, I have not been able to get up from my opium and walk, let alone ever but ever eat again in my life.

                    1. re: Parigi
                      John Talbott Feb 28, 2014 12:34 PM

                      I offered to take you there without orgasms.

                      1. re: John Talbott
                        Parigi Feb 28, 2014 12:52 PM

                        Well !
                        Why go in that case.

                        1. re: Parigi
                          Parnassien Feb 28, 2014 01:06 PM

                          Thanks to Parigi's culinary orgasms, I'm beginning to think we need a new term that signifies a gastronomique "en chaleur" or "en rut".

                          1. re: Parnassien
                            Rio Yeti Mar 1, 2014 05:44 AM

                            "Chaud devant !" ?

              2. b
                Barry Strum Nov 8, 2013 09:22 AM

                My wife and I were in Paris in late September/early October...we stayed in the 3rd, near the Pompidou..which ultimately led to Rue Montorgueil..................a fantastic food and shoppers' goods area.

                The key to Paris is the Metro...Buy a series of "carnets" and the wonderful logic and simplicity of the system will take you wherever you want to go. We did a quick run up to Belleville...Metro stop Rambuteau to Pyrenees...a few minutes...caught lunch at Le Baratin and wandered around Belleville for the afternoon. Back to the 4th after lunch. Found great eats in Passy...way over on the west in the 16th....along with Marche President Wilson. The 1st and 2nd are food paradises.....but just about every other arrondissement is as well. Want to get the neighborhood feel? Adopt a cafe nearby. Go in every morning for a cafe and croissant or baguette. Converse with the owner and get comfortable woth whatever French you can command.Walk your head off. Come back to the cafe or another place you get to haunt...for happy hour(s) @ 4 or 5. Have a cool beer or a glass of wine. Order something incredibly simple....hard boiled eggs with mayonnaise topped with some frisee. Watch the crowd pas before your table. Relax........it's all good..sure you can get bad food...but that's the result of bad choices. You'll go through the list of bistros you have in your pocket...we did 5 and thought that was OK for starters......but it will take several return trips to Paris...that's their secret...and a darn good one !!.

                We will return to either the 1st/2nd/3rd on our return trip. Given the ease of getting around, we might also consider something out of the way...Batignolles (17th) or perhaps Passy (16th). Menilmontant/Belleville is fascinating but it can get sketchy. At the end of the day, in my very humble opinion, I suppose there are more places on the Right Bank.......my first stop on return will be the 12th..La Gazzetta and perhaps Chatomat in Menilmontant (20th).

                13 Replies
                1. re: Barry Strum
                  John Talbott Nov 8, 2013 11:50 AM

                  So your inquiry/question is what exactly?

                  1. re: Barry Strum
                    GraceW Mar 20, 2014 03:34 AM

                    I just started to plan my summer trip to Paris. Quick tangent question: METRO is fine right? I was told by an older family-friend: avoid Metro entirely because 'bump-and-grab' happens there... seriously, seriously, is it so bad that the Metro must be avoided entirely? (I live near the L in Chicago.. not exactly the safest anyway.)

                    1. re: GraceW
                      Parigi Mar 20, 2014 04:43 AM

                      Metro is fine.
                      Pickpockets do exist, as in Barcelona, Rome, or wherever you come from that have big cities, like Chicago. The most basic street alertness would enable you to avoid being a victim. And there is no violent crime to speak of.

                      "I was told by an older family-friend: avoid Metro entirely"
                      With all due respect, I would not listen to this person.

                      1. re: Parigi
                        Giannis Mar 20, 2014 04:57 AM

                        I too have never got any safety problem in Paris.

                        Everyday we walked from champs elysees to Opera, or Louvre and back to Invalides etc at 3 o clock after midnight and saw nothing. Maybe we were just lucky, but in Paris I felt safe. In Lyon on the other hand near the part dieu etc was a different story.

                        My first time in Paris (school trip) I was staying near gare du nord, which was not a good location. But in the city centre and metro, no problem at all.

                        1. re: Giannis
                          Parigi Mar 20, 2014 05:15 AM

                          There are a lot, a lot more pickpockets in the Champs and Opéra areas than Gare du Nord.

                          1. re: Parigi
                            GraceW Mar 20, 2014 05:23 AM

                            Thank you Parigi and Giannis for your replies. I suppose maybe because I am traveling alone and don't speak French--people are extra freaked out.

                            1. re: GraceW
                              Parigi Mar 20, 2014 06:00 AM

                              Parisians are more or less civilized. :)

                              1. re: GraceW
                                Giannis Mar 20, 2014 06:55 AM

                                I can speak French, but always communicate in english. Maybe its after a rude and ironic behavior of a waiter at Angelina some years ago..

                                In no places I had problem communicate in english. In Munich yeah. Paris or France no.

                                Excuse me, it was Gare d l est. Not far away for gare du nord.

                                1. re: Giannis
                                  Parigi Mar 20, 2014 07:11 AM

                                  "always communicate in english. Maybe its after a rude and ironic behavior "
                                  Pardon me. So your solution against rude and ironic behavior is always to communicate in English ?

                                  1. re: Parigi
                                    Giannis Mar 20, 2014 07:23 AM

                                    Sure. If i feel uncomfrotable about others that proved not to be able to unterstand me, I ll take the easy way of speaking english.

                                    1. re: Giannis
                                      Parigi Mar 20, 2014 07:33 AM

                                      Hmm… As long as you are convinced that "always communicate in English" does not strike others as rude.

                                      1. re: Giannis
                                        l
                                        lagatta Mar 20, 2014 12:49 PM

                                        Don't count on people not understanding you if you are chatting in English. I've also had people listen in when I was speaking less common languages.

                                        I guess I couldn't speak anything, as there isn't a single language I speak in which I haven't encountered at least one rude comment. But far more polite or neutral ones.

                                  2. re: GraceW
                                    PhilD Mar 20, 2014 04:51 PM

                                    It is a pretty safe city, but petty crime is on the rise, and like many European tourist hot spots there are lots of pick pockets and you will see warning signs in many public place including the Louvre. So take reasonable precautions: don't put bulging wallets in back pockets, lock passports in hotel safes and don't carry all your credit cards or money with you etc.

                                    The metro is pretty safe, although at 11:00 PM on Line 4 from Gare du Nord down to Chatelet can get interesting. And I would be wary of getting the RER out to CDG late in the day.

                                    Cafe terraces are a iconic Parisian institution and a wonderful part of eating in Paris. But be very careful about handbags as they are targeted in these settings. I noticed last year that Parisians were more cautious and aware of bags than in previous years.

                        2. d
                          DC_CT Feb 27, 2013 06:20 AM

                          Everything is accessible by the metro so as long as you stay in the arrondissements (1 to 8) near the Seine . If you want to stay in an apartment try Parisvisitservices.com. They have short-term rental apartment in the key areas. Most of your time will be spent exploring and trying new things so an apartment maybe preferrable to a hotel. If you want a foodie experience then you will need a refrigerator to keep your fromages, les pains, les patiseries and other tastes.

                          For first time visitors arron. 1 is a good starting point. It is the Louvre/Les Halles area. Transportation is central. Make sure you buy a carnet (10 metro tickets for 12.70 euro instead of 1.70 Euro per ticket) at the metro station with a credit card. A mapbook called Plan de Paris is useful since the streets can be confusing. Also buy a 6 day museum pass to save on entry costs and reduce waiting in line. Finally visiting local websites like davidlebovitz.com, timeout.com (paris) and tripadvisor.com (paris) to tell you what might be good.

                          Don't get fixated on staying in one area because the beauty of Paris is exploring the city and finding the gem that appeals to you. They are great bistros, restaurants, fromageries, boulangeries, patisseries and markets throughout the city and no one area holds a monoply. The best places are always full of locals and tourists. Lunches are the way to go because they they are usually 1/3 to 1/2 cheaper than dinner and also jet lag makes it difficult to start eating at 2000h or so. We just left Paris yesterday and loved the following places for lunch: Sola (French/Japanese), Spring (nouvelle cuisine), L'Ardoise (modern bistro), Yam t'Cha (French/Cantonese), Comptoir de la Gastronomie (duck/fois gras), Tonneuax de Halles (steak frites) and Les Coucettes (modern bistro). Do your research, go to where the locals are going and make reservations. I found the pain de amis, baguettes and crossiants at Du Pain et des Idees to be the best I've ever had. The selection at cheese at Chez Virginie where outstanding (they vacuum pack for delivery) as well as those at Marie Quatrehomme. The fois gras at G. Detou was reasonably priced. Pierre Herme and Lauderee macaroons were excellent. The selection and displays of gourmet food at Bon marche outrival Harrods. Rue Montorgueil is a great street that combines many of the attributes that you wanted above (it is depicted in a Monet painting by that name). Paris is a walking city with gems spread throughout and what appeals to someone else may not appeal to you. You have to decide what you like, but most of all walk around and plan your schedule so that you can maximize your experience with a little effort or stress.

                          1. m
                            madamebatignolles Dec 5, 2012 06:22 PM

                            Would choose between Place d'Aligre and rue Montorgueil. Foodies street, walkable streets and access to metro

                            We do not like rue Cler a little bit snob!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: madamebatignolles
                              l
                              lagatta Dec 6, 2012 06:48 AM

                              I'd certainly agree with either of those choices. The Montorgueil district was the first neighbourhood where I stayed in Paris, decades ago. Utterly central, but somehow less touristy than nearby areas.

                              But for people who like a quiet area outside the city centre, your Batignolles has a lovely market, shops and a beautiful public square! And an easy walk to lively, multicultural, Clichy. There are so many fascinating corners of Paris.

                              1. re: madamebatignolles
                                m
                                markseiden Dec 6, 2012 07:14 AM

                                i agree with you completely. after all of the endorsements for rue cler i velib-ed over there and
                                walked the entire street. meh. it seemed more like the museum of food than a real market
                                street. very pretty, expensive, and sanitary, and not very real. compare rue cler with lower rue des martyrs, as an example.

                                (it also make me question whether the people who like rue cler are actually chowhounds... or possibly foodies in disguise who have infiltrated the community and are DILUTING OUR PURITY OF ESSENCE. so, be aware the Prefect of Food will be doing intensive background investigations of your tastes in couscouz, merguez, pig parts, boudin noir and andouillette as a prerequisite for your further participation). thank you for your comprehension.

                              2. Parnassien Nov 23, 2012 02:37 PM

                                Oops, I suspect we may be mis-leading you with this it's-all-good sentiment. Seen through a narrow foodie perspective, you could indeed stay in any quartier in Paris and find something of interest. But the poster, like all good tourists, has broader requirements. As someone born and raised in Paris, I love exploring my city and find every bit of her seductive in one way or another. (Cue in Serge Reggiani singing "la femme qui est dans mon lit n'a plus vingt ans depuis longtemps..."). Ok, ok, maybe not all... I get instant depression in some parts of the redeveloped 13th. But there are just a dozen or so quartiers that really inspire me enough for me to consider living there (for even a week). And putting myself in the shoes of a tourist expecting a certain sense of history, sparkle, buzz, and convenience the list is reduced to just a handful. And some of these-- the Gros Caillou in the 7th, the Faubourg St Germain in the 7th, the Haut Marais in the 3rd etc etc -- have already been mentioned. As lovable as it is in places, I would not include Belleville-Menilmontant (or indeed most of eastern Paris).

                                1. p
                                  Ptipois Nov 23, 2012 06:10 AM

                                  All neighborhoods in Paris are foodie neighborhoods.

                                  Métro is everywhere.

                                  There are no farmers' markets in Paris. There are street markets running a few days a week, generally in the morning, and some producers have stalls there.

                                  Paris is not particularly leafy and green compared to other major cities abroad, but there are small parks in every neighborhood, about six large "green spaces" scattered through the city and a few major graveyards (Père Lachaise, Montparnasse, Montmartre).

                                  Art scene: perhaps too many criteria have to be gathered in one neighborhood to really identify one, but most hip neighborhoods like parts of the 10e, 11e, and 18e have plenty of art galleries (sometimes the size of a crêpe stall), local theater. Live music is also quite common (Les Halles, Montmartre, Saint-Germain…). Not easy to pick one area in particular.

                                  Paris is by no means a large town, it is rather compact and it is really easy to travel through it. I understand that ideally you would like to have everything on a platter without leaving your neighborhood, but considering all the criteria you listed I'm afraid that would be a bit irrealistic.
                                  Paris is really about moving around.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Ptipois
                                    s
                                    sidnek Nov 23, 2012 12:03 PM

                                    It looks like it's hard to go wrong no matter where we end up. Thanks for all your input! I'm excited to put this info to work. I'm going to start searching airbnb and craigslist for places. Anyone want to rent us their place for a week?

                                    1. re: sidnek
                                      n
                                      Nancy S. Nov 23, 2012 01:21 PM

                                      I like airbnb but be careful with Craigslist -- there's a lot of scam listings for apt. rentals. I also think VRBO is reliable.

                                      1. re: sidnek
                                        John Talbott Nov 23, 2012 01:40 PM

                                        Nope, I live here and am moving, hopefully more easily than D. Lebovitz, don't wanna sleep on park benches.
                                        To get back on topic, foods, restaurants, markets and at least today, wet leaves on the sidewalks, are the issues at hand.
                                        Go anywhere, and as we always say here, report back on your food experiences.

                                        1. re: sidnek
                                          Lgalen Dec 4, 2012 09:07 AM

                                          We rented an apartment in the Marais in September, through "Flipkey", which I think is part of Tripadvisor. We also used VRBO and Homeaway. All have lots of pictures, and reviews from travelers.

                                      2. l
                                        lemarais Nov 22, 2012 08:41 AM

                                        This is a fun discussion, but I think a case could be made for just about ANY neighborhood in Paris being a great foodie area!! I mean, this is Paris, after all!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: lemarais
                                          mangeur Nov 22, 2012 10:15 AM

                                          Also remember that, like most old cities, Paris is a collection of villages in any of which people can, should they choose, live and die without venturing into a neighboring one. Each arrondisement has its specialty shops, and if you read Chow you will see that locals and visitors crisscross town to shop at favorites throughout the city.

                                          1. re: mangeur
                                            sistereurope Nov 22, 2012 12:31 PM

                                            Yes, I never base my decision on where to stay based on restaurants (because the metro is so easy and user friendly) but more on the other aspects described very well by others here. I've stayed in many different neighborhoods over the years and now have seemed to settled on the 10th/11th, mainly because I just like the vibe. To my mind, anywhere from the 10th, 11th or Belleville/Menilmontant would be the most like the Lower East side or East Village...I would say that the 7th is more like the Upper East side (again, in terms of neighborhood feel, not food).

                                          2. re: lemarais
                                            John Talbott Nov 23, 2012 01:55 AM

                                            "I think a case could be made for just about ANY neighborhood in Paris"
                                            Good point; a few years ago there was an article in the WSJ December 10-11th, 2005, that said the “Trendy….New ‘Hood” was to be found in the 10th, 11th, 19th and 20th. I took them to task in a series on the "New Hot Quarters" and found things were hopping all over (they're published elsewhere).

                                          3. n
                                            Nancy S. Nov 22, 2012 04:13 AM

                                            I'm a bit partial to my neighborhood -- we're in the 7th near the Solférino metro stop, so we're within walking distance to the Raspail market for fruit and vegetables, Coutume Cafe for coffee, Patisserie des Reves for pastries, the Tuileries for green space, etc. Last week the walk back from dinner at Pirouette in the 1st took us only 25 minutes. Also, our street is quiet, not touristy with easy access to other quartiers. I prefer to eat and drink in the 11th, 2nd, 10th, but I love living in the 7th. (This is comparable to our New York City style -- we live on Park in the low 90s but eat and drink primarily in the East Village, Brooklyn, etc.)

                                            1. PBSF Nov 22, 2012 01:40 AM

                                              Below is a link to an earlier discussion on best neighborhood for food:
                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/747874
                                              -There are good bistrots, cafes, markets in just about every neighborhood in Paris. Generally, cafes are more concentrated in the center where they are best for people watching.
                                              -lovely, walkable streets, etc: just about all of Paris is walkable; as your preference of "off the beat path", that would excluded just about all of central Paris. It's been discovered.
                                              -Every neighborhood has easy access to the metro as well as a great bus system.
                                              -a nice farmer's market nearby; every neighborhood has a good outdoor market, some have multiple; they are not 'farmers markets' are we know ithem in the US; stalls in these markets are vendors rather than farmers selling their own produce or creameries selling their cheese, etc.
                                              -leafy and green and include a park; unfortunately, central Paris is not blessed with lots of greenery and parks: take a look at map of Paris and check out where the green spots are.
                                              -artsy neighborhood with galleries, etc; the earlier post by Parnassien is a good summary of the trendy art scene. The 6e and 7e, around rue de Seine/rue Jacob has the old established galleries.
                                              -weekly flea market: since you are only staying for a week, just metro to Puce de Vanves or Puce de St. Ouen.
                                              Besides what you've listed above, you might consider other factors in choosing where you want to stay. Like most large cosmopolitan cities, each neighborhood in Paris has it's distinct flavor depending on its inhabitants. The Marais has a gay flavor, students in the 5e, expats and diplomats of the 7e, the bobos in the 11e, the Chinese and Turks around Belleville, the Asians in the 13e, the established and new money in parts of the 8e,16e and 17e. And also consider the convenience if it is your parents first trip to Paris and they want to see all the main sights or shop. It is a pleasure to be able to walk out the door and experience the buzz of central Paris or just able to stroll on the quai without a major effort of a long metro/bus trip. If you are staying in a hotel, food shopping such produce, meat and seafood is probably not important; same if you rent an apartment (a house in Paris? wow!) and not plan to cook much.
                                              We use to have an apartment in the 3e; that area is food paradise (even without J Genin then), a wonderful bustling neighborhood; now we are in the 14e south of Montparnasse, a mostly quiet working class neighborhood, Neither neighborhood has much greenery unless the cimetiere counts.

                                              1. Delucacheesemonger Nov 22, 2012 12:24 AM

                                                My Flat is a few blocks from Rue Paul Bert, thus Place Aligre and Bastille are my two local markets, also this bobo neighborhood has restaurants like Septime and Rino a few blocks away.
                                                Republic a few metro stops away also has a zillion restos , Rue de Bretagne and its wonderful shops as well as Genin, my God of pastry.
                                                As long as you stay within the arrondisemonts up to 11-12 you will have good everything and close metro. With the metro system, most things take less time to get to than the subway in NYC and are seamless.

                                                1. Parnassien Nov 21, 2012 12:10 PM

                                                  My first choice would be one or other of the quartiers south or east of the place de la République:

                                                  (in order of preference)
                                                  The Haut Marais (especially the triangle formed by République, rue du Temple, rue Pastourelle/ rue de Poitou and the boulevard des Filles du Calvaire/ boulevard du Temple), very artsy, lovely park in the Square du Temple, lots of hangout cafés, the rue Bretagne market street, a fab marché brocante/ flea market on the rue Bretagne (twice a year/ May & November/ but not sure if your stay will coincide with the May one), the daily market Marché des Enfants Rouge, easily walk-able or bus-able to the Popincourt street market (Tue + Fri mornings) on the boulevard Richard-Lenoir between the rues Oberkampf and J-P Timbaud and to the Bastille market (Thu + Sun) on the boulevard Richard-Lenoir between rues St-Sabin and rue Amelot.

                                                  Or the Canal St Martin/ quartier Hôpital St Louis area. Trendy along the canal and gradually more "populaire" and increasingly hip towards the boulevard de la Villette, loads of excellent restos, sweet parks at Villemin and inside the grounds of the Hôpital St Louis, artsy stuff along the canal, small music venues around rue St Maur and rue Ste Marthe, Wed + Fri street market on the boulevard de la Villette.

                                                  Or Oberkampf. The epicenter (although somewhat tarnished by the swarms of suburbanites at weekends) of the music scene, lots of hangout cafés, huge variety of restaurants (ranging from ultra-trad to ultra-hip), delightful Tue + Fri street market at Popincourt, easy walk/ bus to to the Thu + Sun Bastille street market, but oups, kinda fails on the leafy/ park thing except for a few boulevards and the Square Gardette on the southern edge... and, while perfect for 30-somethings, maybe not so enjoyable for their parents.

                                                  Re the other suggestions: the 7th/ rue Cler is pleasing enough but seems to be the #1 choice of American tourists so hardly off the beaten path.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Parnassien
                                                    s
                                                    sidnek Nov 22, 2012 12:14 AM

                                                    Parnassien - Merci beaucoup! Je pense que nous allons aimer le Haut Marais. The other two areas you recommend sound like great possibilities, too. If it were my choice alone, I think I'd go Haut Marais from your description and the quick search I just did about the area. Hopefully I can convince my parents as well.

                                                    Any other suggestions out there? Any rebuttals or concurrences? I'd love to see some healthy debate about the suggested places. Thanks for all your help!

                                                  2. m
                                                    markseiden Nov 21, 2012 10:33 AM

                                                    i like belleville. one side of the street has arabic food, the other side has jewish, or if you
                                                    head north there are the asians and the dive bars.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: markseiden
                                                      s
                                                      sidnek Nov 22, 2012 12:02 AM

                                                      Thanks, markseiden. I'm not familiar with Paris and google maps gave me a big area for belleville. Any particular intersections you'd try to stay near?

                                                      1. re: sidnek
                                                        m
                                                        markseiden Nov 22, 2012 09:00 AM

                                                        at the metro stop "belleville". generally when someone tells you a place in paris, it's the
                                                        eponymous metro. but the distances are not so great that a few blocks in any direction
                                                        would make much difference. it may be more important to get a good apartment than the
                                                        "perfect location". another approach you might take is to do a succession of craigslist sublets
                                                        and check out the neighborhoods. other neighborhoods i've liked: the 15th (which reminds
                                                        me of the upper west side in the 90s, in some peculiar way), rue mouffetard, rue des ecoles.
                                                        if you don't like the upper east side, avoid the 16th. if you like ave b and 2nd st, you might like place de clichy. if you like harlem, you might enjoy barbes-rochechouart. if you like 6th st or jackson hts, you might enjoy being near gard du nord- chapelle. there's no place like flushing, though.

                                                        1. re: markseiden
                                                          l
                                                          lagatta Nov 23, 2012 06:32 AM

                                                          I love Belleville and the adjacent neighbourhood Ménilmontant, but as Marc Seiden pointed out, it is a multicultural and still "popular" neighbourhood, though far more gentrified than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

                                                          The métro stop "belleville" is at the foot of the hill - Belleville and Ménilmontant are very steep hills - I love taking the bus down "into town". But it is an "outer" neighbourhood. Up by rue des Pyrenées there are a lot of trees and more air than in the city centre.

                                                          Agree with le Haut Marais if you like somewhere more in the centre and more "hip". Bastille market is great.

                                                          1. re: markseiden
                                                            s
                                                            sidnek Nov 23, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                            Thanks for the NYC comparisons, Mark; yes, i like ave b and 2nd st as well as harlem (lived at 125th and madison for five years). If i moved back to ny i'd go for jackson heights though i'd weekend in flushing. I'm currently living in west africa and the food choices here leave something to be desired.

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                                                        spicychow Nov 21, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                        Not a Paris expert by any means, but I just got back from my trip, and we liked the area we stayed in- the Rue Cler area. We walked to the open market they had on the street, walked to several restaurants including Chez L'ami Jean, Au Petit Sud Ouest, FL Restaurant, Le Petit Cler, and I believe Les Coquettes is right there too. You can also walk to Louvre and Champs Elysee, although it's a good 20min walk. Close to a Metro station.
                                                        It was pretty dead at night, but I don't know if you want a lively nightime neighborhood.
                                                        Good luck, and have a great trip!

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: spicychow
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                                                          Linda_W Nov 21, 2012 11:40 AM

                                                          +1 for the Rue Cler area for reasons noted above.

                                                          1. re: Linda_W
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                                                            christy319 Nov 21, 2012 12:02 PM

                                                            +2. The larger area would be the 7th; you don't need to be that near to Rue Cler itself. The 7th has everything you want, in spades. Rue St Dominique is my perfect foodie street--the Christian Constant restaurants, good patisseries ie Jean Millet, a great but not overpriced chocolate shop called Gregory Renard. We honeymooned on this street in a Paris Perfect apartment. I love the Saxe-Breuitil market near the Invalides but there are others in the 'hood as well. There are always military students/members practicing dressage on gorgeous horses out front of the Invalides on Saturday mornings as we walk to the market, and I think this is the most charming thing in the world. There's a antiques market on Rue Cler but I can't remember the schedule--I swear it's been there the last 3 or 4 trips we've taken so it must be fairly frequent. After you have eaten dinner you can walk to the Champs du Mars and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

                                                            We go to Paris annually and have tried other neighborhoods but we always seemed to find ourself in the 7th for dinner, so now we just always stay there. I will say, it's very yuppie and stereotypically what you'd think of Parisian. If you want something younger, artsier, trendier, ethnic, the 7th is not it.

                                                            http://www.theweekendinparis.com/a-stroll-on-rue-saint-dominique/

                                                            http://deltaskymag.delta.com/Destinat...

                                                            1. re: christy319
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                                                              sidnek Nov 21, 2012 11:23 PM

                                                              Thanks, Linda and Christy! It sounds like the 7th could be a winner with all four of us -- something that isn't easily found :) So, what are the downsides of this neighborhood other than a bit yuppie?

                                                              1. re: sidnek
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                                                                Linda_W Nov 22, 2012 06:40 AM

                                                                sidnek - I honestly can't think of anything that's a downside which is why we're staying in the 7e again this coming May. My sister lived in Paris for a year (in the Marais), but she recommends and stays in the 7e when she returns each year as well.

                                                          2. re: spicychow
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                                                            sidnek Nov 21, 2012 11:12 PM

                                                            Thanks, spicychow; my parents will appreciate a quiet nighttime neighborhood :)

                                                            1. re: spicychow
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                                                              lagatta Nov 23, 2012 06:22 AM

                                                              rue Cler has become quite touristy due to Rick Steeves.

                                                            2. John Talbott Nov 21, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                              I'd say Rue Paul Bert or where I live (Rue du Poteau/Duhesme/etc) but Parigi has a thread somewhere on great feng shui streets/areas, that you should check out.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: John Talbott
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                                                                sidnek Nov 21, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                Thanks John! I'll look into those neighborhood recs.

                                                                I tried searching for Parigi's post but couldn't find it. He or she is prolific. Parigi: if you are out there, can you link this to me? Thank you!

                                                                1. re: sidnek
                                                                  John Talbott Nov 22, 2012 08:02 AM

                                                                  She and her husband, I learned from Paris Update today, are in the USA for T-giving but I'll ask her to respond.

                                                                  1. re: sidnek
                                                                    Parigi Dec 6, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                    Sorriest for this hopelessly late reply. Here is the thread, not from this site actually:
                                                                    http://f6lp3lajk0.wordpress.tal.ki/20...
                                                                    Quick update:
                                                                    Around des Petites Ecuries/rue Richer/rue Fbg St Denis, an updated list would be:
                                                                    Urfa Dürüm, Öslem, Vivant and baby Vivant, L'Orient d'Or, Kiku, l'Office, chez Martel.
                                                                    Blabla at des Petites Ecuries, which I have not tried, shows most potential as well as Spanish wagyu. Just writing the w-word makes me weak in the knees.
                                                                    For food shopping, Marcel at marché St Quentin sells many species of "pedigreed" chicken. Across the aisle from him is the fishmonger that supplies Spring, Jeu de Quilles and others.

                                                                    Another great food neighborhood is around rue des Martyrs, because one walk to
                                                                    - the weekly excellent maraîcher market of Place d'Anvers
                                                                    - rue des martyrs (regular market
                                                                    )- rue Lepic (regular market)
                                                                    - rue Cadet (regular market, Kosher)
                                                                    - the aforementioned rue Faubourg St Denis and marché St Quentin (25 minute walk which we love).
                                                                    - the weekly maraîcher markets of Place de la Bourse.

                                                                    1. re: Parigi
                                                                      John Talbott Dec 6, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                      Thanks Feng Shui Expert.

                                                                      1. re: Parigi
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                                                                        mboxermd Jan 21, 2013 03:13 PM

                                                                        I saw your post and it looks like both you and John Talbott are VERY knowledgable about food in Paris - can you give me some great recs for lunch and dinner - not looking for very expensive - want great neighborhoods for walking, some bistro restaurants, great food, fun atmosphere - also great place to go for dessert/coffee - we are staying at the Westin on Rue de Castiglione - thanks for your help

                                                                        1. re: mboxermd
                                                                          John Talbott Feb 27, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                          Good grief; how to answer?; the best I can do is suggest you go through threads here and our blogs which give ratings and recommendations. As a matter of fact Parigi and I had lunch today at the crazily named Blah Blah and were pleasantly surprised to find good food in an area she described as "hipster heaven."

                                                                          1. re: John Talbott
                                                                            Parigi Feb 27, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                            Hipsters hate food. Wherever they congregate, the food sucks. Blah Blah is smack in the middle of La Cour des Petites Ecuries. Plus hipster que ça tu meurs.
                                                                            In food, it feels great to be proven wrong.

                                                                    2. re: John Talbott
                                                                      John Talbott Nov 22, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                                      "where I live (Rue du Poteau/Duhesme/etc)"
                                                                      A special treat for the next two days is an expanded stall/market selling everything from Corsican wine to sausage on the two blocks of the Rue du Poteau nearest Metro Jules Joffrin if you're in the area.

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