Every place has an old spirit, the one represented through century-old monoliths tourists (and us all) take pictures of. But if you look closer, there is always a sign of something new – a young breeze, a new generation’s interpretation of the city they inhabit. This article marks a new beginning for us too. We present to you our series of district guides for Paris.
These guides are by no means a tourism basic: if you are here for the Parisian classics – the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, and the artists’ square in Montmartre – then we risk disappointing you. What we have set out to do is to share personal favourites in Paris, and we chose the 10th arrondissement to start with.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Home to two train stations, Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, the 10th comes with some typical paraphernalia: a certain level of thug-life and street corners that are at times far from glam. But the resulting lower-than-average rent prices have also pushed entrepreneurs to invest in this area. From a landscape perspective, it’s got some jewels too. The canal of Saint-Martin adds a little Venetian touch and the 17th century hospital of Saint-Louis boasts a central courtyard reminiscent of the famous Place des Vosges. There is no denying it though: the best part of coming here is the myriad of shops and cafes, buzzing with local life. We only want to share addresses that we have personally tried, so the list will be updated regularly.
- Town Hall : one of the most beautiful in its category. The impressive Renaissance-style facades were supervised by Charles Garnier, the man who gifted the French capital with Opéra Garnier. 72, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin.
- Canal Saint Martin : the waterfront alternative to the banks of the Seine.
- Médiathèque Françoise Sagan : an unexpected oasis of serenity, where you can come to read and work. Leafy plants and the white walls make for a beautiful photo setting too. P.S. don’t be put off by the dodgy square you’ll have to cross. 8, rue Léon Schwartzenberg.
BRUNCH & DRINK COFFEE
- Blackburn Coffee : luckily enough most Instagramers are unaware of this hotspot. And that means you can enjoy a cuppa and some sweet or salty treats without people elbowing each other for the best table shot. 52, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin.
- Peonies : the owner has united her two passions in one flower-filled space. Camille runs a cafe, but also finds time to compose wildflower bouquets that you can buy after brunch. 81, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis.
- Le Poutch : soul food in a cosy setting. When the sun’s out, you can grab your coffee outside. 13, rue Lucien Sampaix.
- Pancake Sisters : come here for a pancake tower on a plate drowned in maple syrup. You don’t need other arguments, right? 3, rue Lucien Sampaix.
- Kasha : another less known hide-out that serves crêpes (salty and sweet), and coffee under 5€. Bonus: a beautiful glass ceiling at the far end of the restaurant floor. 9, rue des Récollets.
- La Chambre aux Oiseaux : the most Insta-grammed wallpaper of the Parisian cafés. The cosy interior and a relatively inexpensive menu (7€ for a traditional French breakfast composed of 1 hot drink, several baguette tartines and jam) help to explain the long queue outside on week-ends. Please note that credit cards are not accepted. 48, rue Bichat.
- Myrthe : the definition of efficient space allocation. Your hot coffee and delicious pastries will be served to you under the roof – quite literally. 10, rue de la Grange aux Belles.
APÉRO WITH STYLE
- Gravity Bar : the space is tiny, but boasts a very beautiful bar and a delicious cocktail menu. These guys even won the Best Bar Award in 2016. 44, rue des Vinaigriers.
- Hero : a genius concept of mixing Korean-style tapas (the fried chicken is to-die-for), a pretty interior in light pink tones, and a great selection of drinks. 289, rue Saint Denis.
- Comptoir Generale : a 600-square meter barn that has been turned into an unmissable hipster spot. Eclectic, loud, and fun. 80, Quai de Jemmapes.
- Yikou : French-Asian fusion cuisine with a large choice of dim sums. A great option if you are looking to celebrate a birthday. 49, rue de l’Aqueduc.
- Copper Bay : bars do not have to be overly posh. We loved this place for its down-to-earth atmosphere and a twist on every cocktail! 5, rue Bouchardon.
- Baranaan : the tables here, arranged in a somewhat train-like illusion, as well as the loud music and chatter, can help you relive your favourite Slumdog Millionaire scenes. They even give out bindis in this speakeasy! 7, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin.
- Pompon Bazar : a beautiful bohemian-styled store, whose speciality are carpets and fabrics. But don’t worry if you are not ready for big pieces: there is enough smaller eye candy (bags, jewellery, and the like). 15, rue du Château d’Eau.
- Atelier Couronnes: a union of two designers, whose specialities are hand-made leather accessories and jewellery inspired by literature. The girls are far from selfish and also sell tons of other beautiful brands worth discovering. 6, rue du Château d’Eau.
- Jamini: a home decor and accessories brand that blends traditional artisanal craft of India with the effortless chic typical to Paris. 10, rue du Château d’Eau.
- La Tresorerie: the destination if you are looking for socially responsible shopping (the team behind has a very serious manifesto of how they source their goods). 11, rue du Château d’Eau.
- Maje Stock : come here to get your hands onto older collections at prices that bite less. 4, rue de Marseille.
Have a spot you love in the 10th? Let us know too! For an interactive map with all the adresses, check out our Mapstr account @aperoaparis.
Photo: Instagram + personal archives