A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
When seen as a whole, the 18th is actually a patchwork of different areas and each comes with a strong personality. Outsiders come here for the postcard vision of Montmartre, while locals promote the rich diversity, which we invite you to discover. But first, let’s set the scene:
- Montmartre: the tourist hot-spot thanks to the recreated set-up of an artists’ village, whose tiny streets twist and turn at the feet of the Sacré Coeur basilica.
- Pigalle: the numerous sex shops hint at the promiscuous nature of the area around the Moulin Rouge, but don’t be narrow-minded. Pigalle is a winner when it comes to cool wine-and-dine opportunities.
- Goutte d’Or: a working-class area suffering from a gangster reputation, but one that is also home to many inspiring, young entrepreneurs.
- Sacré Coeur basilica: the crown jewel of northern Paris. You can climb 300 stairs to the top of the white domes to see the French capital from above. Opening hours are detailed here.
- Museum of Montmartre: traces the rich history of the hilly area, from its simple beginnings to the bohemian era of the most influential artists of the past century.
- Dali Museum: conveniently located and a joy to explore.
- La Maison Rose: is exactly what you expect it to be. A pink house, which is home to a restaurant. The pink walls are so photogenic that you almost need to queue to snap a photo of this place.
- Church of Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre: just in front of the metro stop Abbesses, the brick and ceramic patterns pay tribute to early Art Nouveau design.
- Wall of Love: a 3 minute stop to see how to say “I love you” in many different languages, spilled out on blue tiles.
- Moulin Rouge: the connoisseurs of the art of can-can will tell you that Crazy Horse is a more sophisticated choice. In any case, if you’re visiting Paris for the first time, you cannot skip the wings of the red mill.
- Villa Leandre: a street reminiscent of Old England with a neat line up of houses, whose sole appearance screams “real estate you’ll never be able to afford”. Good news: the beauty and relative peace can be enjoyed for free.
- Le Bal: an independent exhibition space dedicated to contemporary imagery.
BRUNCH & DRINK COFFEE
- Pimpin (photo): a personal favourite with a simple, tasty menu and a warm welcome every time. 64, rue Ramey.
- Abattoir Vegetale: a beautiful interior and a vegan-oriented brunch offer. Beware: prices bite and the service is not always friendly. 61, rue Ramey.
- Soul Kitchen: another great option for an ultra-healthy brunch in a cozy setting. Closed Sundays. 33, rue Lamarck.
- Café Lomi: a multi-functional space with coffee at the heart of all its activities. A traditional cafe, a coffee bean shop with many varieties from around the world, and a school offering discovery and intensive training classes. Bonus: the bright graffiti walls just in front. 3, ter rue Marcadet.
- The Hardware Societe: come here early because competition to get a table is tight. If you win your seat, you’ll be rewarded with views over the roofs of Montmartre. If you make it this far, but can’t get a seat, move 1 or 2 doors up to get the same views from a less tasty (but equally well placed) neighbour. 10, rue Lamarck.
- La Recyclerie: food is so-so, but the vintage atmosphere and outside seating can make up for the lack of culinary surprises. The flea market (to be covered in a separate article) is around 7-10 minutes away by foot. 83, Boulevard Ornano.
APERO WITH STYLE
The Up-and-Coming Restaurants (€-€€)
- Fichon: modern cuisine with a predominantly seafood menu (there is always at least one meat and one vegetarian option) and cocktails to die for. 98, rue Marcadet.
- Brasserie Barbès: three floors and a hipster vibe. Our favourite seating option: a table next to the (almost) panoramic windows on the second floor. 2, Boulevard Barbès.
- Alix et Mika (left photo): the art of a perfect French tartare. Select your meat (or fish), the sauce, and the side. A simple and efficient concept. 37, rue Lamarck.
- Bouillon Pigalle (right photo): all the French classics, tiny prices, and staff in traditional black vests and white aprons. The concept is timeless, the setting – incredibly modern and spacious. 22, Boulevard de Clichy.
- La Rallonge: a locals’ lunch time gathering spot with great tapas. 16, rue Eugène Sue.
The Establishments (€€€)
- La Table d’Eugène: a restaurant with one Michelin star. An incredible gastronomic finesse served with every dish from the chef, Geoffroy Maillard. 18, rue Eugène Sue.
- Les Tantes Jeanne: the finest meats are the Tantes’ speciality, but the rest of the menu is just as good. 42, rue Véron.
- Le Rosie: last summer we chilled here on their improvised terrace and sipped mojitos, which cost a mere 5 euros. 3, rue Muller.
- Le Kremlin: come here to check the French interpretation of all things Soviet. 6, rue André Antoine.
The Foreigners’ Cuisine
- Kiez Biergarten: if you’re craving simple, inexpensive, and filling German meals (including the legendary Currywurst), make your way here. A small garden and a large beer menu included. 24, rue Vauvenargues.
- Il Brigante: the best Italian pizza according to many. The interior is nothing fancy, but the atmosphere is one reminiscent of real Italy. Loud and chaotic, but oh-so-good. 14, rue du Ruisseau.
- Bululu Arepera (left photo): a Venezuelan dream come true, especially for vegeterian clients who are looking for gluten-free options. 20, rue de la Fontaine du But.
- Le Coldiche: a no-fuss restautant, which serves Georgian cuisine that no one (except maybe Georgians in Georgia itself) can beat. Make sure to order at least one Khachapuri to share as a starter. 97, rue des Poissonniers.
- La Porteña (right photo): an Argentinian cantine specializing in empanadas. 3, rue Muller.
No other place like an open terrace to people-watch. Here are a couple of our favourites:
- Le Troubadour: a French bistrot in the heart of Montmartre. Best in the summer when the terrace is alive with the sounds of nonchalant chatter and wine glasses. 4, rue Poulbot.
- Café Francoeur and Francis Labutte. 129, rue Caulaincourt.
- Rooftop Terrass Hotel. 12-14, Rue Joseph de Maistre.
- Le Relais de la Butte. 12, Rue Ravignan.
- Le Très Particulier. 23, Avenue Junot.
Clothes & Textiles
- A.P.C. Surplus: the only Parisian outlet of the cult French brand. 20, rue André del Sarte.
- Maje Outlet: another favourite French brand for sexy chic at discounted prices. 92, rue des Martyrs.
- Iglaine: a very high-end vintage store with a unique feature. Inside you have a vintage automated rail that you can control as you go through the beautiful old pieces from the likes of Yves Saint Laurent. 14, rue Nicolet.
- Maison Château Rouge (photo): the entrepreneur of the neighbourhood, who turned the traditional African wax tissue into an urban hit for the young generation. 40, rue Myrha.
- Marché Saint Pierre: a vast collection of stores dedicated to fabrics. It was here that we found our picnic spread in a delicate pink for the first event of Apéro à Paris. 2, rue Charles Nodier.
Home & Deco
- Maison Nordik (right photo): a furniture store dedicated to Scandinavian vintage finds from the 50’s to the 70’s. 159, rue Marcadet.
- Fotoautomat (left photo): a vintage photomaton where all the hipsters get their B&W portraits to display as wall art at home. 53, rue des Trois Frères.
- Exodisc: a vinyl store so cool that the owner has no problem lighting up a cigarette inside, while he tells you the story of why he bought the title “Soviet Rock”. 70, rue du Mont-Cenis.
- Atelier Nota: the coolest stationery store, which also presents itself as a deco boutique and a gallery for illustrators. 10, rue Ramey.
- Mémé dans les Orties: a flower boutique worth the visit for some esthetic inspiration. Bouquets are incredibly expensive, so beware. 12, rue Ramey.
- Saint Ouen Flea Market: the largest in Paris. We plan a detailed guide in a separate article, stay tuned!
Food & Drink
- Les Caves du Roy: a wine store with an incredible selection of drinks. Do not hesitate to ask the staff for advice when selecting your wine bottle. There is also a great variety of French cognac and I highly recommend the incredible non-alcoholic Ginger Beer from Luscombe. 31, rue Simart.
- Goutte d’Or Patisserie (left photo): Yann Menguy briefly worked at Ladurée before opening his own pastry shop. Personally, we would trade a Ladurée macaron for one of Yann’s creations any day. 183, rue Marcadet.
- Lord of Barbès (right photo): a boutique of high-end gin with a kitsch decor you would want to spend hours exploring. 64, rue de Clignancourt.
- If you want to stock up on fresh produce, Rue Poteau has it all: a specialised cheese shop, a butcher, and a fresh fruit and vegetables market.
- Visit Montmarte as early as you possibly can: the atmosphere without the tourist crowds is at least ten times more magical.
- Don’t flash your valuables and wear comfortable foot-wear.
- Avoid any transportation within the neighbourhood, including the tourist train around Montmartre. You risk missing out on the beauty of hidden courtyards and the opportunity to stop as you please.
Have a spot you love in the 18th? Let us know! For an interactive map with all the addresses, check out our Mapstr account @aperoaparis.
Photos: Instagram + Unsplash