We are so excited to have have Lily Heise with us this month! A long time resident of the 18th, you can find her wondering through the streest of Paris sharing tips on food and travel - and romancing in Paris as she says! You'll want to follow Lily on Instagram to keep up with what is going on in your favorite city. In the meantime, be sure to check out her newest book There's is Only One Paris !
Over to Lily....
When the 18th arrondissement is mentioned, Montmartre is what usually comes to mind. However, the district is much more than this charming former village, especially when it comes to cuisine. Firstly, much of the “real life” of Montmartre actually takes place a few streets away from Sacré-Coeur, in and around rue des Abbesses, where you can find a good range of local food shops, cafés and restaurants. Foodies should instead make a trek behind the hill, where you’ll find the up-and-coming Village Ramey and its more inventive culinary scene. To the east of this is the Chateau Rouge/Goutte d’Or, Paris’s cosmopolitan and eclectic “Little Africa” neighborhood. If you know where to look, you can enjoy a fabulous and delicious foray through the 18th!
Nestled on a side street beneath Sacré-Coeur is this newly opened néo-bistrot. Within a discreetly chic modern dining room, sample Chef Kazuki Yasukawa’s daily-changing menu of inventive cuisine using the freshest finds from the market. These can be enjoyed in their good value lunch menu.
Skip the touristy restaurants of Place du Tertre and amble two blocks away to this charming bistro. At traditional wooden café tables, dig into French favorites with an international twist. It has a super value lunch menu of three courses for only 20 euros.
This is a great local bistro with a neighborhood vibe is located one street south of rue des Abbesses (filled with more ‘average’ brasseries/cafés). With the motto of “a farmer on your plate,” the restaurant acquires quality ingredients straight from producers which go into its small but varied menu (with a vegetarian option). It also serves a generous and creative Sunday brunch.
For a change from traditional French cuisine, try this inventive fusion restaurant located near rue des Abbesses. Inspired by spices and specialties from the four corners of the globe, the small bistro features a weekly-changing menu with dishes like Kung Pao cauliflower, polenta with grilled vegetables and zaatar or salmon caramelized with miso and served with couscous and roasted kale. They have an amazing value lunch menu at 13 euros starter/main course and have vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Opened in 2017, this large venue on the southern edge of Montmartre in Place Pigalle sparked the rival of the historic Parisian “Bouillon” (a traditional restaurant serving basic, great value classic French fare). Popular with both young and old, locals and tourists, a three course dinner of the likes of oeuf-mayonnaise, steak-frites and profiteroles, with a pichet of wine, won’t even set you back 20 euros/person.
For a gourmet splurge, book a table at this excellent one Michelin-starred restaurant found near the Village Ramey. Chef Geoffroy Maillard and his team prepare impeccable and inventive modern French cuisine in their menus which change every 10 days. Their 19 euro two-course lunch menu is a steal. Alternatively, enjoy a slightly more relaxed version of their cuisine at their sister restaurant located next door, La Rallonge.
Seafood fans need to look no further than this fabulous fish-focused restaurant in the Village Ramey. Not merely a restaurant, Fichon is the capital’s first “cave à poisson,” as they also have a wine shop section, whose bottles can, of course, be perfectly paired with their creative tapas, ceviche, tartares and other dishes using top-quality ingredients from the sea (and beyond).
Situated in the Village Ramey, this is one of Paris’s best contemporary vegetarian restaurants. Featuring a stylish modern decor, this vegetable “slaughterhouse” (abattoir), has given new “life” to the butcher shop which formerly occupied the premises. From breakfast to dinner, the restaurant has creative, seasonal and tasty veggie dishes.
This newcomer to the Parisian vegan scene is found a mere few minutes’ walk from Sacré-Coeur. Its menu includes daily specials, poke bowls and tartines gourmandes—bite sized delights, made with their homemade “cheese,” which can be nibble on in its small but cozy dining room or, weather permitting, to-go in the park under the basilica.
Dine at this restaurant for a taste of Paris’s African heritage. Featuring dishes from across the continent, you can start with some tabouli or mikate (fried dough), before moving on to dishes like Dibi, N’Taba (braised lamb) vegan or meat Mafé (stew) or a Bokit, a creole sandwich.
If you have a hankering for an authentic Napolitan-style pizza, track down this excellent pizzeria. They whip up both classic and contemporary pizzas using exceptional ingredients and cooked in a wood fire oven. It also has the added bonus of outdoor seating facing a pretty square hidden virtually at the base of Sacré-Coeur.
A café, bar and restaurant, this cool, friendly venue near the Mairie du 18ème is a great place for a reasonably priced cocktail, which can also be enjoyed with some yummy small plates.
One of the best kept secrets of the 18th district is this hidden bar located above the Moulin Rouge (yes above!). Enter via the passageway to the left of the legendary cabaret, upstairs you’ll find a trendy yet laid back bar (which also serves a few snacks to share), with outdoor garden seating… and a bar section behind the spinning windmill!
This hip, eco-responsible bar and restaurant is located in a former station of the “petite ceinture,” a defunct light-rail line that used to encircle Paris. On nice days, sit down on the former train tracks and be sure to check out their agenda as there are often events on weekends. Note: it’s close to the Puces de Saint-Ouen, the vast flea market located just outside Paris, making it a nice place to stop in after your flea-market foraging.
One of the best rooftop bars is located in this chic Art Deco hotel on the edge of Montmartre. Arrive early to get a table with a soaring view over the whole city. Dining at its panoramic restaurant is also an option for enjoying those stunning views.
Boasting a large terrace right on Place des Abbesses, this is the best vantage point for people watching in the 18th, especially for a mid-afternoon coffee or early evening apéro.
As its name indicates, you feel like you’re at a “village” café-bar at this unpretentious and friendly venue found amidst the less personal cafés on rue des Abbesses. It also has a great value happy-hour from 5-8 pm.
In the same family since 1962, this neighborhood wine shop on rue des Abbesses also has a wine bar (outdoor seating and in the backroom), a great place to enjoy some excellent wine accompanied by some fromage or charcuterie.
Ideal for a date or special occasion, this posh boutique hotel located in a private garden in Montmartre is open to outside guests.
Tucked away on a small street just south of rue des Abbesses, this modern, cozy café serves great coffee, chai lattes and breakfast, brunch and teatime snacks.
On the far end of rue des Abbesses is this great contemporary café. They serve some creative light lunch fare and have a wide array of pastries made in-house. Perfect for an indulgent coffee break or Sunday brunch (book in advance).
This bakery-café is the best place for a “French” breakfast or a light lunch in the Abbesses area. What’s more you can choose from their various “formule” options, depending on your level of hunger, from un grand bol de café with a croissant to an oozing cheese omelette. They have outdoor seating and tables upstairs.
Found right around the corner from Sacré-Coeur, this Australian café serves modern breakfast and brunch food within a trendy, cosy space.
Some of the best coffee in Paris is roasted onsite at this modern coffee shop, but it’s in the more grungy part of the 18th, so don’t expect picture-perfect Paris on your way there.
Instead you can have your Lomi coffee, accompanied by creative breakfast items or a lunchtime gourmet sandwich, at this trendi café with good outdoor seating behind the Mairie du 18ème.
The best food market of the district is likely the street market on Rue de Poteau, near the City Hall, among its many shops is a branch of renowned Fromagerie Quatrehomme. If you come on Wednesday or Saturday morning, you can also add on a meander through the open air market on rue Ordener between Montcalm et Championnet. Rue Caulaincourt also has some great food shops including Le Grenier à Pain bakery, two-time winner of the best baguette in Paris (another branch is on rue des Abbesses) and Arnaud Larher, a chocolatier who’s earned the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
You'll also want to visit the ethnically diverse street market at Château Rouge on rue Dejean or better yet, take a tour with Jacqueline Ngo Mpii, founder of the Little Africa cultural association. Lastly, hidden away near the Métro Marx Dormoy is one of Paris’s historic covered market halls, le Marché de la Chapelle (also known as le Marché des Olives) nearby here is the great wine shop, en Vrac, where you can get refillable bottles of wine--or simply try some with some nibbles on site.