This month, we are lucky enough to have tapped into the insider knowledge of Forest Collins, the cocktail expert and all-round foodie behind 52 Martinis - your go-to guide for cocktails in Paris. We can't think of a better guide to the 15th arrondissement so without further ado, here is Forest's ingenious guide to the 15th.
The 15th: An Overview
Though the 15th is the most populated of the twenty Parisian arrondissements, it sees fewer visitors and tourists than most of the others. That means if you’re ready to stretch your legs and stroll to this left bank neighborhood, there are plenty of resident favorites and hidden gems to discover. Head over to breathe some fresh air at its many beautiful green parks, gardens and walkways - Ile aux Cygnes, Parc André Citroën, La Petite Ceinture or Parc Georges Brassens to name a few. Shop the boutiques on the bustling rue de Commerce or discover the tucked-away little treasure of a museum, Musée Bourdelle (it’s free!) This less touristy and more spacious arrondissement allows you to lose the frenetic pace and sink into a local side of the city’s life as well as offering plenty of outstanding options for food and drink for all tastes and budgets.
A discrete neo-bistro with a quiet ambiance, simple but chic decor and a focus on small, local producers where in-the-know locals go for traditional fare with a fresh twist at very nice prices.
51 Boulevard Garibaldi
The place for your traditional brasserie fix – big, bustling and busy and offers all the classics from seafood platters to snails in garlic butter served by wait staff in crisp white aprons.
51 Rue du Commerce
With its great value menu, this undiscovered restaurant pulls in neighbors for creative dishes that are pleasing to both the eye and palette and highlight the fresh products sourced from the nearby markets.
9 Rue Bouchut
Yeban (Note: Nb. There's no website for this spot - so be careful not to confuse it with the Petit Yeban in the 9th!)
The 15th has the highest concentration of Korean restaurants in Paris and this pocket sized spot stands up against the best of them with a small lunch menu of delicious classics like bibimbap and bulgoki that are well worth the detour.
93 rue de Javel
This casual Peruvian cafe dishes up fresh ceviche and beautifully bright causa to wash down with South American wines or pisco sour cocktails.
41 Rue de la Croix Nivert
Don’t miss this off-the-beaten-path cave that sells wine retail by the bottle to take away or drink there with a meal of French dishes served at communal tables family style, so you can go back for seconds - or thirds! Also, the parent restaurant, L’Os a Moelle, across the street is worth a visit for a more formal and traditional restaurant experience.
181 Rue de Lourmel
At the Michelin starred Neige d’ete, Japenese chef and owner Hideki Nishi brings a delicate touch and seasonal interpretation to sophisticated French dishes in a stylishly subdued environment. Prices reflect its reputation, but mid-week lunch menus can be a great deal for this quality of dining.
12 rue de l’Amiral Roussin
Always packed with neighborhood folks, this Basque restaurant offers a lovely range of filling dishes, but the biggest draw here is the duck and fries for two – for which duck breasts are slowly cooked over and served on vines shoots.
15 Rue Desnouettes
Connoisseurs of Chinese cuisine will love this tiny little restaurant with authentic dishes that range from approachable to adventurous at budget friendly prices.
1 Rue Dulac
Unlike most Paris rooftop bars with long waits or overpriced offerings, the top floor of the Novotel Vaugirard usually has an empty seat or two for grabs so you can share a bottle of wine with friends over a view of the Paris, Eiffel Tower included. Call ahead before going as it’s only open certain summer months and will be undergoing some renovations soon.
7eme étage Hotel Novotel, 257 Rue de Vaugirard
This lively little neighborhood cafe serves food, but it’s mostly full of talkative regulars who come here for beer, wine and fun as they chat with each other, owners, staff and neighboring tables.
90 Rue Cambronne
Also known as the “Superman bar” by regulars, because of its color scheme, and just across from the Wallace is another café bar that pulls in a fiercely loyal and local crowd for beer and snacks inside or on the cute tiny terrace.
9 Place du Général Beuret
The top of the Tour Montparnasse is a top choice for a glass of champagne with a view over the city, but remember to go early, as the bar doesn’t take reservations and gets crowded when hordes of hungry tourists arrive for dinner.
Tour Maine Montparnasse, 56ème, Avenue du Maine
French cafés with terrace tables or standing counter options are all over the 15th and a fun way to live the local life. But, for a change of pace with something a bit more urbane and trendy (think oat milk options and avocado toast), try O coffee shop.
23 rue de Lourmel
With so many pretty green spaces from parks to pétanque grounds, the 15th is the perfect arrondissement for a picnic. To load up on supplies head to the tiny stretch of rue Cambronne between rue Lecourbe and rue Blomet where within just a few meters of each other you’ll find the award-winning baguettes and pastries at La Maison Pichard, charcuterie and patés at Lenoel Didier Boucher and cheeses at Androuet. From there head around the corner onto rue Lecourbe where there are lots of wine shops and grocery stores for beverages. Take your picnic basket full of goodies to the nearby park Square Saint-Lambert to enjoy lunch on the grass surrounded by flower gardens, a calming fountain and playgrounds for the kids.
La Maison Pichard: 88 rue Cambronne
Lenoel Didier Boucher : 5 Place du Général Beuret
Androuet: 93 rue de Cambronne