111 Places in Paris That You Shouldn't Miss - Sybil Canac - E-Book

111 Places in Paris That You Shouldn't Miss E-Book

Sybil Canac



You think you know Paris inside out? Then let yourself be surprised by this book! Written by three true connoisseurs, it tells you the secrets of the city. Curiosities, secret gardens, unknown museums, arts centers or very special hotels - with this book you discover Paris off the beaten path, its hidden treasures, its legends, its stories.

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111 Places in Paris That You Shouldn’t Miss

emons: Verlag


© Emons Verlag GmbH // 2017 All rights reserved © for photographs: Sybil Canac: ch. 1, 5, 12, 13, 16, 20, 21, 22, 25, 36, 43, 48, 55, 57, 80, 81, 88, 91, 105, 106 Renée Grimaud: ch. 6, 7, 15, 30, 33, 37, 40, 41 (top), 42, 51, 53 (top), 60, 61, 62, 65, 73, 83, 84, 87, 89, 94, 95, 96, 99, 100, 102, 107 Maogani/Sébastien Vallée: ch. 3, 14, 17 (bottom), 18, 19, 26, 31, 35, 41 (bottom), 44, 47, 49, 54, 58, 63, 74, 75, 86, 90, 93, 103 Additional Photo Credits: AntiCafé Beaubourg (ch. 4); Baguett’s Café (ch. 8); Bar à Bulles @DR (ch. 10); Baton Rouge (ch. 11); Mairie de Paris – Sheth /Art Azoï (ch. 13); Chemin des Vignes (ch. 23); Ciné 13 Theater (ch. 27); Cité du Cinéma (ch. 28); Ferrandi Paris (ch. 42); Michel Denancé – Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation Collection © 2014 – RPBW (ch. 56); Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery Paris Pantin – Charles Duprat (ch. 108); Gallerie Vuitton – Jean-Marc Cédile (ch. 45); Hôtel Chopin (ch. 50); The Travellers (ch. 52); Saint James Hotel – Antoine Baralhé (ch. 53 (bottom)); The Lady Barber of Paris (ch. 59); La Manufacture 111 DR (ch. 70); La REcyclerie – Alain Leroy (ch. 92); Le Balcon-Élodie Dupuis (ch. 9); The Owls – GdeLaubier (ch. 79); Jean-Baptiste Gurliat-Mairie de Paris (ch. 64); Pavillons de Bercy – Sébastien Siraudeau (ch. 66); La Maison Plisson © JP BALTEL (ch. 67); Maison Souquet –Éric Antoine (ch. 68); Le Manoir de Paris-Manoir H (ch. 69)/Marché sur l’eau (ch. 72); Peach Walls of Montreuil – Marie Bouillon (ch. 85); Vampires and Monsters Museum (ch. 110); L’Oasisd’Aboukir – Patrick Blanc (ch. 78); Skyline Bar Melia Hôtel International (ch. 101); «Spa dans le Noir ?» – Olivier Merzoug (ch. 104); Le Tiki Lounge (ch. 109); ZZZen – Nicolas Rose (ch. 111). Adagp, Paris, 2016, Chen Zen Fountain (ch. 25); Fondation Foujita (ch. 44); Saint-Martin-des-Champs, Musée des Arts et Métiers (ch. 97); Ennery Museum – RMN Thierry Ollivier (ch. 39); Buttedu Chapeau-Rouge Park – Roger-Viollet Maurice-Louis Branger (ch. 17 (top)). Hemis. fr: Rieger Bertrand (ch. 29, 34 top, 76); Blanchot Philippe (ch. 2); Sonnet Sylvain (ch. 98); Hughes Hervé (ch. 34 (bottom)); Harding Robert (ch. 63); MATTES René (ch. 77). © Cover motif: iStockphoto.com/levkr Design: Emons Verlag Maps based on data by Openstreetmap, © Openstreet Map-participants, ODbL ISBN 978-3-96041-306-6 eBook of the original print edition published by Emons Verlag

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Table of contents


1_Adzak Museum-Workshop | The home of an illusion artist

2_The Animal Cemetery | A pet cemetery for the dearly departed

3_Anis Gras Cultural Center | A liqueur with history

4_The AntiCafé Beaubourg | Here’s to spending time together

5_Arcade Street | The temple of old-school video games

6_The Armenian Cafeteria | Armenian soul food

7_Arts et Métiers Station | A dream bubble

8_Baguett’s Café | A no-frills coffee shop

9_Le Balcon Restaurant | Paris in all of its (phil)harmony

10_Le Bar à Bulles | Daydream in peace

11_Baton Rouge | Just like on the bayou...

12_Belushi’s Canal | Rock’n’roll urinals

13_Belvedere of Willy Ronis | When art rises up

14_The Bigot Building | Façades of glazed ceramic

15_The Bois Dormoy | A communal garden

16_Butte Bergeyre | The village up on a perch

17_Butte du Chapeau-Rouge Park | A call to peace

18_Café A | For the uber-hip

19_Café des Chats | The stress-relieving coffee break

20_The Canal House | The bright life

21_The Chapal Factory | A new skin for a former rabbit fur factory

22_Château Rothschild | The poetry of ruins

23_Chemin des Vignes | Issy, the place to be

24_Chemin du Montparnasse | Chasing after les Années Folles

25_The Chen Zhen Fountain | Water’s symbolic path

26_The Chocolate Museum | The history of hot chocolate

27_Ciné 13 Theater | A nice family history

28_Cité du Cinéma | Hollywood-sur-Seine

29_Le Clown Bar | Life’s a three-ring circus

30_Les Combattants de la Nueve Garden | In honor of Spanish heroes

31_Cour des Bourguignons | The glory days of carpentry

32_Coudurier Weapons Rooms | A décor worthy of d’Artagnan the musketeer

33_The Curiosity Cabinet | For the nature-curious

34_The Dejean Market | Africa goes to the market

35_Delaville Café | An atmosphere of “tolerance”

36_The Doubméa-Paris Factory | Paris has its prince

37_L’Élysée Montmartre | The show must go on

38_Émil’Or | A secret atelier

39_Ennery Museum | Chimeras from the Far East

40_The Ermitage House | A Parisian folie in the Regency style

41_Evi Evane | The best taramasalata in Paris

42_Ferrandi Paris | Not your ordinary student restaurant

43_The Fountain of the Fellah | A souvenir from Napoleonic Egypt

44_Foujita at the Japan House | Hidden treasures

45_Galerie Vuitton | The treasure chests

46_Les Grands Moulins de Pantin | Untouched industrial heritage

47_La Grisette de 1830 | Glory to the working girl

48_Halle Pajol | A unique eco-neighborhood

49_The Hennebique Building | A concrete system

50_Hôtel Chopin | A hotel in a passageway

51_Hôtel des Grandes Écoles | The countryside in a hotel

52_Hôtel Païva | The splendor of a courtesan

53_Hôtel Saint-James Paris | The first airfield in Paris

54_Indochinese Buddhist Temple | A home for the gods

55_La Java | A legendary ballroom

56_Jérome Seydoux-Pathé Foundation | An atrium with a backstory

57_Jim Morrison’s Building | Tracking down an idol

58_Kata | A magical movie theater

59_The Lady Barber of Paris | Making men look better

60_Léon the Lamppost | A streetlight from the past

61_Liberté Ménilmontant | The boulangerie that shows everything

62_Lisch Station | A lost station

63_Little India | Amid saris and cardamom

64_Le Louxor | An Egyptian cinema

65_Les Magasins Crespin-Dufayel | The glory days of commerce

66_Le Magic Mirror | A magical marvel

67_Maison Plisson | Gourmet groceries

68_Maison Souquet | A brothel-turned-hotel

69_Le Manoir de Paris | For nerves of steel

70_La Manufacture 111 | The beat of the city

71_The Marais Dance Center | From stagecoaches to dance classes

72_The Marché sur l’eau | A market on a boat for the eco-minded

73_Marie Bashkirtseff’s Grave | In honor of a short life

74_The Maubuée Fountain | The oldest fountain in Paris

75_The Momboye Dance Center | African rhythms

76_Notre-Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse | A pilgrimage to Paris

77_Notre-Dame-du-Travail | The faith of the working class

78_L’Oasis d’Aboukir | The plant man strikes again

79_The Owls | Rise above

80_Paris-Gobelins Station | A station disappears

81_Passage de la Sorcière | The witch is in prison!

82_Passerelle d’Aubervilliers | Paris towards the millenium!

83_Passerelle Debilly | The crime scene

84_The Passy Reservoir | To the water of Paris

85_Peach Walls of Montreuil | Where the peaches are just peachy

86_Le Père Magloire | Cemetery prankster

87_Le Pharamond Restaurant | Tripes à la mode de Caen

88_Les Piaules | For backpackers in the know

89_Pierre Emmanuel Garden | Nature in all its liberty

90_The Pontoise Pool | An almost-midnight swim

91_The Public Baths | Showers for all at this bastion of public hygiene

92_La REcyclerie | An urban farmhouse

93_La Route du Tibet | The only Tibetan bookstore in Paris

94_Rue des Immeubles Industriels | Hot water on every floor!

95_Rue Pavée Synagogue | An art-nouveau challenge, taken on by Guimard

96_Rue Réaumur | An ode to iron and glass

97_Saint-Martin-des-Champs | The birth of the Gothic style in Paris

98_Saint-Séraphin-de-Sarov Orthodox Church | The smallest church in Paris

99_Le Salon du Panthéon | Catherine Deneuve, decorator extraordinaire

100_The Sèvres Door | Sandstone in full force

101_Skyline Bar and Lounge | Cocktails with a view

102_Solar Hôtel | The world is organic

103_Sorbonne Astronomy Tour | Stargazing in the city

104_Le Spa “Dans le Noir?” | A spa in the dark

105_Square de la Roquette | The doors of the penitentiary

106_The Street Art of Montreuil | An open-air art gallery

107_The Suresnes Vineyards | The little white wine of the west

108_Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery | The artsy suburbs

109_The Tiki Lounge | Half-man, half-god

110_Vampires and Monsters Museum | I wasn’t scared, I swear!

111_ZZZen Nap Bar | Bubbles of well-being




It is called the most beautiful city in the world, and the more than thirty million tourists that visit it each year seem to agree. When they first discover the City of Lights, they come armed with a list of monuments – the ones that make Paris, Paris. Accordingly, they march from the Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower; they wander through the Louvre; they hike up Montmartre to Sacré-Cœur Cathedral.

The tourists of Paris, won over by the enchanting atmosphere of the capital, just cannot stop coming back. Finally, they realize that the magic of Paris is not just these symbolic sites. It is stumbling upon a little-known garden one morning before anyone else; it is looking up to notice the quirky façades that peek out from venerable Haussmann buildings; it is having a coffee in a historical place that has been touched up by a trendy architect. Make the same trip a year or two later and you can bet you will realize just how much the neighborhood has changed since your last visit.

To conjure up a list of the most amazing places in Paris is an exhilarating exercise – because it is never finished! In constantly pacing the streets of the city, in keeping up with everything that keeps evolving, it becomes clear that this is a city that reveals itself with enormous generosity – especially in places off the beaten track. Even when you have lived there for decades, there is always some detail you have never noticed.

The tourists who really fall in love with Paris find themselves in the exact same situation: as their visits start to rack up, their interest sharpens, and their perception too. And the more idiosyncrasies they discover, the more they hone their science of the City of Lights, until it appears in all its intimacy and richness, from its origins until this century that keeps transforming its contours. Perhaps on their next visit, Paris will no longer be a chimera, but a reality.

Renée Grimaud

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1_Adzak Museum-Workshop

The home of an illusion artist


The fate of Royston Wright, otherwise known as Roy Adzak, was a strange one. Born in England in 1928, he was an engineer, sculptor, painter, photographer, and globetrotter. During archaeological digs in Afghanistan, he noticed that when the sun hit the concave curves of pottery, it gave the illusion of convex reliefs. Adzak spent the rest of his life trying to recreate this optical illusion. In 1962, not far from Montparnasse, he moved into an old house with a garden and a garage that would be his atelier. Twenty years later, he built it up into a building of four floors. At the top of the façade, he put the casting of his head and on the ground, the imprint of his hands.

Since 1955, Adzak worked on prints, fossilizations, and other “negative objects” – concave designs in anthropomorphic or otherwise nature-inspired forms. He also plastered living models. His atelier contains his own mummified body, wrapped in medical bandages and plaster, along with other astonishing works: columns supporting silhouettes in relief and counter-relief, prints of human body parts, animal and vegetable dehydrations, a pyramid containing the cadaver of a raven.


Address 3 Rue Jonquoy, 75014 Paris, +33 (0)1 45 43 01 98 or +33 (0)9 61 23 20 91 | Public Transport Metro to Plaisance (Line 13) | Hours Sun 3pm–9pm and by appointment. Free entry. | Tip In the Plaisance neighborhood, at number 19bis Rue Jonquoy, you can also find the home and atelier of the artist Zao Wou-Ki. The great Chinese painter, who died in 2013 at the age of 93, lived there from 1960 to 2011.

During his lifetime, his work was shown by well-known gallerists such as Iris Clert. But the artist who’d worked on the traces of time was its first victim. Adzak often practiced complicated medical techniques on himself – which is how he died in 1987 at the age of 59. Buried in the Montparnasse cemetery, his grave is crowned with a little pyramid where you can see his reflection. His atelier and his house have remained intact. The little garden is home to ceramic chickens, owls, and cats by his nephew Nicholas Wright. His house is occupied by artists in residence.

Adzak’s friend and fellow Brit Margaret Crowther created the museum thirty years ago, and today organizes art shows and poetry readings in the space.


Notre-Dame-du-Travail (0.41 mi)

Léon the Lamppost (0.652 mi)

Solar Hôtel (0.708 mi)

The Bigot Building (0.951 mi)

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2_The Animal Cemetery

A pet cemetery for the dearly departed



Seeing the number of people who come to pay homage to their departed pets, leaving a bouquet of flowers or a little souvenir, you may be surprised to find yourself moved to the point of forgetting that you are not in a human cemetery. Besides dogs, which take up most of the plots, many other creatures have lucked into this chic final resting place: cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, fish, horses, and even a monkey.

The names on the epitaphs attest to the affection that their owners felt for them: Bibi, Fury, Tendresse, B.b., Veinard, Pupuce, Sultan, Mouchette, etc. There’s even one headstone expressing the love of a mother for her dog Loulou, who saved her child from drowning in the Garonne River in 1985.


Address 4 Pont de Clichy, 92600 Asnières-sur-Seine, +33 (0)1 40 86 21 11 | Public Transport Metro to Gabriel Péri (Line 13) or RER to Gare d’Asnières-sur-Seine | Hours Every day but Mon, Mar 16–Oct 15, 10am–6pm; off-season 10am–4:30pm. Closed for all holidays except November 1. | Tip On the platform at the foot of the cemetery you can hop on a boat that will take you down the Seine – with music! – all the way to Saint-Cloud and back. It is a great way to discover the banks of the river and Île de la Jatte and its “Temple of Love” (Temple de l’Amour, www.tourisme92.com).

There are also some animal celebrities here: Rintintin, the valiant young hero of the TV series of the same name; Prince of Wales, who appeared 406 times on stage at the Théâtre du Gymnase in 1905 and 1906 (as you can read on his epitaph). Then there is Barry, who belonged to the monks of the Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard. On the monument erected at the entrance of the cemetery, the inscription references the legend according to which “after saving the lives of 40 people, [Barry] was killed by the 41st.”

The cemetery came into being at the end of the 19th century thanks to two animal-lovers: Georges Harmois, a publicist, and Marguerite Durand, the founder of the newspaper La Fronde. Until then, the bodies of departed pets were tossed in the trash or in the Seine. On June 21, 1898, a law was passed allowing pets to be buried “in a grave situated as often as possible one hundred meters from the dwellings of their masters and in such a way that the cadaver would be covered by a layer of earth having at least one meter of thickness.” The only condition was that the tombs not resemble human graves. Since then, we may have forgotten this rule a bit!


Galerie Vuitton (0.634 mi)

Lisch Station (1.156 mi)

Cité du Cinéma (1.939 mi)

La REcyclerie (2.262 mi)

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3_Anis Gras Cultural Center

A liqueur with history



For those who’ve tried it, Anis Gras is a Proustian liqueur evocative of nostalgic memories, because it is no longer made in the red brick factory whose long wall borders one of the main streets of Arcueil. Remaining almost perfectly intact, the factory was constructed by the initiative of Émile Raspail in the 1870s. This Paris-trained engineer was the son of François-Vincent Raspail, the socialist deputy and biologist-doctor who gave his name to the famous boulevard in Paris. He devoted himself in service to the poor and ultimately invented a curative camphor-based digestive liqueur.

When Émile Raspail took over, he placed the factory right next to his house in Arcueil to better run the place. The factory kept growing to over 40,000 square feet, reaching all the way to the corner of Avenue Laplace and Rue Lénine.


Address 55 Avenue Laplace, 94110 Arcueil, +33 (0)1 49 12 03 29, www.lelieudelautre.com | Public Transport RER to Laplace | Tip At 52 Avenue Laplace, you will find the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Franciscan nuns (les franciscaines de l’Immaculée Conception). Also known as the Auguste-Perret chapel, it was built by the Perret brotherhood between 1927 and 1929 and is a beautiful example of modern architecture. It was landmarked in 1999. Masses on Sundays and visits on heritage days (you can look up the yearly calendar of les journées du patrimoine).

Émile Raspail was mayor of the city from 1878 until his death in 1887, and he left his mark on the city, bringing it a great number of modern constructions. After his death, his family continued his work for some time before selling the business to the Erven Lucas Bols establishment, producers of “hygienic” liqueurs. It wasn’t until 1963 that the famous Frères Gras arrived, who commercialized the long-reputed Anis Gras anisette.

The factory, bought back by the town in 1981, was given to the association “Le lieu de l’autre” in 2005. The entry pavilion, the orangery, the beautiful glass window walls, and the old ateliers were well-conserved and now house a number of avant-garde artists. The beautiful industrial property is coming back to life with performances, exhibitions, concerts, and other events, not to mention a cafeteria that serves up its specialties every Friday from noon to 2:00pm: a house couscous dish and irresistible pastries washed down with a nice mint tea. Attention all foodies: reservations are required!


Foujita at the Japan House (0.889 mi)

Léon the Lamppost (1.448 mi)

Adzak Museum-Workshop (1.647 mi)

Solar Hôtel (1.721 mi)

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4_The AntiCafé Beaubourg

Here’s to spending time together



Sometimes, ideas come to us from faraway places. In this case, it was a young man of Ukrainian descent who brought to Paris a simple but ingenious concept that is all the rage in Russia – the anticafé, where you pay not for goods consumed, but for the time spent on the premises.

In 2013, piggybacking off the success of the “sharing economy,” Leonid Goncharov launched the AntiCafé Beaubourg, a coworking space where you can work and meet other people. The AntiCafé is meant to feel like home: you can open the fridge and grab a yogurt, make yourself a hot drink, or even bring a meal from your own kitchen. Wish to take out a book from the library? No problem. Newspapers? Also available to clients who can use the space to hang out, chat, and make friends. The walls are covered in classified ads where you just might find happiness. Once night falls, it is time to party. Their program is varied: films, concerts, social games. You can curl up on the couches, sway in a rocking chair, or just sit in a normal chair anywhere in the beautiful vaulted room.


Address 79 Rue Quincampoix, 75003 Paris, www.anticafe.eu | Getting there Metro to Rambuteau (Line 11) | Hours Mon–Fri 9am–10pm; Sat & Sun 10am–9pm | Tip The AntiCafé Louvre is open during the same hours as the AntiCafé Beaubourg (10 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris, +33 (0)1 73 71 72 86). The AntiCafé Olympiades, 59 Rue National, in the bustling 13th arrondissement, is only open Mon–Fri 8am–6:30pm.

But for optimal productivity, you need not only comfort but space and light. Leonid and his friends from BonkersLab, specialists in product design and interior layout, designed AntiCafé in light colors with a witty “Welcome home!” message painted on the wall. The furniture was either scored at flea markets, Emmaüs charity shops (a very trendy approach), or created specially for the space.

The project was such a hit that AntiCafé has since opened smaller-scale spin-offs. The AntiCafé Louvre, on rue de Richelieu, is in the heart of the city. The most recent, “the big one,” is AntiCafé Innovation. As its name indicates, the creators had lofty goals for this location: it is within the Campus Cluster Paris Innovation, a group that brings together scholars, techies, start-ups, and big business.


The Maubuée Fountain (0.087 mi)

Le Pharamond Restaurant (0.13 mi)

Café des Chats (0.23 mi)

The Marais Dance Center (0.23 mi)

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5_Arcade Street

The temple of old-school video games



Video game destination of those in the know, Arcade Street is one of the two remaining Japanese-style arcades in Paris. Created in 2010 by Anatole Albar, the place is a real survivor. Over 4,000 square feet of street-level and basement space, Albar has created an underground ambiance in what was once the site of a 200-horsepower steam generator that powered the street’s 230 ateliers.

Albar’s décor fits into the neighborhood vibe: street art on the walls, along with other artworks created by friends, and a metal staircase encased in an overhead chain-link fencing of arcades (a little joke Albar made to himself – in French, the word also means “archways”).


Address 10 Rue des Immeubles-Industriels, 75011 Paris, +33 (0)1 40 09 85 71, www.arcadestreet.fr | Public Transport Metro to Nation (Lines 1, 2, 6, 9) | Hours Mon 5pm–10pm; Tues–Sat 2pm–5pm | Tip On Place de l’Île-de-la-Réunion, facing the rue des Colonnes-du-Trône, is a plaque explaining that a guillotine was installed here during the French Revolution on June 13, 1794. The communal graves are not far off in the Picpus Cemetery.

On the lower level you see the stone walls of the original cellar, and you can spot another stairway to a second, deeper basement that leads to an underground passage to the other side of the street: this was the passageway of the steam generator’s drive shaft.

In the nineties, arcade games were all the rage before becoming pale adaptations of themselves destined for video game consoles.

Here in this pasture of solitary gaming, 150 people can play at the same time. Arcade Street has relaunched still-popular combat games like Street Fighter 4, The King of Fighters, and all the big series of VS Fighting!

Along with a “hit parade” of the most in-demand games, you can find old gems of every type: shoot-’em-up games like Darius Burst; beat-’em-all options like Metal Slug, rhythm games (jeux de “Tam tam” in French) like Taiko no Tatsujin; dance games like Dance Dance Revolution; and of course classics like Pacman and Mario Kart.

A group of mostly 18- to 35-year-olds come after school or work for a bit of guilt-free fun. The arcade gets rowdy and pretty loud. For its devotees, there’s no doubt: you’re tackling both games and other gamers, so emotions run higher than at home on a console or online.


Rue des Immeubles Industriels (0.031 mi)

The Doubméa-Paris Factory (0.423 mi)

The Public Baths (0.441 mi)

Pierre Emmanuel Garden (0.684 mi)

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6_The Armenian Cafeteria

Armenian soul food



It does the soul good to visit places that buzz with foreign accents. The cafeteria at the Maison de la culture arménienne (Armenian cultural center) is one of those. Invisible from the street, it is an address for those in the know. After pushing open a heavy door, you cross a tree-lined courtyard and climb a few steps before entering a beautiful room draped in flags, fashionable photos, and paintings from the 1950s.

As soon as you enter, the owner Tchinar welcomes you as if you were family. She tells you about the specials, all of which are mouth-watering: beef ravioli in two varieties (the small ones are Russian, the bigger ones Georgian) served with crème fraîche, stuffed eggplant, and Caucasian chicken kabobs.


Address 17 Rue Bleue, 75009 Paris, +33 (0)1 48 24 63 89 | Public Transport Metro to Cadet (Line 7) | Hours Mon–Sat noon–3pm and 7pm–11pm. On Saturday nights, call to make a reservation. Daily specials €12. | Tip If you want to try another country, I wholeheartedly recommend the restaurant Boukhoura, 37 Rue de Trévise. In a gorgeous room filled with artisanal objects, you can try traditional cuisine from Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, her husband Mamikon keeps busy in the kitchen. As soon as you sit down, things start to appear at the table: lavash breads, a plate of marinated vegetables and a salad, all on the house. The dishes themselves are generously portioned for the modesty of the prices. If you ask nicely and there is not too much of a crowd, Tchinar will hang around your table to tell you about her life in her native Tbilisi.

In this cafeteria where the entire Armenian community comes to hang out – Saturdays, especially, they come with their whole families – you will find yourself very quickly adopted and you will probably vow to come back soon. A regular reads his newspaper in one corner. In another there is a couple playing cards, while nearby a table of six people wait to be served.

This part of the 9th arrondissement around the Cadet metro station and by rue de Trévise, formerly known as Little Armenia (la petite Arménie), welcomed many Armenians after the genocide of 1915. The Maison de la culture arménienne has been around for more than sixty years, bringing together the community around common projects. There are language classes, folk dancing, and even a choir.


Hôtel Chopin (0.286 mi)

Le Manoir de Paris (0.354 mi)

Delaville Café (0.373 mi)

The Chocolate Museum (0.404 mi)

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7_Arts et Métiers Station

A dream bubble



The RATP Parisian transport system should really put out calls to comic strip artists to redesign their Metro stations. They would have a certain cachet, believe me! It sort of feels like that on the line 11 platforms of the Arts et Métiers station.

It is a total dream world. Sort of like a cross between Jules Verne and François Schuiten, the Belgian artist behind Les Cités Obscures (The Obscure Cities). Or maybe it is more like being in the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Close your eyes, then open them again slowly. Can’t you see it? Just like being in a submarine.


Address Rue Réaumur and Rue Turbigo, 75003 Paris | Tip With its neon-colored ceilings, black-lacquer bar, mosaic-tiled floors, and geometrical lines of the 1950s, Le Parisien is a great place to grab food or just a drink until late at night. (337 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003 Paris, Mon–Fri 8am–2am; Sat 10am–2am; Sun 10am–6pm)

Created in 1994 for the bicentennial celebration of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, the station is entirely covered in copper – even its vaulted archways. It is a tribute to the technical and industrial heritage of the Conservatory, as are the enormous gearwheels on the ceilings, which also hint at the many constructed-themed works on exhibit in the nearby Arts et Métiers museum.

On the platforms of the station, porthole windows showcase models of the armillary sphere – an instrument modeling the celestial sphere – of the American satellite Telstar. That was the first communication satellite, which was launched in 1962 from the hydraulic wheel, and later from the Pont Antoinette in the Midi-Pyrénées region in France. The museum is worth checking out not only for the works themselves, but for the history tidbits you’re sure to come away with.

All the decorative elements – the station’s nameplates, its seats, even its trash cans – were created out of copper so as to stay in the unique tone of the ensemble. Linking Châtelet to the mairie of Les Lilas in Seine-Saint-Denis, line 11 is, at 4 miles, the shortest of the Parisian Metro lines and one of the least used. It was also one of the last to be put into service, in 1935. But how many other lines get to boast a station like this one?


Saint-Martin-des-Champs (0.068 mi)

Café des Chats (0.217 mi)

Rue Réaumur (0.267 mi)

The AntiCafé Beaubourg (0.317 mi)

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8_Baguett’s Café

A no-frills coffee shop



Back to the simple pleasures, the authentic ones! Eating a good baguette toasted with butter is one of the greatest luxuries. If the crust happens to be nice and crunchy, and the butter salted – it is the ne plus ultra! Nothing better in the world.

For all nostalgic fans of the “real” baguette, this little spot opened in 2015, right nearby the Comédie-Française and the Palais-Royal Gardens. It is run by Amando and Jeanne, a former model who today bakes scrumptious pastries based on recipes taught to her by her grandmother.


Address 33 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris | Public Transport Metro to Pyramides (Lines 7 and 14) or Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre (Lines 1 and 7) | Hours Tue–Sat 8:30am–6:30pm; Sun 9:30am–3pm | Tip Cross the street and open the door to a charming home décor boutique with a quirky name, featuring trays, notebooks, jewelry, carved-wood stools, and sumptuous kimonos. It is called Le facteur n’est pas passé (The mailman didn’t come) (20 Rue de Richelieu, +33 (0)1 42 61 11 22, Mon–Fri noon–7pm, Sat 2:30pm–7pm).

As soon as you’re in the door, the delicious smells are overwhelming: the smell of fresh bread, but also of pains au chocolat, croissants, shortbread, and several other cakes meant for one thing and one thing only – to be eaten.

With its “Franglais” name, Baguett’s Café has deliberately chosen a friendly, congenial vibe: its banquettes upholstered in burlap coffee bags inscribed in different languages; its tables of unfinished wood; its walls left un-retouched. The space has a roomy feel thanks to its mirrors and many lamps, which come from Jeanne and Amando’s travels worldwide.

The bread? The baguettes are made by the bakery L’Essentiel, which also makes the two-foot-long ciabatta that are cut into sandwiches at lunchtime.

Coffee comes from Verlet, a nearby boutique merchant. And if coffee’s not your thing, you can order a hot chocolate or a Dammann Frères tea.

The mouth-watering Francis Miot jams are presented in pretty little glass jars, like those used to sterilize foie gras, or duck livers.

In the open kitchen, Jeanne bakes lemon tarts, Parisian custards, sponge cakes, and her special invention, la Jeannett’s – a little gluten-free pastry.