Paris - Which Arr for a week

I think that the 69 bus has 2 last stops, one significantly further then the other. We let one go by that had a shorter destination on the front and waited another 15 minutes for the next bus, which had the other destination written

That’s another problem of Paris buses, and one that has only been increasing since they started having driver shortages. Few buses really go to their usual destinations anymore, many of them are half-service (“service partiel”) and stop somewhere along their line or halfway along. You have to get off and wait for the next bus, praying that it will be full-service. Whis it isn’t always. Many times you don’t even expect it, and you’re told you have to get off, “terminus”, when there was no mention of a half-service on the front of the bus.
— The terminus stop is still mentioned on the front, so why is the bus stopping now?
— The half-service is mentioned, Madam.
— No, it isn’t — have a look.
— … Ah. Well then it has changed, Madam.
Happens all the time. Reminds me of New York City subways back in the 1980s, when you were notified that a G train had just become an F while it was running and it was too late to get off at a previous stop when you could still make a connection…

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from using the Paris buses, they (and VTCs) are my only means of transportation in Paris. I never take the metro. In spite of these problems, buses are still one of the best ways to visit and move through Paris.

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RATP app!!! Whooo! Whooo!

Yes, indeed, this is what I meant, said badly. A stop or two (or three even), I could easily walk. My French, not excellent, but good enough to read basic signs, etc. for sure! I prefer buses (when they are going where they say they are going) because I learn how the city is put together better. I am geographically challenged, so riding the Metro, though usually v. efficient, doesn’t tell me anything about where I am.

(And yes, the RATP app is useful, but often not accurate either, I have found. If there’s another one you think more useful, I will certainly love to know and use!)

For tremendous food opportunities, I would stay near r. des Martyrs. Traitteurs, fromageries, boulangeries, patisseries, butcher shops, fish mongers, truffles, wine, a parade of places one after the other. The concentration is stunning.

Agree that trendy SoPi/ rue Martyrs corridor would be good base.

To be fair, I should point out that rue Martyrs is only one of the many market streets in Paris with clusters of baker, butcher, candlestick-maker type shops. Other market streets like rue Daguerre in the 14th/ Montparnasse, rue Lévis near Parc Monceau in the 17th, rue Poncelet near place Ternes in the 17th, rue d’Aligre in the 12th, rue Bretagne in the Haut Marais, etc etc are very similar. I’d be hard pressed to recommend one over the other, other than say that the Aligre quartier has the largest number of shops/ restaurants/ variety/ foodie possibilities and more “buzz”.

Talking about Woohoos, we booked flights for the first week of October. 8 nights.

Wife has the crazy idea of hiring a car at the airport and go straight to Chartres, stay overnight to enjoy the town and illumination. Then next day visit Maintenon castle before returning the car in Paris. Salvaging a little from a bigger spring trip we cancelled… Bordeaux - Cognac - Louire Valley - Chartres - Paris

I’m not too thrilled at the hotel options by Aligre quartier, so will check apartments next. But overall Les Deux Girafes is still in the lead, 20 minutes or so walk from Aligre.

Thanks for the advice


Maybe something to think about, dropping a rental car in Paris can be complicated for those of us who may not be fully versed in the language and culture. Driving inside the Périphérique is difficult.

Our experience has been it is tough to find the parking area to do the drop. Signage is tough to spot in traffic and the rental car “arrows” usually are not much help. The office may be located away from the drop area. Thought the parking area is open, the rental car office may not be off prime shift or during lunch. The agents in the office commonly get tied up trying to explain the rental process to folks trying to pick up a rental car for the first time. Just dropping the keys may leave you exposed to unwanted charges.

We stay in the 14th, so we drop rentals at Orly and taxi in.

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Ended up booking a place near Charonne/Richard Lenoir. 10 minute walk to
D’Aligre Market, rue de Cotte, etc. I know about Virtus, but didnt realize the area is such a food paradise.

Noted regarding the car return. I may consider returning to Orly as well. Since its a Sunday I may not have much choice anyway

Thanks again for the great advice, especially Daniel.

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Sunday morning is a really easy time to drive in Paris – no one is on the streets. I imagine the car rentals at the Gare de Lyon, not far from where you’ll be staying, are open on Sunday morning.

I have to admit that the thread title threw me for a loop.
Add to that the fact that I have spent too much time this year with my youngest niece.
This is what I heard when I read the thread title…
I will show myself to the door.


Also a 10 or so minute walk to where we rented. We walked down to your immediate area several times to drop into Septime La Cave (Septime’s Wine Bar) on Basfroi, basically one long block over from the Charonne/Lenoir intersection. Good place to have a glass of wine (or two).

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Hey Parn, sorry to hijack this old thread but I’m finally trying to focus on our upcoming trip to Paris in May. We have stayed in haut Marais for 4 or 5 years at an apt near Picasso museum, but it seems to have been taken off the rental market since Covid. I decided to do the hotel thing so ended up reserving at Hotel National des Arts et Metiers on Rue Saint Martin. Starting to think I need to scoot closer to the 11th. But I am interested in your casual favorites in the 3rd/11th. We like the restaurant Les Enfants du Marche in the Marches Des Enfants rouge market and usually do a night of small plates at Mary Celeste. Will also check out Parcelles. We need to eat dinner in a location that’s walkable and 11th works for that. Have also enjoyed the Le Servan/Double Dragon duo but have no idea if they are still good. And I always hit up Kunitoraya for lunch one day. Never been to Aux Bons Crus and maybe a good swap out for Bistro Paul Bert (I know, I know everyone dislikes that restaurant on Chowhound/hungry onion boards). Thanks and sorry for the rambling.

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Oops, Macdog aka Annegrace. I almost overlooked your high-jacking.

Let’s hope you are staying at the Hotel National-des-Arts-et-Métiers in late spring or summer… one of my favourite rooftop bars in Paris.

It’s a great location. In just a 10-minute walking radius you can be in the foodie-fab Haut Marais, the original Chinatown centered on rue Volta/rue au Maire, the rather trendy and eclectic Faubourg St Denis, and the rapidly gentrifrying Sentier quartier (sometimes called the “new 11th” by some local bloggers).

Sentier used to be one of the last street-walker bastions in Paris, especially the upper rue Saint-Denis (so much so that my very street-smart sisters used to make detours to avoid it and the unwanted attention that came with the territory) but has been drastically cleaned up in the last 5 years. Some echos remain but hardly intrusive any more. Just so you are prepared.

For restaurants, have a browse of rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth between Arts-et-Métiers and the rue Bretagne/ Haut-Marais. Almost every eating place a winner. My favourite is Istr seafood restaurant and I also like Elmer and l’Oyat. All have a typically Haut Marais clientele of more or less trendy under 40s. Some older tourists could feel out of place but they will be welcomed. If you want a more middle-aged vibe, Au Fils des Saisons (a mix of trad and bistronomie) on rue Fontaine des Temples is probably a better fit but I haven’t been for years.

I am also a big fan of the charming Temple micro-quartier just north of Square du Temple park and centered on rue Dupetit-Thouars: tiny I/O Café new wave coffee and morning pastries; Monbleu le Comptoir, a small combo wine-bar/ fromagerie for an education in French cheese (the same company has a much larger fromagerie/ restaurant on rue Faubourg Montmartre in the 9th in case you want more exploration); Crêperie Gigi on rue Corderie for excellent modern versions of crêpes; L’Ilot, a very enjoyable winebar with mostly seafood small plates, maybe a little cramped and claustrophobic in the winter but a total delight in good weather when tables are set up on the street; Le Barav winebar (with surprisingly good trad daily specials on the menu) on rue C-F Dupuis; and when in the mood for something simple, L’Aller Retour steakhouse on rue C-F Dupuis.

Rue Bretagne, which a food critic at Le Figaro once described as “the new land of plenty”, has become even more foodie-fab since your last visit. Not so much for the restaurants but for the hangout café society and stellar food shops. Verdot charcuterie, Caractère de Cochon charcuterie (on rue Charlot), Jean-Paul Hévin for chocolates/ ice cream (in the summer), Pierre Hermé pâtisserie, Ladurée pâtisserie (without the tourists that seem to flock to the other Ladurée shops); Bontemps pâtisserie/ salon de thé (much recommended and gets a huge “coup de coeur” from me), Joannault cheesemongers, Chez Elo sandwicherie, Chez Alain Miam Miam (on rue Charlot) sandwicherie/ crêperie, Stévenot rotisserie (for excellent roast chicken/ pork/ lamb + sides for takeout for a picnic in the nearby Square du Temple park), and of course the historic covered market Marchés des Enfants Rouges with its mini-restos and deli-like food stands (of which Les Enfants du Marché is the most gastro and certainly the most expensive). For a more conventional restaurant, Les Enfants Rouges on rue de Beauce just next to the market is indeed the best pick for bistronomie/ creative. BTW, for anyone interested in feminist history, the 17th-century intellectual and 17th century women’s rights pioneer Mademoiselle de Scudéry also lived on rue de Beauce. Pause for homage as you leave Les Enfants Rouges.

If fun is on your list, Derrière on rue Gravailliers could be a candidate. Not a restaurant for earnest foodies but I thoroughly enjoy the kitschy junk shop décor (i.e. beds as tables, toilettes as seats, etc) and usually sparkling vibe. An a courtyard shared with Andy ex Andy Wahloo cocktail bar for a before or after.

Back to Sentier, Pantaguel is the belle of the new Sentier scene. I preferred it when it didn’t have a Michelin star and such high prices that go along with the star but it is very much my kind of resto and I waive my self-imposed ceiling of 100€ for a dinner here. And don’t feel guilty because the 6-course tasting menu for dinner is a relative bargain for a starred restaurant. Not sure if the lunch formule (3 courses) is as good a value because it doesn’t really showcase the kitchen’s talent as much and always seems to me a bit rushed (compared to dinner). Frenchie, of course, was the first starred resto in the Sentier and, once a sorta of holy grail for American tourists (thank you, NY Times), but, from passing by it seems much less “ricain” now. I have not eaten here since 2016 or so and can’t really comment on the current cuisine. For less rarified eating, I’m definitely a fan of the very enjoyable Brasserie Dubillot on rue St-Denis, excellent trad brasserie fare, continuous hours, but it does a attract a younger, trendy clientele that could be off-putting for more earnest foodies and older tourists. For a way under-the-radar fave, Edgar on rue Alexandrie… especially in good weather when the delightful terrace is open.

The Faubourg St-Denis quartier just north of Arts-et-Métiers on the other side of the Grands Boulevard can also be off-putting to some tourists unused to vibrant—and messy—urban life. Which of course is not you. The rue Faubourg-St-Denis is a street-food paradise, mostly Turkish/ Kurdish… of note, Urfa Durum (kebab), Mardin Sorba (soup joint) and Daily Syrien (excellent falafel). And there also some very good to excellent— and often very trendy-- French restaurants in the general area (some on the fringes) like Pouliche on rue d’Enghien, the excellent Eels on rue d’Hauteville, Restaurant 52 (my last visit was, however, disappointing) on rue Faubourg St Denis, L’Echiquier on rue de l’Echiquier, and, although I wouldn’t categorize the very trad and predictable cuisine as great, Bouillon Julien for the amazing value and historic décor. It’s not the prettiest neighbourhood in Paris for walking but if you can tolerate the 15- to 20-min walk from your hotel, ChoCho on rue Paradis is a definite winner in my book. For a little change, the pan-Asian Brigade du Tigre on rue Faubourg du Poissonnière (not really in the Faubourg St Denis quartier but close enough) is delightful… but a warning: it’s pan-Asian cuisine cooked by French chefs (a nice change from all these Japanese chefs cooking French) and so will probably not satisfy your masochistic Californian yearning for flavour-overwhelming pain-mistaken-for-pleasure spiciness/ heat.


Oh my goodness what a wonderful collection of suggestions and ideas. Hopefully that rooftop terrace at the hotel will be open May 14-20 when we stay there. That was one of the perks that drew me to picking that hotel. Everything around it sounds interesting and we need to check out the new coffee place. Our usual morning spot was Broken Arm or Boot cafe so will add this to the rotation. I really liked Les Enfant du Marche in the market and we liked the casualness of sitting at the bar especially since only 2 of us this year. These all sound interesting-Crepes Gigi, L’illot Le Barav and Istr (been on my radar for a few years). I think we’ve eaten at the steakhouse once and also went to the very lovely Bouillon Julien on our last visit. Stunning decor ok food. I tried to get into Frenchies years ago, then ended up eating there a couple of years ago surrounded by Americans (I understand I stay and go to touristy spots but I want bit more cultural diversity). Anyway this is a great list and will be referenced when we finally get to Paris. I do love Le Servan (maybe also Double Dragon to satisfy my spicy Californian palate haha) so probably will go back there and do you have any thoughts on Kubri? Or Chez George as a replacement for Bistro Paul Bert? Again your generosity through the years has been much appreciated. So glad we could all migrate over to HO after the Chowhound crash and burn.

Next trick is for the state department to process my expired passport so I can even make this trip. It’s been in limbo for 6 weeks with no sign of movement. Sigh.

Also add that we will definitely go back to Le Mary Celeste and I want to try Parcelles.

Yes, I like it mucho. But only one visit so far and it’s quite new. Not that it has the kick that your “spicy California palate” craves but if you want to add a little more heat (that actually enhances the flavour of food rather than overwhelms it), ask for piment d’Alep/ Aleppo pepper at the table. And you can always stab your hand with the fork for the masochistic sensation/ pleasure similar to the fiery heat that you get from some Mexican food that you Californians eat.

I haven’t been to Chez Georges in years. Last time there it was very old farty, just not my scene. These days, I tend to go to Aux Crus de Bourgogne (or one its siblings in the same group) whenever I have a yen for trad. Much more sparkle.

Hah! Spicy hottest food I’ve ever eaten was Hunan in SF and now, our favorite Indian restaurant in SB brings the heat on a couple of their dishes. Mexican has lots of flavors but I don’t think of it has excessively hot-maybe because as a Californian I’ve been eating it all my life.

I’ll check out Aux Crus de Bourgogne. All I’m really looking for is a filet with creamy peppercorn and frites just like the one I’ve ordered at Bistro Paul Bert over the years. I have managed to duplicate it at our local very chi chi steak house in Montecito, Lucky’s-where you get good food, pay a lot of money and maybe have a star sighting.

Snagged a reservation to Kubri online yesterday. Now back to nagging the state department for my passport…

I was curious about Kubri as well after seeing it on David Lebovitz insta. Looks very good

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