Blessed are they who live in the 9th or 18th arrondissements of Paris, for they get to do their everyday shopping on the Rue des Martyrs. This old road climbing steeply towards Montmartre is one of our favourite walks in Paris, with some enviable neighbourhood bistrots and bars, and always something new, especially for food lovers.
We asked master pâtissier Sébastien Gaudard, who recently opened a new boutique at number 22 rue des Martyrs, to share a few local tips with us, to top up our own address book. He recommends Le Miroir, a contemporary bistrot near the top of the street, at number 94, for its market-based menus and charming welcome; and the ‘incontournable’ chocolatier A l’Etoile d’Or at 30 rue Pierre-Fontaine, for top-drawer French chocolates and confectionery. His flower shop of choice is Navellou Fleurs, at 49 rue Condorcet, for its exceptionally beautiful selection. Finally, Sébastien’s top tip for a quality food store is Causses at 55 rue Notre-Dame de Lorette, great for sandwiches and soups, and all sorts of sweet and savoury treats to bring home.
Our top five to check out:
3 rue Victor Massé, Paris 9ème (+33 (0)1 48 78 55 60; www.lepantruche.com)
Not too trendy, not too trad, a neighbourhood gem in an old art deco bar, where a young team turn out good French food, including oysters, foie gras and incontournable Grand Marnier soufflé.
Le Cul de Poule
53 rue des Martyrs, Paris 9ème (+33 (0)1 53 16 13 07)
The midi formules at this unassuming yet buzzy bistrot are a steal, and chef Daniel, of Corsican/Venezuela background, has a light, inventive touch. The Tapiocarambar pudding is a minor legend.
67 rue des Martyrs, Paris 9ème (+33 (0)1 48 78 90 47)
Gilberte de Poncheville (Gil) opened this superb bookshop in 1978, and only opens her doors at noon.
Kooka Boora Cafe shop
62 rue des Martyrs, Paris 9ème (+33 (0)1 56 92 12 41)
The French owner of this laidback café on the corner with Avenue Trudaine spent time in Oz learning the secrets of the flat white, so you can count on a good coffee here. Lots of laptops, mag-flicking, chat, and fine home-made cheesecake.
16 rue la Vieuville, Paris 18ème (+33 (0)1 42 23 41 40; www.spree.fr)
Arty, hip and always friendly, this brilliantly curated boutique does fashion (Acne, APC, Comme, Isabel Marant), art and design.