For years, the Marais, which extends from the very edge of the hipster-chic 11th arrondissement down to the Seine, has held sway among, well, everyone. The “it” neighborhood still reigns, but the action has migrated to its once sleepy northern tip. Here, discover six great places where the locals eat, drink, and shop in the Upper or Haut Marais.
1. Wild & the Moon Bar
Where to find gluten-free pastries in Paris
Up until very recently, the gluten-intolerant traveler was faced with a challenge when it came to dining out in Paris. A gluten-free boom has made the city far more accommodating, and has paved the way for a slew of bakeries, restaurants, and canteens that offer delicious alternatives. Wild & the Moon is the most recent addition to the neighborhood and offers healthful snacks, soups, crackers (made from vegetable pulp), smoothies and cold-pressed juices that are also dairy and egg-free. (55 Rue Charlot; wildandthemoon.fr)
2. Papier Tigre
Design-forward paper goods
In only three years, the Parisian stationery and paper goods brand Papier Tigre (Paper Tiger) has become the reference in design-forward communication and organization that’s big on color and form. From origami-style wall-organizers and mail holders to calendars, notebooks and cards, this 3rd arrondissement boutique offers products that blend Parisian printing techniques and a graphic, Japanese aesthetic to beautiful effect. For a unique gift that can be worn, pick up one of the hand-embroidered tiger broaches made in collaboration with popular accessories designers, Macon & Lesquoy. (5 Rue des Filles du Calvaire; papiertigre.fr)
3. Bontemps Pâtisserie
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Bontemps Pâtisserie may have a name inspired by the fictional Louisiana town from the vampire series True Blood, but this retro-chic bakery is French through and through. The pâtisserie offers a refreshing twist on the signature French sable, a classic shortbread cookie, by using seasonal fillings (wild strawberry, passion fruit, blood orange). Don’t miss the larger tartes, from pecan to apple, which use the same light and crumbly shortbread crust. Take a box of minis to the Square du Temple across the street for an al fresco goûter. (57 Rue de Bretagne; facebook.com/bontempspatisserie/)
4. Boot Café
Paris’s most Instagrammable coffee shop
Tucked into a former cobbler’s workshop, Boot Café is making a determined bid to be the city’s tiniest (and most Instagrammable) specialty coffee bar. In a robin’s-egg-blue storefront, the café pours lattes made with beans from the highly regarded Parisian roaster Belleville Brûlerie and foreign roasters such as Five Elephant in Berlin. It’s a tight squeeze but worth a visit for bagels, cakes, and expertly pulled shots. (19 Rue du Pont aux Choux; facebook.com/bootcafe
5. Maison Plisson
One-stop picnic shopping in Paris
Maison Plisson is the neighborhood’s answer to the lavish food halls at Selfridge’s in London, with 500 square meters of artisanal baked goods; top quality meats, cheeses, and produce; and a café menu overseen by one of the city’s top chefs. Come to pick up products you won’t find elsewhere in Paris and stick around for a coffee and a pastry. You’ll have plenty to choose from: All baked goods are made by baker Benoît Castel at his shop Liberté. Stock up on provisions and have a decadent picnic at the nearby Square du Temple garden. (93 Boulevard Beaumarchais; lamaisonplisson.com)
6. Le Carreau du Temple
Where Parisians go to mingle
The Carreau du Temple is a one-time market built in 1863 that was saved from becoming a parking garage by locals and revived as a cultural center, playing host to food events, fashion shows, workshops, craft markets and fitness classes. (Look out for Gym Suédoise, a low-impact workout that’s converted Parisians to exercise.) Each autumn, you can count on the Street Food Temple street food festival to take over the entire space, commanding a crowd for a broad sampling of the city’s best names in casual, gourmet bites. (2 Rue Perrée; carreaudutemple.eu)
>>Next: Plan your trip with AFAR’s Travel Guide to Paris
Lindsey Tramuta Lindsey Tramuta is a Paris-based culture and travel journalist and the author of The New Paris and The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris.