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2nd Arrondisement

Montorgueil

Welcome to the neighborhood Emile Zola called The Belly of Paris. From the 12th century until 1969, Les Halles was the traditional center market of Paris. Food vendors of all kinds sold their wares, brought in fresh every day. The vast market throbbed with housewives, cooks, and thieves. Rippling out from Les Halles is a network of passageways and cobbled streets. Rue Montorgueil and Rue Coquillière twine through Les Halles and around Saint Eustache church. Renowned neo‐bistros and converted hôtels particuliers sprinkle the spider’s web of twisting streets that hide tranquil belle époque era enclosed passageways. Toe the line of places time forgot. Feel the timeworn streets transfused with foie gras‐fueled revelry. Bring your appetite – and a map.

Start at the origin of the species. Les Halles. Exit the Les Halles (line 4) metro station and head towards the Saint Eustache church. Notice the grassy park and L’écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller next to the church. Pop inside to see the silver statue by Keith Haring commemorating the AIDS epidemic. Eglise Saint‐ Eustache was the site of notable baptisms, including those of Madame du Pompadour, Molière, and Richelieu, also the funeral of Mozart’s mother. From the Eglise Saint‐Eustache, turn towards the bustling corner cafés. Take the second left onto Rue Montorgueil. Arguably one of the most treasured streets in Paris, Rue Montorgueil has kept the rebellious spirit Les Halles had in its heyday. Cheese mongers, bakeries, and cavistes (vintners) campaign shoulder‐to‐shoulder along the street. Some of the best restaurants in the city buy their ingredients from proprietors on the Rue Montorgueil. The baking general store G. Detou on Rue Tiquetonne, just off Montorgueil, is a play on words meaning “I have everything”. Overstocked syrups, spices, and tins of bulk goods are the keys to any baker’s heart. Head up Rue Montorgueil and watch the hubbub from the café Au Rocher du Cancale, from the circa1800 stone terrace.

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Continue up Rue Montorgueil and turn on to Rue Leopold Bellan. For a unique art experience, take a right onto Rue Montmartre from Rue Leopold Bellan, then left onto Rue du Mail. The gallery 12Mail is curated by the editors of a tattoo magazine and housed in a huge renovated hôtel particulier. No doubt, counter‐culture is in the air.

Time to explore one of the most beautiful passageways in Paris!

Take the Rue du Mail until it turns into Rue des Petits Pères. Follow the street a few meters when it becomes Rue des Petits Champs. The entrance to the Galerie Vivienne is on the right side of the street. The galerie opened in 1823 and it is entirely renovated and luminous. Under the glass ceilings of the passageway is A Priori Thé. The charming tea salon is the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch or tea, with homemade dessert bien sûr. Look around, you might be sitting next to a famous journalist or fashion designer. Turn and exit the passageway through the Galerie Colbert, turning left onto Rue Etienne Marcel (you’ll be walking against the flow of traffic).

The horseman in the majestic Place des Victoires celebrates King Louis XIV’s military conquests. Continue across the roundabout to the Rue Etienne Marcel. Walk along Rue Etienne Marcel until Rue Montmartre and turn right. Tah‐dah! You’ve now entered foie gras heaven!

On the corner of Rue Etienne Marcel and Rue Montmartre are the culinary playgrounds La Bovida and the Comptoir de la Gastronomie. Find every kind of truffle, foie gras, duck, pig, or goose delicacy imaginable. Ask the salesgirl to disguise purchases as gifts to bring foie gras and pâté overseas.

Wandering down Rue Montmartre, turn right onto Rue du Jour. Two standout boutiques on this street are Le Mont St. Michel and Agnès b. Both have been churning out premium knitwear in classic cuts for decades.

Dinner in the 2nd arrondissement can swing towards neo‐gastronomy or classic brasserie turn‐and‐burn. Interested in a real brasserie experience? Continue down Rue du Jour to Rue Coquillière. There is no mistaking the red awning and plastic pig décor of Au Pied de Cochon. The restaurant serves classics, including their famous onion soup (soupe à l’oignon gratinée) twenty‐four hours a day, seven days a week. Rub shoulders with a plumber or famous comic, under immaculate chandeliers and red leather banquettes.

There is a neo‐gastronomy craze running loose in Paris these days. The establishment taking the medal for successfully balanced French tradition, respect for fresh ingredients and a minimal Japanese accent, is Passage 53. It also wins for best interpretive art‐deco décor.

Are you feeling lucky? Frenchie has racked up awards since it opened in 2009 and is still the bistro on everybody’s lips. Scoring a reservation is just shy of a miracle but worth the wait (book 5‐6 weeks in advance). Their wine bar across the road offers a more casual option if they’re booked out.

The 2nd’s nightlife is as varied as the dining scene.

Sip an apéritif at the scruffy Le Café on Rue Tiquetonne. Head to Le Pin Up bar further down Rue Tiquetonne for the second round. After the third or fourth round of drinks, cross the neighborhood to ancient bistro Le Tambour for midnight munchies à la parisienne.

Carousing not your cup of tea? One of Paris’ best jazz clubs is Sunset Sunside on the Rue des Lombards. Among the best musicians in the business play at the railroad‐style jazz joint. Entranced crowds cram the tiny club. Advance tickets are recommended.

The bottom line: the 2nd is decadent, traditional, and sometimes downright sinful. Exactly like the best French éclair.

RESTAURANTS

Le Tambour
41 Rue Montmartre
Ph. 01 42 33 06 90
Hours 7/7 7:30am‐6am
Metro: Sentier (3)

A forever‐young bistro in the Belly of Paris, where the nubile have been meeting for after‐party grub, under ancient exposed beams.

Passage 53
53 Passage des Panoramas
Ph. 01 42 33 04 35
Hours M‐Sat lunch, dinner
Metro: Grands Boulevards (8,9)

Wins best interpretive art‐deco interior. Also among the best neo-gastronomy spots in town, with French‐Japanese flair.

Frenchie
5 Rue de Nil (Wine Bar 6 Rue de Nil)
Ph. 01 40 39 96 19 (call between 3-7pm)
Hours M-F from 7.30pm (Wine Bar 7-11pm)
Metro: Sentier (3)

How many awards can a bistro win? Gregory Marchand’s Frenchie has proven its staying power since opening in 2009, scoring a reservation is still just shy of a miracle. Frenchie Wine Bar has opened across the road offering a more informal, no reservations option.

A Priori Thé
35 Galerie Vivienne
Ph. 01 42 97 48 75
Hours 7/7 lunch, brunch, dinner, tea 12-6pm
Metro: Bourse (3)

Au Pied de Cochon
6 Rue Coquillière
Ph. 01 40 13 77 00
Hours 24/7/365
Metro: Les Halles (4)

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Rub shoulders with a plumber or famous comic, under immaculate chandeliers and red leather banquettes. The onion soup is a must.

Legrand Fille et Fils
1 Rue de la Banque
Ph. 01 42 60 07 12
Hours M 11am-7pm T‐Sat 10am‐7.30pm Sun 10am-7pm
Metro: Bourse (3)

Le Café
62 Rue Tiquetonne
Ph. 01 40 39 08 00
Hours M‐Sat 10am‐2am
Metro: Etienne Marcel (4)

Scruffy café where hipsters meet for cocktails to open a night out.

Au Rocher du Cancale
78 Rue Montorgueil
Ph. 01 42 33 50 29
Hours 7/7 8am‐2am
Metro: Sentier (3)

Le Pin Up
13 Rue Tiquetonne
Ph. 01 42 33 04 86
Hours M‐Th 5:30pm‐2am, F‐Sat 5:30pm‐4am
Metro: Etienne Marcel (4)

SHOPPING

Le Mont St. Michel
29 rue du Jour
Ph. 01 53 40 80 44
Hours T‐Sat 10.30am-2pm/3pm-7pm
Metro: Les Halles (4)

Knitwear and more since 1913.

Agnès b.
2, 3, 6 & 19 rue du Jour
Ph. 01 42 33 04 13
Hours M‐Sat 10am‐7pm
Metro: Les Halles (4)

Gas Bijoux
44 rue Etienne Marcel
Ph. 01 45 08 49 46
Hours T‐Sat 10am‐6pm
Metro: Sentier (3)

Whimsical necklaces, charm bracelets, and other trinkets.

E. Dehillerin
18 Rue Coquillière
Ph. 01 42 36 53 11
Hours M 9am‐12.30pm/2-6pm T-Sat 9am-6pm
Metro: Les Halles (4)

Julia Child’s favorite supplier of cooking wares. Not fancy, only legendary.

G. Detou
58 Rue Tiquetonne
Ph. 01 42 36 54 67
Hours M‐Sat 8.30am‐6.30pm
Metro: Etienne Marcel (4)

Baking goods wholesaler open to the public.

Comptoir de la Gastronomie
34 Rue Montmartre
Ph. 01 42 33 31 32
Hours M‐Sat 6am‐8pm
Metro: Les Halles (4)

Foie‐gras galore. Sure to put a smile on your face and girth to your waist.

CULTURE

Galerie Vivienne
5 Rue de la Banque
Hours M‐Sat
Metro: Bourse (3)

First opened in 1823 and now entirely renovated and luminous, this passageway is a perfect example of a happy blend of contemporary chic and retro style.

Rue Montorgueil
Metro: Etienne Marcel (4)

The culinary Land of Oz.

Sunset Sunside
60 Rue des Lombards
Ph. 01 40 26 46 60
Metro: Chatelet (1,4,7,11,14)
Hours based on performance schedule

Railroad‐style jazz joint. Among the best in the business play at Sunset Sunside. Entranced crowds cram the tiny club. Advance tickets recommended!

Forum des Images
Forum des Halles / 2 Rue du Cinéma
Ph. 01 44 76 63 00
Hours Tues‐F 1‐10pm, Sat‐Sun 2‐10pm
Metro: Les Halles (4)

Watch or rent movies of all kinds in the state sponsored movie library and film center, hidden in the depths of Les Halles.

12Mail
12 Rue du Mail
Hours W‐F 2‐6pm
Metro: Sentier (4)

Trés cool art gallery in a revamped manse. Check the website www.12mail.fr for art openings.

Eglise Saint-Eustache
2 impasse Saint‐Eustache
Ph. 01 42 36 31 05
Hours M-Sat 9am‐7pm; Sun 8.15am-12.30pm/2.30-7pm
Metro: Les Halles (4)

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