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15th Arrondisement

La Motte-Picquet-Grenelle

Without exaggeration the 15th arrondissement is a no man’s land. Situated on the Rive Gauche between the Gare Montparnasse and the Seine to the west, the 15th does not boast historical monuments or sprawling parks. Some call the 15th meditative. Some call it…dull. Yet many supplicants kowtow to the 15th as a gastronomic Babylon.

That’s right. In spite of its sedentary reputation, the oversized black sheep of the arrondissements is the cradle of some of the best dining in Paris. No joke. First things first. Begin from the metro station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. Follow the Rue du Départ or the Rue de l’Arrivée behind the complex towards the Tour Montparnasse. You can’t miss it. The Tour Montparnasse is the tallest building in Paris. Take the elevator up to the roof and bask in a marvellous panoramic 360° view of Paris. The entrance fee of 13.50 euro is a steal compared to the head‐spinning crowds by the Eiffel Tower.

Close to the Tour Montparnasse are three excellent cultural centers. The Musée Jean Moulin is dedicated to the Liberation of Paris in World War II. The museum is comprehensive and well loved by Parisians, many of whom can still recall the Occupation. The Musée Jean Moulin is located underneath the Gare Montparnasse.

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The 15th has many poignant reminders of the French struggle during WWII. The large square in front of the Gare Montparnasse is named Place 18 Juin 1940 in commemoration of General de Gaulle’s call to the French to resist the German occupation. The General’s speech was the beginning of the French Resistance. The contemporary art gallery Galerie Esther Woerdehoff on Rue Falguière housed the underground printer of the French Resistance during WWII. It is located in the same historical atelier as Camille Claudel and Brancusi. To find the gallery, follow the Boulevard de Vaugirard south until the Boulevard Pasteur and turn right. Turn right again on the Rue Falguière. Galerie Esther Woerdehoff is on the right, next to the Centre Commercial Vaugirard.

Make your way north to the Musée Bourdelle. Antoine Bourdelle was a student of Auguste Rodin. The museum exhibits his own work and his private sculpture collection including original plaster casts of works by Eugène Carrière, Eugène Delacroix, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, and his mentor Rodin. Follow the Rue Falguière north until the Rue Antoine Bourdelle and turn right.

Feeling peckish after a culturally saturated morning? The oyster restaurant La Cabane à Huitres is a little hole in the wall on Rue Antoine Bourdelle. Cosily under the radar, the bistro is a family‐style and family‐owned huiterie with all the comforts of home (if you were raised on an oyster farm).

Pick up sweet treats to go at the home of croissant‐eur extraordinaire Pierre Hermé (on the Rue de Vaugirard next to metro Pasteur).

Trek out to La Cave de l’Os à Moélle for something very special. A ready‐made picnic basket, complete with terrines, crudités, dessert and even wine from the cave. Cost is around 22 euro per person, plus a deposit on the basket. Pick up a picnic to take to the nearby Parc George Brassens or Champs de Mars!

On a drab gray Parisian afternoon look no further for lunch than Le Café du Commerce. A vast, bustling traditional brasserie, Le Café du Commerce is among the most beautiful Parisian canteens. Three stories tall, brimming with greenery and ferns, the Commerce is an experience in itself.

Ramble towards the Seine and walk up the Quai du Grenelle until the Boulevard de Grenelle intersects with the Quai. Bending towards the right is the Place Kyoto and the diamanté Maison de la culture du Japon. The Japanese cultural center of Paris holds arts exhibits, screens films, and also has an authentic rooftop tea pavilion with regular tea ceremonies.

You are a lucky son of a gun. Know why? It’s supper time.

From bistros to food wizardry, the 15th has it all. The same L’Os à Moélle is a no‐fail bistro, where the waiters speak English and the food is still good. Le Beurre Noisette’s chef Thierry Blanqui has a lot to be proud of in the gastro‐bistro’s flawless presentation, innovative menu, and intimate atmosphere for under 50 euro. Bring on the swank at loungey L’Atelier du Parc near metro Porte de Versailles. Who knew a place with purple lighting could serve such elegant food? The leader of the pack is Jadis. Anointed “the Best” by both Le Figaro and Le Fooding.com, the snazzy bistro makes miraculous dishes based on classic prime cuts and succulent offal.

History, art, culture, and fine‐dining. All in all, pas mal for a far flung neighborhood in southwest Paris. A combination of prime ingredients for a decidedly not‐boring afternoon.

RESTAURANTS

Le Café du Commerce
51 Rue du Commerce
Ph. 01 45 75 03 27
Hours 7/7 12pm–3pm, 7pm–12am
Metro: Commerce (8)

Jadis
208 Rue de la Croix‐Nivert
Ph. 01 45 57 73 20
Hours Mon‐Fri 12.15-2pm, 7.15-10pm
Metro: Convention (12)

L’Atelier du Parc
35 Boulevard Lefèbvre
Ph. 01 42 50 68 85
Hours Tues‐Sat 12-2.30pm, 7.30-10.30pm
Metro: Convention

Trendy bar‐restaurant on the Place de la Convention

La Cabane à Huitres
4 Rue Antoine Bourdelle
Ph. 01 45 49 47 27
Hours W‐Sat 12.15‐2.15pm, 7‐10.15pm
Metro: Falguière (12)

Cozily under the radar, a family style, family owned huiterie with all the comforts of home (if you were raised on an oyster farm).

Le Beurre Noisette
68 Rue Vasco de Gama
Ph. 01 48 56 82 49
Hours Tues‐Sat 12-2.15pm, 7-11pm
Metro: Lourmel (8)

SHOPPING

Beau et Bon
81 Rue Lecourbe
Ph. 01 43 06 06 53
Hours T‐Sat 10.30am‐1pm, 3pm‐7:30pm, Sun 10.30am-1pm
Metro: Volontaires (12)

Each item on the shelves of Beau et Bon is made by artisans, and most are edible!

Beauté d’Orient
74‐78 Rue Mademoiselle
Ph. 01 43 06 40 28
Hours M‐S 10.30am‐7.30pm, Thur until 9pm
Metro: Volontaires (12)

Hammam it up with the full spa treatment. Reservations required.

Fromagerie Laurent Dubois
2 Rue de Lourmel
Ph. 01 45 78 70 58
Hours T‐Fri 9am‐1pm, 4‐7:45pm, Sat 8.30am‐7:45pm, Sun 9am‐1pm
Metro: Dupleix (6)

Called the best fromagerie in Paris by those who know cheese.

La Cave de l’Os à Moélle
181 Rue de Lourmel
Ph. 01 45 57 28 28
Hours Tues‐Sat 12-3pm, 7-11pm, Sun 12pm‐4pm
Metro: Lourmel (8)

Grab a ready‐made picnic basket, complete with terrines, crudités, dessert and even wine from the cave. Cost is around 22 euros per person, plus a deposit on the basket. Pick up a picnic for the nearby Parc George Brassens or Champs de Mars!

Mon Bon Chien
12 Rue Mademoiselle
Ph. 01 48 28 40 12
Hours T‐Sat 11am‐7pm
Metro: Commerce (8)

For the dogs. Literally.

Pierre Hermé
185 Rue Vaugirard
Ph. 01 47 83 89 97
Hours M‐Thu 10am‐7pm, Fri‐Sat 10am‐8pm, Sun 9am‐5pm
Metro: Pasteur (6,12)

Croissanteur extraordinaire.

CULTURE

Musée Bourdelle
18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle
Ph. 01 49 54 73 73
Hours Tues‐Sun 10am‐6pm
Metro: Montparnasse ‐ Bienvenüe (13, 12, 4, 6)

Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
36 Rue Falguière
Ph. 09 51 51 24 50
Hours Tues‐Sat 2‐6pm
Metro: Falguière (12)

Located in the same historical atelier as Camille Claudel and Brancusi. In WWII it housed the underground printer of the French Resistance.

Maison de la culture du Japon
101 bis Quai Branly
Ph. 01 44 37 95 01
Hours T‐Sat 12pm‐7pm (Thurs until 8pm)
Metro: Bir‐Hakeim (6)

Musée Jean Moulin Memorial to the Liberation of Paris
23, Allée de la 2e DB, Jardin Atlantique, under the Montparnasse train station
Ph. 01 40 64 39 44
Hours Tues‐Sun 10am‐6pm
Metro: Montparnasse ‐ Bienvenüe (13, 12, 4, 6)

Musée Pasteur
25 Rue du Docteur Roux
Ph. 01 45 68 82 82
Hours M‐F Visits at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm (no reservation needed)
Metro: Volontaires (12)

Weekend scientists will get a kick out of Doctor Louis Pasteur’s laboratory, including photos of his odd experiments for anti‐venom with bushels of serpents.

Tour Montparnasse
Between the Rue du Depart and the Rue de l’Arrivée
Ph. 01 45 38 52 56
Hours: April 1–September 30, 9.30am‐11.30pm; October 1‐March 31, 9.30am‐10.30pm, Fri and Sat until 11pm
Metro: Montparnasse ‐ Bienvenüe (13, 12, 4, 6)

Magnificent panoramic 360° view of Paris. Entrance fee of 13.50 euros.

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