Recommendations from a local who’s lived in Montmartre for decades.
Montmartre will always have a very special place in my heart. It’s where I spent my first year living in Paris, during a time when I didn’t know any locals so the days were enjoyed completely on my own. I got to know Montmartre very well, to the point where I felt like the district was my best friend. I would walk around it, drink wines with it, write in its cafes and take its memorable pictures.
When I first landed, I didn’t know how charming or well-known Montmartre was. I didn’t realize that Van Gogh spent most of his days painting windmills located behind my apartment. I didn’t know that the 2001 movie Amélie was filmed in a cafe around the corner, and I certainly didn’t discover until later that I had the entire view of Paris right at my fingertips, on the steps of La Basilique du Sacré Cœur!
During my first week in Paris, I would go to Café des 2 Moulins (the Amelie café) to use Wi-Fi. One day, an older man approached me and asked if I could tutor him in Mandarin since he was an artist about to embark on a journey in Shanghai. Gottfried (see photo, left) was his name, and he quickly took me in. Our lessons were in a beautiful mansion in Montmartre. After each session, I would meet his wife or we would walk around the neighborhood where he showed me the best cafes, bars and restaurants.
Today’s Montmartre is not only filled with tourists, it’s also one of the richest districts in Paris. It’s quaint and charming, embellished with alleys upon gorgeous hills. Big chains and name brand boutiques have recently plastered themselves on top of cobblestones that used to shelter the poorest of the poor in Paris. When you visit the city, your trip isn’t complete without a stop in this lovely district.
A few months ago, I was cleaning out the inner pockets of my handbag and discovered a list of delicious restaurants recommended by Gottfried’s wife back in 2007. All of these establishments are still excellent dining options to this day, so I’m sharing them with you! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did and still do.
1. La Mascotte – For the best oysters in the area.
52 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris (Metro: Abbesses)
2. This ain’t for touristy kids, Café Burq caters to true Parisian palates.
6 Rue Burq, 75018 Paris (Metro: Abbesses)
3. Head to La Table d’Eugène for the best ravioli of Bresse chicken with foie gras.
18 rue Eugène Sue 75018 Paris (Metro: Marcadet – Poissonniers)
4. CLOSED – À la Pomponnette has history (used to be a hospital for the poor) and serves the best mille-feuille dessert!
42 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris (Metro: Blanche)
5. La Pizzetta – Get ready for tasty thin crusts with prosciutto, arugula, olives and fresh buffalo mozzarella.
22 Avenue Trudaine, 75009 Paris (Metro: Anvers)