Canal St. Martin is probably one of the coolest areas in all of Paris, by transforming from Iranian textiles shops to artisanal bars and restaurants. Today, it is made for traveling foodies and trendsetters.
As the center of bohemia and hip restaurants, the area surrounding Canal St. Martain has evolved from up-and-coming to the IT Parisian neighborhood. I may be biased since I’ve called the 10ème arrondissement my home for the last eight years, witnessing it transcend from a hidden gem into an international favorite has been similar to exposing my own treasure trove to the entire world.
But, if you’re arriving to Paris via train, you’ll most likely exit at either Gare du Nord or Gare de l’Est. Since both are situated in the heart of the 10ème arrondissement, I’d highly recommend the quintessential must-do’s listed below. Not only are they straight from my personal little black book, you’ll be one of the coolest travelers to NOT fill an itinerary confined to a boring, typical checklist.
This area is also known for an eclectic array of bars and restaurants, click here for my complete food guide near Canal St. Martin. Otherwise, welcome to my humble abode!
Canal St. Martin
Quai de Valmy
Tucked between Rue du Faubourg du Temple and Place de la Bastille is Canal St. Martin. If you’ve seen the 2001 film, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (translation: The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain,) then you’ll recognize the famous canal where she stone skips. The canal was built in 1825 intended for transporting drinking water to Paris. Today, it is where the cool kids hang out. When the city becomes sunny, many restaurants and bars along the canal open their terraces for day drinking by the rustic chic green bridges.
Hot tip! Don’t fall into the canal, my friend was jokingly pushed into it. Four showers couldn’t wash away the stink.
Les Douches La Galerie
5 Rue Legouvé, 75010 Paris, France
What used to be a public bathhouse is now an off the beaten path photography gallery which exhibits both contemporary and historical photographers. Les Douches La Galerie features artists that daringly cross limits through the artistic use of the medium. By working with both private collectors and museums, Les Douches La Galerie exhibits 2,500 extraordinary photographs. It’s a great place to be inspired without the touristic fuss.
7-9 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France
Opened in 1981, New Morning is one of the most legendary jazz clubs in Paris. Many iconic jazz and blues musicians have performed here, including: Taj Mahal, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, George Russell…and many more. Jazz has a profound influence in the city of Paris, so booking a show while you’re in town is a complete must! It’s one of my absolute favorite things to do.
Le Verre Volé
67 Rue de Lancry, 75010 Paris, France
If there’s only ONE restaurant that I believe every traveler should experience in Paris, it would have to be Le Verre Volé (translation: the stolen glass.) It’s not only a local favorite which focuses on modern French cuisine with a heavier emphasis on seafood, its wine collection is often hailed by restauranteurs and natural wine connoisseurs. As often as you’ll find me there, my taste buds are never bored thanks to an ever-changing menu. In addition, the entire cave is filled with natural wines – a progressive movement that France is very much leading. This small restaurant is always packed, so be sure to make a reservation. If you need to wait for a table, do it across the street at a local bar, La Patache and say hi to Rilette, the gentle cat.
Hot tip! Get the ceviche, it’s always mouthwateringly fresh, drenched in citrus juices. I also love a nice pork chop if it’s on the menu. The yellowtail is a feast all on its own, it comes in whole covered by an ultra flavorful fish skin. Order extra bottles of wine for your suitcase.