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.
Du Pain et des Idées
34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Just when you’d think Paris isn’t in need of another bakery around the corner, lines outside of Du Pain et des Idées continue to elongate. It might be a nuisance for locals, especially for those in a hurry for a simple baguette (like me, since I practically live above the bakery.) But the boulangerie IS that authentic, don’t miss the famous escargot pistachio, and the rustic bread pain des amis is a definite Parisian fave. Nonetheless, it’s nice to know that a hashtag hub hasn’t waned in quality due to its unceasing popularity.
Les Enfants Perdus
9 Rue des Récollets, 75010 Paris, France
Named after Peter Pan’s “The Lost Boys,” Les Enfants Perdus continuously produces beautiful plates of bistro best. You’ll find traditional French regulars on the carte: foie gras de canard, les escargots, le tartare de boeuf, mix plate of cheese, la crème brûlée…just to name a few. The Sunday brunch menu is also a delight: fresh squeezed juices, egg soufflés, and lots more. The wine selection is also natural-focused, if you like what you drink, head across the street for a little wine cave under the same ownership. I highly recommend bringing home bottles of local wine from here.
43 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France
Tapas in Paris has taken on a whole new meaning than what you’d expect in Spain. If you look at popular restaurants like Le Dauphin, it’s clear that Parisians love a chic place to hang out where small plates are exceedingly well prepared, and the wine cave is completely natural. Most of the menu is inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian influences, therefore seafood plates are all the rage. Vivant is a highly popular spot especially among local foodies, so making a reservation a few days ahead of time is needed.
9 Rue des Récollets, 75010 Paris, France
The menu at Kasha changes every season, so you’ll always be trying new and exciting recipes. Chef Alexis Bigaoui creates inventive crêpes and focuses on local products. His signature is the savory galettes, but if you’re in the mood for something sugary, sweet crêpes are hard to deny. We recommend the burrata galette with its delicious ball of cow milk cheese and pesto, or the artichoke galette, with (you guessed it) artichoke cream and a runny egg. If you still have room and crave a little something extra, the crêpe cake is a must with beautifully defined layers and sprinkling of roasted hazelnuts.
Le Petit Cambodge
20 Rue Alibert, 75010 Paris, France
Since Cambodia was integrated into the French Indochina union in 1887, one can discover authentic Cambodian cuisine in Paris today. Check out Le Petit Cambodge, it’s one of my favorite local spots for a delicious bowl of bo bun – rice noodle salad with grilled pork, beef or shrimp. The secret to Le Petit Cambodge’s success is the chunky spring rolls that are perfectly fresh or fried, and the secret aromatic fish sauce which tastes both perfectly sweet and sour.
52 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris, France
Restaurant 52 is a contemporary brasserie beloved by locals in the area casually enjoying breakfast, lunch, dinner or just for a cup of coffee with an open laptop. I was introduced to this great spot by a friend who used to live around the corner, the menu is seasonal as it changes every month. You can discover fantastic meat dishes, always accompanied by fresh and organic vegetables.
Hot tip! Get the signature tartare.
16-18 Rue du Château d'Eau, 75010 Paris, France
I came to this restaurant once with a friend who was a regular, so a few of us took over the bar area and ordered several plates to share. Les Résistants is a romantic hotspot with dimmed lights that boast 10ème’s original bohemian spirit. The menu features farm-to-table items and shoutouts to different farms each compositions of the dish derive from. Three starters, three main course, three desserts to choose from. I had the ceviche with a fabulous wine, and it was divine.
Le 17.45 République
7 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris, France
“Chez nous, le gras c’est la vie” means “here, fat is life.” Isn’t that simply glorious? Let’s celebrate fat! YES! Coming to Paris requires a downright meal all about charcuterie. If you don’t opt for a whole bunch of cold cuts at the market to picnic by the canal, then stop by Le 17.45 République where you’ll indulge in a glorious board meant to be shared with your crew. To order, mark on a piece of paper to compose your customized version of meats and cheeses. There are several 17.45 locations throughout Paris.
51 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris, France
In midst of a crowded cocktail bar scene in Paris, Le Syndicat distinguishes itself as the first bar to use French ingredients in order to truly sustain local flavors. It’s clear the staff has enormous fun with their splendid innovations, reflecting upon the time when the team created 15 drinks paying tribute to famous Paris landmarks. Just in case if you were ever curious about the tastes of Le Louvre, Moulin Rouge, or Eiffel Tower. Le Syndicat is located in an up-and-coming part of the 10ème arrondissement, its urban setting is what makes you feel even more like a local.
30 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris, France
When Lavomatic first opened, it was an instant hit. Lines outside the laundromat next to Place de la République might’ve appeared obscure, but once you discover the secret doorway…magic materializes in the most unexpected manner. This uber cool cocktail bar appears to be someone’s apartment, now embellished with cozy sofas, swing chairs, and a black balcony for smokers yearning for a break. The cocktails are delectable, try a mean Old Fashioned or a fruity / tiki option straight from the menu. Come here and you’ll encounter the best “wow” moment of the night!
Hot tip! If the line is too long, then head over to Lavomatic’s sister bar, L’Épicier. It’s another speakeasy where you need to find the entrance of the bar behind a shelf of canned goods.
Hôtel Grand Amour
18 Rue de la Fidélité, 75010 Paris, France
If you’re looking for a place for both dinner and drinks, this is a great choice. Another love child of hotelier Thierry Costes and artist André, Hôtel Amour (in Pigalle) opened to a massively posh following that a sister establishment was quickly in the works. Hôtel Grand Amour is one of the IT places to see and be seen in Paris. There are multiple rooms for dining, drinking, and mingling, adorned with Helmut Newton and other rare vintage pieces. Smokers will love the open ceiling terrace where Fashion Week crowds sit for hours while pouring fabulous bottles of Bordeaux.
44 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris, France
Hailed as one of the World’s Best Bars, Gravity’s charm resides in its anonymity. Hidden in an obscure Parisian alley near Gare de l’Est, this cocktail bar oozes hip and sass all in one glass of beautifully made aperitif. For such an intimate space, the dramatic interior is realized by layers of striking wooden arches. Cocktails are equally climactic, some topped with homemade celery syrup or fennel seeds. Unusual, imaginative, and utterly luscious. The crowd is made up of locals, just as cool as the neighborhood, just as artistic as the bar.
Maison de l'Architecture, 148 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 75010 Paris, France
An old convent’s makeover altered this gorgeous space into the perfect place for a Sunday brunch under the sun. Café A has an outdoor bar with hammocks and picnic tables that locals love to enjoy with a mojito while people watch. There’s also a swanky indoor space where the café holds various events with live DJs. During the day, don’t be surprised if you see quite a few creatives working on their laptops. Once happy hour hits, this terrace becomes a buzzworthy spot to kick off the night.
Thanx God I’m a VIP
12 Rue de Lancry, 75010 Paris, France
Rue de Lancry is a not only dotted with amazing restaurants, but you can also discover fantastic vintage shops, such as: Thanx God I’m a VIP, draped with luxury labels including: Chanel, Fendi, Burberry…and many more. Le Marais is typically where I go to vintage shop in Paris, but I also love my own neighborhood for rare finds that may cost a bit more but will last for a lifetime.