Travelling is a big passion of mine and Paris is one of my all-time favourite destinations.
My previous visits have seen me mainly hanging out in the 5th and 6th arrondissement with the occasional foray over the bridge to Le Marais in the 3rd. I also like to try to make it to À la Cloche des Halles, a very good little hole-in-the-wall wine bar over in the 1st near where the old les Halles market used to be – I go there for the delicious hand-cut charcutiere, ripe runny cheeses and inexpensive burgundy wines.
It’s a well-worn tourist path through St Germaine and Les Invalides and across the river to the chic boutiques of the Marais, with so much breathtaking beauty everywhere in grand monuments and buildings.
But one of the things I love most about travelling is getting under the skin of a culture and off the beaten tourist track. That’s why I’m so lucky to have some great contacts to keep me in the loop and show me what’s new on the food scene.
When I met wonderful French food journalist Anne-Laure Pham I got to discover a whole other side to Paris eating. As one of the up-and-coming food bloggers in France and editor-in-chief of the exciting food magazine Zeste, Anne-Laure definitely has her finger on the pulse of what’s happening with French cuisine right now.
She showed me around the 19th arrondissement and Belleville. In this emerging foodie area you could be forgiven for thinking you are in another city or even another country, there’s almost nothing of old France here and it’s so exciting.
There are amazing Asian food bazaars and some of the best Vietnamese food outside of Vietnam to be found here, rubbing up side to side with classic French cheese shops, vegan eateries, great coffee shops and a couple of amazing restaurants in the new bistronomie movement.
There’s also vast open-air Belleville market, which takes place at the intersection of four arrondissement (the 10th, 11th, 19th and 20th) and abounds with Asian, Middle Eastern and African specialty foods. It’s vibrant and noisy with the sound of chatter in every language under the sun – except perhaps French.
I am thrilled to have Anne Laure put together this wonderful guide for us – an insiders’ guide to the new food scene in Paris.
Just click on the links on the map below and you’ll find Anne-Laure’s tips on everything from Asian markets, microbrewers and bistronomie restaurants to hole-in-the-wall eateries, bakeries and cheese shops. It’s like a map to heaven for any foodie!