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Paris Profiles – 11th Arrondissement with Lisa Anselmo

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I have wanted to share a guide to 11th Arrondissement in Paris for a very long time. So long now that a lot of the neighborhood has already gone through a serious transition in the time it has taken me to find a local resident to share their favorite things to do, places to eat, and more.  The 11th arrondissement is no longer a secret. It has one of the hottest shopping and dining scenes in Paris, plus the nightlife that has always been a big draw.

Paris 11th Arrondissement Guide

Thankfully, Lisa Anselmo of My Part Time Paris is here to save the day! I stumbled upon her in a Facebook group for Francophiles I contacted Lisa to ask where in Paris she lived in the hope’s it was an arrondissement I had yet to cover in my series. Turns out it was the 11th! There was something about her name that was niggling in the back of my mind. After she agreed to share her favorites in the 11eme, I realized that I had read her book, My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home when it was published in 2016! It truly is a small world.

These days Lisa is working on a project called Save the Paris Café, a “non-profit collective of local writers, artists, business owners, restaurateurs—Parisians and expats—celebrating café culture.” That’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart!

Let’s meet Lisa and her 11th Arrondissement!

Lisa Anselmo and her book My Part Time Paris

Favorite thing about the 11th arrondissement.

Where I live, between Charonne and Nation, it’s like the last patch of real Paris. Not quite yet hipster-ized like a lot of the 11th. It’s not the prettiest area, lots of 1970s brutalist buildings that feel like they’ve crash-landed on old Paris, but it’s friendly, diverse, and down-to-earth. You can still find shops that cater to everyday life, unlike the Marais, for example. And everything is affordable (3-euro glasses of wine!). By now, I know all the café and shop owners nearby, and it feels like a village.

Least favorite thing about the 11th arrondissement.

I hate to say it but the noise and general filth. And graffiti scrawled everywhere (and I’m not talking about street art). I’d say this is true about a lot the 11th, not just where I am, especially the noise. I lived for a summer on Rue de Crussol near Oberkampf, and I think I slept a total of 4 hours. But you couldn’t beat the location.

What differentiates your arrondissement from all the other parts of the city?

The 11th feels like Williamsburg, Brooklyn to me: young, trendy, lots of bars and restaurants—the place people come to hang on the weekend (pre-Covid). It’s got an edge, too (although the Bobos are shaving the edges off these days).

Paris Terrace

Favorite coffee spot in your neighborhood.

I don’t drink coffee in a coffee house kind of way. In fact, I didn’t even touch the stuff until I moved here. I know there are a lot of new “Brooklyn-style” coffee houses in the 11th, like Café Méricourt, and they’re good, but I prefer to sit on a café terrace. That’s my thing. People complain the coffee’s no good in cafés, but I think it depends where. The coffee at Café Lino on Boulevard de Charonne is excellent. But then, I’m new to the coffee game, so what do I know? For me, it’s about the view, not the coffee.

Paris Coffee

Favorite spot for drinks.

Any café terrace, anywhere. I’ve logged countless hours on the terrace at Le Plein Soleil on Avenue Parmentier. Also, Café des Anges on Rue de la Roquette. And definitely had way “too many wines” at Chez Justin on Boulevard Voltaire. I can count on seeing the same gang when I go there, so it’s like a block party.

Lisa Anselmo at Cafe des Anges

Lisa Anselmo at Cafe des Anges

Favorite local hangout.

Rouge Limé on Boulevard Voltaire. (Are you sensing a theme here? What can you expect from the editor of Save the Paris Café?) Pre-Covid it was my office, living room, cantina. I’ve been known to hold court there from morning until the apéro hour—working, and hosting different friends who come and go. It’s completely without pretention. The owner is a great guy who has another place further down the avenue, near Nation, called Les Ogres. They’re both crazy popular. He’s got the golden touch.

Favorite breakfast spot.

In the 11th? It’d have to be chez moi. I’ll only roll out of bed to get to the boulangerie up the street, lured by the smell of baking bread (but isn’t that the dream?). They have fresh-baked croissants and brioche à l’huile daily. That brioche, warm and slathered in butter? What could be better? (By the way, if I’m going to make breakfast an event, I have to travel out of my arrondissement to Holybelly in the 10th, or to my buddy Craig’s place, Breakfast in America, in the Marais.)

paris croissant

Favorite lunch spot.

Mokonuts, if you can get in (Rue St-Bernard). Otherwise, my friends Eleonora’s and Fred’s place, Il Bacaro: light Venetian fare on Rue Auguste Laurent. (That’s totally not a plug. They don’t need my help; it’s packed all the time!)

Favorite dinner spot.

That would have to be hands down Pierre Sang on Gambey (7 Rue Gambey). Or the one on Oberkampf. They are both outstanding. It’s like a second home to me there. I’ve known chef for quite a few years now. I discovered his first place on Oberkampf by accident; he’d just been open a month. I used to love it when he was cooking behind the counter, the energy he’d create, but now he prefers to use that energy to nurture young, talented chefs. Nowhere else can you have a 6-course tasting menu of that caliber for under 50 euros (under 40 euros at the Oberkampf place). But that’s Pierre; he’s a kind and generous man. We’re featuring him in my series this year, by the way.

Pierre Sang Restaurant Paris_copyright Daniel Cruz Valle

Photo credit: Daniel Cruz Valle

One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.

Marché Charonne, the farmer’s market on Boulevard de Charonne. It’s open every Wednesday and Saturday. Or Les Colonnes de la Barrière du Trône (near Place de la Nation). The columns and adjacent gate houses date from the 18th century and were part of an old toll wall. (Technically, one of the columns is in the 11th and the other is in the 12th!) And of course, I just walk my friends around, give them a tour. Friends from the States love that I live in a real locals-only neighborhood in Paris, and want to explore it.

Les Colonnes de la Barriere du Trone Paris

Merci, Lisa!

For those looking for a modern, dynamic Parisian neighborhood with lots of things to do and a fantastic restaurant scene, the 11th arrondissement is perfect. The ever-changing nature of this area and its cultural diversity makes the 11th arrondissement an interesting part of Paris to visit. Its vibrant nightlife, trendy coffee shops, and shopping will give you a modern Parisian experience!

Other great spots in the 11th arrondissement curated for you:

Paris Guide 11eme Guide

11eme/11th Arrondissement Restaurants

> Afghanistan (48 Rue Saint-Maur) Indian food, I know, but it’s true.
> Anna (136, rue Saint Maur) neo-futuristic bar/eaterry with small bites.
> A l’Ombre  (10 rue de la Folie-Méricourt) Provençal small plates.
> Astier (44 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) a personal favorite of mine, classic French bistro.
> Au Passage (1 bis Passage Saint-Sébastien) tapas bar an Anthony Bourdain haunt.
> Bistrot Paul Bert (18 Rue Paul Bert) traditional French cuisine.
> Boulangerie Utopie (20 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) don’t miss the roulé à la canelle!
> Broken Biscuit (13 Ave Parmentier) specialty coffee shop.
> Café Chilango (82 Rue de la Folie Méricourt) Mexican cuisine.
> Café Mércirourt (22 rue de la Folie Mércirourt) great lunch spot, also mentioned by Lisa above.
> Chambelland (14 Rue Ternaux) gluten-free bakery.
> CheZaline (85 Rue de la Roquette) sandwich shop and small bites.
> Chez Imogène (25 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) fantastic crêperie.
> Clamato (80 Rue de Charonne) inventive seafood.
> Clown Bar (114 Rue Amelot) offal in a clown-themed setting.
> Come A Casa (7 Rue Pache) fresh daily pasta dish.
> Deux Fois Plus de Piment (33 Rue Saint-Sébastien) spicy Sichuan Chinese.
> Folderol 10 (rue du Grand-Prieuré) wines and homemade ice cream.
> Frogburger (19 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine) ultimate burgers with high-end French ingredients and damn good onion rings!
> Fulgurances (10 Rue Alexandre-Dumas) new chef every 6 months, you never know what you’ll get!
> Giorgio (21 rue de Charonne) 70s disco themed trattoria.
> Goku (27 Boulevard du Temple) black charcoal burger.
> Justine (96 Rue Oberkampf) grilled meats from a pro BBQ oven.
> Il Bacaro (9 Rue Auguste Laurent) mentioned by Lisa above.
> La Chocolaterie (25 Rue Chanzy) out of this world chocolate bars from Cyril Lignac and Benoît Couvrand.
> La Reine de Saba (78 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) Ethiopian cuisine.
> La Reine Mer (1 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) seafood salads, house-smoked salmon, and special “sandfishes.”
> Le Rigmarole (10 Rue du Grand Prieuré) Japanese-accented small plates.
> La Pâtisserie (24 Rue Paul Bert) do not miss the apricot-glazed baba au rhum from Cyril Lignac and Benoît Couvrand.
> Le 6 Paul Bert (6 Rue Paul Bert) elevated small plates.
> Le Chardenoux (1 Rue Jules Vallès) Art-Nouveau Parisian bistro from Cyril Lignac.
> Le Chateaubriand (129 Ave. Parmentier) adventurous dishes with biodynamic and organic vintages from South Africa.
> Le Dauphin (131 Avenue Parmentier) great lunch spot, try the beef noodle soup and the coriander salad.
> L’Ecailler (22 Rue Paul Bert) fresh seafood and oysters.
> Le Grand Bol (7 Rue de la Présentation) try the pickled green beans with minced pork.
> Le Perchoir (14 rue Crespin du Gast) THE go-to rooftop restaurant in Paris!
> Le Petit Keller (13 Rue Keller) Franco-Japanese fusion.
> Le Relais (10 rue de la Vacquerie) farm-to-table restaurant.
> Le Repaire de Cartouche (8 Boulevard des Filles-du-Calvaire) classic and traditional French dishes and natural wines.
> Le Servan (32 Rue Saint-Maur) small bistro with simple seasonal food.
> Le Tajine (13 Rue de Crussol) don’t miss the couscous méchoui.
> Les Fabricants (61 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) Basque cuisine.
> Maison Gazelle (2 Rue Jean-Macé) Moroccan gazelle pastries.
> Maison Landemaine (28 Boulevard Beaumarchais) home to a very good baguette.
> Martin (24 Boulevard du Temple) known for his bar bites.
> Mokonuts (5 Rue Saint-Bernard) go for the black-olive-and-white-chocolate-chip cookie, they also do lunch. (mentioned by Lisa above)
> Muscovado (1 Rue Sedaine) yummy breakfast spot (served all day).
> Nonette Banh Mi (71 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) mouthwatering Asian street food.
> Ober Mamma (107 Blvd. Richard Lenoir) trattoria with amazing thin-crust pizzas.
> Pierre Sang in Oberkampf (55 Rue Oberkampf) informal fine dining from a Top Chef finalist. (mentioned by Lisa above)
> Pupetta Beaumarchais (90 Boulevard Beaumarchais) pizza, apperitifs and the taste of Naples.
> Robert (32 rue de la Fontaine au Roi) get the 5-course meal filled with innovative dishes a bargain for lunch.
> Rouge Limé (167 Boulevard Voltaire) mentioned by Lisa above.
> Septime (80 Rue de Charonne) impossible to get in, but food is amazing!
> Tapisserie (65 rue de Charonne) seasonal artisanal pasteries. 
> The French Bastards (61, rue Oberkampf) home of the cruffins and delicious cinnamon rolls.
> The Hood (80 Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud) coffee shop and Asian canteen offering street food from Vietnam and Singapore.
> Yard (6 Rue de Mont-Louis) small bistro with a fabulous terrace.
> Yemma (119 Rue du Chemin Vert) inventive couscous.

11eme/11th Arrondissement Coffee + Tea Shops

> L’Autre Café (62 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud) good neighborhood no-frills coffee spot.
> Café Lino (81 Boulevard de Charonne) mentioned by Lisa above.
> Café Mericourt (22 Rue de la Folie Méricourt) pretty light-filled cafe with a good Sunday brunch.
> Café Oberkampf (3 Rue Neuve Popincourt) cute blue-painted cafe.
> Ten Belles Bread (17–19 bis Rue Bréguet) go for the coffee, stay for the pastries.

11eme/11th Arrondissement Bars

> Aux Deux Amis (45 Rue Oberkampf) small plates wine bar.
> Aux Deux Cygnes (36 Rue Keller) natural wines and Vietnamese bites.
> Bar Principal (5 Rue du Général Renault) a perfect terrace and delicious small plates.
> Bluebird (12 Rue Saint-Bernard) great cocktails.
> Café des Anges (66 Rue de la Roquette) mentioned by Lisa above.
> Café Charbon (109 Rue Oberkampf) long time bar with cheap drinks.
> Café Titon (34 Rue Titon) fun German-style bar.
> Chez Justin (127B Boulevard Voltaire) mentioned by Lisa above.
> La Fine Mousse (4 bis Avenue Jean Aicard) craft beers.
> Le Clown (114 Rue Amelot) wine bar with seasonal bites.
> Le Plein Soleil (90 Ave Parmentier) mentioned by Lisa above.
> Le Perchoir (14 Rue Crespin du Gast) one of the most famous rooftop terraces in Paris.
> Liquiderie (9 Rue des Trois Bornes) craft beer and wine.
> Martin (24 Boulevard du Temple) best bar food in the city, good drinks too!
> Pas de Loup (108 Rue Amelot) cocktail bar with vegetable-forward small bites.
> Septime Cave (3 Rue Basfroi) great wine selection including a ton of natural wines.

11eme/11th Arrondissement Parks, Museums & Things to Do

> Bataclan (50 blvd Voltaire) attend a concert or have a drink in this (infamous) café-concert music hall.
> L’Atelier des Lumières (38 rue Saint Maur) immersive exhibitions of classical pieces.
> Les Espaces de coworking Cool & Workers (2 Rue du Dahomey; 30 Rue de Chemin Vert) friendly and relaxed co-working space.
> Les cités du Figuier et Durmar (104-106 rue Oberkampf) Walk along this flowery street made for Instagram.
> Musée Edith Piaf (5 rue Crespin du Gast) this tiny spot dedicated to the larger-than-life singer is a must.
> Opéra Bastille (Place de la Bastille) there IS more than one opera house in Paris!
> Rue De Lappe, a great strolling street well-known for its nightlife.

11eme/11th Arrondissement Shopping

> Bio Bazar (13 rue boulle) eco-responsible and ethical concept store.
> Cour Damoye (near Place de la Bastille) paved pedestrian alley lined with boutique shops.
> Distribution (108 avenue Ledru-Rollin) trendy kids clothing
> Fromagerie Goncourt (1, rue Abel Rabaud) Cheese shop.
> La Carte des Vins (26 Boulevard Beaumarchais) excellent wine shop.
> Marché Bastille (Boulevard Richard Lenoir) open-air market on Thursdays and Sundays.
> Marché Popincourt (111 Boulevard Richard-Lenoir) open-air market on Tuesdays and Fridays.
> Nuits de Satin (9 Rue Oberkampf) vintage clothing.
> Rue de Charonne winding street with fun shops.
> Sissi Holleis (93 Rue de Nemours) women’s clothing and vintage accessories.

11eme/11th Arrondissement Lodging

> BLC Design Hotel (4 Rue Richard Lenoir) as the name indicates, lots of design touches, each room has a mural of a woman.
> Gardette Park Hotel (1 Rue du Général Blaise) lots of rooms facing the charming Maurice Gardette Square.
> Hôtel Fabric (31 rue de la Folie Méricourt) former textile factory hotel.
> Hotel L’Antoine (12 Rue de Charonne) rooms designed by Christian Lacroix.
> Hôtel La Nouvelle République (9 Rue Moret) sleek contemporary style near Belleville Park.
> Hôtel Les Deux Girafes (23 Passage Beslay) whimsical spot with chic design.
> Le Général Hôtel (5-7 rue Rampon) boutique hotel 5-minute walk from Republique Square with great restaurant: Mon Coco.
> Maison Breguet (8 rue Bréguet) elegant hotel housed in a striking monument from the 1800s.
> Oh la la! (6 Rue de la Roquette) speakeasy hotel.

Fin!

You can connect with Lisa of My Part Time Paris Life on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

How about you? Do you have any 11th arrondissement additions? Have you been to this area of Paris? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?

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Do you live in Paris in an arrondissement I haven’t covered yet? I’d love to feature your favorite local picks! Drop me a line at MisadventuresWithAndi AT gmail DOT com and I will send you the information I need, merci!

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Building in the 11th arrondissement of Paris street in the charron district of Paris one of Les Colonnes de la Barrière du Trône
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