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Paris Profiles – 18th Arrondissement (Montmartre) with Lily Heise

I met Lily Heise for the first time in October of 2009 when she came to a Paris blogger meet-up that I planned. So many of my favorite Parisians and Francophiles were there, I feel blessed to have met them all, it was the start to decade-long online and offline friendships! Skip ahead a few years and I worked with Lily on a few Context Travel tours in Paris, which enjoyed immensely and highly recommend! (I’ve done 5 in Paris, 1 in London, and 2 in Kyoto).

Paris 18th Arrondissement Guide

In 2013 Lily published Je T’Aime, Me Neither,  followed by Je T’Aime … Maybe? in 2016, both of which appear on my Francophile Library & Books to Read Before Visiting Paris post. Known as Mademoiselle Romance, now Lily is back with a new project called “There’s Only One Paris” club via Patreon that grants members exclusive access (various levels) to Paris content including copies of her new short participatory stories. Lily is a long-time resident of the 18th Arrondissement, a.k.a. Montmartre so I am really excited that I finally snagged her for her local insider view of one of Paris’s most famous neighborhoods!

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Mademoiselle Romance Lily Heise of Je T'Aime, Me Neither
Mademoiselle Romance Lily Heise of Je T’Aime, Me Neither, photo credit: Charlene Schreuder.

Lily has been a tour guide for years, has written a lot about Paris, and is the perfect person to give you the inside scoop!

[1] Favorite thing about the 18th arrondissement

Paris 18th Arrondissement_rue de l'abreuvoir
Rue de l’Abreuvoir in the 18eme

The backstreets of Montmartre. One only needs to drift away from the throngs of tourists at the top of the hill to find some really charming areas. Montmartre was only annexed into Paris in 1860. From the middle ages to the French Revolution the hill only had an abbey complex and stone quarry, then a village gradually developed in the 19th century. Therefore, many parts of the neighborhood still retain a village-like feel. The small and winding back streets are perfect for strolling any time of day, but I think the evening is particularly atmospheric! Start up Avenue Junot and let yourself wander, but don’t miss Rue de l’Abreuvoir, one of the prettiest streets in the whole city

[2] Least favorite thing about the 18th arrondissement

Paris 18th Arrondissement_Sacre Coeur

That some tourists only come in masses and head straight for the Moulin Rouge or Sacré-Coeur and not visit other parts of the neighborhood which are literary paces away from these overcrowded sites. The district has much more to offer!

[3] What differentiates the 18th arrondissement from all the other parts of the city?

Paris 18th Arrondissement_Montmartre Views

The views. There are a few other former villages within the current Paris city limits, like Charonne, Buttes-aux-Cailles, Les Batignolles, or Passy, however, few other places in the city can boast the stunning views that can be admired from Montmartre. Always be on the lookout! Some of my favorites are included in this article I wrote on the subject.

[4] Favorite coffee spot in the 18th neighborhood

Le SyLon de Montmartre in the 18th
Le SyLon de Montmartre, photo credit: L’Atelier GMD et Glenn Medioni

SyLon de MontMartre. This newish café is tucked away on a side street just south of rue des Abbesses so it’s more for locals in the know. It has a modern decor, however, a warm and cozy feel thanks to colorful cushions made of exotic prints and great coffee.

[5] Favorite spot for drinks in the 18th

Paris 18th Arrondissement_Au Petit Montmartre
Au Petit Montmartre bar in the 18eme.

It’s tough to narrow it down to just one… so I’m going to cheat and list two. If you’re looking to soak up the neighborhood ambiance, then nothing beats the terrace of Au Petit Montmartre. The only café right on Place des Abbesses, you can order un verre de vin or pinte de bierre and watch the local Montmartois come and go. It’s also one of the sunniest terraces in the area, so come from mid-afternoon to early evening. Alternatively, if you want a wow factor then make your way to the top floor of the Terrass Hotel, home to one of the best rooftop terraces in all of Paris. From its heights, you can see all the whole city. It’s a tiny bit pricey, but worth it for the views.

[6] Favorite local hangout in the 18th

Le Village. As its name indicates, this is a great local café amidst the many tourist-oriented ones that now line row des Abbesses. It’s small and most people can be found on the terrace, it’s perfect for a coffee in the morning or great value apéro at the end of the afternoon.

[7] Favorite breakfast spot in the 18th

Coquelicot Bakery Montmartre
Coquelicot Bakery in Montmartre, photo credit Coquelicot.

Coquelicot. It’s hard to beat the breakfast and quality at this great neighborhood bakery. They also have an excellent array of “formule” options to suit all levels of hunger, from un grand bol de café with a croissant to a decadent cheesy omelette with pommes sautées. Their outdoor seating is highly coveted, but they also have tables upstairs. Be forewarned that service can be slow, but sit back and relax… you’re in France after all!

[8] Favorite lunch spot in the 18th.

Paris 18th Arrondissement_Bossue
Bossue restaurant in the 18eme.

Bossue. On the end of rue des Abbesses when it becomes rue Joseph de Maistre is this fabulous modern café. They serve some great creative light lunch options and have a wonderful selection of pastries. This is great for a delectable afternoon coffee break and Sunday brunch is also popular here.

[9] Favorite dinner spot in the 18th.

Paris 18th Arrondissement_Ma Biche
Ma Biche restaurant in the 18eme.

Ma Biche. Being located off the main drag of rue des Abbesses has helped this restaurant maintain its local character. It has a simple typical bistro decor and serves regularly changing dishes using seasonal, excellent quality ingredients personally sourced from producers.

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

Villa Léandre in Montmartre
Villa Léandre in Montmartre, photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Villa Léandre. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this picturesque “villa” street located off of Avenue Junot. The pedestrian lane is bordered by charming 2-3 story houses built in the 1920s, each different from the next. Look out for the small details, like windmills on the fences, some ceramic birds, and a nod towards our British friends at #10.

Merci, Lily!

Other great spots in the 18th arrondissement curated for you:

Paris Guide 18eme

18eme/18th Arrondissement Restaurants

> Abattoir Végétal (61 rue Ramey) seasonal vegan and vegetarian food.
> Atelier P1 (157 Rue Marcadet) oranic sourdough bakery.
> Au Petit Montmartre (16 Place des Abbesses) mentioned by Lily above.
> Aux Trois Petits Cochons (28 rue la Vieuville) daily seasonal dishes.
> Bijou (10 Rue Dancourt) Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist.
> Boca dos (41, Rue des Trois Frères) Spanish wine and tapas.
> Boulangerie du Square (50 Rue Hermel) artisanal pasteries, cookies, ice creams and sorbets.
> Bouillion Pigale (22 Bd de Clichy) for when you fancy a more classic French meal.
> Buffet Sandwicherie Fine (11 Rue Muller) delicious variety of sandwiches.
> Bululu Arepera (20 Rue de la Fontaine du But) first Venezuelan restaurant in Paris.
> Café de Luce (2 Rue des Trois Frère) French bistro cuisine inspired by grandmothers recipes.
> Café Pimpin (64 rue Ramey) coffee and light plates of quiches, sandwiches, salads and soups.
> Chez Plumeau (Place du Calvaire) a reformed inn, dine within the old world charm of Paris cabaret.
> Coquelicot (24 Rue Des Abbesses) mentioned by Lily above.
> Esquisse (151 Bis Rue Marcadet) vintage bistro.
> Etsi (23 Rue Eugène Carrière) yummy Greek and Mediterranean food
> étsi – l’ouzeri (41 Rue du Ruisseau) a Franco-Greek tavern with simple yet delicious dishes.
> Fichon (98 rue Marcadet) amazing seafood.
> Glace Bachir (7 Rue Tardieu) 100% organic ice cream.
> Guilo Guilo (8 Garreau) high demand gastronomic Japanese.
> Grenouilles (55 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre) quick sandwiches.
> Hardware Société (10 Rue Lamarck) trendy brunch spot.
> Il Brigante (14 Rue du Ruisseau) really good pizza!
> L’Arcane (39 rue Lamarck) contemporary French cooking.
> La Fourmi (74 Rue des Martyrs) traditional brasserie.
> Le Bon, La Butte (102 ter Rue Lepic) Airy bistro with a regularly changing menu of French cuisine with a dash of fusion flare.
> La Bossue (9 rue Joseph de Maistre) mentioned by Lily above.
> La Boîte aux Lettres (108 Rue Lepic) seasonal dishes small bistro, great for a romantic dinner.
> La Caverne (26 Rue Raymond Queneau) an underground urban farm for fresh harvest.
> La REcyclerie (83 Boulevard Ornano) sustainable eco-conscious cafe and more.
> La Vache et le Cuisinier (18 Rue des Trois Frères) classic French dishes.
> Le Bon Bock (2 Rue Dancourt) classic french food in surrounded by antique paintings and decor.
> Le Caulaincourt (62 Rue Caulaincourt) upscale brasserie.
> Le Cochon Gaulois (185 rue Marcadet) all pig all the time!
> Le Coq Rico (98 Rue Lepic) damn good chicken.
> Le Grenier à Pain (38 Rue Des Abbesses and 127 Rue Caulaincourt) bakery that’s won the best baguette in Paris contest twice.
> Le Jardin d’en Face (29 Rue des Trois Frères) do not miss their oeuf cocotte with foie gras!
> Le Jules Jo (28 Rue Hermel) local cuisine and a warm atmosphere.
> Le Moulin de la Galette (83 Rue Lepic) chic restaurant with large wine list.
> Le Petit Bleu (23 Rue Muller) for a tasty couscous meal.
> Le Poulbot (3 Rue Poulbot) 2 brothers serving homemade classic French dishes.
> Le Ruisseau (65 Rue de Ruisseau) one of the best burgers (and fish burgers) in Paris!
> Le Supercoin (3 Rue Baudelique) a selection of craft beers.
> Le Village (36, rue des Abbesses) mentioned by Lily above.
> Le Vrai Paris (33 Rue des Abbesses) discover the Paris of old times with this traditional, authentic bistro.
> Ma Biche (12 Rue Véron) mentioned by Lily above.
> Morlce Galka Glacerie (9 Rue des Trois Frères) a very large selection of flavors with larger servings!
> Pâtisserie Gilles Marchal (9, rue Ravignan) renowned pastry shop.
> Polissons (35 rue Ramey) modern bistro serving light comfort food.
> Riv’K (35 Rue Véron) Contemporary fusion bistro with a great value lunch menu.
> Sacrée Fleur (50 Rue de Clignancourt) traditional French food.
> Sale e Pepe (30 Rue Ramey) homemade Italian cuisine.
> Sarté (15 rue Saint André des Sarté) simple, essential French cuisine.
> Seb’on (62 Rue d’Orsel) French classics with a twist.
> Shinya Pain (41 Rue des Trois Frères) eight unique varieties of bread.
> Soul Kitchen (33 Rue Lamarck) healthy vegetarian lunch spot.
> Tentazioni (86 bis rue Lepic) traditional Italian cuisine in the heart of Montmartre.
> Urban Greener (30 Rue Muller) friendly vegan place near Sacré-Coeur with creative food.

18eme/18th Arrondissement Coffee + Tea Shops

> Café des Deux Moulins (15 Rue Lepic) fun decor.
> Café Marlette (51 Rue des Martyrs) don’t miss the baked goodies!
> KB Cafe (53 Avenue Trudaine) Aussie owners serving Belleville coffee.
> Le Bal Café (6 Impasse de la Défense) part of a photography gallery with great snacks.
> Le Rocket Ship (13 bis rue Henri Monnier) design shop with coffee!
> Lomi (3 ter Rue Marcadet) they roast their own coffee.
> SyLon de MontMartre (4 bis rue Piémontési) mentioned by Lily above.
> Soul Kitchen (33 Rue Lamarck) Parisian roaster Coutume is served here.
> Une Glace a Paris (16 place des Abbesses) a variety of ice creams, sorbets and frozen pastries.

18eme/18th Arrondissement Bars

> Bar à Bulles (90, bvd de Clichy) bar/terrace in a hidden passageway next to the Moulin Rouge.
> Brutal (3 Rue Eugène Carrière) wine bar.
> La Bascule (24 Rue Durantin) come for a drink, stay for a chat, a song or a dance.
> La Cave des Abbesses (43, rue des Abbesses) local wine shop and bar in the same family since 1962.
> Le Discret (3 Rue Eugène Carrière) wine bar.
> Le Hasard Ludique (128, avenue de Saint-Ouen) enjoy Parisian brewery beer near the defunct Petite Ceinture rail line.
> Le Soleil de la Butte (32 rue Muller) picturesque brasserie with a sunny terrace.
> Terras (12-14 rue Joseph de Maistre) the 7th floor of this hotel terrace/bar has a great view!
> Très Particulier (23 Av Junot) hidden bar in a hotel.

18eme/18th Arrondissement Parks, Museums & Things to Do

> Arènes de Lutèce (41 Rue du Ruisseau) one of the most important ancient remains of the Roman Era from the 1st century AD.
> Catch a cabaret show at Moulin Rouge (82 Boulevard de Clichy) or Au Lapin Agile (22 Rue des Saules) or Le Divan du Monde et Madame Arthur (75bis Rue des Martyrs).
> Cité Véron, next to Moulin Rouge (82 Bd de Clichy) a hidden alley with a historic past of the old Pigalle district filled with art and culture.
> Clos de Montmartre (Rue des Saules) last working vineyard in Pris.
> Dalí Paris Museum/Espace Dalí (11 Rue Poulbot) tiny spot full of art from one of my favorite artists.
> Dalida Square (Place Dalida) featuring cobbled, tree-lined streets and quaint buildings it’s at its most beautiful.
> Le Passage Cotin, a narrow staircase leading to the bell tower of the Sacre-Coeur.
> La Petite Ceinture, an unusual walking and terrace area along the abandoned double-track railway line.
> Le Mur des Je t’aime/‘I Love You Wall’(Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses) mural with the words I Love You written in 350 languages.
> Le Bateau Lavoir (7 Rue des Grands Augustins) Picasso’s old workshop.
> Les Abbesses, you can find the famous Café des deux Moulins featured in the movie Amelie.
> Montmartre Walking Tour, discover the basilica of Sacre Coeur, the artist hangout at Place du Tertre, the cobbled street of Rue de l’Abreuvoir and la Maison Rose, the statue of Dalida- the famous French singer,  the vineyard, and the famous staircase of Montmartre.
> Musée d’Art Naif Max Fourny (2 rue Ronsard) museum dedicated to naive art.
> Musée de Montmartre (12, Rue Cortot) located with the former art studio of Renoir, Suzanne Valadon, and Maurice Utrillo, it chronicles the history of the area and has a beautiful garden café.
> Place du Tertre, touristy but one to check off the list.
> Sacré-Cœur (35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre) one of the things you traditionally mark off your bucket list.
> Square Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet (Rue de la Bonne) one of the most romantic places in summer with blooming wisteria and stunning views of Sacre Coeur.
> The Sacre Coeur Carousel (Place Saint-Pierre) for the best views of Sacre Coeur and a whole lot of fun.
> The Montmartre Windmills (Rue Lepic) discover the ‘Moulin de la Galette’ and its two wooden windmills, the last few remaining in Paris.

18eme/18th Arrondissement Shopping

> Fromagerie Chez Virginie (54 Rue Damrémont) cheese shop.
> La Cave Lambert (28 Rue du Poteau) cheese shop.
> La Jurrasserie Fine (6 bis Rue Ravignan) epicerie selling quality food items from the Jura region.
> Le Marché de la Rue Dejean (Rue Dejean) found in the Chateau Rouge neighborhood is the largest African street market of Paris.
> Le Marché Saint-Pierre (2, Rue Charles Nodier) 5-story fabric shop.
> L’Objet qui Parle (86, rue des Martyrs) quirky antique shop.
> Matières à Réflexion (20, Rue Houdon) one-of-a-kind designs.
> Rose Durantin (30, rue Durantin) Clothing and accessories by Paris-based designers.

18eme/18th Arrondissement Lodging

> Best Western Plus Hotel Littéraire Marcel Aymé (68 Boulevard de Clichy) high-end hotel where the decor is inspired by Marcel Aymé, a popular French novelist who died in 1967.
> Hôtel des Arts Montmartre (5 Rue Tholozé) small-roomed hotel with exposed brick and local art.
> Hotel Du Beaumont (3 Rue Lepic) next to the Moulin Rouge and the famous Café des Deux Moulins where the film Amélie was filmed!
> Hôtel Josephine by Happyculture (67 Rue Blanche) cabaret-themed hotel.
> Hotel Le Chat Noir (68 Boulevard de Clichy) hotel in the former cabaret theatre.
> Mom’Art Hotel (42 Rue d’Orsel) family-run boutique hotel.
> Hotel Montmartre Mon Amour (7 Rue Paul Albert) love-themed luxury hotel
> Hotel Particulier de Montmartre (23, Avenue Junot) a chic boutique hotel located in a private garden, good for a coffee, lunch, or evening cocktail.
> Le Relais Montmartre (6 Rue Constance) upscale boutique hotel.
> Monsieur Aristide (3 rue Aristide Bruant) a chic, bohemian hotel inspired by the famous flea markets.
> Terras (12-14 rue Joseph de Maistre) boutique hotel with gorgeous views!

Fin!

You can connect with Lily on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and of course on her blog. If you want to further support Lily (I am!) read more about her Patreon project, There’s Only One Paris here.

Don’t miss Elaine Sciolino’s book Life on the Rue des Martyrs, an amazing market street that runs through the 18th!

How about you? Do you have any 18th arrondissement additions? Have you been to this area of Paris? Did you find this post helpful for a future trip?

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31 Comments

  1. I love this post because I feel like the 18th Arrondissement doesn’t get as much love from visitors as the ones closer to the city center. I am drooling over how much parmesan cheese was on your plate at Ma Biche, by the way! Great list of things to do. It would definitely cause me to hang around here longer next time we are in Paris!

  2. The scenes are amazing and the 18th seems like a great place to see at least once. I have never been to France but this seems like a trip not to be missed.

  3. Paris sounds like an amazing place to visit, those places you shared in the pictures looked great!

  4. What a beautiful spot! I’d love to visit one day. I just love Paris. Thank you for the suggestions.

  5. This is such a charming area, and it is what I think of when someone says “France.” My dad was stationed in Belgium when I was a kid. We traveled to France a few, I’m not sure if we visited this area or not. I would love to visit Europe (and now Montmartre) as an adult.

  6. This sounds like a one of the beautiful place to visit to Paris, it’s interesting and really a beautiful place to explore.

  7. Thanks for sharing all these interesting and beautiful things about Montmartre. I hope I will visit it one day.

  8. What a beautiful place! I love your shirt, so fun to look at. Thank you for the post, I felt I was there.

  9. These photos are all so beautiful. I really wish I could go to Paris. It’s the number one place I’d love to go to someday. I think it would be such a beautiful place to see.

  10. These are beautiful photos. I can’t wait to travel again. I’ve been to Paris and can’t wait to go back.

  11. Lily sounds like such a cool person! I think living around Montmarte would be nice, except for all the tourists (and scam artists). I have wandered through the area myself, but didn’t see Villa Léandre. It looks beautiful! Something to see next time…

  12. I’ve been to Paris twice and have yet to visit this arrondissement. I know…epic fail. But it’s on the list for the next visit!!

  13. When I visited Paris I went to 18th Arrondissement and honestly?! One of my favorite parts of the trip. This article is much more complete and I’m definitely using it when I visiting again. 🙂 Thank you for sharing all the tips, cafes, bars, etc.

  14. Thank you Andi – this post is amazing – it is such a great source of inspiration – when you stay in the 18th arrondissement and you are looking for some recommendations!

  15. I have only been to Paris once and it was only for a few days so I would love to go back an spend more time away from the touristy areas exploring places like this! So charming and great photos 🙂

  16. I love your Paris guides. Hopefully, they are building to an E-Book someday. That bakery looks devine. I have heard how many French bakeries following more of an American model where they bake bread prepared offsite. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen too often, because these bakeries are a cultural treasure, and delicious to boot.

  17. It’s so great to get the insider scoop on all of the best places to eat, drink, see and do in the 18th Arrondissement Montmartre. Some of the eateries look just divine, such as Bossue bakery. We also appreciate the honesty that the service in some places may be slow, but they’re on French time!

  18. Such a beautiful place in Paris. I lived in the 19th arrondissement for a few years and spent a lot of my weekends roaming the streets of Abbesse and Montmartre. This is a great post featuring local shops and restaurants and not just those tourist spots at the Sacre Coeur. Thanks for showing the real 18th!!

  19. Coquelicot looks like my kinda brunch spot! Although, I didn’t think it was possible to find a >bad< bakery in France?

  20. How fortunate you are to have met with Lily and to now share with us all the wonderful insider information. I agree, that the 18th arr is much more than Sacre-Coeur. There is so much history to those original neighbourhoods that I’ve read about – Passy, Buttes-aux-Cailles. The winding side streets and alleyways and you are right, those views. I love the list you shared of the eateries and shops. I have already pinned for my future reference. Thank you for transporting me back to Paris if only for several minutes.

  21. I had honestly never heard of the 18th Arrondissement before reading your post. Thanks for giving us some insider tips! It’s great to get another perspective at such a high profile destination.

  22. Montmartre is my favourite part of Paris! Although I have to admit, I’m a little bit guilty of heading to the tourist hotspots and maybe overlooking some of the other gems in the area. I’ll keep this guide to hand so I can appreciate more of it when I next visit. That breakfast is definitely on the list…it looks phenomenal! Thank you for the wonderful guide!

  23. Sadly enough, I have been one of those annoying tourist who only came to 18th Arrondissement for Sacre Coeur and did not explore other places. But I came to know about the lovely neighbourhood only later that, and I really wish to go back to Paris to explore more of these unexplored corners, perhaps some day! But many years back when I visited the place, there weren’t many vegetarian restaurants. It’s good to see so many veg and vegan restaurants here!

  24. Love the 18th!! So underrated but there is sooo much to do, I’m due another exploring day there very soon…

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