I knew from the moment I saw a picture of Andrew Prior that I was going to love him. Infectious smile, a << fabulous >> attitude, and red glasses? I’m in! Andrew is extremely passionate about food (so you know we will be lifelong friends, right!?!) and his effusive personality makes him the perfect host and tour guide, oh, and MasterChef Australia contestant (Season 5, unfortunately, he had to leave due to an injury…). Australia’s loss was Paris’s gain and after completing the Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie courses and falling in love with the 2nd arrondissement, Andrew created Andrew Prior Fabulously.
I could not have been more thrilled when longtime Parisian gal pal, Lily, who shared her local picks for Montmartre (18th arrondissement) introduced me to Andrew and I learned he knew the 2nd like the back of his hand. I think this little neighborhood is underrated. Mr. Misadventures and I spend a lot of time exploring the passages here and love early morning walks and breakfasts in this arrondissement. But enough about me, let’s hear why Andrew loves his neighborhood!
On this page
 Favorite thing about the 2nd arrondissement.
For me, on the many visits to Paris before moving there, the 2nd arrondissement was always somewhere we just passed through on the way to somewhere else. It wasn’t really somewhere that we would go to specifically. This whilst living there for the past four years has been my favorite thing about the 2nd.
Most people just see it as somewhere to go through. This means that its side streets, bars, restaurants, and attractions are often not as busy as other areas in Paris. A fabulous example of this is the wonderful crêpes from Briezh Cafe. There is one in the Marais (in the 3rd where Kasia lives), this delicious port of call for all things Bretagne crêpes and galettes and as such always has long queues, especially on the weekends, for a table. They opened a second venue in the 2nd around 18 months ago and they are doing well but it’s filled with French people and locals, not tourists and you pretty much have no problem getting a table.
The locals that live in the 2nd or are lucky to be living around this fantastic arrondissement seem to know this secret. That people just seem to see the arrondissement as a thoroughfare. So there is a real sense of community in the neighbourhood and the shop owners really get to know you, to the point that my butcher would say G’Day to me when he saw me, knowing that I was Australian. He didn’t speak a word of English but now knows how to say G’Day.
 Least favorite thing about the 2nd arrondissement.
This is interesting as I’ve realised when you’re asking me this question that the one thing that is my least favorite thing about the 2nd is the same thing that makes my favorite thing possible. The cars and traffic in the 2nd on the major roads and some of the smaller streets can be a bit full on.
As cars are being reduced in Paris by decree of the current Mayor this seems to have increased the traffic in the second. Also, there is a lot of business still in the area like the Sentier district and its fashion/fabric wholesalers and manufacturers. These all need deliveries and that means traffic. But having said this, on the weekend and during the holiday periods, the arrondissement is almost completely empty of cars which is fabulous.
 What differentiates the 2nd arrondissement from all the other parts of the city?
Two things come to mind to me that differentiate the 2nd from other arrondissements in the city. Firstly and probably most importantly to the culture in the arrondissement, is its size. The 2nd is the smallest arrondissement in terms of area. At 0.383 sq miles, this is one of the easiest and flattest arrondissements you can walk around in.
The second thing that differentiates the 2nd is also a great reason for you to walk around it. Paris’ passageways are a unique gem of the city and often something that is overlooked by many visitors. But the 2nd is home to more passageways/galleries than any other arrondissement. You have the well-known Passage Panorama, Galleries Vivienne, and Passage Choiseul. But you also have some often overlooked passages like Passage des Princes the beautiful Passage du Grand Cerf, Paris’ longest passageway Passage du Caire as well as Passage Lemoine, Passage Jouffroy, Passage Basfour, Passage du Bourg-Labbé, and Passage du Ponceau. I’ve also done a video covering the passages!
 Favorite coffee spot in the 2eme.
Well, this is a subject I’m very passionate about. I’ve done a whole video on YouTube on where to find the best coffee in Paris and in the second now after my favorite place closed I’d say my second favorite but no less as good is Matamata at 58 Rue d’Argout. One of my favorite ways to start the day is to have a coffee there and then walk down the famed Rue Montorgueil for some early morning Paris atmosphere and then have a seat for ten minutes or so at Park Nelson Mandela overlooking the stunning in my opinion gold roof of Les Halles.
 Favorite spot for drinks in the 2nd arrondissement.
I’m a regular at Redd Wine Bar on 28 Rue Saint-Sauveur not just because of the fabulous wines here but also the really lovely owners. Markéta is Chezch born and a fabulous sommelier who has worked for 3-star Michelin restaurants in the past and now has two bars with her life partner Rob who is a colourful New Zealander. Rob also puts together fabulous charcuterie platters for you to go with the wine and will regale you with stories from his past life adventures.
 Favorite local hangout in the 2eme.
Sitting out the front and people watching at Le Compas on the corner of Rue Montorgueil and Rue Marie Stuart. This is one of those fabulous places where all the chairs are lined up next to each other for you to look out at the passers-by and watch life go by whilst you are sipping on a glass of wine or reading a book. Paris is known for these types of bistros and Le Compas is one of my favorites and a regular meeting point for locals.
 Favorite breakfast spot in the 2nd arrondissement.
As a foodie and a Melbourian with its cafe culture breakfast is an important meal of the day for me. But as a Parisian, this is not something that the city is known for. Set menu brunches are as far as Parisians usually want on the weekends but to sit down for a good hot breakfast and coffee in the morning in Paris is kind of like trying to find good hot chocolate in Bangkok or a fresh chili salad in Iceland, I can imagine nigh on impossible.
But rather than be disappointed I would suggest to people that visit Paris to have meals as the French do. For breakfast grab things on the go and walk around. Get a coffee from Matamata and then head over to one of the oldest patisseries in Paris, Stroher for possibly one of the best croissants you will have. If you are gluten intolerant get some fresh fruit from the fabulous fruit and vegetable stores nearby. Then have a larger lunch and then a lighter dinner. This along with a good cigarette and lots of wine is the way to get that French thin style. I myself don’t smoke, love to have more than one croissant at breakfast, and unfortunately don’t understand the concept of a light dinner so I haven’t quite got into that size 0 dress yet :).
 Favorite lunch spot in the 2eme.
Rue Mandar is a little secret known by locals living and working in the area for a quick and good value lunch right now in Paris. Some of my favorites are Miss Banh Mi, Maison de la Poutine, or a fab greek kabab at Filakia. When you see places filled with locals you know it’s going to be good and these places are always full.
But if you want a good French meal for lunch in the 2nd then I would recommend the set menu at Canard et Champagne in Passage Panorama where you can get a delicious two-course meal with a coupe of Champagne for €36. I especially recommend the Magret de Canard for an entree with the chutney of the season, it’s just sublime.
 Favorite dinner spot in the 2nd arrondissement.
Oh my, there are so many. But the one place that comes to mind is one that I’ve recommended to so many clients that I do itineraries for when they’ve visited and that I recommended to a New York couple I met in Galleries Vivienne whilst walking Lenny our golden retriever. It’s Un jour à Peyrassol which is a restaurant devoted to truffles. Its vegetarian menu is a delight but for those meat lovers, they always have a gift to start of slices of charcuterie filled with truffles. I can’t recommend this amazing place enough. The truffle gnocchi is one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.
 One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
Well as I mentioned above I do itineraries for people visiting Paris as well as food tours in the South of France. Now I’ve moved to the French countryside town of Montmorillon and will be starting cooking classes and tour packages of the area but still keeping a place in the 2nd luckily. So one of the fabulous things I’ve had is that when our friends come to town I can show them our local area like I show my clients who get to see the Marias, Montmartre and the South of France. It’s a shame it’s hard to get tourists visiting Paris to see the 2nd arrondissement instead.
So my favorite spot is to take them to L’oasis D’Aboukir on Rue Aboukir. This is a fabulous green wall created by Patrick Blanc. It’s his first major work and led to attention that then led to him creating some of the most fabulous green wall structures around the world. I love to just sit and look up at the plants throughout the seasons and visitors love it as well. Life goes by whilst you are there looking up at the life growing on what would have been a concrete wall if it wasn’t there.
Other great spots in the 2nd arrondissement curated for you:
2eme/2nd Arrondissement Restaurants
> Aux Crus de Bourgogne (3 Rue Bachaumont) Paris bistro cuisine.
> Aux Lyonnais (32 Rue Saint-Marc) Alain Ducasse bistro with Lyonnaise cuisine.
> Bistrot Vivienne (4 Rue des Petits Champs) classic French food inside the Galerie Vivienne.
> Breizh Cafe (14 Rue des Petits Carreaux) my favorite crêperie and a pick from Andrew above.
> Caffé Stern (47 Passage des Panoramas) Italian cuisine inside the passage.
> Canard et Champagne (57 Passage des Panoramas) really good duck dishes, a favorite of mine and a pick from Andrew above.
> Clémentine(5 Rue Saint-Marc) cute French bistro.
> Dédé la Frite (52 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires) fries, fries, glorious fries!
> Echo (95 Rue d’Aboukir) California breakfast in Paris.
> Frenchie (6 Rue du Nil) impossible to get reservation, legendary food.
> Danico (6 Rue Vivienne) known for their bar, good little resto as well.
> Dim Sum Cantine (85 Rue Montmartre) I never say no to dimsum!
> Drouant (16-18 Rue Gaillon) 3-starred Michelin restaurant that hosts the ‘Prix Goncourt & Renaudot.’
> Gallopin (40 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires) classic French cuisine.
> Graine (114 Rue Montmartre) create your own couscous!
> Hokkaido (14 Rue Chabanais) awesome Japanese noodle shop.
> Johanna’s Fish & Chips (30 Rue Saint-Sauveur) amazing fish and chips!
> Joseph & Lucien (43 Rue des Petits Carreaux) meaty dishes from an Argentian chef.
> Kuccini (165 Rue Saint-Denis) lovely Italian.
> La Cevicheria (14 Rue Bachaumont) Peruvian food.
> La Fontaine Gaillon (1 Rue de la Michodière) classic French dishes fused with Morroccan and Sicilian seafood.
> Le Rocher de Cancale (78 Rue Montorgueil) restaurant featuring oysters from France’s oyster capital.
> Le Pas Sage (145 Rue Saint-Denis) litte bistro inside the Le Grand Cerf passage.
> Le Bougainville (5 Rue de la Banque) great lunch spot, try the frites and steak au poivre.
> Le Central (139 Boulevard de Sébastopol) old school brasserie.
> L’Ecaille de la Fontaine (15 Rue Gaillon) great seafood, owned by Gérard Depardieu.
> L’Escargot (38 Rue Montorgueil) snails of course, but great restaurant to people watch from.
> Le Grand Colbert (2 Rue Vivienne) historic breasserie in side the Passage Galerie Vivienne.
> Le Petit Vendôme (8 Rue des Capucines) Auvergnate bistro.
> Le Tambour (8 Rue de la Jussienne) classic French dishes, open super late, loved by chefs.
> Le Versance (16 Rue Feydeau) traditional French bistro near La Bourse.
> Les Bols de Jean (2 Rue de Choiseul) gourmet bread bowls full of soup.
> Lombem (22 Passage des Panoramas) good steak!
> Pizza Popolare (111 Rue Réaumur) very popular pizza spot.
> Shandika (6 Rue Léopold Bellan) Sri Lankan street food.
> Sunday in Soho (7 rue Saint-Marc) cafe and bakery.
> Sushi-B (5 Rue Rameau) Michelin-starred sushi!
> Terroir Parisien (25 Place de la Bourse) explores French regional specialties.
> Twinkie (167 Rue Saint-Denis) breakfasts from all over the world!
> Un jour à Peyrassol (3 Rue Vivienne) Mediterranean cuisine.
> Victoria Station (11 Boulevard Montmartre) pizza in a recreation of steam locomotive train cars.
> Villa Dondelli (1 Rue Monsigny) authentic Italian food.
2eme/2nd Arrondissement Coffee + Tea Shops
> L’Arbre à Café (10 rue du nil) excellent coffee shop.
> Lockwood (73 Rue d’Aboukir) local hangout for coffee by day (bar at night!).
> Matamata (58 Rue d’Argout) mentioned by Andrew above.
> Zouzou (8 Rue Léopold Bellan) organic coffee shop.
2eme/2nd Arrondissement Bars
> Experimental Cocktail Club (37 Rue Saint-Sauveur) cocktail bar slash speakeasy.
> Harry’s New York Bar (5 Rue Daunou) famous for creating the Bloody Mary and a historic celebrity clientele.
> Legrand Filles & Fils (1 Rue de la Banque) wine bar inside Galerie Vivienne.
> Ma Cave Fleury (177 Rue Saint-Denis) natural wine bar.
> Planche Wine Bar (30-32 Rue du Sentier) inside The Hoxton hotel.
> Redd Wine Bar (28 Rue Saint-Sauveur) mentioned by Andrew above.
> The Shed (17 Boulevard Poissonnière) lovely rooftop bar on tops of the Hotel Grands Boulevards.
2eme/2nd Arrondissement Parks, Museums & Things to Do
> Bibliothèque Nationale de France (58 rue Richelieu) previously closed to the public there are now reading room hours (the library is gorgeous) and limited tours, be sure to check their website before attempting to visit.
> Le Grand Rex (1 Boulevard Poissonnière) see a film at this gorgeous cinema.
> L’oasis D’Aboukir (Rue Aboukir) mentioned by Andrew above.
> Musée du Barreau de Paris (25 Rue du Jour) learn all about famous Paris trials.
> Notre Dame des Victoires (6, rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires at the Place des Petits Pères) a 17th-century church.
> Palais Brongniart (at the Place de la Bourse) the building the Bourse (stock exchange) is located, not open to the public, but beautiful building.
> Place des Victoires ( contains the King Louis XIV statue.
> Rue des Degrès (between rue Beauregard and rue de Clery) Paris’s shortest street! It is also super colorful.
> Rue Montorgueil – this street is fantastic for food shopping and tasting!
> Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique (1 Place Boieldieu) see a performance at this theater opened since 1714.
> Tour Jean-Sans-Peur (20 Rue Étienne Marcel) a Medieval tower that has survived for centuries.
2eme/2nd Arrondissement Shopping
> Andrew has a whole video dedicated to shopping in the 2nd!
> Marché/Farmer’s Market (Place de la Bourse) on Tuesdays and Fridays between 12:30 – 8:30 p.m.
> Anne Fontaine (50 rue Etienne Marcel) master of the white shirt – love her clothing!
> Debauve et Gallais (33 Rue Vivienne) ultimate chocolate! The name is that of Marie Antoinette’s pharmacist 😉
> Episode Galerie (12-16 rue Tiquetonne)upscale second hand, thrifting in Paris!
> Plumes de Paris (82 rue de Cléry) the only feather maker left in Paris, supplies the cabaret shows.
> Rue Réaumur (between 163, rue du Temple and 32-36, rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires) Haussmann-style architecture can be found while walking on this street.
> Quartier du Sentier (between Boulevard Sebastopol et la rue Réaumur) great shopping area for small boutiques.
> Sézane (the store that every girl who wants to be French wants!
> Si Tu Veux ( 68 Galerie Vivienne) adorable toy shop, I always buy something in here.
2eme/2nd Arrondissement Lodging
> Hotel Bachaumont (18 Rue Bachaumont) sophisticated, art deco-inspired hotel.
> Hotel Grands Boulevards (17 Boulevard Poissonnière) 50-room lifestyle hotel chic design, rooftop bar.
> Hotel Saint-Marc (36 Rue Saint-Marc) trendy design, heated pool!
> Hotel Square Louvois (12 Rue de Louvois) Haussmann-style building boutique hotel.
> La Maison Favart (12 Rue de Louvois) Haussmann-style building upscale hotel.
> The Hoxton (30-32 Rue du Sentier) chic hotel with a great bar and restaurant.
How about you? Do you have any 2nd 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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