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Paris Profiles – 2nd Arrondissement with Andrew Prior Fabulously

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.

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Andrew Prior Coffee Drinking 2

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!

[1] 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.

Paris 2nd Arrondissement_August in the 2nd
The 2nd arrondissement in August – empty!

The locals that live in the 2nd or are lucky to be living around this fantastic arrondissement seem to know this secret. People just seem to see the arrondissement as a thoroughfare. So there is a real sense of community in the neighborhood 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.

[2] Least favorite thing about the 2nd arrondissement.

This is interesting as I’ve realized 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.

[3] 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.

Paris 2nd Arrondissement_Paris Passages Passage de Grand Cerf
Passage de Grand Cerf

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!

[4] Favorite coffee spot in the 2eme.

Matamata coffee in Paris 2nd Arrondissement
Matamata coffee.

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.

[5] Favorite spot for drinks in the 2nd arrondissement.

Paris 2nd Arrondissement_Redd wine bar

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 colorful 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.

[6] Favorite local hangout in the 2eme.

Paris 2nd Arrondissement_Waiters at Le Compass
Waiters at Le Compass.

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.

[7] 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.

Favorite breakfast spot in the 2nd arrondissement

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 :).

[8] 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.

Paris 2nd Arrondissement_Canard et Champange

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.

[9] Favorite dinner spot in the 2nd arrondissement.

Truffle Gnocchi at Un jour a Peyrassol restaurant in Paris 2nd Arrondissement
Truffle Gnocchi at Un jour a Peyrassol.

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.

[10] 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.

Paris 2nd Arrondissement Rue D'Aboukir
L’oasis D’Aboukir

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.

Merci, Andrew!

Other great spots in the 2nd arrondissement curated for you:

Paris Guide 2eme Addresses

2eme/2nd Arrondissement Restaurants

> Ace Boucherie (58 rue Sainte-Anne) Korean restaurant serving small, affordable plates.
> Aki Cafe (75 Rue Sainte-Anne) Franco-Japanese boulangerie.
> Aux Crus de Bourgogne (3 Rue Bachaumont) Paris bistro cuisine.
> Aux Lyonnais (32 Rue Saint-Marc) Alain Ducasse bistro with Lyonnaise cuisine.
> Bagnard (7 rue Saint-Augustin) good salads.
> Bistrot Vivienne (4 Rue des Petits Champs) classic French food inside the Galerie Vivienne.
> Boneshaker Doughnuts (77 Rue d’Aboukir) to die for doughnuts!
> Breizh Cafe (14 Rue des Petits Carreaux) my favorite crêperie and a pick from Andrew above.
> Brasserie Dubillot (222 rue Saint-Denis) traditional French dishes filled with heritage and stories.
> Cafe Compagnon (22 rue Léopold Bellan) a chic hangout place from breakfast to dinner.
> Caffé Stern (47 Passage des Panoramas) Italian cuisine inside the passage.
> Cali Sisters (17 rue Notre Dame des Victoires) very good salads!
> Canard et Champagne (57 Passage des Panoramas) really good duck dishes, a favorite of mine and a pick from Andrew above.
> Chez Georges (1 Rue du Mail) a classic French bistro resembling a vintage fantasy.
> Clémentine(5 Rue Saint-Marc) cute French bistro.
> Dalia (93 Rue Montmartre) oriental flavors of the Mediterranean cusine.
> Dalmata (8 Rue Tiquetonne) Neopolitan pizzas and cool wine in a cheerful, modern atmosphere.
> Danico (6 Rue Vivienne) known for their bar, good little resto as well.
> Dédé la Frite (52 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires) fries, fries, glorious fries!
> Dim Sum Cantine (85 Rue Montmartre) I never say no to dimsum!
> Dosanko Larmen (40 rue Sainte-Anne) tasty Japanese dishes!
> Drouant (16-18 Rue Gaillon) 3-starred Michelin restaurant that hosts the ‘Prix Goncourt & Renaudot.’
> Echo (95 Rue d’Aboukir) California breakfast in Paris.
> Fou de Pâtisserie (45 rue Montorgueil) amazing pastries!
> Frenchie (6 Rue du Nil) impossible to get reservation, legendary food.
> Gallopin (40 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires) classic French cuisine.
> Gomi Paris (3 rue de Mulhouse) Mediterranean classics with vibrant flavors.
> Graine (114 Rue Montmartre) create your own couscous!
> Hokkaido (14 Rue Chabanais) awesome Japanese noodle shop.
> Jean Hwang Carrant (84 rue d’Aboukir) a very unique cookie shop.
> Johanna’s Fish & Chips (30 Rue Saint-Sauveur) amazing fish and chips!
> Jòia (39 Rue des Jeuneurs) simple local dishes and haute-couture cocktails.
> Joseph & Lucien (43 Rue des Petits Carreaux) meaty dishes from an Argentian chef.
> Jugaad (16 Rue Favart) delicious flavors of India.
> Kuccini (165 Rue Saint-Denis) lovely Italian.
> La Cevicheria (14 Rue Bachaumont) Peruvian food.
> La Daronne (10 rue Marie Stuart) French cuisine served in an offbeat atmosphere
> 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’Entente, Le British Brasserie (13 Rue Monsigny) French take on classic British plates.
> 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.
> Liza (14 Rue de la Banque) contemporary Lebanese restaurant with reinvented ancestral recipes. 
> Lombem (22 Passage des Panoramas) good steak!
> Mûre (6 rue Saint-Marc) very good salads!
> Pizza Popolare (111 Rue Réaumur) very popular pizza spot.
> Pupetta Étienne Marcel (124 Rue Saint-Denis) traditional wood-fiered pizzeria in the heart of Paris.
> Racines (8 Passage des Panoramas) Parisian and Sardinian resto inside the Passage des Panoramas.
> 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!
> Tekés (4 bis Rue Saint-Sauveur) reinvented vegetarien only Jerusalem cuisine.
> 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 + Pastry Shops

> Cédric Grolet Opéra (35 Av. de l’Opéra) go for the Paris-Brests, croissants, and pain au chocolat.
> Cookie Love (84 rue d’Aboukir) freshly baked cookies with a French, American and Asian touch.
> Itacoa (185 Rue Saint-Denis) flavorful coffee joint run by a Samoan rugby star.
> 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.
> Plaq Chocolat (4 Rue du Nil) a chocolate factory, cafe and shop.
> Substance Café (30 Rue Dussoubs) a specialty shop with unique coffee experiences.
> 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.
> Mable (58 Rue d’Aboukir) nearly 200 different varieties of rum!
> 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.
> La Beach Parisienne (Chalet Du Lac, Orée du Bois de Vincennes) experience the sandy beach without leaving Paris.
> 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!
> 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!
> Galerie Vivienne (5 Rue de la Banque) the crème de la crème of covered passages of the 19th century with hidden gems.
> Marché/Farmer’s Market (Place de la Bourse) on Tuesdays and Fridays between 12:30 – 8:30 p.m.
> Plumes de Paris (82 rue de Cléry) the only feather maker left in Paris, supplies the cabaret shows.
> Rue Montorgueil is one of the best streets in Paris (also painted by Monet in 1878).
> 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!
> Hôtel du Sentier (2 Place du Caire) my friend Kasia wrote a wonderful piece on this [new] historic hotel.
> 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.

Fin!

Andrew on tour in the Cote D'Azur
Andrew on tour in the Cote D’Azur

You can connect with Andrew of Andrew Prior Fabulously on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.

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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21 Comments

  1. Oh my, this looks like a beautiful place to see. I love architecture and I would be walking around with my head looking up all the time and taking pictures. I’ve never been to Paris, but it does seem like the place to visit.

  2. I’ve never been to Paris, but I’ve always wanted to go. I never knew ANYTHING about any of this. It was an awesome way to learn a little more about the city.

  3. Man oh man, I haven’t been to France in what feels like a lifetime!! I used to go ALL the time when I was a kid (we are French) but as we got older, our schedules just didn’t allow us to. My husband has never been to France though so we will certainly be going in the next few years!

  4. This is a really interesting read, it has been a while since I went to Paris I would love to go back again and I would definitely keep some of these tips and places in mind!

  5. Paris is one of the places my sister visits whenever she can. I’ll share this with her! I do wish the waiters were wearing their masks properly! The sooner everyone starts doing that, the better!

  6. Oh wow! Paris is definitely a beautiful place to visit! I will be going back here really soon.

  7. Paris is such a dream destination. I was supposed to be there last month but now with the pandemic, all my plans have been on hold.

  8. The passages are something I have yet to explore in Paris. Looks like the 2nd Arr. is a great place for that. And food! I can’t wait to go back to Paris (I hope!).

  9. Passage de Grand Cerf looks like somewhere we would love to laze away for an hour or so with some delicious coffee, the sidewalk cafes that Paris is known for are always calling our name, its soo nice to hear a local perspective as when we are visiting sometimes we get caught up in touristy places and miss the authenticity of Parisian fare. I would be in danger of walking into a person or building because I would be looking around at all the builidngs and passages. You will never have to twist my arm to get me back to Paris, and now I have a great reason, I have to explore the 2nd 😊 thank you.

  10. Ah, it’s been way too long since I’ve been to Paris. I love all of your guides for exploring the different arrondissements.

  11. I’ve been to Paris a few times. I love learning more about hidden gems or places that may be underrated. This area looks fabulous with all the architecture and galleries. Pinning for sure

  12. Aww how I miss Paris now! I really love this arrondissement, it’s such a nice place for a stroll and to hang out! My favorite place to have a drink or for dinner is Depôt Légal 🙂 And Sezane definitely is my favorite store! haha

  13. I have only been to Paris once and only saw the main tourist spots! I really need to go back and spend more time in these other areas as I love reading about spots that locals love and true Paris culture 🙂