SFP Neighborhood Guide | Montmartre
Welcome to cozy Montmartre! The star of many films about Paris, home to local legends and the famous staircases you see all over Instagram, Montmartre is often overlooked as a strictly tourist destination. As a resident of this eccentric neighborhood, I can assure you it would be a mistake to walk away after just seeing the Sacré Cœur! It can be easy to get intimidated by the hoards of tourists and aggressive street vendors in front of the famous church, but once you step away from the tourist madness, you’ll discover a calm local haven of excellent shopping, great restaurants, funky street art, and, best of all, the quirky locals. Here is our guide to help you see the best of Montmartre and not get lost in the tourist traps.
18 rue Franœur, 75018
This trendy small-plates restaurant run by three young French men is a wonderful addition to an up-and-coming neighborhood. Everything from fish to meat to veggies, all the beautifully presented dishes are meant to share. The menu changes monthly, but their specialty dish stays on the menu: the skirt steak cooked “basse temperature” for a perfectly pink interior, and then put on a charcoal barbecue for that deliciously smokey exterior. They have wines from around the world and decadent cocktails for every palate.
10 rue Lamarck, 75018
A wonderful brunch outpost just steps from the Sacré Cœur, Hardware Société is the second of the Hardware cafés opened by Di and Will Keser, the first located in Melbourne. Come here for all of your breakfast needs, our favorites being the perfect eggs benedict with lobster, or the decadent sweet plate with churros and caramel sauce. Be sure to show up either before or after peak hours, as the wait list can have you waiting outside for upwards of an hour.
65 rue Ruisseau, 75018
You’ve just had a long day exploring Montmartre and you and the kids are starving. We know that tired hungry kids makes for picky kids, so save yourself the trouble and beeline for Le Ruisseau. Located in the very local part of the 18eme, this trendy burger spot caters to everyones needs. For the picky eater: the classic double cheddar burger with diner-style fries. For the gourmand: the goat cheese burger with honey-mustard and confit onions. Come for lunch or dinner, inside or outside on their sun-filled terrace.
15 rue des Trois Frères, 75018
An under-the-radar gem among the hoards of tourists, duck in here when you’re done with the tourist cafés serving overpriced salads and steaks. Their lunch menu includes a traditional galette (the word for a savoury crêpe), a sweet crêpe, and a glass of traditional Brittany hard cider, all for €10. Not only is it a great deal, but also an authentic and delicious crêpe experience.
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19 rue Yvonne le Tac, 75018
Steps away from the Abbesses metro just off the poplar Place des Abbesses is Cuillier coffee shop, an unassuming hot spot that will please any coffee snob. The warm minimalist decor will have you snapping pictures for Instagram, but it’s the coffee that will leave you remembering Cuillier. The carefully selected beans from Belleville Brûlerie turned into a filtered coffee or a flat white, whichever you prefer, will prepare you for a day of boutique shopping in Montmartre. Or, if you’re just looking to relax, pull up a stool at the bar and grab a book off the shelf, or do some people watching out the window.
3ter rue Marcadet, 75018
One of the few professional roasters in Paris, Lomi has been a staple in the Montmartre neighborhood since 2010. This multi-use space triples as a roaster, coffee shop, and workshop space! Take their 5-day intensive barista course if you’re really dedicated to the art, or stop by for a 3-hour course on latte art. But be sure not to leave without trying their famous blue cheese coffee!
89 rue Caulaincourt, 75018
For a welcoming local experience in the 18th, look no further than Au Rêve. Frequented by many famous French authors and TV personalities, Au Rêve offers all the essentials you’d expect to find in a French café in a lovely setting on the tree-lined rue Caulaincourt. Sit en terrasse for some great people watching and enjoy the presence of some quirky neighborhood locals.
Hotel Particulier Montmartre
23 avenue Junot, 75018
Paris’ best kept secret, you won’t find this hotel unless you’re specifically looking for it. Head up the gorgeous avenue Junot and make a right at the gate leading to the Passage de la Sorciere, you’ll feel like you just stepped out of Paris and into a magical little world of it’s own. Head down the cobblestone passage until you reach the big boulder at the end and turn left. Looming in front of you, hidden in plain sight, is the incredible Hotel Particulier. Once the house of the Hermès family, this stunning building has been transformed into one of the top boutique hotels in Paris. The idillic garden will transport you away from noisy Paris, and the cocktails from the Très Particulier bar are sure to please any palate. Each of the rooms have been decorated individually with amazing visuals- one is a multicolored forest canopy, another has blown glass all around the room, another uses hats for lampshades. You’ll have to pay a pretty penny, rooms start at €390, but this is one hotel you will never forget in all your years of traveling.
12 rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018
The Sacré Cœur might be the highest point in Paris, but even that famous view can be bested by one of our favorite spots in the city, Terrass’ Hotel. If the incredible rooftop bar and restaurant doesn’t sway you, the trendy, well-decorated rooms sure will. Get a classic room from €165 a night, or upgrade and treat yourself to the Eiffel Tower suite for the perfect view.
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Next step in a most excellent French adventure: finally venture inside #LapinAgile for an evening of cabaret! Everything about this experience was like traveling back in time (start by visiting their website and you'll understand!! but it dates back to 1860 and loads of now famous people used to be regulars - think Picasso!), but also what makes it so awesome. Reservations are required. Payments are check or cash only. Entry includes one complimentary drink (we tried the cherry house specialty drink). Doors open at 9pm and not long after getting settled at our table it was clear we had to keep our voices down: the show had started! Part of the joy of the experience was not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into. Soon we found ourselves singing along! It turned into a night of festive fun and my first true education into French music. 🎼The two main surprises were 1) despite having a menu with prices we never had the opportunity to order more drinks (oddly this was the dryest event I'd ever been to in France 😂) and 2) it seriously was a 4 hour show that ended at 1am!!!! (Yes, even on week nights!). Details aside, it was another magical French experience and some seriously unique team bonding with colleagues. In chatting today one of my French @openclassrooms colleagues pointed out he recognized many of the songs because his grandmother used to sing them. And don't worry if you don't speak French! I do and I didn't understand half the words 🤣 but still found it one of those wonderful experiences. Now I want to go back and get the story behind all the singer/musicians. Oh, and just to clarify- this is NOT Moulin Rouge, there are no boobs in this show, except for a few of the paintings 😉 #lapinagile #paris75018
Instead of going down the touristy front side of the Sacré Cœur, head down the back to avoid the crowds and go to a show at the Lapin Agile. The oldest running cabaret in Paris, this old-timely venue will transport you back to the days when Montmartre was a bohemian artist haven. A unique ambiance where the public joins in singing with the performers while learning about the history of Montmartre. Sit back with a glass of wine (no dinner, unfortunately) and enjoy the show!
Instead of getting off the Metro at Abbesses with the tourists, get off at the next stop, Lamarck Caulaincourt. Take in the classic Montmartre views, walk up the beautiful tree-lined avenue Junot, and pop in to the hidden Hotel Particulier for a drink before heading up to the Sacré Cœur.
September 3, 2018
July 23, 2018