Once the last neighbourhood any sane Parisian would willingly set foot in (unless a mugging at knife-point was on the agenda), the Faubourg Poissonière area has metamorphosed over the last few years into a hip hub of trendiness and fooding thanks to a wily young generation of entrepreneurs and restaurateurs who looked at its rock-bottom property prices, eclectic architecture and proximity to the Grands Boulevards and knew they were onto a good thing.
Admire the architectural facades of Hotel Bony, Folies Bergères and Cité de Trévise before falling under the charm of the quirky shops and time-warp spell of Cité Bergère, Passage Verdeau, Passage Jouffroy and Passage des Panoramas.
Pop into Hotel Drouot, Paris' oldest auction house, a (surprisingly) accessible anthill where novices, experts and everyone in between mingle in bargain-hunting fraternité.
Bring out your inner Willa Wonka at Paris' oldest sweet shop, À La Mère de Famille (35, Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009). Established in 1761, the boutique is a heart-warming hodgepodge of vintage patterned floors, pendant lights and lopsided wooden counters groaning under the delicious weight of chocolates, bonbons and confectioneries.
Good family options on a rainy day:
- A visit to Musée Grévin, not the best wax museum in the world but not the worst either.
- A behind-the-scenes tour of Le Grand Rex. Modelled on New York's Radio City Hall, this listed 1932 Art-Deco edifice is Europe's largest cinema and an unabashedly kitschy monument to the golden heyday of cinema.
- For something (scarily) different: Le Manoir de Paris, a haunted manor, Parisian-style. Book your tickets online.
Above all, eat, drink and be merry! The entire neighbourhood is basically one big foodie crawl where you would be hard pressed to find a bad meal (see below for a few addresses).
Faubourg Poissonière Addresses
- Hotel de Nell, 9 rue de la Conservatoire, 75009- Low key luxury and amenities à gogo in a serene, minimalist setting.
- Hôtel Adèle & Jules, 2 et 4bis Cité Rougemont,75009- Located in a quiet thoroughfare just a hop, skip and jump away the bustle of the Faubourg Poissonière, this charming boutique hotel is spread between two townhouses and offers bucketfuls of laid-back Parisian chic and an authentically warm ambience.
- My Home For You, 10 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75009- For those who like to be in the middle of all the Grands Boulevards action, this stylishly renovated, four-bedroom bed and breakfast property, just opposite Le Grand Rex, is perfectly positioned. Contemporary Parisian elegance and a home-away-from-home welcome.
- Bistro Papillon, 6 Rue Papillon, 75009- Seasonal menus and local sourcing for this small bistronomic gem.
- Porte 12, 12 rue des Messageries, 75009- Refined modern French cuisine in beautifully understated surroundings.
- Albion, 80 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009- Nothing perfidious about this contemporary bistro à vin; small, well-balanced menus and amiable service.
- Pedzouille, 66 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009- A mi.nis.cule stable-meets-country themed eatery serving excellent meats and direct from the farm produce at inflation-busting prices … (as you will be practically sitting in your neighbour's lap, this is not a place for the claustrophobic or the anti-social).
- Café Pinson, 58 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009- A local HQ for all things gluten-free, organic and healthy, healthy, healthy.
- Michalak, 60 Fbg Poissonière, 75009 - Premium pâtisseries from one of Paris' star pastry chefs.
- La Regalade Conservatoire, 9 Rue du Conservatoire, 75009- The latest Regalade offshoot from Bruno Doucet, a founding father of the bistronomique movement.
- Bien Elevé, 47 Rue Richer, 75009- A produce-driven bistro with meat-focused menus.
- Yafo, 96 rue d'Hauteville 75010 Paris- A deli-café specialising in all things houmous. Yummy.