A Culinary Passage in Paris

IMG_9068.jpgI get asked quite a lot to recommend places for people to visit when in Paris. I’m pretty fortunate to be able to visit Paris each summer and we absolutely love everything about the city of love. Paris to me is such a liveable city in any season.

I love the Parisian sense of style, exploring the side streets and discovering new places in and around the city.

“Of course then there’s the food. In Paris a cheese sandwich is never just a cheese sandwich, it’s always an experience.”

There are twenty arrondissements in Paris which are arranged in the form of a clockwise spiral, funnily enough it is likened to a snail shell, escargot anyone?

paris-arrondissments-map.pngStarting from the very heart of the city on the Right Bank of the Seine is the 1st arrondissement, it then spirals out from there until the 20th arrondissement.

If you’re wanting to know which arrondissement you’re in simply check the street signs. The number is most often written in Roman numerals.

“You’ll find something amazing around every corner in all arrondissements however you’ll no doubt have your favourites too. I gravitate toward the 9th quite often as I love the evening buzz of the Opera district. The surrounding arrondissements are all fascinating and provide the perfect geography for long days strolling the streets.”

Next to the 9th you’ll wander into the 2nd and you will no doubt stumble across my favourite culinary passage in Paris. The Passage des Panoramas. 

dsc_0530Opened in 1834 and going strong ever since, featured in Emile Zola’s 1880 novel ‘Nana’, the Passage des Panoramas is the most characterful of Paris’s covered galleries, crammed with quality bars and restaurants, vintage postcard shops and philatelist boutiques.

First up is the quirky Victoria Station, where you can dine in what looks like a velvet-lined train carriage, followed by an array of diverse venues, the gluten-free Noglu, Indian, Italian and Chinese restaurants and much more.

Branching off the main gallery, tributaries the Galerie des Varietés and Galerie Montmartre house hip wine bar Coinstot Vino and co-working canteen Silicon, among other treats. You’ll also find an Italian Street Food vendor and an Italian Wine Bar, I highly recommend these. 

“The covered passages of Paris are remnants of times before Baron Haussmann set about transforming the city. From the 18th–19th century 150 passages were constructed, enabling wealthy people to shop regardless of the weather. Today just 15 passages remain.”

dsc_0528All of the remaining passages are located on the Right Bank. Built in 1799, this one is the oldest. Enter at 11 Boulevard Montmartre. It’s incredibly charming with lots of small old boutiques, bars and restaurants.

If you are heading to Paris and haven’t wondered through the Passage des Panoramas, do yourself a favour and check it out. The best time to visit is after 6pm. You’ll get the after work crowds during the week, and a few tourists on weekends. After dark the passage is filled with tables and chairs spilling from the restaurants. It can get quite hot inside on a warm summers night.

I love to check out all of the menus mid-afternoon before heading back in the evening for drinks and dinner. You can even try out a few of the restaurants by starting with drinks at one, and moving on to others for your entree, main course, dessert and fromage.

Do you have a favourite spot in Paris? Or do you have a local restaurant near you that you just can’t stop going back too? Please leave a comment below. 

Mike x

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