Tag Archives: Canal Saint-Martin

Du Pain et des Idees by Meg Zimbeck

Du Pain et Des Idées

Christophe Vasseur’s breads are worth crossing town for, and many people do.

 An absolute favorite

Practical information

Address: 34 rue Yves Toudic, 75010
Nearest transport: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
Hours: Monday-Friday 6:45am-8pm; Closed Saturday, Closed Sunday
Telephone: 01 42 40 44 52

Reviews of interest

Hipsters in Paris (2013) “It really is one of those dream Paris addresses that one (naïvely) expects to find on every street corner, with a goal to preserve time-honoured baking traditions and churn out exceptional product.”

Food Intelligence (2011) A video from Bruno Verjus profiling Vasseur’s products & philosophy.

Gilles Pudlowski (2011) “…il y aussi le pain au blé, celui au seigle ou aux châtaignes, issus de levain. Plus les jolies viennoiseries: pain au raisin, chausson aux pommes fraîches, palmier croustillant ou encore crumbles et – tartelettes aux fruits. Bref, une belle demeure avec son artisan hors norme…”

Barbra Austin (2010) “Formed by hand and given a slow rise, these are loaves with character…”

Croque-Camille (2010) “Yes, I’ve already written about Du Pain et des Idées, but that was before I became a regular…It is safe to say that I have by now sampled all their products…”

Meg Zimbeck for Budget Travel (2009) “Vasseur’s wildly popular pain des amis (friendship bread) makes me want to move to the neighborhood. Light but chewy, with a nutty fragrance and deliciously charred bottom—it’s one of the best I’ve ever tried.”

David Lebovitz (2008) “One of my absolute favorite bakeries in Paris…”

Clotilde Dusoulier (2008) Recommended in Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris.

Canal Saint-Martin Paris 75010

Eating & Drinking the Canal St-Martin

There are few neighborhoods that are nicer for strolling than the area around the Canal Saint-Martin. On warm evenings, the waterway that runs through this neighborhood provides the backdrop for a great number of picnics and impromptu acoustic concerts. There’s plenty to enjoy here that doesn’t require sitting on the ground or listening to another rendition of “No Woman No Cry.” Here are our favorites.

Best for Breakfast or Afternoon Coffee

ten belles paris sausage roll photo meg zimbeckSausage rolls at Ten Belles

Ten Belles – Just steps from the canal, this tiny café is serving beautiful coffee drinks. It’s sometimes cramped and a little uncomfortable, but the scones, healthy sandwiches and devilish sausage rolls make up for that. Open every day.

soup holybelly photo catherine downButternut squash soup at Holybelly

Holybelly – Pancakes, poached eggs and hearty seasonal fare served alongside excellent coffee sourced from Belleville Brûlerie in a sunny space. An international array of coffee preparations (flat whites, espressos, long blacks, cappuccinos, and very good “real deal” filtered coffee) are available. The exceptionally friendly service is notable. Closed Tuesday & Wednesday.

Café Craft – Good coffee with a designated co-working space for the laptop laden. Strong wireless signal and plenty of plugs make it ideal for freelancers to camp out. Open every day.

Best for Lunch

bobs sandwichSandwich at Bob’s Juice Bar

Bob’s Juice Bar – Bob’s is the place to detox (and a vegetarian’s best bet in the hood) with fresh juices, veggie sandwiches on homemade bagels, soups and salads. Open every day.

la taverne de zhao parisLa Taverne de Zhao

La Taverne de Zhao – Cheap and cheerful cooking from the Shaanxi province, courtesy of Zhao, who hails from Xi’an. Get the pork-filled flatbread and don’t worry about the number of people waiting outside – the line moves fast. Open every day.

the sunken chipFish, chips and mushy peas at The Sunken Chip

The Sunken Chip – Michael Greenwold of Roseval and James Whelan of L’Inconnu have teamed up to open a dedicated fish and chips shop. Hake, pollock or catch of the day are available alongside thick chips and mushy peas. There are a few communal tables available, but we prefer ordering to go and enjoying our fish along the water. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

julesetshimVegetarian Bibimbap at Jules et Shim 

Jules et Shim – It’s not the best or most authentic bibimbap, but it’s a fresh & healthy option and makes for good takeout eating along the canal. Open every day.

Best for Cocktails

Le Coq – A bar near République that distinguishes itself by using traditional French liqueurs and ingredients as the base of its menu. Closed Sunday.

Best for Dinner


Philou – Chef Philippe Damas is showcasing the season’s best ingredients at a great value in this tiny bistro. In nice weather, snag a table on the terrasse. Closed Sunday & Monday.

Siseng – Burgers are ubiquitous in Paris, but the unique ones at Siseng are worth seeking out. The house specialty is bao burgers: five spiced beef patties with tamarind and tempura onion or a crispy chicken filet with coconut milk & basil on steamed Chinese buns. Open every day.

Hai Kai – One of the trendiest openings of 2013, this canalside joint from chef Amélie Darvas has a fresh product-focused menu that changes daily, a beautiful airy space, and frustratingly slow service. You’ve been warned. Closed Sunday dinner, Monday & Tuesday.

Le Cambodge – Where bobos go for bo bun, and other Vietnamese treats. Go early or be ready to queue. Alternately, visit the tiny annex Le Petit Cambodge to get your bo bun to go. Closed Sunday.

el nopal photo barbra austinTacos from El Nopal

El Nopal – A crowd queues at this sliver of a taqueria off the canal for Claudia and Alejandro’s tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Plan on taking it to go. It’s north of the prime spots along the canal, but the extra leg work involved is worth it for legitimately spicy Mexican. Veggie options available, too. Closed Monday.

Exceptional Shops

For Bread & Pastry

escargots du pain et des ideesEscargots at Du Pain et Des Idées 

Du Pains et Des Idées – One of our absolute favorite bakeries in Paris and one of very few bakers still using a woodburning oven, Christophe Vasseur’s breads are destination worthy. Excellent pastries and small stuffed savory breads called mini-pavé are ideal carry out. Closed Saturday & Sunday.

Liberté – We prefer the breakfast pastries and the breads (particularly the dark chocolate bread with white chocolate chips) to the desserts at this brand new & very sleek bakery from Benoît Castel. They have several sandwiches, salads and savory foccacias available at lunch. Closed Monday.

canal saint martinPicnicking along the canal

Other Neighborhood Guides:

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Best Picnic Spots & Provisions in Paris

Paris is packed with ideal picnic locations, but where to buy the food and wine? Here are our selection of the best stops for portable provisions (cheese, charcuterie, breads, sweets, prepared foods and bottles) near our favorite picnic spots.

Our Favorite Picnic Spots in Paris

Click on any of our favorite picnic places below for our map showing where to buy your food and wine at each location.

Picnicking at the Sacré-CœurAt the Sacré-Cœur

2695777756_4d11b56d6e_oAlong the Seine

Canal Saint-MartinCanal Saint-Martin

Photo by Dewet via Flickr Champ de Mars (photo via Dewet/Flickr)

Tuileries Palais Royal Palais Royal/The Tuileries (photo via Dalbera/Flickr)

invalides-e1403525719945Esplanade des Invalides

2705502231_d136f84a5d-e1372745672332Luxembourg Gardens (photo by Nadya Peek via Flickr)

4275615569_c166ceeea3Parcs des Buttes-Chaumont and de la Villete

Place-des-Vosges Place des Vosges

Some tips for a pique-nique Parisien:

  • Those whistles you hear in the parks late at night? They’re important. They’re the last call for frolicking before the gates close and you will get locked in the park if you dally too long.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to borrow a tire-bouchon (corkscrew) from a picnic neighbor if you find yourself without an opener. Or ask your wine shopkeeper to open and re-cork your bottle.
  • Drinking is fine in public places. Except these public places.
  • Cheap blankets and disposable serveware can be found at any grocery store. Plastic cups (aka gobelets) can also be bought by the sleeve or individual piece at most bodegas.

Other Warm Weather Posts: 

Chefs Michael Greenwold and James Whelan of The Sunken Chip in Paris | parisbymouth.com

The Sunken Chip

Michael Greenwold of Roseval and James Whelan of L’Inconnu have teamed up to open the first dedicated fish and chips shop in Paris. Hake, pollock or catch of the day are available alongside thick chips and mushy peas. Pickled eggs, fish nuggets, chip butties (french fry sandwiches) and candies from across the chunnel make for an authentic Brit experience.

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Picnicking Along Canal Saint-Martin

Below you’ll find our suggestions for where to pick up cheese, sweets, wine and other picnic provisions  before dining along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin.


  • Du Pain et Des Idées – Christophe Vasseur’s breads are worth crossing town for, and many people do. Excellent pastries and small stuffed savory breads called mini-pavé are picnic-perfect.
  • El Nopal – Taco picnic! It’s north of the prime spots along the canal, but the extra leg work involved is worth it for legitimately spicy burritos, tacos, quesadillas and more. Veggie options available too.
  • La Cantine de Quentin – This canal-side épicerie has tasty prepared foods, tempting products and bottles to go, too.
  • Pink Flamingo – “Pas comme les autres,” is the motto at kitschy cool Pink Flamingo Pizza. Take-out and delivery available at all locations. You’ll spot the pink balloons given to picnickers up and down the water for those who have their pies delivered to the canal.
  • Jules et Shim – Truffaut film-inspired Korean takeaway. Lukewarm bibimbap is packed to-go for easy canalside snacking. They have a 4 person picnic prix fixe for 44 euros.
  • Le Cambodge – You can order to-go containers where bobos go for bo bun. Go early or be ready to queue.
  • Helmut Newcake – Thanks to this pastry shop, gluten-intolerant gourmandes can have their gateau and eat it, too.


  • La Cantine de Quentin – This canal-side épicerie has tasty prepared foods, tempting products and bottles to go, too.

Canal Saint-Martin

Other Ideal Picnic Places:

Other Warm Weather Posts: