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Holybelly

Pancakes, poached eggs and hearty seasonal fare served alongside excellent coffee sourced from Belleville Brûlerie in a sunny space along the Canal St. Martin. An international array of coffee preparations (flat whites, espressos, long blacks, cappuccinos, and very good “real deal” filtered coffee) are accompanied by hot chocolate made from homemade chocolate syrup and a selection of teas from Le Parti du Thé. The exceptionally friendly service is notable. Also notable, the lines for weekend brunch. Get there early.

Tiger

On a busy street lined with touristy pubs near Saint Sulpice, Tiger is a cocktail-focused breath of fresh air. Gin & tonics are the specialty here, with more than six variations on the standard available, all made with Tiger’s homemade tonic. Other gin-based cocktails make up a strong part of the menu (think French 75 or martinez), and, as one might expect, the selections for individual gins are excellent, including a version from noted calvados producer Christian Drouin. Those seeking a little variety have other options in the form of a short classic cocktails menu, too. Vaguely Southeast Asian small plates are available, too, if you’re hungry, but the laidback atmosphere and fun cocktails are the true draw.

Helmed by the gregarious Stanislas Jouenne, formerly at La Maison du Whisky, Tiger is a relaxed alternative to the other more serious (and more uptight) cocktail destination nearby, Prescription Club.

Mabel

Grilled cheese seems like the epitome of spontaneous late-night eats, yet you’ll want to make a reservation at Mabel if you’d like yours washed down with a cocktail. The small speakeasy-style bar nestled behind a family-friendly grilled cheese sandwich shop requires clients to be seated, which is great for a cozy tête-à-tête and less exciting for those who want to mingle. It also means that, while walk-ins are welcome, they could well be disappointed. If the sandwich alone is your poison, you’re better off visiting the street-facing shop,  where alongside the traditional a handful of other flavors including a classic tuna melt, vegetarian pepperoni, pulled pork, and rum marinated bacon with egg are on offer. They’re authentically greasy enough despite the virtues of seeded bread. 

Mmmozza

Address: 57, rue de Bretagne, 75003
Hours: Open Tuesday-Thursday 10am-3pm, 4-8pm. Open Friday & Saturday 10am-8pm. Open Sunday 10am-2:30pm. Open Monday 10am-3pm, 5-8pm.
Telephone: +33 1 42 71 82 98
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Mmmozza has one of the bbbest selections of mozzarella that you’ll find in the city, ranging from tiny bocconcini, to a baseball-sized burrata stuffed with black truffles, to an enormous braided rope of bufala mozzarella, hacked off by the slice. The skinny sliver of an Italian specialty shop has lines out the door at lunch for its messy, affordable sandwiches featuring fresh mozzarella, cured meats and vegetables, and arugula. When the weather is nice, there’s outdoor seating or you can chow down in the Square du Temple park directly opposite. A variety of imported prosciuttos and salamis, stuffed pastas, oils and vinegars, and a small but quality range of Italian wines are also available for purchase.

L’Arbre à Café

Address: 10, rue du Nil, 75002
Hours: Open Tuesday-Friday 12:30-3:15pm, 4-7:30pm. Open Saturday 10am-3pm, 4-7pm. Closed Sunday & Monday.
Telephone: +33 1 84 17 24 17
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Fuel your coffee fetish at the same place that Pierre Hermé does. This little shop on the foodie dream street of rue du Nil sells coffee equipment and freshly roasted single-origin beans from 15-20 small-scale coffee farmers. It’s not a true café where you can linger, but you can grab one of the most interesting shots of espresso in town or an expert cold-brewed coffee. And for chocoholics, they offer Claudio Corrallo chocolates and homemade chocolat chaud.

Deux Fois Plus de Piment

This is one Chinese spot that doesn’t cater to the French palate. There are signs above the cash register that attest to this fact and warn about the potential gastronomic woes that could ensue after eating the pepper-laden Szechuan fare. Whether it’s soft Mapo tofu with crumbly pork bits or cold, sesame soaked cucumber salad, everything is slicked in fire oil, with an emphasis on the oil. I like this inexpensive, informal joint all the same (or perhaps because of it). Pork raviolis & spicy cabbage are two perennial favorites, and the broccoli with garlic provides a nice respite from the burn. You can choose your own heat level on a scale of 1-5 on most dishes. Level 3 is usually tongue-searingly warm enough for a spice lover. The restaurant is quite small so a larger group should plan to either eat early, book ahead, or take it to-go.