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North of the historic Marais district, the third arrondissement (Haut Marais) entices visitors with its tangle of streets, non-touristic charm and fashionable addresses. Once a manufacturing hub, this now uber-trendy neighborhood first made its mark on the Paris trend map in 2009, following the opening of Merci concept shop, a former wallpaper factory, on Boulevard Beaumarchais. It was in fact Ofr. bookstore and gallery that was the first to settle in, years earlier, now the artful meeting place of locals.
This Right Bank quartier, spanning from the Picasso Museum to the Place de la République, boasts an array of chic coffee shops, independent fashion boutiques, and modern and eclectic eateries. Discreetly located on rue de Bretagne, Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’s oldest covered market, reveals produce and cuisine from around the world, including Japan, Italy and Africa. With the 2014 reopening of the Carreau du Temple, a 70,000 sq ft exhibition space housed in a former covered market, many of Paris’s largest cultural events now take place here, from Hermès expositions to food truck festivals. The stylish 3ème is certainly a place to see, if not to be seen.
Coffee: If you’re a coffee connoisseur, you’ve come to the right neighborhood. Some of Paris’s best cafés roast their beans in the North Marais. Stop by Fondation Café (16 Rue Dupetit Thouars) for a caffeine fix and mingle with the locals. For a leisurely café crème facing the Square du Temple park, take a seat at The Broken Arm (12 Rue Perrée), also a Nordic fashion boutique. The most characteristically charming and cozy, is Boot Café (19 Rue du Pont aux Choux). You could easily pass an entire day tasting top roasts at Café Loustic (40 Rue Chapon), paired with an assortment of sweet and savory bites.
Shopping: With so many emerging designers setting up shop in the Haut Marais, this is the neighborhood for ‘Made in Paris’ labels, along with a few established French brands by the names of Isabelle Marant (47 Rue de Saintonge) and Vanessa Bruno (100 Rue Vieille du Temple). Walking along Rue Charlot you’ll discover unique accessory and fashion labels, some with in-store ateliers like artisanal jeweler Jonas Bowman (79 Rue Charlot). This too, is where the first yoga boutique Yoga Concept (123 Rue de Turenne) opened its doors in 2010. For niche designers shop at luxury multi-brand shop Tom Greyhound (19 Rue de Saintonge). If you favor consignment, Violette et Leonie (114 Rue de Turenne) handpicks some of the best women’s attire, ranging from high-end to ready-to-wear.
Restaurants: With an expansive list of dining options, here are my favorites. For the best steak frites and other meat dishes, head to L’Aller Retour (5 Rue Charles-François Dupuis), neighboring popular wine bar Le Barav. With two new outposts, Season (1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis) has become the local canteen for the fashion elite, serving light bites and healthy fare. Enjoy a classic bistro experience at newly opened Bistro Le Carreau (1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis). The only address you need for crêpes is authentic Breton crêperie Breizh Café (109 Rue Vieille du Temple). For the best Texas barbeque and bourbon selection in the French capital, enter The Beast (27 Rue Meslay).
If you’re in the mood to detox, try vegetarian hotspot Café Pinson (6 Rue du Forez) or the neighborhood’s organic and gluten-free favorite, Wild & The Moon (55 Rue Charlot). With the recent addition of Italian restaurant Biglove Caffè, whether you’re eating gluten or not, you’ll be well fed. Hidden along Rue Saintonge you’ll discover SŌMA (13 Rue de Saintonge), a convivial modern Japanese bistro.
For gastronomic cuisine, head west crossing Boulevard du Temple and you’ll encounter longtime French favorite Pramil (9 Rue du Vertbois). Featuring more innovative options, the latest destination in haute dining is ELMER (30 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth). For a seasonal plate of oysters take a seat at dimly lit and decorative Istr (41 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth).
Chocolate: A walk around Paris isn’t complete without a stop for chocolate. Where better than at top French chocolatier Jacques Genin (133 Rue de Turenne). His spacious shop-cum-tea salon reveals an assortment of ganache and praline, alongside his famous caramels. The decadent hot chocolate alone is worth tasting. Another chocolate master, Jean-Paul Hevin, recently moved in nearby (41 Rue de Bretagne). Not to be missed is one of the oldest chocolate shops Meert (16 Rue Elzevir), originating in Lille in 1761.
Art: Another feature of the Haut Marais is its art. For over a decade, galleries have taken residence in many of the storefronts along the third arrondissement, some hidden within courtyards behind regal doors. Walking along Rue du Perche towards Rue Debelleyme, you’ll discover quite a few noteworthy spaces including Galerie Lazarew and Galerie Perrotin. Just months ago, the French crafts concept store EMPREINTES (5 Rue de Picardie) opened in a massive four-story industrial space. Over 1,000 unique and limited edition artworks are showcased, including tableware, ornaments, jewelry, furniture, etc, all created by French artists and craftsmen.
There’s much more to reveal in the evolving 75003, but I will leave the rest for you to discover.
Lead photo credit : The rue Vieille-du-Temple and the Picasso Museum. Photo: Kasia Dietz