I like in a hive of hipsters down the road from Bastille, on the border of Paris’ 11th and 12 arrondissements. Here’s where they go, and where I go sometimes too when I can be dragged out of my pyjamas #FreelanceLife. Actually no, I have gone to some of these in my pyjamas.
COFFEE AND CAKE
8 Rue Saint-Bernard, 75011 Paris
Go for: brunch, browse, see and be seen
Recently re-opened after months of renovation, at the time of writing they haven’t got their credit card machine up and working yet but that’s no biggie. Not super cheap, but great homemade salads, quiches and cakes with outdoor seating and a shop at the back where they sell second-hand clothes, knick-knacks and stocking-filler chocolate Eiffel towers.
5 Rue Saint-Bernard, 75011 Paris
Go for: great food and coffee, window perching, parlez-vous anglais
Directly opposite MM&M, this café/restaurant is run by a couple and their gorgeous little daughter (there might even be two). Dad’s behind the stove while mum runs the room. While, yes, it’s on the hipster radar, you’ll also find people working here in the morning, children running around at lunch, the well-heeled and suited, as well as rowdy evening dinner groups. Mokonuts appeals to everyone. It’s super small though.
BEER, BEER AND BLEARY EYES
27 Rue de Cotte – 75012 Paris
Go for: atmosphere, young and free, beer variety, beer quantity
Beer aficionados, welcome home. This bar quickly gained notoriety in the area and is now a firm favorite, not only of craft beer drinkers but drinkers in general. Things get messy on the weekend, with the small cobbled street spilling over with locals and the occasional group of tourists from the nearby youth hostel. It’s bigger than you’d expect inside, so can be a fun idea if you’re with a group – although don’t go too late, you won’t be able to squeeze in.
5 Rue Trousseau, 75011 Paris
Go for: parlez-vous anglais, beer and beer (and cocktails), happy hour
I am far from the first English-speaker to have “discovered” this IPA paradise. Like the Troll café, it gets very busy, especially on weekends, but on a slightly more sophisticated level. I’m not a huge beer drinker, which is why I appreciate their generous Bloody Marys and the 5€ Happy Hours (5-8pm)
WINE, DINE AND SOPHISTICATE
34 Rue de Cîteaux, 75012 Paris
Go for: See and be seen, nibble a planche, wine o’clock
On the rue des Citeaux, labelled a “rue vegetale” due to a handful of orange plant containers and grass-sprouting cobblestones, this uber-hipster wine bar/cave hotspot is a nice treat. Take your mum or a date that’s worth it. Pretend it’s where you get all your wine from.
3 Rue Basfroi, 75011 Paris
Go for: see and be seen, buy your boss a bottle, cosy apéro
Say the word “Septime” to any true Parisian hipster and they will nod sagely and with respect. While this little wine cellar with a few food options is not the famous (and infamously-difficult to reserve) Septime restaurant, it has the same street cred and does actually sell nice wine for most budgets. They didn’t bat an eye at my “moins de dix balles” ceiling when I went to buy a bottle for a colleague’s leaving do. I didn’t know her that well.