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Restaurants in Montmartre and Pigalle

Our recommendations for the best restaurants in Montmartre and Pigalle

1/16

The hilly trails of Montmarte and Pigalle are stuffed with culinary goodies. Click on the arrow above to start exploring some of our favourites. Think we've missed a great restaurant in Montmartre and Pigalle? Let us know in the comment box below.

2/16

The terrace of La Fourmi [the ant], whose name is a wink to the nearby concert hall La Cigale [the cicada], is a summer sun-trap for pretty girls with cute haircuts and skimpy dresses, attracting a throng of Pigalle street singers come to serenade their charms. As soon as they launch into song, the venue’s crowd of arty bohos take up position behind the big bay windows of the big main room with its high ceilings and post-industrial décor – an enormous, yet warm and friendly wood-panelled space, with a stunning chandelier made of glass bottles.

Come here to sip cocktails, glasses of wine and beers (€2.80 a pale ale) – all very affordable when compared to the neighbouring Café la Cigale or the Petit Trianon. The area is full of Parisians helping out at concerts at the Cigale, the Boule Noire, the Trianon and the Divan du Monde, so be prepared to fight your way through to get to the bar, and for the attention of the perfectly nice but overstretched staff. If, by a miracle, you get a table, there’s a menu of sandwiches, salads, charcuterie boards and some dishes of the day.

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3/16

The change that continues to sweep the Grands Boulevards is embodied in this prominent, round-the-clock bar-bistro. There’s a permanently busy terrace below a colourful stripy awning, and the cavernous, split-level interior has a cool neo-industrial feel. Prices are steep, so push the boat out and opt for an expertly made fruit daiquiri, or a Bonne Nouvelle of Bombay Sapphire gin and Pisang Ambon. There are rarer bottled beers too – Monaco, Picon and various brews from Brabant. A board advertises a decent range of proper eats: burger-frites (€15) and so on.

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4/16

This friendly modern bistro is a welcome addition to a neighbourhood where good-value restaurants are scarce. Big mirrors, red banquettes and a glass ceiling at the back give it character, while the very professional food and service reflect the owners' haute cuisine training. Expect dishes such as a salad of whelks with white beans, crisp-skinned duck and chanterelle mushrooms, and a petit pot de crème vanille with little chocolate cakes.

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5/16

Montmartre was once peppered with flour-grinding windmills, and this modern restaurant (named after the Moulin de la Galette cabaret of which it was once a part) is set inside one of only two remaining mills – the other being private property just a few doors down on rue Lepic. A more more idyllic setting you will not find, with a sweet little courtyard draped in ivy. The food is contemporary French cuisine, such as pan-fried foie gras with lemongrass and juniper berries, or cochon de lait (suckling pig) with creamy potato purée. The desserts, such as caramelised figs and chocolate fondant, are beautifully presented. If you’re on a budget, opt for the set menus, and choose your wine carefully.

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6/16

It’s official: Le Sancerre, a once popular rock bar that attracted everyone from alcohol-fuelled transvestites to tourists and local bobos, has cleaned up its act.  Gone forever is the cheap beer and trashy music. Instead you’ll find a buzzing 1930’s style café with traditional fare and bourgeois punters who fight for a spot on the terrace. Fans of its former incarnation will undoubtedly be disappointed, but time moves on, and today’s Sancerre is far more suited to Montmartre’s yuppie residents.  It you’re in the area, pop by for a glass of chardonnay and the Sancerre’s special triple burgers (filled respectively with guacamole, cheddar and bacon) - possibly the only thing not to have changed.

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7/16

Jean-Luc André is as inspired a decorator as he is a cook, and the quirky charm of his fresco clad dining room has made it popular with fashion designers and film stars. But behind the style there's some serious substance. André seeks out the best ingredients from local producers, and the quality shines through. Everything is à la carte and changes with the seasons: dishes might include marinated sardines with tomato relish, rosemary-scented rabbit with roasted vegetables, deep purple poached figs and a rather luxurious tournedos Rossini, consistently and perfectly pink.

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8/16

Fed up with the impracticalities of pushing her pram (poussette) into the local café, mother of two Laurence Constant designed her own parent- and child-friendly establishment. This upmarket salon de thé caters for the harassed parent (herbal teas, smoothies, quiches and salads) and demanding baby (purées, solids and cuddly toys).

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9/16

This English-themed café run by a Franco-British couple stands out for the quality of its ingredients – organic or from small producers – as well as the too-good-to-be-true puddings: carrot cake, sticky toffee pudding and, in winter, a chocolate-chestnut tart. The DIY salad plate is crunchily satisfying, but the thin-crusted pizzettes, daily soups and occasional risottos are equally good choices. Don't expect much beyond scones in the morning except at weekends, when brunch is served to a packed-out house. The dining room is minimalist but welcoming.

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10/16
© Anthony de Anfrasio & Patricia Westermann

From the man behind successful restaurants Drouant and Mon Viel Ami, Antoine Westermann’s ‘bistrotisserie’ (a pimped rotisserie, if you like) feels like a chic mountain chalet retreat. His gourmet poultry dishes are served in an elegant white-walled space lined with sleek banquettes, in the heights of Montmartre’s Rue Lepic. We started with a gooey boiled egg, whose crunchy soldiers came with delicious truffle-infused butter, and ‘la planchette de béatilles’ – nibble-sized pieces of chicken heart, gizzards, and sticky chicken wings. Then the main event, the birds: a perfectly roasted portion of Challans chicken with succulent gravy and crunchy frites, and a juicy helping of guinea fowl with crispy golden skin, served on a bed of caramelized sauerkraut with velvety mashed potato, the sweet cabbage bringing out the bird’s subtle gamey flavour.  To finish up, a gargantuan chocolate millefeuille and an iced Grand Marnier mousse with a sharp orange salad.

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11/16

La Balançoire’s devilishly delicious details are a large part of its charm. Big wooden tables hold magnetised knives and forks in pretty patterns, a swing (the ‘balançoire’) sways gently in the doorway, jars of sweets and pickles are dotted about and mixed in with bits and pieces from second-hand markets, all creating an atmosphere of offbeat charm.

But it’s really the big chalkboard menu that deserves full attention, and the wine list. The manager, Antonin, will recommend vintages to match your dishes, and his staff are as knowledgeable and attentive as he is. The food changes according to the season or the mood of the chef, all imaginative versions of traditional French recipes: cream of lentil soup, casserole-baked eggs with mushrooms, caramelised duck cottage pie, French toast with Nutella, caramel poached pear, or a selection of miniature desserts for the indecisive. Before you leave you may well be offered one of Antonin's secret potions: caramel-, jellybean- or bubble-gum-flavoured drinks. All very easy on the palate; much like La Balançoire itself.

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12/16

Named for Parisian novelist Eugène Sue, the gourmet cuisine at La Table d’Eugène is actually affordable. Too bad for Eugène himself, who departed this life in 1857. The décor is, admittedly, charmless, but the men behind the scenes – Geoffroy Maillard and François Vaudeschamps – are both talented and driven.

They cook up some magnificent food using simple flavours, all skilfully assembled and beautifully presented. There’s blue shrimp from Mozambique in a walnut crust, or ravioli of Bresse chicken with foie gras and morel mushrooms in a wine, cream and foie gras sauce. There’s a perfectly cooked pork chop with a truffle emulsion, accompanied by the marvellous house speciality, a risotto with macaroni and boletus mushrooms. It’s all faultless.

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13/16

Two bright upstarts (Anne and Sébastien) determined to make their mark on Paris's bar scene are behind this venture – and they're going about it the right way. Offering a long list of wines (from just €3), free assiettes apéros (peanuts, olives and tapenades on toast) and decor that is perfect vintage chic, the formula is spot on. A small but mouthwatering selection of hot dishes, salads, cheese and saucisson platters (set lunch menu €20, mains from €15) help soak up the wine. Look out for the tasting classes, given by a guest sommelier.

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14/16

Italian fever has seized the north side of Montmartre’s Butte: there’s Trattoria Pulcinella on rue Eugène Sue, La Pulcinella and Locanda Pulcinella pizzeria on rue Damrémont; and as if that weren’t enough, another Italian, L’Angelo, has recently opened too. That’s a lot of choice; but don’t be daunted. The locals have already discerned the best. They keep coming back to Trattoria Pulcinella – for its generous plates of antipasti (€15), fine-based pizzas laden with fresh toppings (€12-€16), hearty pasta dishes (€14) and seriously delicious tiramisu (€6). Reserve a table before 8pm, or order a glass of sparkling lambrusco to pass the time while you queue. 

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15/16

Guilo Guilo knows how to get you excited. The new darling of Paris's Japanese cuisine scene won't let you in unless you phone them up, book a table, then patiently wait for three weeks. By the time we'd sat down to sample its much vaunted set menu, we were positively gagging for a portion of raw fish and seaweed.

So if we tell you that the ensuing meal didn't quite live up to our expectations, that's not saying much. Yet mingled with the panoply of exotic savours exuded by the restaurant's imaginative dishes was a marked taste of disappointment. It's not for want of variety: over the course of the meal we were treated to grilled eel, fried fois gras, onion tempura, abalone sashimi, small unidentified fried fish, green tea tiramisu and salsify truffles. A curious assortment, then, and not consistently good – the chefs didn't quite pull off the tuna maki sushi, for one.

The layout, which has seats arranged around an open kitchen, allows diners to watch chef Eiichi Edakuni and his team photogenically chopping away at their fish and veg. Yet seeing as the restaurant only offers one set menu, the spectacle soon becomes repetitive. Which brings us to the core problem with Guilo Guilo: it all feels a bit gimmicky and trend-obsessed, which explains the steep price tag (€45 for the set menu, excluding drinks) but doesn't justify it. Worth a detour if you're a fan of Japanese food with a twist, but not if you're a purist.

For more info, please click here.

16/16

A little canteen snuggled up against the Montmartre steps, Soul Kitchen is a delightful café-restaurant overseen by three charming, inspired lady chefs – just the sort of place you’d want as your local. You’d come and drink a creamy coffee and read the news of a morning in the company of the local retirees, and come at midday to eat lunch in great company, choosing from excellent ever-changing menu of homemade recipes made with organic local produce. In the afternoon, you’d hang out with your laptop and a pastry, or just sip a good glass of red before heading on elsewhere.

For more info, click here.

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Area guide: Montmartre & Pigalle

Alas, gone are the days when Montmartre was a tranquil village packed with vines and windmills, although two 'moulins' (windmills) and a small patch of vines do still subsist.  Today, perched high on the 'Butte' (Paris' highest and most northerly hill), the area is tightly packed with houses, spiraling round the mound below the sugary-white dome of the Sacré-Coeur like cubist mushrooms. But despite the thronging tourists (chiefly around place du Tertre) it remains the most unabashedly romantic part of Paris - a place in which to climb quiet stairways, peer down narrow alleys onto ivy-clad houses, and watch the world go by in atmospheric cafés, especially along rue des Abbesses, rue des Trois Frères and rue des Martyrs. Artists have historically been attracted to Montmartre since Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec immortalized the cabarets here in the late 19th-century; and even today an arty vibe lives on thanks to the upwardly-mobile film, music and media types that have moved in. At the foot of Montmartre, Pigalle has a reputation as Paris' centre for sleaze. Peep shows and sex shops still do line the boulevard, but a younger, hipper and resolutely more wholesome crew line the pavements nowadays, queuing to get into cool music clubs like the Boule Noire, La Cigale, and La Machine du Moulin Rouge - a hotbed of electro sound next door to the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Just south of Pigalle, you'll find the often overlooked quarter of New Athens (Nouvelle Athènes) - named after the neo-Classical mansions built by waves of artists, writers and composers in the early 19th-century. To glimpse at these miniature palaces, wonder along rue Ballu, rue St Lazare (painter Paul Delaroche lived at N° 58), rue de la Tour-des-Dames and rue de la Rochefoucauld. The Musée Gustave Moreau on rue de la Rochefoucauld is reason alone to come, featuring the artist's cluttered apartment and light-filled studio. Another wonderful museum is the Musée de la Vie Romantique, which displays mementoes of George Sand's life. It is especially lovely in summer when the rose garden turns into a tearoom. Nightlife in Montmartre & Pigalle La Boule Noire The 'Black Ball' (a former dance hall and cabaret run by the same team as La Cigale) is one of the best rooms for emerging rockers and confirmed groups looking to play an intimate venue. Metallica, The Kills, The Libertines and Cat Power have all graced the stage. Look out for the Boule Noire's Fallenfest music events throughout the year: they're a chance to get up close and personal with the hottest new acts on Paris' music scene. Autour de Midi-Minuit The Tuesday night boeuf (jam session) is always free, as are many other jazz concerts - some by big names like Laurent Epstein, Yoni Zelnik and Bruno Casties. The upstairs restaurant serves reasonably priced French classic cuisine. Le Trianon The Trianon concert hall adds a touch of class to boulevard de Rochechouart with its Belle Epoque architecture and enviable line-up of artists: Tricky, Raphael Saadiq, Moriarty and Macy Gray have all played here, following in the footsteps of French greats like Mistinguett and Jacques Brel. It also doubles as a venue for one-man shows, musicals and circus acts. Since May 2011 you can dine within the art deco surroundings of its adjacent café-bar ‘le Petit Trianon’, which serves good quality French staples like traditional jambon de Paris (Paris ham) served with artisanal mustard. The terrace, sandwiched between the wall and the pavement, also makes a prime spot for watching the local fauna – a Spritz (Campari, orange slices, white wine and fizzy water) in hand, of course. Le Bus Palladium This legendary rock venue, graced by the likes of Mick Jagger and The Beatles in its heyday, is back on the map after a 20-year spell out of the limelight with a vintage house vibe somewhere between retro rockabilly and punk psychedelia. While the new generation gets wild in the pit, former regulars are trying to catch their breath at the restaurant upstairs (8pm-5am Tue-Sat). Check the programme for concerts. Club nights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are a guaranteed riot, and diners get in for free. La Machine du Moulin Rouge So long La Loco, enter La Machine. This three-floor bar/club/live venue has had a substantial makeover and is now reborn with a dash of decadence. The main dancefloor, La Chaufferie, used to be the Moulin Rouge's boiler room and the old pipes remain, but the new Alice in Wonderland-style decor is a breath of fresh air. If you can't take the heat, head for the new terrace or switch to the bouncing Central, a concert hall showcasing new and established talent. Les Trois Baudets All dolled up in black and red, with a 250-seater theatre, an enviable sound system, two bars and a restaurant, this new concert hall encourages chanson française and other musical genres (rock, electro, folk and slam) - as long as they're in French. Hotels in Montmartre & Pigalle Hôtel Particulier Montmartre Visitors lucky (and wealthy) enough to manage to book a suite at the Hôtel Particulier Montmartre will find themselves in one of the city's hidden gems. Nestled in a quiet passage off rue Lepic, in the heart of Montmartre and opposite a mysterious rock known as the Rocher de la Sorcière (witch's rock), this sumptuous Directoire-style house is dedicated to art, with each of the five luxurious suites personalised by an avant-garde artist. The private garden conceived by Louis Bénech (famous for the Tuileries renovation) adds the finishing touch to this charming hideaway. Hôtel Amour Opened back in 2006, this boutique hotel is a real hit with the in crowd. Each of the 20 rooms is unique, decorated on the theme of love or eroticism by a coterie of contemporary artists and designers such as Marc Newson, M&M, Stak, Pierre Le Tan and Sophie Calle. Seven of the rooms contain artists' installations, and two others have their own private bar and a large terrace on which to hold your own party. The late-night brasserie has a coveted outdoor garden, and the crowd is young and beautiful and loves to entertain. Terrass Hotel There's nothing spectacular about this classic hotel, but for people willing to pay top euro for the best views in town, it fits the bill. Ask for room 704 and you can lie in the bath and look at the Eiffel Tower. Julien Rocheteau, trained by Ducasse, is at the helm of gastronomic restaurant Diapason; in fine weather, opt for a table on the seventh-floor terrace, open from June to September. What to see and do in Montmartre & Pigalle Musée de l'Erotisme Seven floors of erotic art and artefacts amassed by collectors Alain Plumey and Joseph Khalifa. The first three run from first-century Peruvian phallic pottery through Etruscan fertility symbols to Yoni sculptures from Nepal; the fourth gives a history of Paris brothels; and the recently refurbished top floors host exhibitions of modern erotic art. Musée National Gustave Moreau This wonderful museum combines the small private apartment of Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826-98) with the vast gallery he built to display his work - set out as a museum by the painter himself, and opened in 1903. Downstairs shows his obsessive collector's nature with family portraits, Grand Tour souvenirs and a boudoir devoted to the object of his unrequited love, Alexandrine Dureux.Upstairs is Moreau's fantasy realm, which plunders Greek mythology and biblical scenes for canvases filled with writhing maidens, trance-like visages, mystical beasts and strange plants. Don't miss the trippy masterpiece Jupiter et Sémélé on the second floor.Printed on boards that you can carry around the museum are the artist's lengthy, rhetorical and mad commentaries. Musée de la Vie Romantique When Dutch artist Ary Scheffer lived in this small villa, the area teemed with composers, writers and artists. Aurore Dupin, Baronne Dudevant (George Sand) was a guest at Scheffer's soirées, along with great names such as Chopin and Liszt. The museum is devoted to Sand, although the watercolours, lockets, jewels and plastercast of her right arm that she left behind reveal little of her ideas or affairs. Venues to check out... La Fourmi Chez Michou Musée de Montmartre Musée d'Art Halle St-Pierre

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Culinary walk

A moveable feast in Montmartre Think Parisian dining is just about snooty waiters and haute cuisine? Think again. John-Paul Fortney's Culinary Tours of Paris are designed to introduce you to the living, local and greedy reality of eating and drinking in Paris.His Montmartre tour includes three restaurant stops within a broader walking tour that explains the history of the area, famed for its artists and writers and their spectacular partying in the early 20th century. The tour price includes charcuterie, main course and dessert, and their matching wines.

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Nightlife in Montmartre and Pigalle

La Machine du Moulin Rouge So long La Loco, enter La Machine. This three-floor bar/club/live venue has had a substantial makeover and is now reborn with a dash of decadence. The main dancefloor, La Chaufferie, used to be the Moulin Rouge's boiler room and the old pipes remain, but the new Alice in Wonderland-style decor is a breath of fresh air. If you can't take the heat, head for the new terrace or switch to the bouncing Central, a concert hall showcasing new and established talent. Les Trois Baudets All dolled up in black and red, with a 250-seater theatre, an enviable sound system, two bars and a restaurant, this new concert hall encourages chanson française and other musical genres (rock, electro, folk and slam) - as long as they're in French. Moulin Rouge Toulouse-Lautrec posters, glittery lamp-posts and fake trees lend guilty charm to this revue. On stage, 60 Doriss dancers cavort with faultless synchronisation. Costumes are flamboyant and the entr'acte acts funny. The only downer is the space, with tables packed in like sardines. There's also an occasional matinée. La Cigale Easily one of Paris's finest venues, the lovely, horseshoe-shaped theatre La Cigale is linked to more cosy venue La Boule Noire, good for catching cult-ish visiting indie and rock acts. Le Divan du Monde After a drink in the seriously cool Fourmi opposite, pop over to the Divan for one-off parties and regular events. The upstairs specialises in VJ events, and downstairs holds dub, reggae, funk and world music club nights. La Fourmi La Fourmi was a precursor to the industrial-design, informal, music-led bars that have sprung up around Paris - and it's still very much a style leader, attracting everyone from in-the-know tourists to fashionable Parisians. Great throughout the day for coffees or a beer, it has a small seating area outside and an always busy bar with DJ decks. You can stay into the early hours at weekends, but it's also a handy pre-club rendezvous and flyer supplier. La Boule Noire The 'Black Ball' (a former dance hall and cabaret run by the same team as La Cigale) is one of the best rooms for emerging rockers and confirmed groups looking to play an intimate venue. Metallica, The Kills, The Libertines and Cat Power have all graced the stage. Look out for the Boule Noire's Fallenfest events throughout the year: they're a chance to get up close and personal with the hottest new acts on Paris' music scene. Autour de Midi-Minuit The Tuesday night boeuf (jam session) is always free, as are many other concerts - some by big names like Laurent Epstein, Yoni Zelnik and Bruno Casties. The upstairs restaurant serves reasonably priced French classic cuisine. Le Trianon The Trianon concert hall adds a touch of class to boulevard de Rochechouart with its Belle Epoque architecture and enviable line-up of artists: Tricky, Raphael Saadiq, Moriarty and Macy Gray have all played here, following in the footsteps of French greats like Mistinguett and Jacques Brel. It also doubles as a venue for one-man shows, musicals and circus acts. Since May 2011 you can dine within the art deco surroundings of its adjacent café-bar ‘le Petit Trianon’, which serves good quality French staples like traditional jambon de Paris (Paris ham) served with artisanal mustard. The terrace, sandwiched between the wall and the pavement, also makes a prime spot for watching the local fauna – a Spritz (Campari, orange slices, white wine and fizzy water) in hand, 'bien-sur'. Le Bus Palladium This legendary rock venue, graced by the likes of Mick Jagger and The Beatles in its heyday, is back on the map after a 20-year spell out of the limelight with a vintage house vibe somewhere between retro rockabilly and punk psychedelia. While the new generation gets wild in the pit, former regulars are trying to catch their breath at the restaurant upstairs (8pm-5am Tue-Sat). Check the programme for concerts. Club nights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are a guaranteed riot, and diners get in for free.

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