Opéra Garnier: An insider's guide
Eat, drink, shop and sightsee like a local around Paris's beautiful, Belle-Epoque 'wedding cake'...
The Opéra Garnier is a mini-city unto itself, with a museum, gourmet restaurant, one of the world's lovliest theatres and even an underground lake (the inspiration for Gaston Leroux's 'Phantom of the Opera') now used for specialised underwater fireman training. Its location between department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, the Louvre and the Japanese quarter by rue St-Anne, makes it one of the city's most visited monuments, so if you want to escape the tourists, you have to be inventive.
We recommend heading ten-minutes eastwards on foot towards Grands Boulevards, or northwards into the heart of the 9th arrondissement where young crowds of Parisians are setting up shop, bringing with them a trail of cool boutiques, bars, cafés and attractions. Here's our pick of the bunch....
Around Opéra Garnier...
- Critics choice
In 18th and 19th century Paris, the areas around today’s Grands Boulevards donned themselves with glass-roofed shopping galleries known as les passages couverts (covered passages). These forerunners
- 2e & 9e
Between 2.30pm and 7pm this tiny Taiwanese restaurant doubles as a 'tea bar', the only place in Paris that serves China's famous tapioca cocktails - sometimes known as 'bubble tea', they are served
- 13 rue Chabanais, 2nd
There are plenty of Japanese restaurants to choose from along nearby rue Ste-Anne, but none is as original - nor as friendly - as this tiny bistro run entirely by women, next to the square Louvois.
- 5 rue de Louvois, 2e
In the up-and-coming neighbourhood near the Folies Bergère a band of five ‘mothers’ boys’ has created a restaurant evoking their mums’ home cooking. Even the mums themselves get into the kitchen on
- 7 bis Rue Geoffroy-Marie, 9e
Who said eating healthily was boring? Certainly not the many regulars who flock each afternoon (and on Sunday for brunch) to this tiny canteen in the 9th arrondissement. There’s no overriding organic
- 12 rue de Trévise, 9e
A brilliant little burger joint, which takes the traditional American burger and gives it the French terroir treatment. Nowhere’s been left out, with regional specialities from all over France wedged
- 55 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 9e
Note the address well, because there’s no other sign to indicate the whereabouts of this tapas bar, opened at the end of 2010 by a chap called Cornélius (whence the name). But once you do find your
- 36 rue de Rochechouart, 9e
The Rex's new sound system puts over 40 different sound configurations at the DJ's fingertips, and has proved to be a magnet for top turntable stars. Once associated with iconic techno pioneer
- 5 boulevard Poissonnière, 2e