From the minute you step in the door of Café Babel, you feel like you’ve crossed the threshold of a Miró or a Matisse dreamscape, an artistic encounter between Africa and Europe. The walls are covered in stylised paintings, lines of poetry and vibrant colours. Dragonflies woven out of wire sit on the ceiling, so cast your eyes up as you knock back your coffee to take it all in. This local café represents the cultures that give Ménilmontant its buzz through their music – Raï, zouk, gypsy jazz, swing and chanson française are just a few of the musical styles that meet onstage here from Tuesday to Sunday. Café Babel is a real neighbourhood institution. Rated by the likes of Manu Chao and Zebda, it has stood the test of time without losing its popular identity. The warm welcome, fun crowd and pocket-friendly prices bring together old regulars and newcomers in the know.