There was a time when the Rue Montorgeuil was the oyster capital of Paris. In the mid-19th century, the best varieties from Brittany and Normandy would be sold here – not in fancy restaurants, but on the street. The city’s one million inhabitants would chomp and swallow their way through 70 million of the marine critters every year, more often as early-evening snacks than at mealtimes.
The tradition lives on in the name of this venerable restaurant (Cancale is a village in Brittany) if not its cuisine, which is more of the order of salads (€10-12) and burgers. Le Rocher de Cancale has been standing on this spot since 1848, and while it’s seen changes and a few unfortunate renovations since then, it still preserves something of its traditional character: check the decorative panels on the first floor, which depict the lives of the 18th-century bourgeoisie.