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Restaurants in Canal Saint-Martin, Ourcq and Villette

Discover the best restaurants in and around the Canal Saint-Martin, Ourcq and Villette areas of north east Paris

© Maria Hagan

There are reams of restaurants to choose from in these parts, so it’s to good to have some guidance before taking the plunge. Sure to be packed out every evening with a trendy bobo clientele, these are some of the best and most popular places to eat out in north eastern Paris.

The best restaurants in Canal Saint-Martin, Ourcq and Villette

Simonetta

If the cliché of Italian restaurants is clunky wood and checkered tablecloths, Simonetta (next door to sister Maison Becquey), spilling out onto the canal de l’Ourcq, redefines this image. Round booths in sage green velvet and little square tables with thick-cut glassware sitting on them. Enormous wicker birdcage lampshades hang from the partially mirrored ceiling and overflowing plant pots line the walls... 

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La Villette

Street Bangkok

Recommended

Adjacent to the Canal Saint-Martin, this stylish Thai canteen – opened in September 2015 – offers a regularly changing menu of delicacies to a young and trendy clientele. Past the glass façade, diners peer up at long neon lights that run across the red walls and ceiling, while the kitchen/servery is open, metallic and designed like some sort of futuristic scaffolding. Behind the counter, Ja Euarchukiati leads a team of skilled Bangkokian chefs...

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Canal Saint-Martin

Les Bancs Publics

If you haven’t yet discovered the further reaches of the Canal de l'Ourcq – stretching as it does beyond the cosy cluster of shops and restaurants on the Canal Saint Martin and all the way up past La Rotonde to La Villette and beyond – Les Bancs Publics is a very good reason to go the extra mile or so. Newly opened in September 2014, this smart bistro with its inventive menu is easy-going enough to fit with both the area’s alternative crowds and its street art-heavy façades...

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La Villette
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Siseng

Recommended

Baozi steamed buns, a staple of Chinese and Indonesian cuisine, are the latest Parisian food craze. To prove it, here comes Siseng, a trendy new eatery whose signature dish is the Bao Burger: a fusion meal that revisits the American classic, serving it with an Asian sauce, sandwiched between two warm, slightly sweet baozi in lieu of the traditional bread. The Bao Burger should be incentive enough to drop in on this great little café...

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Canal Saint-Martin

El Nopal

Recommended

In Mexico, a nopal is a cactus whose shape bears a passing resemblance to a ping-pong bat. In Paris, it's a snug little restaurant tucked away in the 10th, a hop and a skip from the Canal Saint-Martin, where a modest range of dishes from the cactus's homeland is served. We're firmly in street food territory here: gorditas (cornflour doughnuts) for €3.50, tortillas stuffed with said cacti for €7.50, or – at the upper end of the price scale – flatbreads topped meat and veg for €8.90...

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Canal Saint-Martin

A La Providence (Quincaillerie Leclercq)

Step into the past at this museum-piece quincaillerie whose 170-year-old wooden cabinets are filled with knobs, locks and other brass accoutrements for dolling up or restoring old furniture and doors. Newly crafted by artisans, the pieces look authentically antique, and there is also an expensive range of glass and crystal doorknobs. The charming couple who run it are former flight attendants...

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Charonne
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Typick Café

Recommended

Typick Café is a colourful little spot a few steps from the banks of the Canal de l'Ourcq. Passionate about Australia, the friendly pair that run the place serve lunches inspired by food culture from down under. At lunchtime, three sandwich, salad and soup options are available. The menu changes every week depending on which ingredients are in season. The cook has a knack for thinking up original recipes: raw courgette and chicken with almonds, coriander and curry between slices of focaccia...

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Jaurès

Cartel

Recommended

This already popular 10th arrondissement Japanese restaurant upped the ante significantly when they employed a well-known Laotian chef, Sourasack Phongphet. More commonly known as Sou, he’s known for the artistry and sensitivity of his fish dishes in particular. Laughing and joking, from behind his station he reels off the names of the multitudinous fishes that find their way onto your plate...

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Canal Saint-Martin

Assanabel

With its pretty pink tablecloths, black leather seats and glittering chandeliers, Assanabel is a kitsch and cosy place to spend an hour two over a Lebanese meal. The menu offers hot and cold dishes that include grilled meats, fish, salads and platters. You can compose your own mezze selection (€5-€7.50) or opt for a set menu: tabbouleh, hummus, mouttabal or labneh with a plat du jour...

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10e arrondissement
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Big Corner

Nestled between a battered old bridge and a motorbike repair shop, New York-style burger restaurant Big Corner is an unlikely addition to the slightly down-at-heel Avenue Jean Jaurès. Its arty, pared-back look with leather padded settees and a bright colour scheme certainly sets it apart from the neighbours, but doesn’t whiff too strongly of gentrification. Prices are reasonable: huge burgers, flanked by chips and a seasoned salad, are €11.50-€13.50...

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Jaurès

Le Cambodge

The system at Le Cambodge is simple: you write your order on a piece of paper, including preferences such as 'no coriander', 'no peanuts' or 'extra rice', and after a short wait the dishes appear. Two favourites are the bobun spécial, a hot and cold mix of sautéed beef, noodles, salad, bean sprouts and imperial rolls, and banhoy, a selection of the same ingredients to be wrapped in lettuce and mint leaves and dipped in a sauce...

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Canal Saint-Martin

L'Empanaderia

Peer inside this small red café on the Rue Marie-et-Louise, and you might spot two women busy at work behind the counter. One will probably be rolling out pastry while the other fills little pouches with stuffing before putting them in the oven. They’ll be making empanadas, a small golden pasty from Argentina. This small Parisian business started with a food van, but demand was so high the owners decided to open a full-fledged restaurant...

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Canal Saint-Martin
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Les Enfants Perdus

Recommended

Les Enfants Perdus is a discreet and really rather chic fine-dining restaurant frequented by the bobos of the Canal Saint-Martin, and overspill from the bars L’Atmosphère and Café Bonnie. The interior is sombre but at the back, a light and airy room has been kitted out with comfortable benches strewn with white cushions – ideal for plonking yourself down on a Saturday or Sunday morning at brunch hour. And the dishes are exceptional...

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Canal Saint-Martin

Bicyclette Café

The Jaurès neighbourhood retains a down-to-earth swagger not found in the more chichi environs nearby on the Canal Saint-Martin. Bicyclette Café, a neighbourhood bar tucked away on Rue de Chaumont, captures this feel nicely. You won’t find Scandinavian-inspired décor but rather all the trappings of a traditional space: barrels by the door and a zinc counter, as well as affordable food and of course drinks...

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Le Pavillon des Canaux

Recommended

A pretty café-restaurant, Le Pavillon des Canaux is another great project with an artistic edge and a stimulating community feel to it. Set in an old two-storey house overlooking the Canal de l’Ourq and its houseboats, Le Pavillon is bright, colourful and peaceful. Ring the doorbell and smiling staff welcome you into a large living room with a doll’s house feel to it – all plush armchairs, mismatched furniture, floorboards, teapots, plants and even a birdcage...

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Jaurès
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Paris-New York

Recommended

In order to set itself apart from the rest of the ever-increasing wave of gourmet burger joints in Paris, the team behind Paris-New York needed to pay attention to detail. They’ve succeeded pretty well – an attractive décor, meats from artisanal producers Le Ponclet and five burgers on the menu to showcase their talents. On the beef side, there’s the Vintage Doublecheese (with excellent cheddar), the Morning California (cheddar, lettuce, avocado) and the Smoky Blue (bacon, blue cheese and caramelised onions)...

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Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

Le Blah Blah

Recommended

Le Blah Blah is a quietly classy tapas bar and restaurant, located in the hip Strasbourg Saint-Denis area but hidden away from the crowds on a little side street. There’s no greasy chorizo or patatas bravas here, but top quality ingredients cooked in small, perfectly formed dishes. The atmosphere is buzzy, boozy and friendly, with patrons seated around big communal tables on jolly orange banquettes, and there’s also a pretty, quiet terrace outside...

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Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

Restaurant Edgar

Recommended

Paris’s ‘Little Egypt’, a tiny area outlined by the Rue d’Alexandrie, the Passage du Caire and the Rue du Nil, has a new centre of gravity: the restaurant at the Hôtel Edgar, with its big terrace looking out over a shady square. Here, you can catch some sun over briskly-served drinks, including cocktails. Inside, by some sleight of hand, designer Guillaume Rouget has turned the former textiles workshop into a swanky, hedonistic refuge...

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Sentier
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Daily Syrien

Recommended

Don't be put off by the newspapers in the window – this unassuming restaurant-cum-newagent, in the middle of the hip rue Faubourg Saint-Denis, has a class all of its own. The Middle Eastern menu is cooked by Ahmad, who grew up in Nawa in southern Syria and emigrated to Stockholm before coming to Paris with the idea of sharing the cooking of his homeland: hummus, salad, pickles, kibbeh ras (ground beef with pine nuts), falafel, labneh (strained yoghurt) with olive oil...

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Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

Le Réveil du 10e

There are restaurants where you go to be enthralled, to try cooking that is inventive, precise or simply bonkers, and there are others where you go just because you know you’ll feel comfortable. Réveil du 10e is one of the latter – a few metres from the frenzy of the Grands Boulevards, it's on a little square under a tree, squeezed between a barracks, an old port and a school; a neighbourhood bistro serving local cooking washed down with excellent wines...

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Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

Au Comptoir de Brice

Recommended

There are chefs that don’t have to invest in a classy décor to attract customers – the cooking alone is enough to put bums on seats. Au Comptoir de Brice is found in the middle of the Saint-Martin covered market amid the fruit stalls and greasy spoon cafés – and it might not look like much, but the ever-changing menu is full of surprises. Don’t let yourself be tempted by the dining room and stay at the bar – it’s a bit chilly in winter, but the ballet of the cooks beneath the benevolent eye of the chef is worth a look...

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Strasbourg-Saint-Denis
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La Taverne de Zhao

You risk burnt fingers and tongues trying to get into your hotpot too soon at La Taverne de Zhao, with its wonderful casseroles full of bouillon, large translucent soft noodles, beef, coriander, mushrooms, seaweed and tofu. Cool down with a pull of milky bubble tea with tapioca balls, and take a break to snack on pork buns.No roast duck here: the cooking is native to X’ian, the capital of the Shaanxi province, where traditional recipes prefer cooking in a pot...

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Canal Saint-Martin

Le Carillon

Recommended

A run-down, rustic aesthetic rules in this canal-side café-bar. Simple wooden tables sit alongside dilapidated sofas, on which a cool crowd sit tapping away on their MacBooks in the day and sipping cocktails in the evening. The relaxed vibe, carried by smooth jazz on the stereo – and sometimes live jazz in the evenings – all stays on the right side of insufferably hipster, preserving much of the character of a charming old watering hole...

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Canal Saint-Martin

Sol Semilla

Recommended

If ‘veganism’ sounds like a bland and tasteless proposition to you, beware: Sol Semilla, the Bar des Artisans, may just change your mind. This jolly spot is home to a happy and good humoured veganism, which makes good use of super foods – those natural ingredients (copaiba, urucum, acai, acerola, purple corn, etc.) which are crammed with vitamins and minerals. These are also sold in the grocery store under the brand ‘Alimento Voy’...

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Canal Saint-Martin
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H*** Hot Dog House

Over the last 12-months Parisians have gone USA crazy: After the burger trend that saw the opening of new joints like Big Fernand and Blend (see our Best Burger feature), and arrival of food trucks like the 104’s pizza van, it’s ‘chien chaud’ (hotdog) time at the new H*** Hot Dog House. Choose between three types of topping – pickled cabbage, chilli or caramelized onions – all served in squidgy white baps with mustard, ketchup and fried onions...

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Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

L'Epicerie Musicale

Recommended

Ideally situated on the Canal Saint-Martin, L’Epicerie Musicale is a delightful hybrid of café-bar-restaurant-delicatessen-music store. The retro furniture gives the interior all the charm of an old Sicilian café, offset by graffiti art on the walls, a deli section with fish, wine, oils, hams fresh cheeses and more imported from Italy, and a jazz, soul, funk, tropical and retro-latino soundtrack from hundreds of vinyl records. Highly recommended.//

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Canal Saint-Martin

Urfa Dürüm

Recommended

Fashionable Paris has swooned for burger vans, hot dogs and tacos, but perhaps the best of the street food was always here; in a Kurdish sandwich shop.Hidden away in the heart of Strasbourg Saint-Denis, Urfa Dürüm is a tiny wood-panelled venue where you are greeted at the entrance by the owner, flour and rolling pin in hand, busily preparing the flatbread dough. Further inside, meat grills in the stone oven...

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Strasbourg-Saint-Denis
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Tuck Shop

Recommended

There’s an old bicycle parked casually out the front, plants climbing up the walls and a menu board brimming with pleasures. Inside, it's full of charming bric-a-brac; reclaimed, reupholstered and mismatched furniture books and posters – the overall result is a beautiful and studied chaos. The three Australians behind the place (and their beautiful coffee machine) brew up short blacks, delicious lattes and frothy cappuccinos from 9am, accompanied by pâtisserie...

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Canal Saint-Martin

Comments

1 comments
Huw O

Great shout on Café Odilon. A wonderful spot to slurp on a spritz and v child-friendly