Music and Nightlife in Belleville and Ménilmontant
This much-loved indie and electro venue, which reopened in November 2009 after a six-month shutdown, is set in the old Charonne train station - a quirky setting for concerts by a stream of local and international groups and DJs. Needless to say the line ups are eclectic, with three or four bands a night.
You don't have to have a room at Mama Shelter hotel to take advantage of its bar and restaurant - veritable dens of cool, frequented by international fashionistas. Prop yourself up at the bar for cocktails like 'Mama Loves You' (Vodka Russian Standard, abricot Brandy, jus de Cranberry) and 'Lemon Tree' (Vodka Smirnoff black, apple juice, lime and lemongrass cordial); then soak it all up with the top notch brasserie fare.
This concert-bar is a breath of fresh air, with free entry and a string of on-the-up bands playing to hip indie crowds every night of the week. Once a month there's an after-party until 4am.
Bankable, loveable and conveniently surrounded by the numerous bars of rue Oberkampf and tucked behind the legendary Café Charbon, Nouveau Casino is a concert venue that also hosts some of the city's liveliest club nights. Local collectives, international names and record labels, such as Versatile, regularly host nights here; it's well worth checking the website for one-offs and after-parties.
The Bellevilloise is the latest incarnation of a building that once housed the capital's very first workers' co-operative. Now it competently multitasks as a bar, restaurant, club and exhibition space, hosting regular film and music festivals on the top level (where there's a fake lawn with deckchairs and a massage area). Enjoy brunch in the Halle aux Oliviers or decent views of the quartier from the charming terrace; downstairs the club-cum-concert venue has launched some of Paris's most exciting new bands, and on '80s nights you can hardly move for the thirtysomethings living it up like they were 20 again. Live jazz music at the Sunday brunch.
La Maroquinerie's former life as a leather factory is little in evidence these days. It's now a bright café and bar in competition with La Bellevilloise, with a coveted downstairs concert venue that hosts the odd literary debate and a wealth of cool music acts. It's home to the Inrocks Indie Club nights, but there are still traces of its world music roots. The food is excellent - you can eat your way through the menu quite reasonably for around €25 - and wine sourced from across France starts at €3 a glass. The interior, with exposed brick, is cosy, and in summer chirpy locals invade the shaded terrace.