Located in the north-west of Paris
, what’s most striking about the area of Batignolles is the lack of tourists – they’re busy sightseeing in Montmartre, further up the Boulevard de Clichy. In Batignolles, artists’ ateliers rub shoulders with noisy bistros, gentrified shopping options and street-side cafés.
Wine Bar, Healthy, Salad Bar, $$$
My favorite go-to lunch option in the area, hands down. If you’re vegetarian, vegan or simply in need of something healthy aim for the fresh salad bar. It’s colourful and you can pack as much in your bowl as you like, all for €10. There’s also a daily main course and chicken wok available at the same price. Pistache doubles as a chic after-work spot for a cheeky glass of wine and tapas plates (between €10 and €20).
Insider tip: If it’s warm outside, head straight to their cute terrace out back. A great selection of French wine is available for purchase.
Dose (Dealer de café)
Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Open since early 2016, Dose is a gentrified addition to the neighbourhood and takes its beans very seriously. Have a seat at one of the hexagonal tables and savour the soothing blue tones of the interior as you consult the menu. Be prepared to pay around €4.50 for your cappuccino (it’s more for a flat white) but it’s worth it. If you’re hungry there’s a selection of sweet baked goods or sandwiches, soups and salads available. Free wi-fi and a walk-up window for takeaway orders.
Insider tip: Weather permitting, enjoy a calm stroll in the nearby Square des Batignolles.
Restaurant, Pizzaria, Italian, $$$
This is the third offering of Big Mamma group who are slowly but surely taking over Paris! The concept is Italian primi piatti – the course between starters and mains
– so pasta is the star player here. The décor is 100% Mamma Mia, the menu is 100% authentic. Pizzas come fresh out of a wood-fired oven, there are vegetarian options and the desserts mean business! To drink, sip on Italian wine, a classic spritz or one of the (many) Italian takes on a G&T. Pasta dishes are between €12 and €18. Pizzas between €12 and €15.
Insider Tip: Reservations are unavailable (both lunch and dinner) so arrive 15 minutes ahead of opening time.
L’Ébéniste du Vin
Wine Bar, Wine Seller, French, $$$
If you’re looking for a Parisian wine bar then the search is over. L’Ébéniste du Vin’s selection of over 800 wines is a little overwhelming but don’t let that put you off. The servers are both approachable and knowledgeable, allowing you to try something new without taking too big a risk. To accompany your chosen wine, nibble on crudités (farm to table) or a platter of cheese (French), charcuterie (Spanish) or seafood (French). If you find your (liquid) coup de coeur then bottles are available for purchase.
Insider Tip: Upstairs can get a little noisy as the evening progresses, so for a calmer soirée, ask to be seated downstairs.
Cocktail Bar, Wine Bar, Bar, French, Tapas, $$$
Another recent addition to the area (June 2016), Pignon can be found on a quiet street away from the hustle and bustle of rue des Dames. Two amicable French ladies – Aude and Aurélien – run this hip neighbourhood bar that mostly attracts a young crowd. Enjoy a leisurely lunch (€15) with a friend before taking a snap of the dreamy decor for Instagram. After work, watch the barman prepare your classic cocktail (€8) as you share a mixed cheese / charcuterie plate (€20). Or sip on an excellent selection of (mostly) organic wine.
Insider Tip: ‘Pignon’ is in reference to a famous French film Le Dîner de Cons. There was a US remake, starring Steve Carell, but the original is better. The staff will explain if you drop by!
Gare au Gorille
Restaurant, French, $$$
Blink and you’ll miss this hidden place. Gare au Gorille is run by chef Marc Cordonnier and sommelier Louis Langevin who met during their time at the highly revered restaurant Septime. Quality over quantity being the mantra, the menu is minimalist (three choices for starter, main and dessert) just like the Scandinavian design of the restaurant (industrial style lamps, wooden tables). As you can imagine, there’s a refined selection of wine on the menu (by the glass prices start at €7.
Insider Tip: Prices are a little high so save this address for a special occasion. Otherwise, perch at the countertop bar for an apéritif and succulent tapas plates featuring duck, beef and fish.