Place de la République in Paris has long captivated the French imagination as the meeting point for protest marches and the area is well-known for its bohemian, and sometimes revolutionary, vibe. This reputation extends to the eateries, as the area offers some of the coolest places to eat out in Paris.
The streets in La République, Paris bustle with trendy cafés that boast a wide range of choice. From seafood to Southeast Asian cuisine, brunch to brilliant vegetarian options, and plenty of authentic brasseries in between, here’s Culture Trip’s pick of the best places to eat out in La République.
If you want a trip to the Alsace region without leaving Paris, to visit the land of sauerkraut and pretzels, then Chez Jenny is the place to be. This famous brasserie on the Place de la République invites guests to embark on a gastronomic voyage to discover the most iconic Alsatian dishes, inspired by German and Switzerland influences. The brasserie is famed for its flammekueches (which means ‘flame cake’ or ‘pie baked in the flames’) in a family-friendly atmosphere. As well as the food, Chez Jenny treats you to one of the most stunning interiors in La République with sumptuous wood panelling, dazzling mosaic floors, red leather seating and curious decorative relics dotted around.
Paris may be a couple of hours away from the ocean, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its delicacies when visiting La République. If you’re only peckish, then the mini sardines from Cantabria, a cluster of salmon eggs or wild fish soup at L’Îlot are good options for a small appetite. The restaurant specialises in sharing food rather than individual meals. However, if you’re feeling hungrier, then don’t worry. You can tuck into their wholesome smoked white tuna and try sea urchin and eel while you’re at it. What’s special about this place is that it offers barbecue options and the caramelised swordfish skewers are a popular treat. Also, there’s a great ambience as the terrace is made of large, shared tables and benches and the food is served in the middle of the table for everyone to dig into.
L’Échappée is a quiet spot tucked away from the tourists and the crowds. Since the venue is primarily a spa, you have to be in-the-know or else you might simply pass it by. It’s a favourite brunch choice among the locals, who like to savour the hearty portions and abundance of choice. The French excel at gastronomy in many ways, especially when it comes to the endlessness of brunch. For a reasonable €26 per person (€10 for children under 12 years), you can indulge in a buffet of hot beverages, cheeses, muesli, carrot cake, fruit tart and crumble, as well as eggs, vegetarian lasagna and leek pie.
The gastronomic scene in La République is enriched by a variety of international influences. There are a number of Southeast Asian restaurants in the area, and Tien Hiang is one of the most popular. It specialises in the cuisine of Vietnam and Thailand and is located just a stone’s throw away from the Canal Saint-Martin. There are no animal products, eggs or alcohol involved and all the dishes are vegan, except for the ‘Tien Hiang marmite’ option, which contains cheese. In some cases, the chefs replace meat with tofu to craft delicious vegetarian versions of recognisable meat dishes, showcasing the best of the region’s ancient culinary art. The restaurant has worked up a stellar reputation since 1999 when it first opened its doors.
A short walk from Rue Oberkampf, L’Épicerie Le Verre Volé is an exciting épicerie-cum-sandwich shop. From sandwiches spread with calf’s head pâté, gribiche sauce and watercress to horse tartare, herb mayonnaise and Thai spices, the menu is bursting with unexpected and ambitious pairings. If nothing catches your eye à la carte, there’s also the option to create your own freshly-made sandwich, too. In the same district, the branch also owns a bistro (67 Rue de Lancry) and a trendy wine-bar turned restaurant (38 Rue Oberkampf), which pairs highly commended French wines with a high-quality menu that changes with the seasons.
Le Resto-Zinc des Marcheurs de Planète is a rare venue that combines both great atmosphere and great food. There’s a delicious selection of cheese and charcuterie, followed by national favourites like coq au vin and beef bourguignon, swished down with a choice of more than 100 wines from a well-stocked bar. But what sets this restaurant apart from the others is the entertainment. Every two months, a new artist’s paintings, photography or sculptures are exhibited, making the place feel part-restaurant, part-gallery. It’s also transformed into a literary café on the last Sunday of every month. If that wasn’t already enough excitement, every Thursday evening from 10pm until midnight, musicians and singers are invited to embrace their musical impulses by playing on the piano and guitars that lie dotted around. It’s one of the friendliest places in La République.
Hippopotamus restaurants are dotted throughout France, and while this chain status might put some people off in favour of the more authentic gems on this list, Hippopotamus on Place de la République is always bustling with happy customers. Hippopotamus has been going since 1968 and is specialised in beef and grilled meat. The promise of unlimited chips, potatoes, salad, vegetable accompaniments and sauces that are served alongside the meat is enough to lure in those with a larger appetite.
You can enjoy the best of Breton cuisine in Paris at Lulu la nantaise. These deliciously handcrafted crêpes are made with buckwheat, organic wheat, or a special Breton flour from the region, all hailing from the mill of Charbonnière, which endows them a unique flavour. The chefs only work with fresh and seasonal products, meaning that the menu changes three times a year. The crêperie also offers artisanal farm ciders, winegrowers’ wines, organic fruit juices and a fine selection of spirits – all of which come from independent distilleries. The savoury galettes are priced from seven to 12 euros, while the crêpes vary from a modest four to eight euros.
Chez Imogene is another venue in La République that offers lucky visitors the chance to sample the best of Brittany’s specialities. The choice of crispy galettes (known as the French take on pizza) and crêpes start with traditional favourites like ham, cheese and egg galette for mains and sugar and butter crêpes for dessert. But there’s much more to choose from than that, with more adventurous temptations like smoked salmon or scallop-themed galettes and rum drizzled crêpes for desserts.