When I arrived in Paris, I was immediately drawn to the Montorgueil neighborhood, the area reminding me of the village where I grew up. Here, everybody knows everybody and the main street is both picturesque and lively.
I always find excellent, very French products here: wines, cheeses, entrecôte. For real gourmands, the Stohrer pastry shop – the oldest pâtisserie in Paris - has excellent chocolate éclairs, raspberry tartes, and a marvelous baba au rhum, and chocolate lovers will love the famous Diamant Noir from Charles Chocolatier.
There’s no better way to discover this Parisian neighborhood than through its covered passages. Although not as famous as the Galerie Vivienne or the Passage des Panoramas which are farther to the West, the Passage du Grand Cerf and its artisinal boutiques are certainly worth exploring. I also love having a beer at the Frog & Rosbif whenever there’s a Rugby match – the atmosphere is electric!
Then there’s La Canopée, the new architectural feature crowning the top of Les Halles. Some like it, I don’t much care for it, but I do like stopping here to read in the park on a sunny day. Soon we’ll be able to see exhibitions in the former Bourse du Commerce (currently closed for renovations), but in the meantime, visit the Église Sainte-Eustache or do some shopping – might I suggest the shop Agnès B on the Rue du Jour.
The area around Les Halles (called Le Ventre de Paris by Emile Zola) is teeming with good restaurants, one of the most emblamatic being Au Pied de Cochon where you can enjoy great onion soup any time of day or night - it's one of the few places in Paris open 24/7!