Bercy Village, located on the southern edge of the 12th arrondissement, is a very recent addition to the landscape of classic Parisian sites. Opened in 2002, this petit cobblestoned pedestrian street is bordered by shops, restaurants, and cafés housed in triangular-roofed, white-stoned buildings that are perfectly aligned. The terrace of each restaurant and café adds to the charm and creates a festive atmosphere. I feel this particularly in the evening with the buzz of conversation, the clink of glasses, and a soft glow coming from string lights.
At the end of the road stands a large movie theater where the English-speaking visitor can find the newest films un-dubbed (in version originale or V.O.). My fiancé and I are fond of making an afternoon out of walking in and out of the shops – Søstren Grene has become a favorite with its affordable and adorable home decorations. If we want to live on the wild side, we catch a movie and finish up the evening with dinner. Most recently, we tried Le Paradis du Fruit which has two terraces and a menu that features a wide range of fresh juices, salads, and built-to-order main dishes.
Despite its apparent youth, Bercy Village’s history actually goes back to the mid to late 19th century. At that time, Bercy was at the center of the wine trade and the buildings in Bercy Village served as warehouses. You can still see the railroad tracks that brought wine from the Seine running down the middle of the street – a subtle reminder that Paris is not always what it seems at first sight.