Away from Pariss more touristy neighbourhoods, the Batignolles district in the 17th arrondissement is loved by locals for its bistros, bars, offbeat culture and romantic gardens

Rue Brochant

This could be renamed the Batignolles food street, as both sides of the road are lined with restaurants symbolising the new image of the quartier. Meat-lovers should book the bistro-like Gaston, whose friendly owner, Rachid, serves traditional dishes such as oeufs en meurette (eggs poached in a rich red wine sauce) or aged prime rib with a barnaise sauce (lunch menu 20). For more veggie-friendly dishes (plat du jour 10-12), there is the casual Bar Pignon, while Formaticusis a fromagerie that serves sharing plates from its long list of cheeses and Le Costaud des Batignolles is part modern art gallery, part restaurant.



The ideal introduction to Batignolles is to grab a pavement table at Dose and order a flat white, or its signature filter coffee. This self-proclaimed Dealer de Caf is part of a wave of local cafes with a focus on barista skills, which are finally opening up in Paris and offering an alternative to the bitter express many neighbourhood places serve. The location is perfect, opposite the entrance of the Square des Batignolles park (see below), so the clientele is a mix of parents with kids, shoppers taking time out from the nearby boutiques, and students and clubbers who roll up around midday for organic ginger juice, chocolat chaud and croissants.
Flat white 4, hot chocolate from 3.50, pastries from 1.50, 82 Place du Docteur Flix Lobligeois,

Square des Batignolles

Photograph: Alamy

More of a sprawling park than a simple square, this is the prime green space in the Batignolles, created in 1862 as a landscaped jardin langlaise. A stream runs through manicured lawns, past statues and sculptures, then into a large pond filled with red Japanese carp and scores of ducks. Its great for a picnic, and perfect for kids, as there are playgrounds, skateboard slopes and an old-fashioned carousel with wooden horses. In the early evening, older locals gather to play ptanque before going to a nearby bistro.
144bis rue Cardinet,


Photograph: John Brunton

Frances first museum dedicated to street art is in a corner of the Batignolles, just by the pripherique ring road. It is in an IT college, and visiting is not easy (compulsory guided tours every other Tuesday 6pm-8pm, free, online booking essential) but it is worth the effort. This display of the private collection of Parisian gallerist Nicolas Laugero Lasserre spans 150 artworks by some 50 graffiti artists from across the world, including Invader, Shepard Fairey, Monkey Bird, Lek and Banksy. The college is worth a visit in itself: its open 24 hours a day, with facilities for students to sleep and shower on site, no fees, and no professors. Instead, there are just hundreds of students, day and night, huddled over computer screens, with the street art taking up most of the wall space.
96 Boulevard Bessires,

Dsordre Urbain


Dorothe Beuchers quirky concept store is typical of the shopping jewels to be found on the Batignolles narrow streets. You wont find famous-name designers or global brands in this neighbourhood, but this eclectic boutique is a goldmine of clothing, accessories, jewellery, ceramics and objets handpicked by Dorothe from more than 50 lesser-known French designers. A few minutes walk away, on rue Boursault, is a similar French-style concept store, Les Passantes, but here you can also take a break from shopping ordering tea and homemade cakes in its chic salon de th.
96 rue Nollet,

Restaurant Bodrum

Photograph: John Brunton

Ask anyone in the long queue that invariably forms outside this hole-in-the-wall joint and they will say it serves the best kebab in Paris. Dont be fooled by the name, this isnt a restaurant theres not even a bar to eat standing up at. But the Square des Batignolles is a two-minute walk away, perfect for a picnic. The secret here is the quality of the veal that is prepared each day by the owners, brothers Ozlan and Erlan, marinated for 24 hours, then served from 11am till 9.30pm. Its worth putting up with the long queue for a memorable 6.50 doner kebab.
43 rue des Batignolles, no website


Photograph: John Brunton

Rue Legendre is one of the busiest streets in the Batignolles, lined with fashion and vintage boutiques, casual diners and wine bars. One address not to be missed is this stylish furniture store, which resembles a designer apartment. It has made a name for itself by picking up eyecatching fittings and fixtures from the 1950s, 60s and 70s chairs, sofas, mirrors, cupboards and lamps restoring them and showcasing the finished items in-store. Next door is the minuscule Cinq Aot, a recently opened secondhand shop specialising in vintage designer outfits, while down the street at number 78, Bloomy Star has a tempting selection of affordable handmade jewellery.
108 rue Legendre,


Photograph: John Brunton

Opened a few months ago, this smart, minimalist restaurant is set to be the new gourmet reference point in the Batignolles. Chef Thibaut Spiwack worked with celebrated chefs such as Alain Ducasse before opening his own restaurant, and it seems likely that the 2020 Michelin Guide will give him his first star. Although the evening is reserved for a gastronomic five-course tasting menu (75) lunchtime is the perfect time to try Thibauts creative cuisine (three courses 29). Expect creative cocktails and a fine selection of organic and biodynamic wines, house-baked bread, seasonal locavore ingredients and dishes such as tuna tatami with strawberry and basil sorbet, or roast hake on a bed smoked potatoes.
80 Boulevard des Batignolles,

March des Batignolles

Madame Absa at her stall in the March des Batignolles. Photograph: John Brunton

The Batignolles covered market dates back to 1846, when this neighbourhood was a rural village. Although the present premises are an ugly 1970s concrete construction, there is a buzz about it the moment you walk amid the crowded stalls. Apart from the tempting fish, cheese and charcuterie on offer, there are affordable sit down lunches at several cosmopolitan canteens: Lebanese meze at Edgar; set menu Japaneseat Onigiriya; and Senegalese maff (peanut stew) and yassa (spicy marinated chicken or fish) at Madame Absas stall. Every Saturday morning there is also an outdoor organic farmers market on nearby Boulevard des Batignolles. Its picturesque, but also more expensive.
96 Rue Lemercier,

Les Caves Populaires



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