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One Great Block in Paris’s Le Marais

By Lindsey Tramuta

Jan 10, 2020

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With a few curated stops along your route, you'll uncover the myriad charms of this district at the northern end of Le Marais.

Photo by Steven Lasry, Unsplash

With a few curated stops along your route, you'll uncover the myriad charms of this district at the northern end of Le Marais.

Discover where the locals drink, eat, and shop (pastries, stationery, fresh produce, more pastries) in this happening district of the Parisian neighborhood north of the Seine.

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For years, the Marais, which extends from the very edge of the hipster-chic 11th arrondissement down to the Seine, has held sway among, well, everyone. The “it” neighborhood still reigns, but the action has migrated to its once sleepy northern tip.

Parisian pastry may be well known throughout the world, but it can be difficult to find gluten-free treats in the City of Light.

Wild & the Moon Bar

Where to find gluten-free pastries in Paris

Up until very recently, the gluten-intolerant traveler was faced with a challenge when it came to dining out in Paris. A gluten-free boom has made the city far more accommodating, and has paved the way for a slew of bakeries, restaurants, and canteens that offer delicious alternatives. Wild & the Moon is the most recent addition to the neighborhood and offers healthful snacks, soups, crackers (made from vegetable pulp), smoothies and cold-pressed juices that are also dairy and egg-free. (55 Rue Charlot; wildandthemoon.fr)

Find affordable and irresistible gifts to bring a bit of Paris home with you.

Papier Tigre

Design-forward paper goods

In only three years, the Parisian stationery and paper goods brand Papier Tigre (Paper Tiger) has become the reference in design-forward communication and organization that’s big on color and form. From origami-style wall-organizers and mail holders to calendars, notebooks and cards, this 3rd arrondissement boutique offers products that blend Parisian printing techniques and a graphic, Japanese aesthetic to beautiful effect. For a unique gift that can be worn, pick up one of the hand-embroidered tiger broaches made in collaboration with popular accessories designers, Macon & Lesquoy. (5 Rue des Filles du Calvaire; papiertigre.fr)

Taste a sable cookie like none other at Bontemps.

Bontemps Pâtisserie

Are these the best cookies in Paris?

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Bontemps Pâtisserie may have a name inspired by the fictional Louisiana town from the vampire series True Blood, but this retro-chic bakery is French through and through. The pâtisserie offers a refreshing twist on the signature French sable, a classic shortbread cookie, by using seasonal fillings (wild strawberry, passion fruit, blood orange). Don’t miss the larger tartes, from pecan to apple, which use the same light and crumbly shortbread crust. Take a box of minis to the Square du Temple across the street for an al fresco goûter. (57 Rue de Bretagne; facebook.com/bontempspatisserie/)

Paris’s Most Famous Bakery Reveals Its Secrets

Don't fret, you will enjoy more than the selfies at this snug coffee joint.

Boot Café

Paris’s most Instagrammable coffee shop

Tucked into a former cobbler’s workshop, Boot Café is making a determined bid to be the city’s tiniest (and most Instagrammable) specialty coffee bar. In a robin’s-egg-blue storefront, the café pours lattes made with beans from the highly regarded Parisian roaster Belleville Brûlerie and foreign roasters such as Five Elephant in Berlin. It’s a tight squeeze but worth a visit for bagels, cakes, and expertly pulled shots. (19 Rue du Pont aux Choux;  facebook.com/bootcafe

Eat in or take your tasty treasures out at this expansive shop.

Maison Plisson

One-stop picnic shopping in Paris

Maison Plisson is the neighborhood’s answer to the lavish food halls at Selfridge's in London, with 500 square meters of artisanal baked goods; top quality meats, cheeses, and produce; and a café menu overseen by one of the city’s top chefs. Come to pick up products you won’t find elsewhere in Paris and stick around for a coffee and a pastry. You’ll have plenty to choose from: All baked goods are made by baker Benoît Castel at his shop Liberté. Stock up on provisions and have a decadent picnic at the nearby Square du Temple garden. (93 Boulevard Beaumarchais; lamaisonplisson.com)

This former market has become indispensable to Le Marais in its current role as a cultural hub.

Le Carreau du Temple

Where Parisians go to mingle

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The Carreau du Temple is a one-time market built in 1863 that was saved from becoming a parking garage by locals and revived as a cultural center, playing host to food events, fashion shows, workshops, craft markets and fitness classes. (Look out for Gym Suédoise, a low-impact workout that’s converted Parisians to exercise.) Each autumn, you can count on the Street Food Temple street food festival to take over the entire space, commanding a crowd for a broad sampling of the city’s best names in casual, gourmet bites. (2 Rue Perrée; carreaudutemple.eu)

>>Next: Plan your trip with AFAR's Travel Guide to Paris

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