Known for its charming cobblestone streets and the prominent Sacre Coeur church at the top of the hill, Montmartre is a haven for those looking to explore the finer details of Paris. While Montmartre can be quite busy in high tourist seasons, LUXOS has the inside scoop on where to go to avoid the crowds and experience the local delights of this historic neighbourhood.
The area became a cultural epicentre at the end of the 19th century as it was the home of iconic cabarets like the Moulin Rouge and Le Lapin Agile, the oldest artistic cabaret in Paris, as well as for being the 'cradle of modern art' of the time. Artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso all had ateliers in the area.
Montmartre has always been a focal point of artists and luxury connoisseurs alike, as seen in the limited-edition prints made by Devambez in 1911. Devambez, the luxury-printing house located on the Place Vendôme, commissioned artists of the time to capture the contrast between the 'butte' or the top of the hill and the boulevards leading to it, separating the village from the rest of the city.
The neighbourhood is also the only one in Paris to have a vineyard, Clos Montmartre, and the autumn harvest becomes something of a festival. The annual celebration is a joyous time in Montmartre, as the long-standing tradition pays tribute to the area's cultural heritage.
For the best gastronomic experiences in the neighbourhood, start with breakfast at Gontran Cherrier, a wonderful bakery located on the tree-covered rue Caulaincourt. Here, the apple crumble or a flaky croissant and an espresso are the perfect fuel to energize you throughout your day of exploring. After Gontran, head up the hill to the gorgeous avenue Junot. Here, you’ll find rows of individual houses, a rare sight in Paris. Each house has a different architectural style and many are home to artists and politicians of past and present.
On avenue Junot is a cute English-inspired restaurant, Marcel, open for lunch and dinner on the weekdays and brunch on the weekends. Here, you can escape the tourists, enjoy the calm of the wind rustling in the trees and have a great meal of fish and chips or eggs benedict. Just around the corner on rue Lepic are a few more great options for lunch or a light dinner, like the gourmet epicerie Jeanne B, where they’ll even prepare you a picnic to go.
Tucked behind a metal gate on the avenue Junot is a secret passageway that leads to the quaint Hotel Particulier. Few in number, each room of this hotel offers luxurious amenities in absolute calm. With its private 900-square-metre garden and chic restaurant, this is the perfect spot for dinner or a romantic cocktail.
While you are wandering around the Butte Montmartre, be sure to check out the Dalí Museum located off of the Place du Tertre on your way up to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. From here, you will have a breathtaking view of the city, especially on a clear day.
While descending the back of the hill, there are a couple of great restaurants to try for lunch or dinner. At La Table d’Eugène, enjoy a traditional French meal at the hands of Chef Geoffroy Mallard who once trained under Chef Eric Frechon at Le Bristol. Just next door, the same family has opened a tapas restaurant, La Rallonge, serving everything from slow roasted beef cheek to truffle macaroni and a great selection of wines by the glass or bottle. To finish off your day exploring Montmartre like a local, head to the Place des Abbesses for some designer shopping along the rue des Martyrs. Here, you’ll find boutiques like Les Petites, Claudie Pierlot, and some chic vintage shops as well as speciality food and antiques shops.
A day around Montmartre is sure to renew your love for Paris, as the quaint streets, antique shops, fine dining and village-like feel transport you out of the city and back in time.
La Table d’Eugène
18 Rue Eugène Sue, 75018 Parisâ€¨
Tel. +33 (0)1 4255 6164
16, rue Eugène-Sue, 75018 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4259 4324
23 Avenue Junot, 75018 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 5341 8140
1 Villa Léandre, 75018 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4606 0404
Restaurant Jeanne Bâ€¨61, rue Lepic, 75018 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4251 1753
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris
11 Rue Poulbot, 75018 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4264 4010
14-18 Rue des Saules, 75018 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 4262 2121