After five years of construction, one of the capital’s most ambitious regeneration projects was finally unveiled last spring to mixed reviews. The centre now boasts a string of new shops and fancy restaurants as well as a cultural offering. All this is crowned by a controversial €240 million canopy, embodying the direction the city is taking with the mayor’s ‘Reinvent Paris’ scheme. While Les Halles still isn’t the go-to spot it’s always tried to be turned into, it makes for a pleasant stop out of the cold or on a lazy Sunday when much else is closed (shops and restaurants are open every day). Here are some of our favourite spots to try.
Alain Ducasse’s Champeaux, a contemporary brasserie serving classic dishes including signature soufflé and cocktails throughout the day, is one of the top dining spots to try. The restaurant accomodates every diner's needs, from a family dinner to a business lunch to a private date, and features chic and minimalist decor.
The Philippe Starck-designed Za is a contemporary option to try, where customers order their dishes through Za's app. With just a touch of their smartphone, diners receive fresh and healthy options like omelettes, soups, and salads that arrive via conveyer belt. Vegetarian and millennial friendly.
Following the success of their first store in South Pigalle, sisters Audrey and Lorna have opened a second branch of Sept Cinq on rue Berger, one of the roads running along the outside of the two new buildings. You’ll find a wider range of Parisian-made accessories although this larger outpost features a coffee shop serving home-made breakfast, lunch and brunch.
Next door, L’Exception is a store dedicated to showcasing the very best of independent French design. While much of the store is taken up with fashion, shoppers can also find deco items, books, hi-tech products and foodie treats. The store also has a coffee shop.
For those with a sweet tooth Le Petit Duc’s store will hit the right spot with its traditionally-made biscuits, sweets, chocolates and other delights. Fashionistas should look out for the Basus pop-up space downstairs. The urban brand was created by young couple Florence and Stan whose specially created natural and recyclable cork leather material is worked into each piece of clothing.
For more of the best spots in Paris, view our destination guide.