Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lamarck-Caulaincourt Bar-Crawl: Paris be Merry Route

Montmartre conjures up visions of sex shops and tourists such one might miss a secret. Little do many know of the jewel of a bar-crawl on the backside where tourists rarely venture.

This is because any who have visited Montmartre are sure to have fought the crowds of picture-taking visitors in Place du Tertre or Sacré Coeur. It's enough to make one dizzy and ready to run for their life.

Yet, if one just heads down the backside of Montmartre they will find a cozy area of bars, restaurants and cafes mostly frequented by locals; and a prime spot for a bar-hop. This area is called Caulaincourt, and the best metro to get off at is Lamarck-Caulaincourt on line 12, and we've even created a map for you of the circuit we suggest taking.

As soon as you exit the metro you'll find yourself on one of the many hill-side stairwells that abound in this area and make up part of its distinct charm. You will also immediately notice the bars and cafes and lively spirit both during the day and at night.

You can go forward, backward, left or right, and you will come to a plentitude of cool places to get a drink, dinner, lunch or even brunch. That's right. Tons of these places serve brunch, and one even specializes in it, along with several gourmand hot chocolate recipes.

Whether you visit this area during the day, for dinner, or for the late nightlife, you will find plenty to keep you busy; when one place begins to bore you just step out and over to the next.  During our own bar-hop in this area we compiled a list of places we thought especially interesting, all ranging in a 5-8 block radius; listed below.

With this list below you're sure to find the coolest spots in this area. Enjoy!

Name and address (etc):
Other Information Worth Noting:
Le Refuge
72 rue Lamarck, 75018
01 42 55 27 58
Open 7/7
Brasserie-Café-Bar. This hopping little place is just outside the Caulaincourt-Lamarck metro entrance and exit. You can't miss it, and it starts our little Bar-Restaurant tour. During the day it is the typical French brasserie with employees to match the mood and attitude. At night it gets lively with a lot of nightlife hanging about outside to mingle and have drinks.
Les Taulières
10 rue de la Fontaine du But, 75018
01 42 58 60 64
Open evenings only: hipster bar.
Bar. A cool little hipster bar painted in ambiant colors and often sporting a DJ. There is little sitting room as it is meant for mingling and drinks; nightlife only. The DJ spins a wide variety of music, depending on who and when, described as: electric, jazz funk, funky, hip hop jazz, afro beat, latin jazz, etc.
La Cave Café
134 rue Marcadet, 75018
01 46 06 29 17
Café-Restaurant-Bar. This cute little café style restaurant also serves drinks and offers a bit of seating for small groups wanting to also get a bite to eat.
Casa Lola
12 Rue Francoeur, 75018
01 42 55 42 41
Closed Saturday afternoons.
Restaurant. A warm mix of Mediterranean and south European dishes awaits you here, such as curry and pasta dishes. Yet, you can also get a burger or salad. Prices range from 13-15 euros. The mi-cuit (gooey centered chocolate cake) with orange confit (candied orange) is apparently to die for.
Chez Francis Labutte
122 Rue Caulaincourt, 75018
01 42 23 58 26
Café and bar (Brunch too) Here you can sit on a covered and serene terrace to eat, or return at night for the drinks and cocktails. They play a mixture of jazz, soul and funk music in the evenings, and the inside is decorated and painted in a manner meant to smooth the soul. Prices range from 10 -17 euros, depending on the dish and time of day.
Le Café Arrose
123 rue Caulaincourt, 75018
01 42 57 14 30
Great prices and service.
Café-Restaurant. This quaint little place was able to seat group of 10, as we were. The food was excellent, and the service as nice, and not too loud even when they were full and at their busiest. A compilation of traditional French plates are served, such as filet de hareng (herring in oil), tartines (toasted half-sandwiches), cassoulet (SW meat casserole), burgers, and more. Prices ranged from 6-12 euros, a real deal for the quality.
27 Rue Lambert, 75018
01 46 06 15 11
Traditional French Cuisine Restaurant This family run restaurant will take you to rural France, all in the heart of Montmartre! All the dishes, including the foie gras (fatty liver spread - if your conscience can stand its often-called 'inhumane' production methods), are homemade and made only with the finest ingredients. They even bring the casserole dish out for you to cut your own slice...just like mom. A very traditional French restaurant full of locals requires you have the utmost respect if you eat here, and try to respect theFrench Restaurant Norms. Prices for dinner can run between 20-30 euros depending on the wine you choose.
Les Ambassades de Montmartre
25 Rue Lamarck, 75018
01 42 23 56 01
Not open Wed and Sat afternoons.
Restaurant. Here you can sit on the enclosed and covered terrace, or eat inside. The dishes have a Mediterranean spin to them, and run between 15-22 euros depending on the dish and time of day.
Au Relais
48, Rue Lamarck, 75018
01 46 06 68 32
11 euro lunch menu
Café-Restaurant. A wide variety of traditional French cuisine plates, including tartare (raw seasoned beef), cassoulet (SW meat casserole), millefeuille de tomate (tomato pastry), brochettes, salads and more. Prices ranged from 7-11 euros for the appetizer, 12-15 euros for the wide variety of salads, and 14-19 euros for the main dishes. There is a menu each afternoon of an appetizer and plate or plate and dessert for 11 euros.
Le Comptoir des Bellettes
37, Rue Lamarck, 75018
01 46 06 07 37
Serves Brunch all day every day.
Specialize in different hot chocolate drinks.
Restaurant (Brunch). They serve a nice brunch all day, every day. It can include quiche, tartines(toasted half-sandwiches), bread and spreads, and more. They also specialize in different gourmand hot chocolates. If hot chocolate is something you love, then their varieties on the drink are sure to please you. Such as the hot chocolate with chantilly cream and caramel and macadamia nuts. Yummy!
Ginette de la Cote d'Azur
(Chez Ginnette)
101 rue Caulaincourt, 75018
01 46 06 01 49
Open every day.

Café-Restaurant. A little restaurant with typical French dishes sure to please.
Le Cepage Montmartrois
65 rue Caulaincourt, 75018
On what is called "Caulaincourt Square".
01 46 06 95 15
A jazz-aperitif hour.
Café-Restaurant. This very quaint and very cute and very 'Montmartrois' (to be Montmartre-like) is worth checking out. The outside terrace is off the street and near the butte-steps that give Montmartre its charm. A great place to stop for a coffee, lunch or dinner alike. This place is also right next to a hostel and wonderful pastry shop. They have a jazz-aperitif hour as well.
Just Be
46 rue Caulaincourt
01 42 55 14 25
A nice brunch, terrace and lively atmosphere.
Restaurant-Bar. (Brunch). This cool little restaurant and bar is about as flamboyantly colored on the inside as you're likely to find anywhere. The pink and red painted brick walls give it an almost Chicago feel when you enter, with a queer-eye touch. The outside terrace is off the street and very nice as well, and near the butte-stairs that give Montmartre its atmosphere. The menu is comprised of burgers, wok favorites, salads, and some regular French cuisine favorites such as tartare (raw seasoned beef). The brunch costs 23 euros and you can even find carrot cake here!

While this ends our list of places, note that this area has TONS of places to eat and drink for both day and nightlife. We've only touched the surface here, so suggest you just go and gad-about to discover this area on your own.

**Photo Credit: Flickr CC - Some rights reserved by Kevin Phua

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