We will not do Paris the offence of trying to summarise its world-famous and versatile food culture in one place, but if we had to start somewhere, it would be in Le Marais, one of the most idiosyncratic neighbourhoods of the city’s central arrondissements.
Nestled between the high-tech Centre Pompidou museum of modern art and the Bastille memorial, Le Marais, attracting both sophisticated internationals and the hip Parisians of the north-west arrondissements. A 10-minute walk away from Notre-Dame north of the river Seine, this Right Bank district has historically been the home of the Ashkenazi Jewish community since the 19th century. Later, it became the centre stage of the Parisian gay scene, from which it has acquired its reputation of épicentre de la fête.
A short walk from the elegant Place des Vosges — where Victor Hugo once had a home — the cool and cozy bistro Glou on the Rue Vieille du Temple has been a valeur sûre of the Michelin Guide since it opened in 2008.
Excelling in French classics such as veau en cocotte as well as Japanese-inspired dishes such as tuna tataki, Glou’s eclectic menu is an exceptional example of contemporary French gastronomy, in tune with both national culinary tradition and the invigorating influence of Asian and Mediterranean flavours. Glou further offers an impressive selection of organic wines from the country’s leading independent producers.
Tables upstairs overlook the gardens of the magnificent Hôtel Salé, home of the newly restored Musée Picasso. After dark, the terrace of La Perle, an unpretentious café by day, buzzes with celebrities, fashionistas and trendy creatives.
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