It’s a bit strange, isn’t it, for me to write a “how to” guide for a single street. But trust me, there’s a lot going on here. And I have a lot of lovely pictures to share.
So for those who don’t know, rue Cler is a street in the seventh arrondissement. It is pedestrianized, it’s full of little shops and specialty food markets, and I’m quite convinced it’s the most charming street in Paris.
Here are my tips for what you should find on the street. (Of course, there’s WAY more to see, consider this a little tasting platter).
All the pictures you see were taken by Augusta Sagnelli during my recent live video on the street. More info on that at the end of this blog post.
First; the practical details. While rue Cler technically begins at its intersection with rue Saint Dominique, I’d argue that the action doesn’t really begin until it hits rue Grenelle. Start your exploring there.
Coffee at Bleu Olive cafe
This cafe isn’t technically on rue Cler, but it’s about 10 seconds walk from the rue Grenelle intersection. And it’s lovely. It’s run by a French family, it’s small, they make great coffee, and it’s the ideal place to gather your strength before visiting the street.
Chocolate at A la mere de famille
These guys are behind the oldest chocolate shop in Paris, opening their doors back in the 18th century. You can bet they know what they’re doing. We stopped in here during the YouTube Walk Show.
Cheese at La Fromagerie
This is the shop where the local businesses get their stocks. You can find it at number 31. When I asked the owner what cheese she would choose if she had to leave France tomorrow and never come back, she recommended the Epoisses Nus. It smells strong, but she promises it’s incredible (it’s pictured below too!).
The traditional cafe terraces
You simply must sit at either the Cafe du Marché or the Le Central. The drinks are overpriced, the food is pretty average, the customer service can be hit and miss… but these places offer some of the best people watching in all of France.
Buy a book or a postcard
At La Librarie Ideale you can mostly find French books, of course. But right there in the front you might see my own book, Kylie the Crocodile! It’s also here that I bought those vintage postcards I was giving out on social media recently.
Find the old butcher hooks
Halfway down the street you’ll see a butcher’s, which at the time of writing is under renovation. But if you look very closely you will see that the facade has dozens of old metal hooks, which are from the days when they’d hang their fresh meat on the shopfront. Of course, they don’t hang anything there anymore, but it’s cool to see the glimpse of Paris’s past.
Visit the best butcher
According to special guest Justin Kent, you can’t get better than Boucherie du Perche at number 52. Fresh food and helpful staff who will give you tips on how to cook your purchases.
Don’t forget to admire the architecture
There’s so much going on at your eye level that it’s easy to gorget the beauty if you glance upwards (or indeed downwards at the beautiful cobblestones). Here’s a taste.
Dinner at Milagro
If you’re in time for dinner, you simply must visit the newly-opened Milagro restaurant, just a stone’s throw from rue Cler. Justin Kent, the owner and head chef, gave us all a deep insight into the spot on the podcast recently. Be sure to say hello if you see him there.
That’s it! Now, if you fancy seeing the street up close and personal, I’ve done three really thorough videos on rue Cler for Patreon supporters. You can watch the replays if you sign up as a member today on Patreon here. Here’s the direct link to the three shows. There are obviously way more tips – and I make up for not mentioning any bakeries above in a big way. You’ll unlock three hours of entertainment – and that’s just on rue Cler.
The most recent video is with Justin, and is where all the pictures above are from. The second is a walk with tour guide extraordinaire Boris Petrovic who took us on a deep dive into the area’s history. The third is me and my wife Lina walking down the street and buying ingredients for a picnic on the Champ de Mars. Enjoy the video replays and I hope to see you as the newest Earful Tower member. (Welcome to all the new members, it’s thanks to you I hired a photographer for this blog post!)