Guide to the 10th arrondissement of Paris: The melting pot

The 10th arrondissement feels like the centre of everything. People spill into the streets from the Gare du Nord station, one of the busiest rail terminals in the world, and mingle into a melting pot of old Paris, new Paris, and cultural offerings from around the world.

The district also features an intriguing museum of handheld fans, a delightful art nouveau restaurant, and the authentic Paris picnic spot: the Canal Saint-Martin. 

The Earful Tower podcast episode

This podcast episode on the 10th district of Paris includes an interview with Nico Alary who runs the ever-popular Holybelly restaurants, and Alex Toledano, the art consultant who literally wrote the book on the 10th… and our final ranking on the district out of 100. 

Video guide to the 10th arrondissement

Here’s our visit, in video format, via our YouTube channel. We’ll be making one of these travel vlogs every week, so be sure to subscribe (you can do it in one click via this link). 

The Earful Tower’s guide to the 10th arrondissement

Good restaurants in the 10th arrondissement

Bouillon Julien: This restaurant’s interior is an art nouveau wonder of Paris. A truly beautiful old brasserie with surprisingly affordable food. Go for the experience, rather than the dinner, and you’ll be satisfied. @bouillinjulienparis. Address: 16 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010

Holybelly: As you probably already knew, Holybelly is an iconic brunch spot in Paris and no trip to the tenth arrondissement is complete without dining there. The pancakes are always excellent. @holybellycafe. Address: 5 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010

Top bakeries in the 10th arrondissement

There are countless bakeries across every Paris district, but there’s something special about this district. Here are three we can recommend, all near the Canal Saint-Martin.

Du Pain et des Idées: This classic spot is a bit of an institution, though it’s no secret. There’s sometimes a queue to get in, but it’s no surprise. The pastries are great and the bakery itself is opulent and lovely. Try the pistachio snail bun, it’s a classic. @dupainetdesidees. Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 

Sain Boulangerie: Looking for something a little cooler? Hipper? Less touristy? Try Sain on the other side of the canal. This is where the locals go, the pastries are fresh and delicious and baked about two steps down the street. @sain_boulangerie 

Address: 15 Rue Marie et Louise, 75010

DonAntónia Pastelaria: Looking for a Portuguese treat? Head to this spot for something a little different from all the other bakeries. The pastel de nata (an egg custard tart) is a bonafide hit. @donantonia_pastelaria. Address: 8 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010

Great bars in the 10th arrondissement

Let’s be honest: There are more bar choices around here than in most parts of Paris. It’s impossible to narrow it down. But we’ll try. Tip: Head along rue de Faubourg Saint Denis and the offshoot rue des Petit Ecuries for many of the best hits.

Le Syndicat: The facade is perhaps the least inspiring in Paris, but the cocktails are creative and unusual. We tasted one with gin and curry, for example. And all the alcohol is French! @lesyndicat Address: 51 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010

Divine: What a beautiful bar. When we visited Divine it was a real party atmoshpere by the bar, with youngsters jumping around and singing along to the blaring music. We opted to sit in the charming room to the side to enjoy some cocktails after a long day. @bar_divine Address: 61 Rue d’Hauteville, 75010

Chez Jeanette: An old-school and classic brasserie that is eternally popular. Snag a spot on the terrace if you can, or a cosy corner table inside. @chezjeannette Address: 47 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010

An excellent cafe in the tenth

Ten Belles – Paris 10: This place has just reopened after a serious makeover. It’s twice as big as before and just as lovely. Perfect place to grab a takeaway coffee to drink beside the canal. @tenbelles Address: 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010

More things to find in the 10th district

Explore the Canal Saint Martin and its banks.

This is one of the coolest and prettiest parts of Paris, especially when the weather is great. Crazy to think that it was once considered to be the dodgy part of town. Not anymore! Take a long walk along the water and really get to know the neighbourhood.

Enjoy a picnic along the Canal Saint-Martin. Ready for a break? Visit one (or all!) of those bakeries mentioned above and take your haul to the water. Claim your space, dangle your legs over the side, and enjoy life as a local. Read our full guide to picnicking by the canal here.

Musée de l’Éventail (Fan Museum): Here’s something off the beaten track! The fan museum is a delight tucked away in what was once a (huge) Paris apartment. It’s a functioning atelier too, meaning you’ll likely see people making the hand-held fans as you explore the museum. @museedeleventail. Address: 2 Bd de Strasbourg, 75010

Find the two “Entries to Paris”

Back in the 1300s, the French King Charles V ordered a massive wall to protect Paris (Note: This is not the Philippe Auguste Wall that we’ve covered in great detail on this channel before). While both these walls were demolished, in the 17th century King Louis XIV ordered for magnificent gateways to be erected in the exact spots the former gateways once stood. Two of these arches remain today, and stand quite close to one another in the tenth arrondissement. They are absolutely worth finding.

Porte Saint-Denis Address: Boulevard St Denis, 75010

Porte Saint Martin Address: 18 Bd Saint-Martin, 75010

That will do for now! I hope you enjoyed episode eleven of this season. This week I’ll be taking you for a closer look at the Canal Saint-Martin, so watch this space. Then we’ll be taking a two-week intermission from the podcast while we will evaluate the best plan of attack for the last nine arrondissements, which we anticipate will be much more challenging to visit in just 24 hours.

A big thanks to Augusta Sagnelli for the photos, Charlotte Pleasants for the additional reporting, and to the Patreon members who make all this possible. Join them here. See you in two weeks.

6 thoughts on “Guide to the 10th arrondissement of Paris: The melting pot

  1. Great podcast and post on an exciting arrondissement…Did you join the moshers at Divine?

  2. Oliver: Loved your review of the 10th! I understood your referring to it as a “melting pot'” of different people, cultures, and its “cosmopolitan” flair. You said you were biased about this arrondisement, but I have to believe it is because you lived there long enough to KNOW it as opposed to a casual 24-48 hour tourist assessment. I enjoyed the “atmospheric” background sounds provided by the Gare du Nord station, the Parisian (European) sirens, and the creaky floors. Thanks for sharing photos of those spectacular (Gateway) arches with the interesting architectural features. Loved learning about the Fan Museum….who would know? Just another “hidden gem” in this fabulous city. Wanted to give a thanks you “shout out” of compliments to your photographer who captured the details of greens and yellows in the bakeries along with the lovely ceilings and wall decor and photo details that help us “be there” in the 10th. Thanks for making that investment for all of us to enjoy! Look forward to seeing more of their work. I agree that you should take a couple of weeks off to do the last 9 arrondisements to assess how to attack them. So many guidebooks give the details, but I think you can add a different “SPIN” to them….more personal from your experiences and “living” amongst some of the most historical places and monuments in Europe. Keep on keepin” on Oliver!!! THANKS for showing/explaining the minute details of this fabulous city and its secrets!

  3. Oh so glad you went to Bouillon Julien…I really regretted not going when I stayed 3 weeks in the 10th…missed opportunity! The photos are lovely!

  4. I lived in the 10th on Rue Des Vinaigres close to the canal fir two years. That street is a village in itself. The best Paris has to offer! Thank you fir this trip down memory lane!

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