Rue Montorgueil, which runs through the 1st and 2nd arrondissements of Paris, is surely one of the most charming streets in Europe.
An ever-changing mix of New Paris and Old Paris, tourists and locals alike flock to this street to experience what is perhaps best described as Real Paris.
There are historic bakeries (the city’s oldest bakery is at #51), there are endless terrace tables, and there are enough cheese, fish, fruit, flower, wine, and deli shops to leave your senses reeling.
In this blog post, I’ve collected a few things you should seek out on this street. And in this week’s podcast episode, you’ll hear me and Veronique Savoye walking along the street from south to north (specifically, from the corner of rue Tiquetonne all the way to the Sentier Metro station).
We talk about things we see (in real time), how this market street has been changing, and also about Paris, France, the city of Tours, Emily in Paris, and McDonald’s and its influence on France. We also talk about Vero and her work, which you can find by searching France With Vero anywhere, more specifically: on Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and Patreon.
Things to find on rue Montorgueil
1. The ancient bakery
If it was good enough for Queen Elizabeth the Second, it should be good enough for you! This place dates back to 1730 and I can heartily recommend their massive croissants.
2. The other bakery with a mosaic facade
Look for the old sign saying “Cafe Biard” at number 73 and take a moment to appreciate this lovely exterior. This is a great example of the blend of old and new Paris, because while this exterior is from a restaurant chain from the early 1900s, the inside is a brand new bakery by renowned patissier Jeffrey Cagnes. Try the blueberry and the pear tarts.
3. See the opulent Rocher de Cancale
You might not remember the restaurant name “Au Rocher de Cancale” but you will remember the building. You can find it at number 78, at the junction with rue Greneta, and it really is eye-catching – in fact it’s classified as a historical monument. It found fame 200 years ago as a fancy diner.
4. Look up at the fascinating shop signs
Montorgueil has loads of signs above the storefronts, and some look positively ancient. It’s easy to imagine what the street looked like 100 years ago (because a lot of it won’t have changed!)
5. Pick a restaurant terrace and get a front row seat
Here’s the easiest one. As Vero said in the podcast episode, there’s not necessarily an ideal place for a drink or a meal. There’s also not a bad place. It’s more about finding your place. Walk the street once from end to end and get a sense of what suits you.
Then, with the blessing of the wait staff, plonk yourself down somewhere nice and enjoy the next hour or two in the perfect Paris street. After all watching people in Paris is creme-de-la-creme, so why not have a front row seat?
Rue Montorgueil also featured in our recommendations for things to do in the 2nd arrondissement. You can see our visit in video format via our YouTube channel (you can do subscribe in one click via this link) and our blog post recommends even more things to do in the second district.
And if you want even more from rue Montorgueil, from me, and from Vero, we did a live video stream for Patreon members on the same evening we recorded the podcast. You can watch the replay by checking your Patreon account and clicking on the top post, or, by signing up today here.
All photos: Augusta Sagnelli