I had known about Bob’s Juice Bar and Bob’s Kitchen from when I first arrived in Paris. It was sort of staple of something I knew was American. I will admit I never went often as whenever I randomly passed it or planned to go, it was always closed for some reason. Bref. When Bob’s Bake Shop opened, this was a whole new ball game in my book. Expats in Paris sure know how exciting it is when Thanksgiving rolls around because many shops sell their pies for Turkey Day celebrations. I for one was just excited to be able to get pie all the time.
Aside from the pie thing, I was also excited about it being somewhere NOT in the 11th. All of my favorite things I find group in one area. It’s not a BAD thing it’s just something I’ve noticed. I like when peeps get risky and open outside of the trendy spots of the time – cough – the Canal Saint Martin or Oberkampf area. Bob’s chose to open up north in one of my favorite places to stroll since my Lamarck Caulaincourt days, by the Marx Dormoy metro stop. North of my Indian cantine Chettinadu, the Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute is up against the tracks of Gare de l’Est, sandwiched between those also of Gare du Nord. It’s one of those randomly modern areas that is sort of becoming a new sort of trendy thanks to some snazzy restaurants and a youth hostel, but is definitely like a small pocket of trendy in a rather unique part of Paris that is the La Chapelle quartier. Bob’s Bake Shop graces us with its presence here.
A diner in the true sense of the term, Bob’s Bake Shop offers quality food without giving too much of a shit about the overdone awesomeness of the interior. So many places look the same these days. What I love about Bob’s is that it is what it is, and it is wonderful. No subway tiles and wood finishings and inconvenient table arrangements, like in so many other restaurant or cafés popping up around the city. It is spacious, comfy and feels just right – is that my inner American? Table booths line up the window, and the cafeteria-like set up displays everything they’ve got to offer: homemade bagels, cakes, pies, cookies, salads…. the works.
Stop in for a coffee or juice and a treat, or for a sane lunch with a delicious lemonade with a pal (like I did, with my homegirl Ylenia). We went with a open faced bagel sandwich with hummus and pickled veggies on top. Long story short: friendly staff and delicious food. An authentic American spot in the city. I will admit though, I am secretly awaiting some banana cream pie.
Bob’s Bake Shop
Halle Pajol – 12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018
Métro: Marx Dormoy (12)
Tél: 09 84 46 25 26
Funny enough, when I went to Chambelland for the first time when my mom was in town (she prefers to eat gluten free when she can), I realized it is literally across the streets from one of my first Parisian apartments in 2008. The neighborhood has certainly gotten some spunky places and it never seems to stop. Chambelland has a precious little patio, and when you walk in, it’s a breath of fresh air, with sweet and savory treats and adorable deco.
I adored their brownies, that are moist and delicious. We also gave the cookie and lemon tart a whirl which were equally as yummy. I’m thinking next time I’m going to have to give their sandwiches a try. If you’re staying in at Chambelland, top your order off with a cuppa filter coffee for an afternoon pick me up (I seem to always need one of those).
A new staple to the neighborhood, and one of the somewhat small handful of gluten free friendly places in Paris.
14 Rue Ternaux, 75011
Métro: Parmentier (3), Oberkampf (5/9)
I am quite the fan of the 20th district of paris. Just the area in general. The northern part of the Western group of neighborhoods is often misunderstood, but slowly appealing more and more to a trendy or entrepreneurial crowd. New places are opening, new people are heading west to hang out or find good grub.
When I first moved to Paris in 2008, I remember I didn’t venture up by Belleville often – hardly ever – no one I knew did. But it did have a certain allure to it, I was curious about it. When I lived at Lamark Caulaincourt it was considered “too far away” to some of my friends. I’d look at a metro map and I remember thinking that the area I currently live in (southern 16th) was SO FAR AWAY. Ha. Now “far away” doesn’t seem exist in Paris. It’s funny to see how much Paris has grown and changed (not negatively) over the past 6 years, and how much the city has shrunk in my eyes over the past few years.
As for the 20th, this district I just like so much; the well known Rue Denoyez was one of the main things I wanted to take my mom to see when she was in town, not to mention my favorite craft beer spot.
As a sidnote on the always evolving Paris, the amount of international cafés and store fronts that have opened recently really could be in any city in my opinion. These places (so many of which I frequent and thoroughly enjoy) don’t interest me show to close ones in town… I feel like often their identity isn’t linked to Paris, but to a niche or urban trend that hit Paris a bit en retard. It’s a mystery. The sometimes grunginess of streets off the beaten path give Paris even more personality, and make it feel real.
Where do you take your loved ones when they’re in town? I find it hard sometimes to balance between favorite spots, but also spots that aren’t so “this place could be in any city”….
I did a stroll through the 20th post, with heaps of recommendations in 2011. Looks like I’m going to have to update this post as so much has changed over the past few years.