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.
In Paris we’ve got the Chinese quarter, Chinese traiteurs up and down streets in many neighborhoods…. and then the places that people recommend regardless of where they are located. Wenzhou was recommended to me by Valerie, and we went one day for lunch to this magical place. Located in one of my favorite parts of Paris, Wenzhou is right up in Belleville, a hustle bustle of a neighborhood filled with restaurants serving specialties from across the globe, and every kind of person strolling the neighborhood as a local. It’s the perfect mixture of all places, and has a little bit of everything, and for me is a part of the real Paris. I just love this neighborhood.
Wenzhou has Chinese specialties, from raviolis to noodles to chicken dishes to whatever you heart desires. It’s busy and quick, but a filling plate of delicious. Their menu is quite visual – literally – showing pictures of the dishes which I find quite amusing.
24 rue de Belleville, 75020
Tél: 01 46 36 56 33
Métro: Belleville (2, 11)