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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.

Wenzhou
24 rue de Belleville, 75020
Tél: 01 46 36 56 33
Métro: Belleville (2, 11)

Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-11
I often get asked for suggestions of where to stay in Paris by readers or by friends of friends. It’s a difficult question to answer as Paris has been my home for the past half dozen years, and I never really vacationed here. However, one tip I always share is to rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel. Hotels can be lovely, but part of Paris’s charm is experiencing it like a local does. When you rent a little apartment you can have your little kitchen and such and actually feel like a Parisian.

Habitat Parisien offers a variety of different apartments across the city of lights. A few weeks back, Louis and I packed up our weekend bags and spent a few days “away”, in their Monsigny apartment, located in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement.

I’m quite fond of  this area because it is so central, situated perfectly between boutiques on the Grands Boulevards, the Opéra, the Palais Royale and not to mention next to one of my favorite streets, rue Sainte Anne. It is an area where most things are walking distance, which is my favorite way to see the city.

This weekend away in the 2nd turned into a Parisian adventure filled with jaw dropping sights and homemade sushi with friends thanks to the neighborhood’s Japanese ambiance.

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The Monsigny apartment can comfortably sleep four people, two in a double bed in the mezzanine, and two in the pull-out couch if need be. It would be perfect for a group of four friends, or a family with two kids. The weekend we stayed there was particularly chilly, but the beautiful and spacious patio must be dreamy as can be in the summertime… the perfect place to enjoy a pain au chocolat in the morning.

The apartment, that is located on the ground floor, has such a cozy feeling with its big beige stone walls and large windows opening to the private patio. It’s simple and charming, all you could ever need for your stay in Paris. The little kitchen is equipped with everything you could need to cook a bit, and the bathroom features the highlight in my eyes: a bathtub.

STROLL SUGGESTIONS:

→ Walk up and down rue Saint Anne. If you like Japanese food, stop by Higuma for lunch.

→ Stumble into Ace or K Mart on rue Saint Anne for groceries to make your own Japanese feast back at the apartment.

→ Go down by the Palais Royale, and wander through the gardens and passages couverts. Pop in Serge Lutens and smell their incredible perfumes.

→ Stop for a coffee at Le Nemours in between the Louvre and Palais Royale for a café crème and people watching on the terrace.

→ Take in the view of the Opéra Garnier from afar, walking closer and closer up Avenue de l’Opéra.

→ Wander to the top of Printemps for a breathtaking view of Paris. On your way up stop at Ladurée for a macaroon to munch on while up top.

→ Pop in the Galeries Lafayette to see the stained glass dome. They’ve got a balcony, too.

Higuma - De quelle planète es-tu? 1I’m a big gyoza fan. I just love ’em. But if you like ramen and lamen too, I’ve got a place for you.

My mother-in-law at one point recommended Higuma to me, and she definiteyl knew the hotspot because I’ve never been there when there wasn’ a line out the door.

Higuma specialize in Japanese food: potstickers, lamen, ramen… the works. It’s a great deal and you can pair it with an Asahi lager. You’ll feel a bit rushed, but enjoy the hustle bustle atmosphere and the udon galore while you can. If you want some action on the cafeteria like steamy kitchen food prep, sit at the bar for a great view.

The portions are quite large, so come hungry.

Higuma - De quelle planète es-tu? 2 Higuma - De quelle planète es-tu? 3Higuma
32 bis rue Saint-Anne, 75001
Tél: 01 47 03 38 59
Métro: Quatre-Septembre (3), Pyramides (14, 7)