The neighborhood of Denfert Rochereau
rue Liancourt is a quite street parallel to the rue Daguerre which is one of the best pedestrian food markets in Paris. So everything is good along this street. To get to it from our front door turn either right and right again and then you will cross it, or left and left again and you will cross it. It has many cafes, restaurants and brassieres, all are good. You will also find pharmacies, wine merchants , butchers, delicatessens (that sell delicacies) , cheese stores, chocolatiers, fishmongers, bakeries, night clubs and more.
Late night - There is a small general store (The Epiquerie D'Aguerre, between rue Danville and rue Lalande) that is open till 1am where you can get everything from okay wine to milk.
Wine - There are at least four win merchants in the market and in France it's pretty safe to buy wine table from almost anywhere, but we use La Cave des Papilles (corner of Lalande) , it's family run for generations and sells natural and organic wine. My father in-law, Takis, used it for nearly thirty years.
Bakeries - are a matter of choice, all should be good, but the Au Moulin de la Vierge (The widow of the windmill) is famous, but there are also some nearer and just good.
Pharmacies - the nearest is on the corner of Lalande and Daguerre.
Toys - Opposite the La Cave des Papilles on the corner of rue Lalande is a great traditional toy store, Les Cousins d'Alice.
Butchers - They are all good and may I suggest if you want to eat meat at home you try their preprepared marinated and stuffed roasts that are ready to be popped into the oven. I know that the one between rue Lalande and rue Boulard sells roterie chickens and roast potatoes that are great. Still the butchers further up the market (going from rue Lalande to Denfert Rochereau) are as good and might have a different choice.
The restaurants typically close their kitchens by 2:30pm and reopen at 6pm, but you can always eat at the brassieres and cafes from early till very late. Brassieres are usually large and have plenty of space for large parties but it's better book for restaurants when you are more than four/five. Here our suggestions for the neighborhood:
Around the corner is the very popular restaurant, Les Petites Sorcieres (12 rue liancourt, +(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)). Its chef, Ghislaine Arabian, is often on TV.
rue Liancourt comes to a stop at rue Boulard, you can see this from the house. If you turn right at Boulard you will come to a small family restaurant Ami-Chemin (31 rue Boulard, +(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)). Although it's smallish It's good, cheap and often full of children.
On rue Daguerre there is the restaurant, Café d'Enf(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)) and the Caribbean restaurant, Aux Petits Chandeliers (+(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN))
The Brassiere Chop Daguaerre is fine and has nice salads and choucroute.
The brasserie Parte, also on Daguerre has been in the same family for several generations, since 1908 and has an alter to St. Valentine.
Cafe Daguerre - Is the local hang out, it's open late and it's friendly. Typically people go there for a french breakfast or late night for a drink with friends. Across the square of Denfert Rochereau is cafe OZ the bar in place of the youth.
Other things to do
South of rue Liancourt (take rue Boulard) is the local town hall which is very beautiful. Opposite it is a small park with a play ground. Often the park and square host a farmers market and the puppet theater, Le Gignol which I think it will be open for the Easter period. At Denfert-Rochereau (take rue Daguerre) , is the famous Lion, also at the at 1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy at the corner with avenue General Leclerc is the entrance to the catacombs, where you should see a small queue. This is something that would be fun to do with the older children. There is also a small cinema, Cinema Chaplin (24 Place Denfert-Rochereau, +(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)) that shows different movie each day and in it's original language.
If you like photography, there is also the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson nearby, about 8 minutes walk - 2 impasse Lebouis - Métro: Gaîté
Also the Jardin Du Luxembourg are close and very nice.
Montparnasse ( 10 mins)
Going North from Liancourt, via rue Gassendi and rue Emile Richard you will walk passed the famous cemetery of Montparnasse, which is the resting place of many famous people including, the writer Guy de Maupassant, the composer Saint-Saëns, the playwright Samuel Beckett,the singer Serge Gainsbourg, the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, the car maker André Citroën, Bernard Lacoste of the tee shirts, the writer Susan Sontag, the mathematician Jules Henri Poincaré the film director Éric Rohmer and many many more famous people. You will reach Boulevard Raspail, where there is the Foundation Cartier, which turns into the grand Boulevard du Montparnasse. This boulevard is famous for its grand brasseries and cafes where the writers and artists such as Picasso, Dali and Hemingway use to hang out. The most famous among these are the giant La Couple and Select, la Rotonde and Dome. All are big, noisy and full of life. I've always found that they work well with children. They have great oysters and other sea food, and they mostly offer children's menus. If you decide to experience one I recommend you try out la Couple. The neighborhood is also full of movie theaters.
St Germain des Pres (20 mins)
A direct on the metro line 4 from Denfert-Rochereau direction Porte de Clignancourt.
This neighborhood is famous for its many chic boutiques, fashionable and antique stores. The center of St Germain de Pres is defined by the Abbey and its two very famous cafes, Cafe de Flore and Deux Margots which were the center of the existentialist movement (Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, etc). Across from them is the Brasserie Lipp well known for its choucroute, bier and fries. On the same side as Flore going down on rue St. Benoit is the really beautiful art nouveau Petite Zinc (+(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)). if you take the rue Bonepart until the river you will pass on your left hand the Paris school of art, Le Baux Arts which might be the most beautiful art school in the world. It's worth a visit. At the end of the street you can cross the river taking the Pont des Arts or the Pont de Carrousel which lead to the Lourve. Closer to the Odeon on rue Racine is le Bouillon Racine, (+(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)) another beautiful art nouveau restaurant that specializes in soups, and also has a children's menu. Not far away on Place de L'odeon is La Mediterranean (+(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)) a great restaurant whose interior is painted by Jean Cocteau. Also near by is the jewel of a museum, The Musée de Cluny, The Museum of the Middle Ages that contains many treasures including the tapestry of the Lady and the Unicorn.
Direct on the metro line 4 from Denfert-Rochereau direction Porte de Clignancourt
The cathedral of Notre Dame is on the island called Ile de la cite. It's great to visit and nearby on the island is Berthillon - Flore en Ile, rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile, which is famous in Paris for its sorbets. From the island its a short walk across the bridge to the right bank and the Carrousel at the Hotel de ville.
In the court yard of the Louvre overlooking the Pyramid is the very fashionable cafe/restaurant - Cafe Marly (+(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)). At the end of the Louvre, is tits garden, le Jardin de Tuileries the children can play with boats at the lake or take pony rides. Right there at the rue de Rivoli famous for her arcades it is nice to visit the cafe Angelina, whose famous cake is called the Mont Blanc. At the end of the garden you are at the Place de la Concord with its sculptures of the cities of France where begins the Champs Elysées which leads to the Arc de Triomphe.
The Flea Market.
Take the 4 train from Denfert Rochereau to Porte de Clignancourt, walk a few more blocks (there are signs for the Les Puces) past all the jean and jacket stalls and you will find an amazing market. Its open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10-6pm. The best days are Saturday and Sunday.
In good weather Bois de Boulogne, where you eat at the great Le Pre Catelan (+(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)).
Palace of Versailles ( Take a RER B from Denfert Rochereau and change at St Michel N-Dame to the RER C going to Versailles Rive Gauche, but get a special ticket not T+)
Euro Disney - Daily shuttles leave from Gare du Nord.
The Palace of Fontainebleau the scene of the court romances of Louis XIV when he was young.
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte of Nicolas Fouquet - This palace is what inspired Louis XIV to build Versailles and plays a key part in the Man in the Iron Mask.
Other restaurants that I like:
BOFINGER - 5-7 rue de la Bastille - Paris 4ème -- the decore upstairs is great.
CAFÉ DU RENDEZ VOUS - Near the house and great for hanging out.
BRASSERIE FLO -- 7, cour des Petites Ecuries - Paris 10ème -- possibly the oldest brassier in Paris.
JULIEN --16, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis - Paris 10ème -- beautiful, with a well priced late night (after theatre) menu.
PROCOPE - 13 rue de l'Ancienne Comedie, St. Germain Des Pres, +(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
Paris is full of museums, such as the Louvre ( a must), Pompidou Center, Quai D'Orsay, etc but as a child I always preferred the small museums:
Musée Marmottan Monet - 2 rue Louis-Boilly - Métro: La Muette. +(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN).
A small museum which boasts the world’s largest collection of works by Claude Monet.
Musée Rodin - 77 rue de Varenne - Métro: Varenne. +(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN). WHich is a mansion kind of near the house with its gardens and chapel, a major collection of sculpture, sketches, engravings and paintings by Auguste Rodin, along with works by his student Camille Claudel and paintings and sculpture from the artist’s own eclectic collection. Closed Mon.
For more see: (URL HIDDEN)
The Lourve huge and is good for a rainy day, what have to see there is the Mona Lisa, the Nike of Samo-Thrace, and the Venus of Milos.