The Rue Montorgueil neighborhood is a vibrant pedestrian area in the heart of Paris. One of Paris' permanent market streets, Rue Montorgueil boasts some of the best meat and fish markets in the city, along with renowned pastry shops like La Maison Stohrer, cozy bistros, boutiques, and bars diverse enough to please hipsters and traditionalists alike.
This district shows how even the busy center of Paris reserves village-like nooks.
It also gives a picture of how Paris manages to be resolutely modern while preserving traditions such as family-owned fishmongers, cheese shops, and brasserie-bars. It's frequently overlooked by tourists, who may wander into the area by chance but only rarely know to go explore the area. Here's why it should be part of your itinerary, especially if you're looking to explore Paris a bit off of the beaten track.
Orientation and Transport:
The Rue Montorgueil neighborhood is a small section of the Châtelet-Les Halles district, located at the city center. North of Rue Montorgueil is the area known as the Grands Boulevards; directly south is the Saint-Eustache Cathedral and Les Halles.
Main streets in the area: Rue Etienne Marcel, Rue Tiquetonne, Rue Marie-Stuart.
Nearby: Les Halles, Centre Georges Pompidou, Hôtel de Ville
Getting there: The neighborhood is easily accessible from the following metro stations:
- Etienne Marcel (Line 4)
- Sentier (Line 3)
- Réaumur Sebastopol (Lines 3 & 4)
Some Neighborhood History:
Rue Montorgueil's name translates literally to "Mount Pride" and was named after the hilly area on which the street was developed.
Historic houses decorated with elaborate ironwork can be found at #17, #23, and #25, Rue Montorgueil.
Many of the buildings on the street also feature painted facades.
The area around Rue Mauconseil housed many historic theater troupes, including 16th- century playwright Jean Racine's.
Streets including Rue Dussoubs and Rue Saint-Sauveur date to the 11th century.
La Tour Jean-Sans-Peur, a Medieval Must-See:
Only a few feet away from the metro exit at Etienne Marcel is a medieval-era tower known as the Jean-Sans-Peur.
This is Paris' only fortified tower. You can climb a spiral staircase to visit some of the tower's original rooms. The tower was erected in the early 15th century by "Fearless Jean", the Duke of Burgundy, notorious for having assassinated his cousin, the Duke of Orléans.
- 20 Rue Etienne Marcel
Tel.: +33(0)140 262 028
Admission: 5 Euros (approx. $6.50) (adults), 3 Euros (approx. $5) (children)
Eating, Drinking, and Shopping around Rue Montorgueil:
- La Maison Stohrer
51 Rue Montorgueil
Tel.: +33(0)142 333 820
Open: 7/7, 7:30 am-20:30 pm
Closed: August 1st-15th
La Maison Stohrer is one of the oldest and most prestigious of Paris' pastry shops. Posters featuring the house's world-class pastries, including the original "Baba Rum", can be bought all over the world.
The Montorgueil shop is the original and dates to 1730. Come here to sample delicious classics like the réligieuse à l'ancienne: a mountainous series of cream puffs fashioned to look like a nun!
- Au Rocher de Cancale
78 Rue Montorgueil
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 42 33 50 29
This favorite restaurant on Rue Montorgueil features a colonial-era mural on the facade, making it one of the most distinctive buildings in the area. It's a relaxed place for a casual lunch or semi-formal dinner. The cocktails are well-appreciated by locals, too.
To eat: The menu features copious salads and traditional French dishes for fairly reasonable prices. The full wine, beer and cocktail menu makes it a good choice for an elegant night out.
Reservations: Recommended. This spot is popular among locals.
- Le Dénicheur
4 Rue Tiquetonne
Tel.: +33(0)142 213 101
Open: 7/7, 12 pm-3:30 pm and 7 pm-12 am
Le Dénicheur is one of the many odd and avant-garde spots on Rue Tiquetonne. Here you can procure a meal and shop for antique objects and jewelry at the same time. The antiques are displayed around the restaurant.
Lunch menus range from 8.50 Euros to 10 Euros (approx. $11-$12).
Dinner menus range from 12 Euros to 15.50 Euros (approx. $15.50-$20).
9 Rue Montorgueil
Tel.: +33(0)142 337 99
Hours: 11 am-7 pm
This boutique features eclectic decorative objects, jewelry, and paintings from contemporary artists. A butcher shop formerly stood here, and you can see the traces of it.
Bright colors and neo-kitsch design abound.
Paintings range from 40 Euros to 500 Euros (approx. $51-$64)