Paris Secrets: An Afternoon at the Marché de l’Olive
Contrary to common belief in Paris, the world doesn’t end at the périphérique. In fact, many people fail to realize just how many Paris secrets are itching to be discovered in the remoter neighborhoods along the city’s periphery. On a recent excursion with friends, who happen to live in Paris’s northern extremity, we uncovered the grunge-glam Marché de l’Olive, a laid-back but trendy spot near the Marx Dormoy metro station. It’s the perfect place to hang out for an afternoon and get a glimpse of Paris at its least fussy. Check out our tips on how to spend your lovely afternoon discovering this remarkably fresh area.
Shop at the Marché de l’Olive
10, rue de l’Olive, in the 18th Arrondissement. Open Tues–Fri,
8 a.m.–7:30 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; Sun, 8–1:30 p.m.
Fill up your shopping baskets with fresh fare and French delicacies at the adorable Marché de l’Olive (also known as the Marché de la Chapelle). After all, buying directly from the artisans and interacting with the people who grow the fruits and veggies lies at the heart of food shopping like a Parisian.
A darling among Paris secrets, the market originally served as place to sell cattle, but today an abundance of delicacies fill the covered hall. With quality produce, hand-crafted meat specialties, fresh-baked breads, local honeys and superb cheeses galore, the market’s products pass muster in even the most posh of Parisian pantries. For great deals and obliging service, stop at the cheese stand located on the easternmost side of the market pavilion.
Have a café en terrasse at the Brasserie de l’Olive
8, rue de l’Olive, in the 18th Arrondissement. 01 46 07 07 08.
Open daily, 8 a.m.–1 a.m.
Animated as ever, this brasserie’s inviting terrace showcases a mix of patrons submerged in newspapers, caught up in a game of chess, catching up on neighborhood gossip or just kicking back with a few friends. The refreshingly friendly service, 3 euro pints, and selection of modest dishes make for a buzz-worthy spot. Unlike many of its ballyhooed counterparts in the more polished neighborhoods of the city, this is one of those Paris secrets that exceed expectations, offering a pleasant place to take a break from your market shopping, have a coffee, indulge in an apéro, or even settle in for a simple dinner.
Drinks at les Populettes
86 bis, rue Riquet, in the 18th Arrondissement. 09 80 37 41 47.
Open Mon–Sat, 10 a.m.–1:30 a.m.; Sun, 6 p.m.–1:30 a.m.
This quirky spot owned by four girlfriends (who coincidentally met in a bar themselves) is just around the corner from the Marché de l’Olive. While the bobo-esque clientele and floral wallpaper didn’t exactly make an inconspicuous arrival among the street’s kebab joints and bazaars, les Populettes seems to have settled into the ’hood just fine. At this watering hole, drink prices fluctuate in the 3 euro range (i.e., 2.70 euros for a beer). If that weren’t enough to draw in the flocks, then a variety of satisfying if not expertly crafted amuse-bouches for less than 10 euros deliver the coup de grâce—our favorite is the Camembert au miel. It’s the perfect place for topping off a pleasant afternoon in the area. Please, do make yourself comfortable—all the vintage furniture is for sale!
Editor’s note: Have you heard about the GG2P Travel Club yet? There are three levels at which to join—and the first one is free!