Much of Paris’ charm lies in its cobbled passages, quintessentially Parisian streets and tree-lined avenues, but sometimes you need a little insider knowledge to locate them. This guide features and will steer you towards some of the prettiest streets in Paris including market streets, pedestrianised streets and pastry-lined ones.
You could easily do all of your food shopping along this market road. Bring your wicker basket and pile it high with brioche from Pralus, cheese from La Fermette Fromagerie, honey from Famille Mary, roasted chicken from Darius Rotisserie, fresh fruit and vegetables from the market and ice cream from Martine Lambert and you’ll return with a household full of French delicacies. This is where chic Parisians come for local produce. After all that shopping, stop for a well-earned alcoholic beverage at the charming bar l’Éclair.
A list of the prettiest streets in Paris wouldn’t be complete without the most famous of them all, the Champs-Élysées. With the Arc de Triomphe at one end and Place de la Concorde at the other, its proximity to Parisian landmarks is only one the reasons it’s so popular. A great avenue for shopping but it can feel overwhelmingly long so make sure to stop for plenty of coffee breaks.
Rue des Rosiers
In the heart of the Marais, the Jewish area, lies the bustling rue des Rosiers. The faint smell of falafel tempts passers-by into Middle-Eastern eateries and the trendy window displays lure shoppers into vintage shops and concept stores. Stop off at l’As du Falafel for your falafel fix, Sacha Finkelsztajn for sweet pastries and spiced breads and Sabon for beauty products.
Rue Saint Dominique
Rue Saint Dominique is bursting with French clichés: bakeries selling baguettes by the dozen, pastry shops with delicately placed creations in the window and beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower in the not-so-far distance. This traditionally Parisian street is also home to an array of restaurants serving classic French food, among them Café Constant and Les Cocottes.
With a Pierre Hermé at one end and a Ladurée at the other, two of Paris’ most prestigious pastry shops, this a dream street for sweet tooths. Pastry shops aside, Rue Bonaparte is a charming street leading from St Sulpice to the Seine with an abundance of chic clothing shops and archaic book shops en route.
This popular market street is a feast for the eyes: flower stands abound, fresh fruit and veg piled high and confectionary shops with mouthwatering window displays. Make sure to pop into Paris’ oldest pastry shop Stohrer and hot chocolate specialist Charles Chocolatier.
The chic Avenue Montaigne is a shopoholic’s dream with flagship stores of the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Céline. It may cost a pretty penny to shop along this road, but when in Paris… If you don’t fancy breaking the bank, then window shopping is equally as fun with all of the beautiful displays and pretty Parisian architecture.
Rue des Martyrs
Located in the trendy So-Pi area, rue des Martyrs is teeming with speciality coffee shops, health-conscious eateries and trendy hang-outs. Trinité church lies at the bottom of the road and Sacré Cœur can be seen from the top. Grab a coffee on the sun-drenched terrace at KB Coffee Shop, a multi-coloured salad at Rose Bakery and some salted caramels from Sebastien Gaudard.
Pastel-hued buildings with colourful shutters, adorned with pretty plant pots line the charming Rue Crémieux. Tucked away in the peaceful 12th district, there’s little to do along this pedestriansied road other than admire the colourful houses and quirky nature of the cobbled passageway. (Photo by Paris la Douce)
Rue de l’Annonciation
Come Saturdays this charming road comes to life with a traditional market selling cheeses, roasted chickens and fresh seafood among other French staples. The ordinarily quiet road bustles with chic Parisians, children and weekly market-goers picking up the freshest produce in the neighbourhood. Even when its not market day, it’s the place to come food shopping with two grocery stores, two boulangeries, a fromagerie and a boucherie. Also home to the very first Aux merveilleux de Fred, a heavenly pastry shop where they make the pastries in the window daily – impossible to pass without stopping.
Rue de Seine
Parallel to the aforementioned rue Bonaparte, this street is equally as pretty, equally as Parisian and as equally laden with pastry shops. As the name would suggest, the road leads to the river Seine and passes through the charming St Germain des Près en route. Sweet tooths should head to Pierre Marcolini for divine chocolates, Gérard Mulot for pastries and Grom for Italian gelato.
Rue du Bac
Another quintessentially Parisian street which is always a favourite with visitors. Meander this quaint road and take in all its beautiful doors, peaceful parks and great shops. Chocoholics should stop at Chapon, taxidermy enthusiasts at Deyrolle, food lovers at le Bon Marché and pastry fans at La Pâtisserie des Rêves.
Words and photography by Faye Bullock