Au Rocher de Cancale
Just north of Les Halles, the Montorgueil area has undergone stealthy gentrification in recent years, and is now a quarter of bourgeois charm, with lots of great food shops and fun places to eat and drink. Almost opposite legendary patisserie Stohrer is Au Rocher de Cancale, an unhectic neighbourhood hang-out where candles are lit, soul music plays and fine-looking locals chat on the terrace (replete with heaters for chilly evenings). The kitchen can rustle up 20 kinds of salad, such as Niçoise, paysanne or the Cancale, with smoked salmon and mozzarella, and trad provincial dishes by night. It’s all very laidback and, unless you stand on the street and survey the historic façade, it might come as a surprise that Parisians have been drinking here since 1846, especially when you clock the ?4 vodka shots with Carambar on the cocktail list. The owners haven’t been slavishly reverent towards the beamed interior, using it to exhibit young artists.