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The Earful Tower: Paris

The Earful Tower: Figuring out France with guests who know best. 

May 9, 2022

The 11th arrondissement is undoubtedly the cool part of town. Some call it the trendiest Paris district. It’s where you might find an eco-friendly garden hotel, a 1920s themed speakeasy bar, and a restaurant that’s so cool you can’t even find its name on the facade.

We found all those places, plus took a more traditional exploration through the old alleyways that were once thriving artisanal passages. Here’s everything we discovered during our 24 hours in the 11th arrondissement.

This podcast episode on the 11th district of Paris includes an interview with Guy Griffin from Cafe Mericourt and our final ranking on the district out of 100. 

Video guide to the 11th arrondissement

We’ll share our visit, in video format, on our YouTube channel in the coming days. We’ll be making one of these travel vlogs every week, so be sure to subscribe (you can do it in one click via this link). 

The Earful Tower’s guide to the 11th arrondissement

Where to stay?

Eden Lodge: This hotel offers eco-friendly and sustainable living at the back of a miraculously quiet and green garden. If you need some zen-like escape from the bustle of Paris, this is the place for you. Our room had a large balcony and a very comfortable bed, the breakfast was lovely, and the common rooms were tastefully designed. Cat lovers: There are at least two wondering around this hotel and they’re very friendly. @edenlodgeparis  Address: 175 Rue de Charonne, 75011

The best cafe

Cafe Mericourt: There are loads of cafes in this neighbourhood but none match Cafe Mericourt, run by Guy Griffin. This place is an Earful Tower favourite, we have been coming here since before it opened. In fact, one of the first ever live videos was Guy showing us the facade of this cafe the same day he got the keys to it five years ago. Killer coffee and brunch options in a beautiful setting. @cafemericourt Address: 22 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011

The best restaurants

Chambre Noir: This is the place that didn’t have a name on the facade. We didn’t even know if we’d come to the right place, but hipster whispers by the Canal Saint-Martin had insisted this was the place for dinner. A large wine menu and tapas for dinner, try the cheesy asparagus for a good time. @chambrenoireparis Address: 137, Rue Saint-Maur, 75011

Best place for a drink

Mobster Bar: We love a good gimmick and this one was fun. Pick up the phone out the front of this 1920s themed bar and a voice will ask you a prohibition-themed trivia question. You’ll have to type the correct combination into the keypad to get in, where you’ll be met with smartly dressed bartenders serving cocktails to customers in darkened rooms. @mobster_bar Address: 8 Rue de Crussol, 75011

More things to find in the 11th arrondissement

Ateliers des Lumières: Opened in 2018, this is one of the newest museums in Paris and it’s well worth a visit. You can see classical works of art from the likes of Dali, Van Gogh and Cezanne projected on the expansive industrial museum walls . You’ve not experienced a museum like this before! @ateliersdeslumieres Address: 38 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011

Marché Bastille Every arrondissement in Paris has its own market – and often more than one at that. But, the Bastille market has something special about it, whether you’re interested in purchasing some produce, or just want to soak up the atmosphere, it’s the ideal market. Our advice: start at the end furthest from the Bastille, the quality is better this side. Open Thursdays and Sundays 8:30AM – 1:30PM. Address: 2018 Bd Richard-Lenoir, 75011

Explore the hidden passageways of the 11th arrondissement

The 11th is full of old alleyways which were once teeming with artisans. Furniture makers, frame fixers, handymen and more. Nowadays, the passages are still there, but it’s often residents or office workers inside the buildings. If you know where to look, you’ll find stunning oases of calm and sometimes an artisan from today plying their trade. A good one to start at is Passage de l’Homme… but we visited about ten of them, and we’ll share our full findings and many more pictures in the coming days on this site.

That will do for now! I hope you enjoyed episode ten for this new season. 

A big thanks to Augusta Sagnelli for the photos, Charlotte Pleasants for the additional reporting, and to the Patreon members who make all this possible. Join them here.