Where to Eat in Belleville, Paris

Neo-bistros, Chinese dumplings and pizza, Neapolitan-style: residents of this edgy Parisian quartier look beyond French borders when picking their dinner, making for a distinctive restaurant culture

Home to a diverse community of immigrants - including from Armenia, Greece, Tunisia and Poland - Paris' most defiantly independent district feasts from tables spanning the globe. Far from the bouillons and brasseries favoured elsewhere in the city, a traditional Belleville lunch more often takes the form of a stacked Tunisian sandwich from Di-Napoli, and even where typical French restaurant culture does seep through, it's often with a distinctive twist. Stroll Boulevard de Belleville and you'll find French-Caribbean favourites, aromatic broths borrowed from China's cookbook and the Tunisian Sephardic staple of shakshuka, to name but a few. Here are three we're booking next time we're in Belleville.

The pizza oven and counter at Il Posto


Il Posto

With its eclectic architecture and multicultural vibe, Belleville definitely has something of New York about it, and this lively pizza restaurant plays with that, with its Brooklyn-ready interiors featuring exposed brick walls and glass ceilings. Expect delectable Neapolitan-style pizzas made in an authentic wood oven, from classic margherita to pizza bianca and calzone. Sunny day? We'd recommend sitting outside on the terrace to soak up Belleville's buzzy ambience.


356 Rue des Pyrénées, 75020

A fish dish on offer at Le Grand Bain


Le Grand Bain

It's worth getting the Paris Metro to the east of town simply to dine at this excellent neo-bistro. The front of house is run by Edouard Lax, formerly of the popular Au Passage, while Emily Chia, an alumna of St John in London, presides over the kitchen. Expect an ever-changing offering of seasonal delights (consult the menu on the handwritten chalkboard) that give French classics an Asian twist: think a jambon-Comté-kimchi pithiviers pie, or a tartare of zander fish, melon and shisho. Dishes are accompanied by natural wines.


14 Rue Denoyez, 75020

Chinese-style dumplings on a gilded plate


Restaurant Chez Alex Wenzhou

This 30-year-old Belleville institution takes its name from Wenzhou, a port town in southern China, from which many people emigrated to Europe by boat from the 1930s onwards, a good number ending up in Paris (there's even a micro-quartier in the Upper Marais known as Little Wenzhou). The restaurant was opened in 1992 by Monsieur Xu to serve local immigrants from Wenzhou, and little by little began to be frequented by locals outside of the Chinese community, too. Today Xu Senior's son Alex Xu runs the popular restaurant, which has Parisians coming from all over town to sample the famous dumplings, dried meats and sautéed aubergine. It's old-school and cash-only, so bring your euros.


16 Rue de Belleville, 75020

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