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  • Writer's pictureParisian Niche

The Streets of Paris... Rue Montorgueil


As luck would have it, my last visit to Paris had very little rain and left me lots of time to be a flâneuse all throughout the city. On these adventures, I've been lucky enough to share with you some other streets, like: rue Cremieux, rue de la Colombe, and rue du Nil.

Aimless walking is how I discovered the Turbigo Angel, not to mention, the Medici Column, which was such an unexpected treat. Today, let's take a P'Niche peek to see more about rue Montorgueil, located in the heart of Paris, in both the first and second arrondissements.

Parking the P'Niche Time Travel machine in 1183, we note that King Philippe Auguste created Les Halles (the belly of Paris) and the largest marketplace.

The name (from the 13th century) was originally "Mount Orguilleux," (That's Mount Pride to you and me), when the street led to a (now flattened) overlook.

Another theory, from famed author Victor Hugo, states that rue Montorgueil takes its name from a piece of equipment used to carry heavy loads called an "orgueil." It makes sense, as this street was an entry point for many goods sold on this 350 meter long street.

This artwork, by Gustave Doré, is called "The Court of Miracles." It's an illustrated depiction of a medieval vision of the street as retold (also by Victor Hugo) in his cathedral saving novel, Notre-Dame de Paris.

As we drive forward in the P'Niche time travel machine, we'll be putting together a smorgasbord of yumminess.

We land first in 1730 at Stoher at No 51.

We've already (deliciously, if P'Niche does say so, herself) described here Paris' oldest Patisserie, founded by royal baker, Nicolas Stohrer.

We'll be taking all the baba au rhum, chocolate and lemon éclairs, baguettes, and croissants we can carry, merci very much!

Moving forward in time to 1832, we have arrive at L'Escargot Montorgueil, at No 38, which was opened during the reign of Louis-Philippe 1ere, and was a fave of celebrities from Proust to Picasso.

For over 200 years, they have been serving the freshest Burgundy escargot (snails) you can imagine and during Joseph's second Paris trip to Paris, we also tried their frogs' leg - honestly, not too bad!

Zooming to the year 1846, we have arrived at Au Rocher de Cancale (located at No 78).

With famous regular clientele, like Honoré de Balzac, who liked to visit and people watch for creative inspiration. He even included the restaurant in many of his works, most notably on Comédie Humaine.

Balzac was said to often be joined by Alexandre Dumas, Théophile Cautier, among others. Oh, to listen in on that dinnertime conversation!

As you can see from the P'Niche Time Travel Machine, I mean this vintage Parisian postcard, dated circa 1905, rue Montorgueil has been a foodie pilgrimage of sorts for any type of delicacy you are seeking.

That must be why there are so many cookery and restaurant supply shops nearby (though not directly on rue Montorgueil). More on that soon...

As we park the time travel machine on current day rue Montorgueil, we notice that very walkable street is most pleasant due to its pedestrian only status.

One first stop is Café Montorgueil, located at No. 55.

One of your greatest pleasures, as you watch the locals head to and from, will be a glass of chilled white Sancerre paired with an order of truffle fries. The combo is absolute bliss.

Here in the winter? Indulge in the Fondue Savoyard - you will not be disappointed!

I mean, we've come all this way, why not a crème brulée as well?

Wanna grab some items for your picnic? Def stop off at Le Fermette at No 86. This cheese-topia of dairy has been a staple for decades, with an amazing selection of top quality cheeses and the like.

It's worth a visit to see the sweet dairy cow atop the signage as well, a charming harkening back to when stores were decorated with what their offerings were, so all (whether able to read a sign or not) could enter a store with dignity.

After all we have seen and eaten on our journey, we might need some antacids to settle our tummies!

All joking aside, if you happen to fall ill on your Parisian trip and are staying nearby, Pharmacie Montorgueil, at No 67, has the most knowledgeable and compassionate staff, with many also speaking English.

I won't give away too many secrets, so that you have the chance to feel surprised walking the street, taking in how much Parisian goodness is on display

That said, a few notable locations nearby, if not directly on rue Montorgueil are worth a mention...

REDD Montorgueil

28 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002

REDD is an outstanding little gem of a wine bar - perfect to step into a side street and enjoy a quieter apéro with friends.

The Saint-Eustache Church

2 Imp. Saint-Eustache, 75001

Visible from rue Montorgueil, this oft overlooked church is worth a visit.

And don't forget nearby l'il sis, rue du Nil!

Before we close out our latest chapter of Parisian street visits, we certainly need to show off this artistic delight by painter, Claude Monet.

"The Rue Montorgueil" (Musée d'Orsay), like its twin "The Rue Saint-Denis" (Musée des Beaux-arts), are most often attributed to depict a (Bastille Day), 14 July, fête.

However, it was actually painted June 30, 1878, for a government festival celebrating "peace and work."

The genius of this impressionist painting is that, with it's tiny strokes, it seems to imply true movement of crowds waving the French flag - Le Tricolore. Love it!

Want to check out rue Montorgueil? Great!

rue Montorgueil, 75001 / 75002

Métro: Les Halles (Line 4)

Sentier (Line 3)

RER: Châtelet Les Halles (Line A, B, D)

Bus: 20 (Turbigo-Étienne Marcel), 29 (Sentier), 39 (Sentier)

All are a quick stroll away...

So, P'Nicher, are you ready to stroll this historic and gastronomic lane or have you already done so and want to share your photo op? Sound off in the comments below et à bientôt!


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May 02

I love this street, but alas, I do not know about many of the cafes. There are so many, it can be overwhelming. Thanks for sending me in the right direction on my next trip in a few weeks!!

May 07
Replying to

I am so glad this can help navigate the somewhat overwhelming street - enjoy every delicious minute!


Debra Borchert
Debra Borchert
May 01

I had the great good fortune to stay not far from this fabulous street and often bought things for le pique-nique. I loved that little or rather big golden snail. We stumbled upon a Sunday organ concert at St. Eustache, not far from here and now we purposely go to them every trip. Merci for the delicious post!

May 07
Replying to

Yay - always my pleasure and thank YOU for keeping me inspired to learn and share More!!

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