Best Paris Strolls

Stroll 26: Cadet To Bourse Via Passages

Stroll 26 Passage Verdeau

Quick Description: Four 19th century shopping arcades, wax museum, E-game venue with bowling alley, unique chocolate shop, food market street, dining at historic Bouillon Chartier, and more.

Where: Central Right Bank, the Faubourg Montmartre. 

Duration: 30-minute walk, @1.5-2hrs with visits to venues and retail shops.  Early Departure Option at the midpoint.  Abbreviated route offered that skips E-Games venue and Passages des Princes toy shop arcade.

Best Days: Tues – Sat. 

Best Start Time: 10am – Noon.

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Connects via quick Metro rides to Stroll 27 (Arts et Metiers to Republique), or Stroll 28 (Canal Saint Martin), or the standalone site, Cimetiere Pere Lachaise.  

Past and Present:  This area lies between the center of the city and the base of the Montmartre butte. Until the early 1700s, it was outside the city’s defensive wall.  But it was not part of the Village of Montmartre, which occupied the butte.  So, it was called “Faubourg Montmartre” (suburb Montmartre).  After the wall was demolished, the city expanded here and by the early 1800s this was a densely packed residential and commercial neighborhood featuring many small businesses.  To boost retailing, beginning in the 1820s real estate speculators created covered shopping arcades that ran north-south through the middle of blocks, connecting to the east-west oriented avenues and boulevards.  Called “passages” or “galeries,” they were Europe’s first malls.  The passages were built in various locations all across the Right Bank, but in this area several of them were arranged in a row, parallel to Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, the main north-south street, and ending at Boulevard Montmartre, one of the storied “Grand Boulevards.”  Those passages are still here today, well preserved and offering a wide range of stores and restaurants, plus a time capsule atmosphere. This stroll leads you through them and to attractions along the way, including: a modern street art exhibit, a popular wax museum, an historic chocolate shop, a market street, the palatial former stock exchange building, and a “bouillon” (worker’s restaurant) set in a grand Belle Epoque hall, plus many other dining options. 

Attractions (in order):

  • Rue Cadet: Running from Rue La Fayette to Rue de Provence.  Lively food market street with vendors and restaurants, plus a museum venue.  Most vendors open seven days, though half day Sunday and some closed Monday. 
  • Musee de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Museum of French Freemasons): #16 Rue Cadet.  Located in a modern building on the former site of the lodge of the Grand Orient de France, Europe’s oldest Masonic group, this small museum details the history of French Freemasons – among them, the Marquis de Lafayette – through a variety of physical exhibits, artwork and documents.  Note that most of the informational cards are in French only.  Tues-Sun 10am-12:30pm, 2pm-6pm, €7 (under 18 and other categories of persons free); guided tours in French Sat 2:30pm and 4pm, Sun 2:30pm, limited to 10 persons, €7 in addition to regular admission, reservation required.  
  • The World of Banksy Expo: #44 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre.  Located in a former underground parking garage that creates a public street environment, this exposition presents the works of the famed British street artist / provocateur known as “Banksy.” Here you’ll find 51 original works from private collections, plus reproductions and stencils of larger murals and graffiti pieces, with a NYC police siren and helicopter soundtrack.  Mon-Fri Noon-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-7pm, €14 adults, €12 children 5-12, free under 5.   Note: This is a long running but temporary exhibition.  Check the website for status.
  • 1871 shop of A la Mere de Famille chocolatiers: #35 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, at the corner with Rue de Provence.  There are now 14 branches of this premier chocolate shop (which also sells candied fruits and nuts and ice cream), but this is the original, with much period detail.  Mon-Sat 9:30am-8pm, Sun 10am-7:30pm.
  • Passage Verdeau: entry at #31 bis Rue du Faubourg Montmartre to exit at #6 Rue de la Grange Bateliere.  Picturesque indoor shopping arcade dating from 1847, with operating retail shops (particularly for stamps, vintage postcards and books) and restaurants.  Accessible Mon-Fri 7:30am-9pm, Sat-Sun 7:30am-8:30pm, though the businesses within may have different hours.    
  • Passage Jouffroy: entry at #9 Rue de la Grange Bateliere to exit at #10 Blvd Montmartre.  Picturesque indoor shopping arcade dating from 1846, with operating retail shops (including toys, gifts, jewelry and more) and restaurants.  Accessible Daily 7am-9:30am, though the businesses within may have different hours.
  • Musee Grevin: #10 Blvd Montmartre (with entrances on the street and inside Passage Jouffroy).  Famous wax museum featuring replicas of historical and contemporary persons.  Daily 9:30am-6pm, €25 (Adults), €18 (Children), €17 (per person for family of 4).   
  • La Tete Dans Les Nuages Paris Opera: #5 Blvd des Italiens, next to the Passage des Princes.  Electronic gaming emporium that also includes a bowling alley.  Mon-Fri 11am-12:30am, Sat 10am-2am, Sun 10am-12:30am. 
  • Passage des Princes: Entry at #5 Blvd des Italiens to exit at #97 Rue Richelieu.  19th century shopping arcade that burned down in 1860 and was entirely rebuilt in 1995.  Shops specialize in toys, scale models, electronic games and more.  Accessible Mon-Sat 8am-8pm, though business within may have different hours. 
  • Passage des Panoramas: entry at #11 Blvd Montmartre to exit at #10 Rue Saint-Marc.   Picturesque indoor shopping arcade dating from 1799 with side passages dating from 1830, featuring many restaurants (with various cuisines) and some retail shops.  Accessible Daily 6am-Midnight, though the businesses within may have different hours.      
  • Palais Brongniart (aka Bourse de Paris): #26 Place de la Bourse.  Grand neo-classical building constructed 1808-1826 and added to 1901-1905, that from 1826 to 1987 housed the Paris Stock Market (Bourse).  The building is now an event space and the interior is not open to the public.  Public Toilets are located next to the building by the Metro entrance.
  • Marche Bourse: Place de la Bourse.  Farmer’s market that is held on the plaza outside the Palais Brongniart Tuesdays and Fridays 12:30pm-8:30pm.

Dining Suggestions (in order):

  • Le Petit Cadet: #9 Rue Cadet.  French cuisine, burgers, salads, plates to share, full bar.  Traditional room with updated décor and outdoor seating.  Mon-Sat 8:30am-2am. Appetizers €8-12.90, Mains @€16.50-23, Burgers @€16.50-18.50, Salad Plates @€11-14.50, Plates to Share @€11-14, Desserts @€3-12.
  • Holy Restaurant: #23 Passage Verdeau.  French, Thai and International cuisine.  Bright modern room and seating on the passage.  Tues-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-6pm.  (Note: Code available to enter passage after it closes in order to dine here.)  Appetizers @€6-13, Mains @€16-25, Cocktails @€11.   
  • Neko Ramen: #6 Rue de la Grange Bateliere, at exit from Passage Verdeau.  Japanese and Ramen dishes.  Spacious room with a warm, modern décor, and outdoor tables.  Daily 11:30am-11pm.  Appetizers @€3-6, Mains @€12.5-13.5, Ramen dishes 9.5-€12, Desserts €2.4-4.
  • Le Valentin Jouffroy: #30 Passage Jouffroy, first half of route.  Tea house / patisserie.  Seating inside and on the passage.  Tues 9am-5:30pm, Wed-Sat 8:30am-6:30pm.  Moderate prices.  
  • Bouillon Chartier: #7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, around the corner from the exit for Passage Jouffroy. “Bouillon” is the term designating a late 19th century workers café, offering classic French dishes at low prices, but often in elegant surroundings decorated in the Art Nouveau style of the times.  Founded in 1896, Chartier is the one of the oldest continuously operating bouillons in Paris, with a large, ornate room.  Daily 11:30am-11pm.  Appetizers @€3-9, Mains @€8.50-16.  Note: no reservations, wait in line (which can be long at peak hours), service is brisk and diners are expected not to dawdle after the meal.
  • Coinstot Vino: #22-30 Galerie Montmartre (side hall of Passage des Panoramas).  Trendy wine bar serving Italian food, including pizza, wines by the bottle.  Traditional room and seating on the passage.  Mon Noon-2pm, Wed-Fri Noon-2pm, 6pm-Midnight, Sat 6pm-Midnight.  Appetizers €9-15, Mains €22-30. 
  • Clementine: #5 Rue Saint Marc, opposite the exit of Passage des Panoramas.  Family run, offering French cuisine with a typical, short bistro menu.  Traditional room, outdoor seating under awning on block with little traffic.  Mon-Fri Noon-9pm.  Appetizers @€8, Mains @€16, Desserts @€8.  Wine by the glass @€5, carafe @€14.
  • Le Vaudeville: #29 Rue Vivienne, at Place de la Bourse. French cuisine, known for seafood, also offers breakfast. Elegant Belle Epoque room.  Daily 8am-Midnight. Average cost @€59.  Breakfast prix fixe @€13.50.

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Stroll Map

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