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« Working in Paris | Main | La Nuit Americaine at Flûte l'Etoile »
Tuesday
Feb102009

Rue J-P Timbaud

Text and photos by Camille Malmquist

Okay, so his full name is Jean-Pierre Timbaud, but I like to think we’re on a nickname basis. Running the width of the 11th arrondissement from the 3rd to the 20th, and just a few streets away from the more well-known rue Oberkampf, J-P offers up a wide array of shops, bars, and restaurants in a hip, bohemian atmosphere.

By day, the street is relatively quiet, except on Tuesday and Friday mornings, when it serves as one end of the bustling Marché Popincourt. One of the larger outdoor food markets in Paris, it extends down boulevard Richard Lenoir to rue Oberkampf. Butchers, fishmongers, fruit and vegetable sellers, and cheese mongers mingle with bakeries and flower stands while shoppers pull their wheeled cabas through the narrow aisles. At the corner of boulevard Richard Lenoir and rue J-P Timbaud stands Eurotra, an Asian restaurant supply store which is a great place to buy inexpensive, heavy-duty cookware. They also have a wide selection of plates and tableware (not all of it Asian-themed). Restaurant-specific gear like industrial-sized plastic wrap, to-go containers (perfect for picnics!), and Tarif des Boissons signs, as well as a small selection of Global knives round out the irresistible array.

Near the market and Eurotra, at the intersection with rue de Malte, sits a cute little épicerie fine, Le Petit Bleu. Featuring Mariage Frères tea and Michel Cluizel chocolate, the shop also has a good selection of mustards, specialty oils, honey and confitures. A small but well-edited collection of wines is available, with all the attendant gadgets, and the place has the biggest selection of absinthe I’ve seen so far in Paris! The back of the shop houses all kinds of gifts for the food-lover and entertainer in your life: pretty glassware and candles, vintage-looking dishtowel hooks and glass racks, and Paris-themed napkins and notebooks.

The most famous restaurant on J-P Timbaud is undoubtedly Astier. A charming bistro which has stood on the same spot for over fifty years, Astier has managed to retain its cozy, old-fashioned ambience while the food, despite many regime changes over the years, is always delicious. The cheese tray there is a must-try for any lover of French cheese. A few doors down sits an Italian restaurant, Da Sergio Bistro Florentin, which serves some of the best pizza I’ve had in Paris. Further up the street, across avenue Parmentier, you will find L’Autre Café, a large restaurant with a lively bar downstairs and a quieter dining area upstairs. The food is decent, reasonably priced, and served non-stop from 8 am until midnight. A very good address to know if you happen to want lunch at 3 pm or dinner at 6pm.

Despite all the tasty shopping opportunities and good restaurants, J-P Timbaud is probably best known for its bar scene, the nexus of which lies between avenue Parmentier and rue Saint Maur. Since this is a decidedly less touristy neighborhood, the drink prices are accordingly lower. UFO is a cool, laid-back bar just across the street from L’Autre Café, and the happy hour (6-8 pm) specials there include wine or Ricard for €1.50. If you’re on the hunt for M or Mlle Right (or Right Now), Alimentation Générale is a popular spot for music-loving singles. The bar is large, the music is varied, and the place is packed on Friday and Saturday nights. Nearby, the tiny Pili-Pili offers tropically themed cocktails and is a good meeting place for small groups of friends. For live music, La Marquise Café is a great place to soak up some atmosphere while enjoying jazz in all its iterations (classic, manouche, rock-inflected...). Happy hour, from 6-8:30 pm, features €4 pints and €5 mojitos. Across the rue Saint-Maur, Au Chat Noir welcomes a cool clientele with its cozy leather banquettes, eclectic décor, and cheese and charcuterie plates available at any hour of the day or night.

Of course, rue J-P Timbaud is so full of activity that for every place I’ve mentioned, there are ten I didn’t. Let your sensibilities be your guide – there’s a little something for everyone on this ever-intriguing street in Paris’ 11th arrondissement.

Marché Popincourt
Boulevard Richard Lenoir between rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud and rue Oberkampf
Tuesday and Friday until 2 pm
Mº Oberkampf

Eurotra
119, Boulevard Richard Lenoir
Closed Sunday
Mº Oberkampf
Tel 01 43 38 48 48

Le Petit Bleu
21, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Open 4-8 pm Monday, and 10 am – 8 pm Tuesday – Saturday
Mº Oberkampf

Astier
44, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Open every day for lunch and dinner
Mº Parmentier, Goncourt
Tel 01 43 57 16 35

Da Sergio Bistro Florentin
40, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Open Noon – 2:30 pm and 8 – 11 pm Monday – Friday, and 8 – 11 pm Saturday
Mº Parmentier, Goncourt
Tel 01 43 55 57 00

L’Autre Café
62, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Open every day, 8 am – 2 am
Mº Parmentier, Goncourt
Tel 01 40 21 03 07

UFO
51, rue Jean- Pierre Timbaud
Open Monday – Saturday, 6 pm – 2 am
Mº Parmentier, Goncourt

Alimentation Générale
64, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Mº Parmentier

Pili Pili
70, rue Jean- Pierre Timbaud
Mº Parmentier

La Marquise Café
74, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Mº Parmentier, Couronnes
Tel 01 43 55 86 96

Au Chat Noir
76, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud
Open every day
Mº Parmentier, Couronnes

Camille was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, with a one-year sabbatical in the heartland of the United States, and college in Eastern Washington State where she studied theater and French literature and developed a taste for regional wines and craft-brewed beers. After college, she spent some time in restaurants then bakeries in Southern California and Dallas. After three years of producing French-style pastry and cakes, Camille took the opportunity to move to France, and now works in a pâtisserie and chocolaterie in Paris. She spends her free time writing about her culinary adventures under the pseudonym Croque-Camille.

 

 

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Reader Comments (7)

Camille,

Bravo! Very well done.
February 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave Guilford
This is awesome and very well written.

One of the Houston Chowhounds is headed to Paris in May - I will direct him to both this link as well as your blog!!!

Félicitations Camille!
February 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjodycakes
What a great post on Rue JP Trimbaud! I will be visiting Paris soon; this is the best thing I have read (and I have read alot) on the bar scene. Thanks!
February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
Hey Camille,

I live on Jean-Pierre Timbaud and read your blog with amusement. It's right on target. Missing might be "Chez Imogène", the creperie, and "Cannibale". I only kind of egoistically regret you're so on target. I hope the street will stay somewhat a secret for as long as possible!

James.
February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames
Great info! I own an apartment on JP Timbaud right above the Bistro Florentin.
March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
My street!! Love it and know every single spot!
February 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
I don't know whether you might be interested, but when the street was called rue d'Angouleme (prior to the end of WWII), the famous musical instrument company Besson was located at #96. This company designed what is now the modern trumpet, back in the late 1880s, and their design is the same one used by trumpet makers today. A fine instrument craftsman, Philippe Rault, still occupies the space.
December 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris Tyle

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