Arriving at Gare du Nord, you’re plunged into Parisian life – and one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. The prettiest hangout hereabouts remains the Canal St Martin, with its lively cafés, cobbled quays and independent boutiques. Now, though, it has some competition, with hyped new openings springing up across the 10th arrondissement. Standouts include the hospitable Brasserie Bellanger, perfectly placed for supper if you’ve just arrived by train. A few blocks from the station, Veggietown is also worth a stroll – a cluster of hip, healthy eateries to the south of rue La Fayette. Try the cauliflower wings at Jah Jah or a bento box at Nanashi, and look out for Invader’s veggie-inspired street art. South of here, rue Château d’Eau is also changing fast. These days, it’s dotted with concept stores and cafés, from the trinket-filled Passage Doré to hip homewares shop La Trésorerie. From an opulent art-deco cinema to a pared-back oyster bar, we’ve picked seven standout addresses around the neighbourhood.
• Remember Amélie skimming stones? That was at Canal St-Martin
• Outside Gare du Nord, snap a shot of the ‘melting’ house sculpture
• Psst! The nearby Hôpital Saint-Louis has a secret courtyard garden
I love exploring the little stores along rue Château d’Eau – head to Jamini for beautiful kimonos and block-printed cushions