4. Oberkampf and République
Essential restaurants: Soya Cantine Bio, Le Chateaubriand, La Massara, L'Îlot
If this were a list of Paris’ best coffee shops or bars, the streets around Oberkampf would probably come out on top… but they fare pretty well for restaurants too. First off, there’s the pleasingly designed Ober Mamma, one of three insanely popular Italian restaurants belonging to the Big Mamma Group, renowned for its indulgent pizzas and lengthy queues that are definitely worth braving. A few streets away, there’s Soya Cantine Bio’s excellent Mediterranean-inspired buffet, which takes in all sorts of lush veggie flavors, packing them into everything from lasagna to couscous salad. The consistently daring daily tasting menus at Le Chateaubriand, home to endlessly creative Basque chef Inaki Aizpitarte, is also definitely worth a visit. Over on the other side of the Place de la République, you have La Massara, a three-floor temple to Italian food -- pizza, pasta, salads, tiramisu -- that hums with customers every night, and the more intimate L’Îlot, a seafood restaurant with more-than-reasonable prices and an especially lavish wine list.