Brasserie Barbes is a new place to eat in Montmartre with a massive renovated 3 story space complete with a dessert bar on the ground floor and terrace too for dance parties or just taking in the rooftops of Paris. The place seems to be a catch-all for all types of dinners; romantic, family or hipsters. The only people I didn’t see much were locals, you see the Barbes area is a rich mixture of immigrants from north Africa, mostly Algerians who were all too absent from such a big space in their neighborhood. They were everywhere outside but not a single one inside – and this my friends is the start of what I call change – or in other words gentrification.
Having lived in the Barbes area, and knowing that this space was once a home decor shop frequented by the poor inside and circulated by crooks on the outside, I presume we’ll see a massive gentrification beginning now – especially as I see the police presence increase in the area. Great news as the Barbes Metro just in front the Restaurant has one of the highest rates of pickpockets and drug sales. Of course no one talks about all this. But my hope is that the neighbourhood can indeed find a way to “clean up” without leaving out the innocent people who are locals and not involved in criminal activity.
In really trying to be fair in my analysis of the bistro I couldn’t ignore the thoughts (above) I’ve been having. But also because I want to be fair, I must say that I love Brasserie Barbes.
The food service was indeed exquisite and almost lower New Yorkesque in stlye – many servers, freindly and of course after shuffling around to find a table either upstairs or downstairs there was a real concern to have you seated and eating, not just standing in line – which there was on all floors.
All the dishes that zapped passed us as we waited to be seated looked aesthetically appealing and once we sat our meal was delicious!
I can vouch for the Scallops Risotto with asparagus and the Croissant stuffed with ham and topped with cheese, with a side of salad and roasted potatoes. We had a chocolate tarte from the dessert bar that’s on the entrance floor. All our plates were wiped clean! The decor is well done with lots of light coming in on all floors that warms up the big spaces, plants here and there, magazine rack by the counter, massive shared wood tables and pretty tilled floors, sofa seating on the 2nd floor, a sort of outside/but inside terrace glass walled area on the 2nd floor was a favorite counting by the number of people waiting for seats here. It’s also better if you’re a group of 3 or 4 to be seated, they didn’t have many tables of 2 on the 2nd floor.
Paris doesn’t have too many big rooftop spaces to chill so this one will be a favorite come summer for sure!
I’d highly recommend Brasserie Barbes if you love good food and want to try something new. But I somewhat have an unwholesome feeling about the future of the surrounding and it’s inhabitants.
- Address: 26 Boulevard de la Chapelle, 75018 Paris
- Metro: Barbes (lines 4 or 2)
- Ambiance – It’s a fluid cacophony of street noise, chatter and laughter.
- Decor -Very green, lots of light yet somewhat industrial.
- Food – Wide selection on both floors of meat and vegetarian dishes – some french and even Italian choices (not sure if it’s two separate kitchen though!) Great Cocktail bar selection too!
- Why to go – One of the best rooftops in Paris right now – just in time for summer!
Close by: Marche barbes, Le Louxor, Cafe Lomi, La Choppe, Sacre Coeur…
PS – be careful, in this area there are tons of pickpockets around the Barbes metro stop!