Last Updated on 13th July 2020 by Sophie Nadeau
Picturesque, quaint, and situated just a couple of streets away from one of the most famous shopping streets in Paris, that or rue Montorgueil, rue du Nil is a quaint road featuring many an independent store and produce shop. A wander down this little lane feels akin to escaping the city and instead finding yourself in a small French town. Here’s how to visit rue du Nil, as well as highlights and a brief history!
A brief history of rue du Nil
Located in the second arrondissement of Paris (the smallest of all districts of Paris), rue du Nil is named for the River Nile in Egypt and was first attested as far back as 1590, when the street was referred to as “cul-de-sac de la Corderie”.
From then on, it has since been known as rue Pierre-Boyer”, as the “Cour-des-Miracles” (in 1603), and then “Rue Neuve-Saint-Sauveur” in 1622. The cobbled lane has been known as its current name “rue du Nil” since 1867.
Up until around a decade or so ago, the street was largely forgotten. A Parisian secret lying in the shadow of the iconic rue Montorgueil, the road was largely residential and little frequented. All of this changed, however, with the arrival of the chef, Gregory Marchand, when he opened an iconic ‘Frenchie’ restaurant on the road.
Since the opening of the foodie hotspot, Marchand has opened other food-inspired shops along the street and other businesses have clamoured to open their own food shop offerings on the increasingly popular street. Visit today and you’ll find everything from a greengrocers selling the freshest of seasonal produce to an artisanal bakery, and even a store selling fresh fish and seafood.
Highlights and things to see and do along rue du Nil
Frenchie, 5 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris
Of course, the original starting point for rue du Nil’s meteoric rise in popularity was the opening of the French restaurant. The fine-dining establishment won chef Marchand his first Michelin star and tables are in high demand, often booked up weeks in advance. There are now branches in Pigalle and even in London. Check here to book a table at Frenchie, rue du Nil.
Frenchie Bar à Vins, 6 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris
From the sheer success of Frenchie, in the same manner in which the Michelin-star restaurant, Septime, launched a wine bar offering, Frenchie too has a wine bar offshoot. Offering small plates paired with gorgeous wines, the wine bar doesn’t take reservations and is ever-popular, meaning that it’s essential to arrive early and possibly mid-week if you want to make sure to secure a table.
Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Terroirs d’Avenir, 3, 6, 7, 8 rue du Nil, 75002
As well as Frenchie and its various offshoots, the other business to dominate the street is that of Terroirs d’Avenir, which actually comprises of a number of independent produce shops selling everything from charcuterie to organically sourced fruits and vegetables.
The business was started by Alexandre Drouard and Samuel Nahon in 2008 and their clientele includes plenty of celebrity chefs, including their neighbour Gregory Marchand. The aim of the business is to source small artisanal products from French producers and bring them to Parisians, in the very heart of the city.
Though the produce sold in the épicerie, fishmonger, butcher, a cheesemonger, and bakery are a little higher than other greengrocers and produce sellers you might find elsewhere in Paris, the quality is second to none. Particular highlights include the heirloom-grain baguette at the boulangerie and rare spices at the epicerie.
L’Arbre à Café, 10 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris
If you’re in search of a well-reviewed artisanal coffee shop in the heart of the city, then L’Arbre à Café is the place to head to. A cozy space offering both indoor as well as takeaway options, there are all kinds of coffee types to be bought. The business is also a coffee roasters, meaning that you can buy roasted beans to take home to brew your own coffee from the comfort of your kitchen.
How to visit rue du Nil
Whether you’re planning a romantic date night out or wish to entertain some of your closest friends with a luxurious food dinner party, rue du Nil is the perfect place to frequent to pick up all the supplies you need.
The street is well-located in the very heart of the city and can be found just a few minutes walk away from Sentier metro station (line three- lime green). Before visiting, be sure to bring along your reusable shopping totes. For those looking for even more foodie delights, I highly recommend the nearby Boneshaker Donuts (77 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris) and the delicious brunches at Liife (33 Rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002 Paris).