If a well-intentioned friend suggests a visit to the Faubourg St. Denis, you would most probably wince at the idea. Don’t. Not anymore. In the recent past, gastronomic excursions would not stretch beyond Brasserie Julien at number 16. Beyond that, lay Turkish deli outlets, West Indian hairdressers and Helal butchers. Today, that well established rhythm has been reshaped by bobos (bohemian bourgeois). But fear not. That expanding tribe has not pushed their longtime occupants out of this ethnic kingdom. They have only taken up some room in this invigorating environment. The result is a unique cultural and social mix, where immigrant flavors coexist with new urban tastemakers.
And food emporia of the best kind have set up shop here. At Boutique des Saveurs you can buy top-notch terrines, conserves and condiments or enjoy in their cozy interior some of these appetizing delicacies. It is one of the few places where you can taste Langouille, a subtly flavored sausage made with pork tongue.
A few doors away, Terra Corsa, has opened its second location in Paris after the first one on Rue des Martyrs. This is the temple of Corsican specialties: wines from Balagna and Patrimonio, charcuterie from the Castagniccia region and tangerine and fig jams. There are piled products and bottles on the walls, baskets of sausages of all sizes and a few tables in case your palate is unhappy about the idea of a take away.
And then, there is the revamped Julhès. This is the pride of the traiteur profession. The space, generous and open, brims with the most recondite and exclusive cheeses, fresh pasta, biscuits and cured meats. Their cellars organize tastings not limited to French wines but exploring Port, Armagnac and Japanese Hibiki whisky.
This is the neighborhood where the new pulse of Paris beats. And these culinary adventures should be at the top of your agenda.