Paris is known to have many beautiful areas, however not many tourists (or Parisians to my knowledge) know about Porte de Choisy- in the 13th arrondissement that is largest ‘Chinatown’ in Paris. This area is however perhaps better described as a quartier asiatique because as well as the Chinese, there are also Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians living in the area.
I worked in a high school in the area so I know the area pretty well so I thought I would share some hidden gems of the area with you:
If street art is your thing, you will be able to set your eyes on some beautiful art on apartment blocks as well as shop walls. Here are a few:
Lycée Gabriel Fauré
At N° 81 Avenue de Choisy is the Lycée Gabriel Fauré, a high school. Interestingly, this is a reminder of the area’s industrial past because from 1860 until 1940 this was part of the site of the Chocolaterie Lombart, the Lombart chocolate factory.
I didn’t know this up until recently so it is fascinating to find out its industrial history and it also helps to understand its layout as it does not look like your typical high school.
A short walk from the Parc de Choisy will bring you to the Tang Frères supermarket.
Tang Frères (Tang Brothers) is an Asian supermarket chain based in Paris and it’s reputed to be the biggest Asian supermarket chain west of China. They have several retail outlets throughout the city and its immediate suburbs, as well as an outlet in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, from where the company’s founding brothers originate.
Should you be interested in the Asian culture, you should definitely go there and stock up on some souvenirs—preferably edible ones! Whether you’re on the search for Thai basil, soba noodles or pickled eel, you’ll certainly find it in stock here.
You’ll also find some interesting stuff during the Chinese New Year but beware of the crowds!
If you’re thirsty be sure to grab a refreshing Taiwanese bubble tea at the Bubble House on the avenue de Choisy. Of course there are many different Asian deli shops offering it but this shop specialises in it. The wide range of flavours includes sesame, mango, matcha and taro—all of which can be combined with dairy, almond or coconut milk on demand.
If you have more of a sweet tooth be sure to try out some of the cupcakes in Yinki. Look how beautiful they look!
Set the ball rolling with a tasty lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant at 102 avenue de Choisy where you can slurp on some delicious pho or enjoy a variety of specialty noodle and rice dishes. The bo bun dish is my favourite. This restaurant provides fresh food which is made as you order, while prices remain low as ever (10 euros per person).
Lots of love,