rediscovering the nuggets of the Orangerie district

As the temperatures rise and the Place du Château becomes as armored as before the Covid period, we wanted to give you some fresh air in a small corner of Strasbourg often neglected by the inhabitants. Head north-east of the city center, between Esplanade and the XV district, in a small part of the city that has nothing to envy to the Grande-Île: there are restaurants to drool over Philippe Etchebest, amazing shops or even activities that make you travel. Come on, come on, we’ll take you to spend a day in this little-known part of your city, to make you rediscover the nuggets that are hidden there.

If many inhabitants neglect this corner of Strasbourg, the students know it well. Indeed, our journey begins at the Observatoire tram stop, right in the heart of the university campus. Our goal: to make you rediscover what is hidden around the avenue de la Forêt-Noire, between the university buildings, Esplanade district, and the Orangerie, in the XV district. And if you thought that all the best addresses were around La Catoche, you might be surprised! We take you today to the city center of the curious, the one which is in the process of being extended and which could well, in the coming years, become a must.

To read or reread: The bombings before the students: the little-known history of the Esplanade district or The musicians’ district: this jewel of the Orangerie where each street bears the name of a great composer

© Coraline Lafon / Pokaa

10 a.m.: A gentle awakening / between market and stylish boutiques

What better way to start the day than by going to the market? Every Tuesday and Saturday morning, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., is held the Marne market (Boulevard de la Marne, on the main square near the PEGE building and EM Strasbourg). Market gardeners, fishmongers, bakers, sellers of mushrooms, roast chickens or even flowers: more than thirty stands immerse us in a real neighborhood atmosphere, where people have their habits. The market, all in length, continues towards the Orangery with exotic kitchen stands, but also textile articles.

Once your basket is filled with good fresh produce, why not season your shopping with a little touch of Greek flavours? Because yes, Poupadou (30 rue Geiler), the small delicatessen specializing in Greek products, is right next door! Held by a couple of lovers of Greek culture, there are notably ouzo, vine leaves, cheese, pistachios, beers, herbal teas, pasta, but also artisanal creations such as jewelry, sandals made-to-measure or even cosmetics. In short, everything you need to travel a little and have fun!

If you want to extend the adventure a little further, you will come across Arnaud and Loki, his dog, the guardians of the Mallard bargain hunter (37 rue Wimpheling). Indeed, for several months, the junk dealer has settled in this corner of Strasbourg, to offer lovers of old objects nuggets of all kinds. Posters of vintage films that no one has ever seen, vases with strange shapes, art deco ashtrays, wicker chairs, rattan furniture, lighting, ceramics or vinyls… Hard to list all the diversity of objects that Arnaud hides in his cave of Ali Baba!

12 p.m.: Lunch break / addresses for eating well

After redecorating your vintage-style decor, it’s time to eat! In the district, there are very good addresses, for all tastes and for all budgets. We start with an essential, a little nugget that mixes quality and creativity: the Tightrope walkers (17 rue Geiler). In addition, chef Guillaume Besson offers an unbeatable lunchtime formula for a Michelin star: a starter, a main course and a dessert for only 34 euros! We tested and frankly, we were not disappointed with the trip.

For a more street food atmosphere, you will find, a stone’s throw from EM Strasbourg, two addresses not to be missed. The first one, Come a Roma (1 Stimmer Street), has been offering Roman pizzas by the share for the past few weeks, with recipes that will turn heads! Eggplant and parmesan, mushroom and truffle, tuna and olive, arugula and sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta and gorgonzola… You are bound to find what you are looking for! The second address, better known to students, is the Mammoth Foot (58 av. of the Black Forest). The restaurant offers homemade burgers prepared on demand on site or to take away.

Finally, for vegans, the district is also the cradle of Velicious (43 rue Geiler), the local paradise for all those who do not eat meat. There are both savory dishes and sweet pastries, all without a single product from animal exploitation.

2 p.m.: Digestion / A bit of nature and escape

Once satiated, several options are available to you in the neighborhood. For those who would like a green break for a cool digestion, the Strasbourg Botanical Garden (28 rue Goethe), a haven of peace that smells of exoticism, is just a stone’s throw away! Whether it’s raining, snowing or sunny, the softness and warmth of this place soothes and disorients. There are 6,000 different varieties of plants, chirping toads and a morale-boosting tropical greenhouse. Not very far, there are also the planetariums: the current one, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and which regularly offers events and nights, and the future, under construction and which we can’t wait to discover.

For the bravest and most courageous that the midday meal has not finished, the second option is to work your brain a little since The Secrets of the Hourglass (17 rue Vauban), an escape game that makes you travel, is located right next door. After a room on the theme of Canadian prohibition, another on the pyramid of Cheops and a third on Mexico, it is now a brand new adventure on China and its ancestral temples that the team of enthusiasts offers! An invitation to escape, both literally… and figuratively.

4 p.m.: Snack time / gourmet break and relaxation

Its good ? Did you successfully complete the Secrets of the Hourglass mission? Then you have well deserved a little sweet break! In the district, several addresses are worth a detour for lovers of good snacks. To get started, go to Pauline (56 Black Forest Ave). Made-to-measure cakes, pastries, pastries, breads of all kinds: the shop offers something to spoil our taste buds! And a little advice from a local resident: don’t hesitate to take the little chocolate shortbread cookies presented near the checkout, it’s crazy. A little further on is also the Rieber bakery and pastry shop (10 rue Saint-Maurice)which received a Silver Medal in 2021, during the European Fair, for its Kougelhopf!

Once you’ve stocked up on good things to snack on, head to the star of the day: the Orangery park ! We don’t present it to you anymore, of course, but it’s always good to remember that there is a commercial life and a neighborhood life around this haven of greenery. You can therefore easily go grab something to have a picnic on before settling in, with a good book or a few friends.

6 p.m.: Aperitif / time when wine and beer flow freely!

Obviously, we never stop eating. At the same time, why deprive yourself of the good things in life? After your relaxation break, it’s time to get back to serious things: the aperitif! Still in the district and its surroundings, there are several essential addresses, starting with The Ottima Scelta (56 av. of the Black Forest). Ottima Scelta is this Italian grocery store that can also be found on the Quai des Bateliers and is always packed. And good news: the family opened a second address some time ago between the Esplanade and the Orangerie, and here it’s a little less crazy. You will find heaps of Italian specialties on site, from charcuterie to cheese, including spreads, truffle sauces and lambrusco. All made in italysure !

A little further, but still in the corner, also hides Pink and Red House (11 bd de la Dordogne). This shop, managed by a couple of enthusiasts, is the first “river shop” in France: a wine merchant and a florist in one and the same shop, with all the expertise that each of these two professions deserves! We love.

Finally, for those who just want to sit down and drink without worrying, we also have what you need in the perimeter: the beautiful strasbourg (13 rue Vauban). Biergarten, billiards, board games and a lot of good things to drink and eat: we embark on a contrasting place between the calm of the day (perfect for coming to work), and the atmosphere of the evening, much more boosted.

8 p.m.: Dinner / little nuggets to end in style

For those who aren’t too interested in aperitifs (who are these people? what are their networks?), there are also some very nice places in the neighborhood to eat well and end the day in style. Please note: among these restaurants there are several favorites, so we hope you will make good use of them. We start with Insieme (1 rue de Verdun), a restaurant that is only small in size, located very close to the Saint-Maurice church, on a quiet square where it is pleasant to come and rest when the sun is more discreet. By eating a really delicious pizza, we take advantage of the passage of life in the neighborhood, between the children playing, the church bells ringing and the inhabitants meeting. A little further on, we also find the Croque Belly (9 rue Vauban)this restaurant close to the university which of course offers delicious croque-monsieurs, but also good craft beers, in a relaxed and good-natured atmosphere.

Change of atmosphere: this time we take you to Already (1 Schimper Street), a gourmet restaurant with refined decoration, opened a few months ago by Jeanne, 24, and David, 23. Nordic-inspired, the cuisine and the atmosphere of the place transport us to a culinary universe of elegance, frankness and simplicity. Here, everything is homemade, even the bread!

Finally, to end on a touch of exoticism, one of our favorites: Le Jasmin (1 Schimper Street), one of the Alsatian temples of Tunisian couscous. As you will have understood, the discreet and warm family restaurant serves sunny and generous dishes, delicate house teas and beautiful house specialties from the Maghreb. To be enjoyed without moderation.

© Coraline Lafon / Pokaa

And this is how this short tour of the district which links the Esplanade to the Orangerie, around the avenue de la Forêt-Noire, ends. If you like other places in this neighborhood, do not hesitate to share it in the comments. That way, the merchants and restaurateurs who bring it to life will be able to continue to make us salivate and make us happy. Because without them and without them, it wouldn’t have the same flavor.

*Article supported but not reviewed by the City and the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg

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