When I made my first trip to Paris almost twenty years ago (yikes), I remembered reading that Le Village Saint-Paul was a great place to shop for antiques. I did a quick tour of it on that trip and still have vivid memories of stores with beautiful silver serving pieces (but with high price tags). If you are not familiar with this area, it is actually part of the Marais between the Seine and rue Saint-Antoine with rue Saint-Paul as the main artery (see map here). As you may know, the area of the Marais on the north side of rue Saint-Antoine has seen an influx of new restaurants and shops and has become quite trendy. I hate to admit it, but I too was drawn to the shiny new things in that part of the Marais. And unfortunately after many trips back to Paris and even living there, I never ventured back to Le Village Saint-Paul until earlier this fall. The streets are definitely quieter in this section of the Marais, but there is much to admire. It boasts several antique shops, and I particularly liked L'Avant-Cour, 23 rue Saint-Paul, 75004. I didn't look at the prices, instead I just enjoyed seeing French treasures from long ago. Or if you are in the mood for something a bit more current, stop by Les Nguyen, 12 rue Saint-Paul, 75004 where you will find one-of-a-kind woman's and children's clothing designed and made in France.
Ready to check out Le Village Saint Paul? I would suggest starting at the Seine and walking along rue Saint-Paul until you reach rue Saint-Antonine. Give yourself time to make detours on the streets that intersect rue Saint-Paul as well as peek into the courtyards off of rue Saint-Paul for tucked away shops (see photo above).
P.S. There are a number of restaurants (listed here) in the Village. I didn't get a chance to sample any of them. But I did notice Cru (with online reservations available on their website) and made a mental note that it might worth checking out in the future. My thoughts about Cru were further validated when I saw that the legendary, Inès de la Fressange listed Cru as one of her favorite restaurants in Paris (check it out here).