As I live not far from this area, I go here all the time and it truly feels like escaping big Paris and entering village life. As there are no tourist destinations in its surroundings it is a truly locals-only hub, full of cafés and all the food suppliers a good Parisian needs. It is only a few streets big, but its density makes up for it.
Its center is located around the rue de la Butte aux Cailles and the rue des Cinq Diamants. La Butte aux Piaf and Le Mêlécasse are my favorite classic Parisian spots to have a coffee or drink. USSR inspired bars Sputnik and Soyouz are the ideal local bars where you can have a good evening without your drinks costing too much (rather rare in Paris). For your dose of girlishness I can recommend L’Oisivithé, a tea room that sells wool and nice brunches. Also there are restaurants featuring all cuisines.
The Butte aux Cailles is also a popular spot for street artists. I’m always on the lookout for newly decorated walls (they are always a welcome inspiration for my Instagram account), but lampposts are equally the object of creative spirits.