The road was named after the housing scheme called the cité d’Odessa built in 1854 at the same time as the shelling by French and British frigates at the town of that name during the Crimean War. The road was then opened in 1881.
Today the street is best known for its Breton-origin crepe cafés that derive from the Breton migration into the area in the late 19th century, due to its proximity to the Gare Montparnasse. I usually choose a crepe with Grand Marnier when I walk through, but there are so many it’s difficult to make knowledgeable recommendations as to which creperie to eat in without defeating my diet.
The hôtel Odessa at No. 28 on the corner the southern part of the street was where Trotsky lived from 1914 to 1916 and again, clandestinely, in 1933. You can bet that he ate several crepes during his stay there – one of the cheapest foods around at the time.