Are you ready for a walk through another Paris neighborhood? If we plan our day right we will arrive just in time for lunch.
The Marais is one of Paris’ oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods. First developed in the 12th century, the Marais is one of only a few areas in Paris that preserves narrow streets and Medieval and Renaissance-era architecture. It is one of the most popular areas in Paris for tourists not only for its artisan boutiques, galleries and fascinating history, but also for its fantastic restaurants, patisseries and boulangeries. The food is an exciting blend of Jewish food of Eastern Europe along with that of North Africa and the Middle East.
Our first stop in the Jewish Quarter is always L’As du Fallafel at 34, Rue de Rosiers. This small restaurant is #2 on David Lebovitz’s “10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris” list. The food is soooo good and inexpensive. It is right at the top of my most favorite restaurant list as well. Closed Friday afternoons and Saturdays.
Food can be ordered at a window on the street (get there early before the line is several blocks long) or in a small but comfortable dining room. A falafel sandwich is €5 when purchased at the take out window, €7 in the dining room – well worth the difference after a morning of walking all over creation.
The falafel plate consists of garlicky chickpea fritters, creamy hummus, pickled red cabbage, salted cucumbers, fried eggplant and spicy harissa. My daughter ordered the falafel sandwich, the same sublime ingredients served in a warm pita. This can be a messy concoction that requires more than several napkins to keep it from getting out of hand (so to speak) so we chose to eat inside rather than order at the take-out window.
Sacha Finkelsztajn is Paris’s most famous Jewish bakery. Opened in 1946, they specialize in baked goods from Eastern Europe and Russia.
You will find a large pastry selection that includes poppyseed cakes, strudels, Linzertorte, cheesecakes, and a variety of savory dishes. If you are in the mood for a sandwich you might enjoy lean, spicy beef, smoky eggplant, red chili paste, thinly sliced pickles, cucumbers and tomatoes on a soft onion roll. A delicious meal for under €10. Closed Tuesdays.
I hope you enjoyed this little peek at life in one of Paris’ busiest and most beautiful neighborhoods. As you can see, it’s possible to get out of this world food at reasonable prices. David Lebovitz’s blog is a great resource for good, reasonably priced bistros and cafes around the city. It is a site I refer to each time I plan a trip. I’m already dreaming about another falafel plate at L’As du Fallafel.