|Paris is home to an eclectic range of tastes and cuisines, from Moroccan to Vietnamese. // (c) 2011 Richard Nahem|
Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog at www.eyepreferparis.com.
Even though most visitors to Paris love to indulge in having authentic French cuisine, the city has a rich and eclectic range of restaurants serving ethnic cuisine. Many former French colonies and countries that have a strong French influence, including Vietnam, Lebanon, Senegal and Morocco, are well represented with many restaurants spread all over Paris. Here is a sampling of some of our favorites.
404 & Andy Wahloo
Paris has a very large Moroccan community and its food is among the most popular in France. 404 is a chic, fun filled dining experience with authentic Moroccan food including tagines, cous cous, mezze and kabobs. The exotic lantern-lit space with furnishings and dark Berber wood imported from Morocco makes you feel you are dining in the heart of Marrakech. Next door is Andy Wahloo (from the same owners), which is a swinging bar and lounge with sophisticated cocktails, Moroccan-style tapas, and a DJ.
404 & Andy Wahloo
69 Rue des Gravilliers, 3rd Arrondissement
Reservations are recommended
Honest Mexican food has always been one of the hardest types of food to find in Paris, as the French are not keen on spicy food. Thankfully, Candeleria, a taqueria, is changing that with its delicious, piquant Mexican fare. Its tacos, burritos, guacamole, hot salsa and other delicacies are winning over the French big time and American expats are breathing a sigh of relief now that one of their favorite cuisines is readily available. Located in the trendy Northern Marais neighborhood, Candeleria is tiny with just a few tables but has takeout. Behind the restaurant is a hidden bar that serves elaborate cocktails, Mexican beer and tequila.
52 Rue de Saintonge, 3d Arrondissement
Le Dan Bau
Tucked away on a hilly, narrow street in Montmartre is a tiny gem amongst the tourist trap restaurants. Le Dan Bau serves fresh, authentic Vietnamese food with little fanfare. Simple and delicious, the best dishes are the pho, chicken with lemongrass sauce, steamed pork dumplings and curried stews. Prices are reasonable—under 25 euros per person—for the high quality of food that is offered.
Le Dan Bau
18 Rue des Trois Freres, 18th Arrondissement
Liza is a contemporary take on ancient Lebanese cuisine. The menu offers a rich selection of mezzes, or Lebanese finger foods, and other dishes including lamb cutlets, red mullet fish with fava beans and grilled kefta with hommos and cherry tomatoes. At the space, designer Hubert Fattal has created a modern dining room reminiscent of a warm and welcoming Beirut home with accents of mother of pearl, wood and copper. L for Liza is the takeout shop located next door with sandwiches, soups, mezze and scrumptious Lebanese pastries.
14 Rue de la Banque, 2nd Arrondissement