Paris is not only a beautiful and animated city, but also the destination of all the gourmands. It is surely a capital of delicious food. In addition, there are many different ethnicities from all over the world that came to Paris: Africans, South Americans, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and they all have introduced their particular culture to the diverse Paris. Thanks to this unique mix of cultures in Paris, you can find an enormous number of small ethnic restaurants that offer a fresh alternative to classical Parisian restaurants called “brasseries”. Here are a few tips for the most interesting of these ethnic restaurants that you should definitely not miss.
Godjo – authentic Ethiopian food
Let’s begin our gourmet journey in sunny Ethiopia. You can taste a bit of Ethiopia’s rich culture in Godjo, a small familiar restaurant in the 5th Parisian district run by a group of young Ethiopians. This restaurant, even if it is well hidden at 8 Rue de l'École Polytechnique, is extremely popular among locals for its friendly atmosphere as well as for delicious food. The offer is really huge and will please the tastes of everyone; there are traditional dishes made from the mix of meat and spices – if you love red meat, you’ll be in heaven. Just try their lamb – it is extremely delicate! However, if meat isn’t your favourite dish, Godjo offers also a large variety of vegetarian dishes including legume-based dishes, such one with yellow lentils, or dishes based on spinach or cauliflower. Frankly, everything is delicious and it is difficult to choose. Not only the food, but also its service is special. All the dishes are served in one large metal bowl and the dishes are separated by fresh salad, so you can share your food with friends. You’ll also get a traditional Ethiopian sour flatbread (injera) as a side dish. Don’t be surprised that there are not any knives or forks – in Godjo the food is eaten with your hands. You’ll see, it is much more fun! If you want to eat in Godjo, a reservation is compulsory, as it is always crowded.
Machu Picchu - the Peruvian inspiration
Machu Picchu, run by a Peruvian woman, is another interesting ethnic restaurant in the 5th district on 9 Rue Royer-Collard. The lady is really admirable, as there are only a few waiters that help her, she is almost doing everything alone. And she does it perfectly. Thanks to such personal care for her customers, you’ll feel like you are visiting your Peruvian grandmother. The wooden interior, complemented by coloured handmade Peruvian carpets, makes one think of some cottage in the Andes. In addition to all of this, the food is really delicious. Even if the offer is rather small, it is really well thought out and the dishes will please everyone. On the menu, there are great meat dishes; try, for example, the duck leg with coriander and peas, or fresh fish and shrimp. The one called “Pescado Amazonico” that joins fresh cod with sweet sauce based on tropical fruit is a real pleasure. Machu Picchu also offers a traditional vegetarian dish made from quinoa and potatoes “au gratin” with cheese. After your dinner, don’t forget to try some lovely homemade dessert, and your evening will be perfect.
Chill out in El Gringo
Are you looking for a good and original restaurant that serves tasty food with great cocktails? Why don’t you try the Tex-Mex restaurant called El Gringo, situated not far away the famous Chateau de Vincennes. You’ll fall in love with the cosy interior of coloured walls, variegated carpets, as well as comfortable wicker chairs that will make you feel really relaxed. Just grab a place and to begin, order a fresh cocktail. You can buy some traditional drink like Mojito or Margarita, or chose one of the more special ones. And, if you come here between 6 and 9 pm, you can catch a lovely Happy Hour that offers one drink together with a tapa (a small dish) to share. So, why not to order nachos with guacamole or onion rings to start? In addition to great cocktails and tapas, you’ll also find delicious main dishes. The offer is really big and it depends on your tastes if you choose a Texas-style steak, or the Mexican burrito or fajitas. All the portions are extremely large, so pay attention and don’t overdo it with the tapas! You can find El Gringo at 32 Avenue de Paris, 94300 Vincennes.
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Al Dar - Lebanese delicacies
The last ethnic restaurant that you should not miss serves Lebanese cuisine and is called Al Dar (8 rue Fredéric Sauton just around the corner from the famous Notre Dame Cathedral). Actually, Al Dar is split in two parts; the first serves lunch in a bistro connected with a shop. Here you can buy delicious Lebanese sandwiches to go with homemade fillings, or you grab a place among a few tables and order a “mezze” plate. Mezze are tiny plates to taste, a bit like Spanish tapas. You can also mix items together in order to create your own dish – that’s what the “mezze plate” is. And the choice is very large including falafels, spiced meat pieces, fresh salads and Lebanese candies. You get Lebanese bread with every dish for free! Add their traditional Tabbouleh salad made from tomatoes, fresh chopped parsley and olive oil with the spiced chicken called “shish taouk”. The mix of tastes will enchant you. The second part of Al Dar is an evening restaurant. The dishes are the same, homemade and tasty; the only thing that changes is the environment. If the bistro offers a relaxed street-style atmosphere, the restaurant will make you feel like you are in some Mediterranean kingdom. It is up to you which alternative you choose; the food will be always delicious.
The best ethnic food in Paris
Paris is a city full of different cultures and tastes. If you want to experience all its richness, you can’t leave without trying at least a small part of this big ethnic mosaic. Here is a list of the best, original and authentic restaurants from all over the world.
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