Think of Paris and you’re bound to conjure up images of flourishing romance, designer fashion and delicious food. But it’s not all just red wine and great cheese in the French capital; Paris is home to a whole host of culinary delights from all over the world, meaning that you can dine like a king in whichever country you choose. Here travel writer Josie Sampson explores a few of her favourites and takes a trip around the world in seven non French restaurants in Paris…
Italy: Caffé dei Cioppi – If you’re after a little slice of home-cooked family fare in the middle of Paris, then Caffé dei Cioppi could be the place for you. With space for just twenty people inside, this tiny Italian is hugely popular yet still feels like you’ve stumbled across Paris’ best kept secret. A menu of red wine risotto and creamy pasta classics ensures that satisfied customers keep coming back time after time, so be sure to book beforehand to ensure your seat. Address: 159 rue du Faubourg St. Antoine, 75011
Top tip: The hippest hangout in Paris, the 11th arrondissement’s Oberkampf is the place to head for urban bars and colourful nightlife. The Shoreditch of Paris, there’s a great selection of super cool hotels in Oberkampf that will see you right in the heart of the action.
Mexico: Candelaria – Bringing the zest of Mexico to the streets of Paris, Candelaria is a taqueria dining experience that’s as deliciously hot as it is super cool. After indulging in the best Mexican food in Paris, head towards the back of the restaurant and you’ll be greeted by the cocktail den hidden within – filled with laid-back revellers enjoying a margarita or three by candlelight. Get in there quick though because this is a small place that’s making a big name for itself. Address: 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003
Top tip: The 3rd arrondissement is also home to the oldest surviving house in Paris, dating all the way back to 1407. Find it on the rue de Montmorency.
Japan: Isami – With a palette of such delicate and subtle flavours, sushi can be a minefield to get tasting just right. However, restaurant Isami is Paris’ number one contender and Head Chef Katsuo Nakamura is at the very top of his game. With a mixture of deliciously fresh ingredients and superb culinary know-how, Isami is the only place to go to satisfy your sushi craving. It can be a little bit on the pricey side – but trust me when I say it’s worth every penny. Address: 4 Quai d’Orléans, 75004
Top tip: Isami is located in the super cool Marais area of Paris in the 4th arrondissement, filled with vintage shops, flea markets and a collection of trendy bars.
Cambodia: Bayon – If you’re after some fine-dining Parisian sophistication, this might not be your place… but warm, welcoming and friendly with delicious food are all options on the cards! The bright orange walls decorated with a mish-mash of postcards will transport you to Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh and the luminous bar will draw you in like a moth to a flame. Sure, the menus aren’t the most stylish in the world – but the food more than makes up for it. Fresh, full of flavour and a diverse mix of authentic options – what’s not to love? Address: 121 Rue Monge, 75005
Top tip: The 5th arrondissement is also known as the Latin Quarter – home to the world famous university, the Sorbonne. The Quarter gets its name because its original medieval students were taught in Latin.
Israel: L’As du Fallafel – If you’ve never been to L’As du Fallafel before, you won’t have any trouble spotting it: it’s the one with the hordes of hungry lunchers queuing outside. Super cheap and super lively, the food certainly lives up to the delicious hype in this casual, anything-goes diner. If you can’t stomach the queues, simply avoid the peak lunch hours and you’ll have no problems getting your hands on the abundance of tasty falafel inside. Address: 34 rue des Rosiers, 75004
Top tip: L’As du Fallafel shares the 4th arrondissement with the eastern part of the Île de la Cité – which includes the Notre-Dame de Paris – and the Île Saint-Louis.
Vietnam: Pho 14 – In the last few years, Vietnamese cuisine has made a dramatic entrance onto the plates of the West, with the traditional dish of pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) leading the way. This steaming hot bowl of noodle soup is usually served as breakfast in Vietnam, but in the eyes of Pho 14, there’s no bad time of day to indulge. Here they make their rice noodles in-house for the most delicious pho in Paris. Payment-wise, they don’t take cards, so remember to go armed with cash. Address: 129 Avenue de Choisy, 75013
Top tip: As well as offering unbeatable Vietnamese food, the 13th arrondissement is actually Paris’ Chinatown, known as Triangle de Choisy or Petite Asie – so head there for all manner of delicious sights, sounds and smells that you won’t forget in a hurry.
India: Indra – When looking for the tastiest Indian cuisine in Paris, one name pops up over and over again: Indra. Boasting not only the most delicious Indian food in the City of Light, but also the most beautiful restaurant, Indra is a sure-fire hit. Gilt doors greet you as you enter, welcoming you into the fabulously luxurious air of simple elegance. The food is presented just as beautifully as the décor and indeed, the proof is in the pudding because Indra is the proud recipient of the Michelin Golden Fork award. Address: 10 Rue du Commandant Rivière, 75008
Top tip: The height of luxurious decadence, the 8th arrondissement is overflowing with expensive boutiques and designer names. It’s here that you’ll find the world-famous elite shopping street, Les Champs-Élysées.
Josie Sampson is a travel and lifestyle writer based in London. She loves coffee, cinema (especially French films!) and writing about her travel adventures.