When I started telling my friends that I was coming to Paris for over a week, the recommendations came rolling in. Districts to explore, secret spots that you just must eat at, the best place to grab a drink in the evening… It seemed to me that Paris, more than any other place that we’ve been so far on this big ol’ backpacking trip of ours, was the one city where everybody has their own Paris that they want to share with you. It’s like everybody wants to let you in on the secret Paris. They all want you to fall in love with Paris just as much as they have, I suppose.
One of the spots that just kept coming up was L’as du Falafel in the Jewish neighborhood. The best falafel of your life they all say. Apparently it’s Lenny Kravitz’s favorite place, too, which struck me as a funny fact to know until I got there & saw it listed on their menu as one of the reasons to go. I love falafel & I just have got to try anything recommended so heartily by so many people, so we spent an afternoon wandering around that neighborhood & then grabbed a big, hearty lunch at the counter.
The thing about Europe is that it’s pretty much always cheaper to take it to go or, at the very least, cheaper to eat at the bar than at a table. I guess that’s what you get when it’s not common to leave tips. Anyways. Get your falafel at the window for 6 Euro & eat it standing up. I recommend a fork & some napkins, but don’t worry too much because if you drop some, the pigeons are standing by. 😉
Holy moly, that is some good falafel! Rich, creamy tahini sauce, fresh, hot, garlic-y falafel balls, soft eggplant, veggies… this was one dang good falafel.
We headed back to this neighborhood one last time on our last night in Paris, just to get another falafel. Unfortunately L’as du Falafel was closed, but lucky for us, the place across the street, Mi-Va-Mi, was open. I know I’m not stating the popular opinion when I say this, but this place actually had the best falafel I have ever had. In my life.
It had all the fixings that the other one did, but what set it apart for me was the sauce. The tahini was better – richer & more flavorful – & the spicy sauce was out of this world. Way better than L’as du Falafel, the spicy sauce at Mi-Va-Mi is insanely good. I like spicy okay, but I mostly like spicy sauces that have real flavor, not just heat. Mi-Va-Mi accomplishes this & it is the coup-des-gras to the best falafel I have ever had in my life.
VISIT / L’as du Falafel, which is more famous, is located at 32-34 Rue des Rosiers. Literally right across the street is Mi-Va-Mi, which I preferred (although you definitely can’t go wrong). Find them here: 23 Rue des Rosiers Go twice, once to each, & let me know which spot is your favorite! If you’re taking the metro, get off at the Saint Paul stop & walk a couple blocks. It’s easy & the neighborhood is really cute!