France is famous for its gastronomy, and Paris, being its capital, no doubt has some of the best French restaurants in town. However, we understand that one might not be in the mood for cheese and wine, or even their delicious garlic escargot all day, every day. And sometimes, we just desperately crave the exotic food that we’re used to having back home or elsewhere. We know what it’s like, so, we’ve compiled a list of top five non-French restaurants in Paris that serve anything but French food to help you satisfy those exotic cravings.
This family-run restaurant is like your normal family dining room, but better. The place is warm, spacious and homely, no wonder it fills up almost instantly as it opens its door at noon. The smell of fresh Lebanese and Syrian food is inviting and the whole place is filled with a delicious aroma of their homemade bread straight out of the saj, an oven responsible for all the delicious wraps, and the inspiration for the name for the restaurant.
The owners are two passionate brothers and the main chef is their mother, which make sense since mothers are the best cooks. Here at COOK’N SAJ, everything is made to order, using the freshest and highest quality produce. Plus, with the supervision and quality control by the head chef, satisfaction is guaranteed. Also, shout out to COOK’N SAJ for using stainless steel straws! We love a good sustainable and responsible kitchen!
This one is for not only Peruvian lovers, but also lovers of fine dining. Realising the majority of Peruvian food are enjoyed almost exclusively in the evening, MIKUNA is committed to making this refreshingly delicious cuisine accessible to all, serving fast but carefully crafted ceviches, alongside a variety of hot dishes, straight out of their South American kitchen both for lunch and dinner. Every bit of the place is inviting and radiates happiness, from the menu to its interior design.
The owner has clearly planned all of it with such close attention to details. Despite having opened its door three weeks ago, MIKUNA has already gained a steady customer-based. This isn’t a surprise considering how truly wonderful their food is. The menu is refreshingly creative, as the chef adds a Latina twist to the classic French dessert, crafting the most delicious dulce de leche pudding, quinoa au lait. Thanks to MIKUNA, you can enjoy quality Peruvian dishes that one would expect only from fine dining experience without draining your wallet.
Despite the overwhelming collection of Asian restaurants in Paris, not many, I’d say, is indeed authentic. 21g-Dumpling is here to serve you some proper Chinese and Taiwanese food, with a delicate French twist to it (I know, I said no French, but trust me, this is good!) Located in the 11th arrondissement, 21g-Dumpling is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings, because, who doesn’t love a good Chinese meal?
RESTAURANT LE MOSQUEE DE PARIS
You can’t leave Paris without visiting the Grand Mosque, which is conveniently located next to the Natural History Museum and the Jardin des Plantes. Not only is it the biggest mosque in Paris, but it has also a beautifully decorated restaurant serving authentic Moroccan and Middle Eastern food. The setting is absolutely stunning and even if you don’t want to commit to a full meal, make sure you grab one of their sweet pastries at the front and get yourself a glass of their mint tea.
The street behind Palais Royale is packed full of Japanese restaurants. The selection is overwhelming but worry not, Dosanko is the only place you need to go to for the perfect bowl of ramen. A small corner restaurant, you will often find a queue outside this little place and for good reason. The portions are big and the quality superb, Dosanko is definitely one of the most authentic Ramen places in Paris.
With these five exotic restaurants on your list, I’m sure navigating the non-French food scene in Paris has just gotten much easier, seeing how many options there are in the city! Let us know what you think if you end up visiting any of them!
*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.