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In the Marais district of Paris, long lines form in front of a tiny, dark green storefront, where tourists and locals alike await what just may be the best falafel sandwich in all of Europe. At least according to Lenny Kravitz, whose picture adorns this always crowded kosher eatery. Yes, while the City of Lights is renowned for its Michelin-starred restaurants and gourmet cuisine, one may not always feel up for a multi-course meal.
If you’re looking for something delicious and budget friendly, (a classic falafel pita cost 5 euro and will satisfy your appetite for hours and hours), head straight for the Marais district and don’t stop walking until you get to 34, rue des Rosiers.
The neighbourhood, the traditional Jewish quarter of Paris, is full of falafel joints, but L’As du Falafel is widely-known to be the best (Paris resident and professional food writer and blogger, David Lebovitz, puts L’As du falafel at number 2 on his list of 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris).
Don’t bother queuing for a seat inside, just give your money to the Israeli guys standing outside, and get in line to pick up your order from the take-away window.
What you’ll get is a pita stuffed to the brim (you’ll need a fork and lots of napkins) with super-crisp, garlicky chickpea fritters, creamy hummus, lightly pickled red cabbage), salted cucumbers, fried eggplant and just-hot-enough harissa (ask for extra sauce piquant).
One word of advice: don’t save this meal for your last day on a Paris visit. Once you have one of these falafel sandwiches, you’ll want to come back again for another.
L’As du Falafel
34 rue des Rosiers (Métro Saint Paul), Paris
+33 (1) 48 87 63 60