Exki – fast, ecological, and tasty meals around Paris

Exki is one of the many new healthy fast-food restaurants that have opened in Paris recently. There are several locations in the city to get a quick salad, juice, and meal for lunch.

Exki has a strong commitment to organic food. Here’s a snippet from their web site:

Nous sélectionnons pour vous les meilleurs ingrédients saisonniers.

Nous refusons l’usage de tout additif.

Certains de nos produits sont labellisés BIO. Par exemple le pain, confectionné et cuit artisanalement sur pierre, sans aucun “améliorant” artificiel. Pour garantir sa fraîcheur, nous terminons sa cuisson, chaque matin, dans nos restaurants.

Sont également BIO : le lait, le yaourt, les jets de légumes, des tartelettes, des biscuits, des confitures,…
Exki philosophie

I have not visited this restaurant yet, so I cannot give a review.

9, boulevard des Italiens (2°)
118, avenue de France (13°)
82, boulevard du Montparnasse (14°)
01 42 61 06 52

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Kosher Pizza invades Falafel Alley

Kosher Pizza in ParisWhat is a pizza joint doing on a street dedicated to falafel? It’s bringing back a bit of Paris history and that is a good thing for us. The street has been a bit sad for years as the old Kosher Pizza restaurant sat empty and boarded up. Perhaps rue de Rosiers is returning to its history of kosher food instead of the latest batch of clothing stores.

Kosher food does not allow dairy and meat to be served or cooked together. That means this is a vegetarian pizza restaurant by default. You can even have it sans cheese for your vegan fix.

The lack of meat is not the only thing different about the Kosher Pizza Restaurant. The walls are covered with Orthodox Jewish posters and scripts instead of Venetian sunsets, the standard images of Michelangelo’s David have also been replaced with rabbi photos; which reminds me a bit of the Rabbi trading cards available from Archie McPhee in Seattle.

The Pizza

Kosher Pizza in Paris
The pizza has a ridiculously thin crust. It is more like a cracker than the dough you’d see in a thick crusted pizza. Perhaps this is a nod to matzo.

The pizza options are mostly variations of onion, leek, egg, olives, and eggplant. It’s a bit surprising to see pizza names, like nicoise, and not see the traditional meat ingredient listed.

I was a bit worried when I sat down and watched a young couple eat three pizzas. I was unfortunately brought up with the concept of quantity over quality at pizza joints. Forget the California bite sized pizzas, bring on the buy 1 get 3 free delivery specials.

However, I was pleasantly surprised at how filling the provincial pizza was. It’s a cracker thin crust with sauce, a sprinkling of cheese, and topped with ratatouille. The cheese is so minimal that I’m sure vegans would love this pizza without the cheese. The toppings blended nicely with the sauce.

Kosher Pizza is obviously closed on sabbath and Jewish holidays. It’s a bit more expensive than its falafel neighbors, but you’ll appreciate the unique experience.

Kosher Pizza
17 rue des Rosiers (4°)
Metro: St. Paul
01 48 87 56 88
Wheelchair Friendly: Wow! This is very accessible. There are no steps to enter and the bathroom is easily reached from the dining area. Even the tables are wheelchair friendly.
  • Overall: 4/5
  • Value: 3/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 5/5
  • Vegan Options: 5/5

Chez Grand-Mère – Le Chablis in Paris

There’s a small restaurant around the corner from my office in Paris. It’s affectionately called “Chez Grand-Mère” as it is owned by the grand mother of a colleague. But there’s more than just a tangential relationship; as the warm reception makes everyone feel like her favorite grand child.

Even though I moved away from Paris a few months ago and returned this week, my Parisian grandmother didn’t miss a step. When it came time to order she remembered I was a vegetarian and suggested a wonderful spinach/cheese tart for an appetizer and mixed omelette with fries. Frankly, I was ready to change the fries to spinach as a customer was given their plate with a pile of great looking greens.

From inside the cafe

Chez Grand-Mère Le Chablis has a small menu written on chalk boards hanging on the walls. You can expect at least one lacto/ovo vegetarian option. I especially enjoy their terrine with chevre and sun dried tomatoes.

They are open for lunch and you can expect to pay 12-16 euros for a two or three course meal. That includes a healthy dose of grandmotherly love.

Le Chablis
12 rue Guillaime Tell (17°)
Metro: Porte de Champerret, Pereire
01 43 80 02 83
Wheelchair Friendly: Entrance and restaurant are a bit tight but it is manageable. No steps for entrance. I don’t know about the restroom
  • Overall: 3.5/5
  • Value: 4/5
  • Location: 3/5
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 3/5
  • Vegan Options: 2/5
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Les Cinq Saveurs d’Anada – Organic, Vegetarian in Paris

Les Cinq Saveurs d'Anada
Les Cinq Saveurs d’Anada may be the perfect restaurant for you in Paris. Are you looking for vegan, vegetarian, and/or macrobiotic restaurant in an area surrounded by hostels, theaters, and one of the best outdoor markets in the city? Voila, here’s your answer.

The restaurant sits at the top of rue Mouffetard, one of my favorite spots in the city. It’s cheerful interior and ample servings make this a great option in the Left Bank.

As happens too often, I came across this restaurant after already eating a nice meal. So I cannot give a personal review. However, I looked at what people were eating and it looked great.

Les Cinq Saveurs d’Anada
72, rue du Cardinal Lemoine (5°)
Metro: Cardinal Lemoine, Place Monge
01 43 29 58 54
Wheelchair Friendly: The restaurant has a small step to enter but is otherwise wheelchair friendly. I don’t know if the restroom is downstairs or not.

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Beirut Down Town – Affordable Lebanese Food in Paris

Vegetarian plate at Beirut Down Town in ParisBehind the Institut du Monde Arabe sits Beirut Down Town, a small restaurant with rough stone walls and a set of simple tables. The front of the restaurant is dominated by a display case filled with hummus, tabouli, and assorted dishes ready for take out. It’s roomy interior is great for large groups.

Lebanese cuisine is filled with vegetarian options and Beirut Down Town’s Assiette Vegetarienne features 7 items for the reasonable price of 11.50 euros. It includes hummus, tabouli, labneh, 2 feuilletes (turnovers) of spinach and cheese, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, and pita bread. It’s a nice variety of dishes for dinner. They also offer a variety of vegetarian sandwiches and plates.

I was looking for something different and this seemed like the perfect place for dinner.

I have to say that I was underwhelmed by the food. It didn’t taste as fresh as I would have liked. I felt like some of the items were pre-packaged or made for the previous day’s lunch time rush (I visited it on a Saturday evening).

However, I have to give them benefit of doubt. The asbestos removal construction across the street had made the nearby restaurants seem like ghost towns. I was the only one in Beirut Down Town.

Student Dining

Beirut Down Town is next to the University of Paris and probably does great business during the week when students are hungry. The portions are large, there’s a nice variety of dishes, and the location is convenient.

I don’t know if I would go back again, but I would suggest it for people in the area looking for something other than another cheese sandwich.

Beirut Down Town
30 rue des Fosses St. Bernard (5°)
Metro: Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu
01 43 29 98 86
Wheelchair Friendly: The entrance is tight, but the rest of the restaurant is roomy
  • Overall: 3/5
  • Taste: 3/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 4/5
  • Vegan Options: 4/5
  • Value: 4/5
  • Location: 3.5/5

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