Paris is full of surprises. There are little gems around every corner. The Parisian Sweet Bar in the 12th arrondissement is an example. You’ll also find small museums, art galleries, pocket sized parks, and chunks of ancient history.
This leads me to Gout Zen. I stumbled across this restaurant while leaving an unfamiliar metro exit (Bibliotheque). The street is subterranean, with car-filled bridges above, towering buildings, old stone steps to new areas, and a green beacon of light and energy.
Gout Zen is a restaurant, cafe, and organic market all wrapped into one. It reminds me of the No Stress Cafe, near Place de Pigalle. There’s more to just eating at Gout Zen. You can rent a heated wrap for your tired shoulders at 1 Euro for 15 minutes, use free wireless, and purchase some organic food and supplies. It’s a friendly cafe that is bright and comfortable.
I had the vegetable bruschetta at 6 euros. Although a tad salty, I enjoyed the snack and used the wireless until my laptop battery died. The cafe also features some interesting vegan alternatives. I’m dying to try the faux steak au poivre. The fixed price menus range from 8 to 15 euros and include a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
Finding Gout Zen is a bit tricky. Take the Rue Du Chevaleret exit if you are coming from the metro line 14 or RER C. You can also reach it by climbing down the steps on Rue de Tolbiac, Rue Thomas Mann, and Rue des Grands Moulins. I’d suggest using the Rue de Tolbiac steps.