Thursday, May 23, 2013

KOSHER IN PARIS, SPRING 2013

The authoritative briefing about staying kosher in Paris and enjoying it.
Since 1999. The Eleventh Edition.


BY MICHEL GURFINKIEL.


Paris is a kosher experience !

France is the leading nation in the world when it comes to quality food. It also hosts a vibrant, diverse and fairly traditional Jewish community. Quite naturally, some kind of interaction had to take place. Especially in Paris, where almost 300 kosher restaurants are to be found, not to mention groceries, butchers, wine merchants, bars and delicatessen shops.

« Kosher » really means « kosher » in Paris. It is a matter of conformity with the religious dietary laws, not of ethnicity. Traditional Ashkenazi food (Polish, Russian, Hungarian) is almost extinct or survives only as « New York Style Food ». Traditional Sefardi food (Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian) is quickly receding. What really is in demand is French high cuisine or nouvelle cuisine, Word Food or « Fusion Food », Italian cooking, Chinese and Japanese food, Indian gastronomy.

A quite impressive success story, as far as kosher restaurants are concerned, is Sushi West, a kosher sushi bar chain established in the late 1990’s. It now owns ten outlets all over Paris. While strictly kosher, it is designed and managed in order to attracts both Jewish and non-Jewish patrons. Some of the dishes have been supervised by the famous non-kosher cook Ghislaine Arabian.

Similar chains have been launched more recently, either sushi-style (Nina Sushi, Yapany) or Italian style (Il Conte, Il Palazzo).

An even more promising success story is the « butcher’s restaurant » : a close association between a quality kosher butcher and a quality kosher meat restaurants. Gaspard, in the 16th district, was a pioneer in that respect. Many other places are to be mentioned by now : from Osmose and La Fille du Boucher to Les Garçons Bouchers and Chez Victor.

Most restaurants are under the supervision of the Paris Beth-Din (BDP/Beth-Din de Paris). Some are under the supervision of the Lubavitch Rabbinate (Vaad Rabbanei Lubavitch) or of the Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Paris, Chief Rabbi Mordekhai Rotenberg (CIOP/Kehilath ha Haredim).

Jewish food shops may or may not be under supervision but sell only sealed products under hashgachah. In addition to the aforementioned hashgachoth, many other French, European, Israeli or American hashgachoth are to be found in this respect : Rav Katz in Paris (Kehilath Yereim), the Rabbinates of Strasbourg, Marseilles, Lyon, the Manchester Beth-Din, the Israeli Rabbinate, the Jerusalem Badatz, OU, etc.

Some retail chains maintain small kosher products departments. This often the case of the Franprix and Monoprix outlets.

More details are to be found on line. In French :

° www.consistoire.org : the Consistoire (National Synagogue of France) and Paris Beth-Din website ; not very user-friendly ; provides however a comprehensive list of kosher products.
° www.123cacher.com : a website about kosher restaurants in Paris ; useful and user-friendly.
° www.mangercacher.com : another website about kosher restaurants in Paris ; useful and user-friendly.

In English :

° www.shamash.org/kosher : an American Orthodox website ; the Paris section is quite complete and accurate, allows for updates, and includes comments and ratings from customers.

There are no full-fledged  « ethnic  Jewish neighbourhoods » in Paris proper or the suburbs, like Boro Park or Williamsburg  in Brooklyn or Golders Green in London, but several « Jewish clusters » with a high concentration of kosher restaurants, eating places, caterers and shops.

As of 2013, ten such clusters can be listed :

1.The Old Plaetzel or Saint Paul Area, and the Sentier in the 4th District of Paris, around Rue des Rosiers (Metro : Saint Paul), and the Marais area. Rue des Rosiers used to be the « Jewish street » par excellence in Paris. However, the Socialist Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, ruthlessly enforced in the mid-2000’s an urban redesigning program that transformed it into a gentrified pedestrian neighborhood. Many of the former Jewish shops gave way to fashion boutiques or gay bars. Many of the shops and restaurants are gone (including the famous kosher-style Goldenberg). The only part of the Old Plaetzel that still bears as a fully Jewish character is the Rue Pavée, where both the famous Hector Guimard Orthodox Synagogue and the Orthodox Yad-Mordekhai Great Yeshivah are located. The nearby Sentier neighborhood in the 2nd district, the stronghold of the Paris garment industry, is still quite Jewish and has a few kosher places too.



2. Faubourg Montmartre in the 9th District, around Rue Richer, Rue Geoffroy Marie, and Rue Lafayette ( Metro : Les Grands Boulevards/Rue Montmartre, Cadet, Le Pelletier). It used to be a typical Alsatian, Hungarian and North African neighborhood. Most shops and restaurants are gone. However, some new places have been opened recently.

3. The 19th District, from the Buttes Chaumont Park, especially along  Rue Manin, to Porte de la Villette (Metro : Jean Jaurès). Young Orthodox or neo-Orthodox families tended to settle there throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. Many are now leaving for the more affluent and much safer Paris West End. Still, there are many shops and restaurants in the area.

4. Belleville, where the 11th and 20th Districts meet, along Boulevard de Belleville (Metro : Belleville). Back in the first half of the 20th century, it used to be a working class Jewish neighborhood. Then, after 1960, it housed many Jewish refugees from North Africa. Non-Jewish immigrants from the Maghreb, India, South East Asia and the Far East have now largely taken over the area. There are still some Jewish shops and restaurants.

5. The Voltaire/Nation  neighbourhood  in the 11th District, along Boulevard Voltaire (Metro : Voltaire/Leon Blum and Rue des Boulets). A booming neo-Orthodox neighborhood. Lot of shops, some restaurants.

6. The 12th District and the Greater Paris East End (Saint-Mandé, Vincennes, Charenton). A new and rapidly expanding Jewish neighborhood, with many shops and restaurants.

7. The Greater Paris West End : the 17th District, in the affluent North-West of Paris, which has established itself as the leading  kosher centre as far as restaurants are concerned (Métro : Ternes, Wagram, Malesherbes, Péreire) ; the even more affluent 16th District and Neuilly ; La Défense and Puteaux. Scores of shops and restaurants.

8. The Left Bank. Although many Jews live there, it was until recently a desert in terms of kosher food. Things are now improving. There are even some shops and restaurants in the very exclusive 5th, 6th and 7th Districts.

9. The Sarcelles and Epinay area in the Northern suburbs.

10. Créteil in the South-Eastern suburbs.


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A SELECTION.

1. PLAETZEL, MARAIS & SENTIER.

L’As du Falafel.
34, rue des Rosiers.
75004 Paris.
01 48 87 63 60.
Falafel and Grill.

Micky’s Deli.
23 bis, rue des Rosiers.
75004 Paris.
01 48 04 79 31.
American Style Hamburgers and Grill.

Korcarz.
29, rue des Rosiers.
75004 Paris.
01 42 77 39 47.
Bakery and Dairy Delicatessen.

Saada.
17, rue des Rosiers.
75004 Paris.
01 42 77 76 22.
Quality Butcher and Delicatessen.

Panzer.
26, rue des Rosiers.
75004 Paris.
01 42 72 91 06.
Quality Delicatessen.

Pitzmann.
8, rue Pavée.
75004 Paris.
01 42 71 17 17.
Dairy Pizza and Salads. Quite friendly.

Sushi West Bretagne.
10, rue de Bretagne.
75003 Paris.
08 26 88 26 88.
Sushi West’s Marais outlet.

Lotus de Nissane.
39, rue Amelot.
75011 Paris.
01 43 55 80 42.
A Chinese-looking, Chinese-run, kosher Chinese restaurant with a Japanese wing.

Le Grand Méchant Louvre.
24, quai du Louvre.
75001 Paris.
01 42 33 25 53.
Dairy, one block from the Louvre, right on the Seine.

Thai One.
46, rue de Cléry.
75002 Paris.
01 42 33 11 52.
Thai. Glatt kosher.

Le Beverly.
48, passage du Caire.
75002 Paris.
01 40 26 29 56.
Grill. Chabad supervision.




2. FAUBOURG MONTMARTRE.

Douieb.
11 bis rue Geoffroy Marie.
75009 Paris.
01 47 70 86 09.
It looks like a Middle Eastern shop. Tasty and unexpensive North African dishes. Open all day but closes at 9 PM.
  
Izaaki.
35 rue Lafayette.
75009 Paris.
01 53 16 43 48.
Arguably one of the best Far Eastern kosher restaurants in the world. Outstanding Japanese food and Japanese-French fusion food. Tunisian management, Chinese service, Japanese cooks.

Il Palazzo Opéra.
17, rue Lafayette.
75009 Paris.
01 48 74 60 31.
Dairy Pizza and Pasta. Tasty, créative, not expensive at all.
  
Sushi West Lamartine.
26, rue Lamartine.
75009 Paris.
08 26 88 26 88.
Sushis, etc.


3. THE 19TH AND BUTTES-CHAUMONT AREA.

Mi Pi El.
41, avenue Secrétan.
75019 Paris.
01 40 18 16 16.
Couscouss and Grill.
  
Petit Pelleport.
52 rue d’Hautpoul.
75019 Paris.
01 42 01 20 17.
French style. Unassuming.

Sushi West Manin.
4, avenue de la Porte de Chaumont.
75019 Paris.
08 26 88 26 88.
Sushis, etc.

La Marina.
159, rue Manin.
75019 Paris.
01 42 01 36 26.
Pizzas and Pasta.

Nina Sushi Bolivar.
31, avenue Simon Bolivar.
75019 Paris.
08 26 62 22 22.
Sushis, takeaway.



4. BELLEVILLE.

Chez René et Gabin.
92, boulevard de Belleville.
75020 Paris.
01 43 58 78 14.
Classic Tunisian Food. Hearty, delicious, unexpensive.




5. VOLTAIRE-NATION.

Yun Pana.
115 boulevard Voltaire.
75011 Paris.
01 43 79 20 48.
Chinese, Thai, Japanese.

Le Puits de Jacob.
54, rue Godefroy de Cavaignac.
75011 Paris.
01 43 56 06 68.
Moroccan cuisine.

Steak & Soda.
225, boulevard Voltaire.
75011 Paris.
01 40 09 24 55.
06 20 22 05 93.
Grill. Glatt kosher.

Les Garçons Bouchers.
33, avenue Philippe Auguste.
75011 Paris.
01 43 67 01 23.
French, excellent meat.

Nina Sushi Voltaire.
213, boulevard Voltaire.
75011 Paris.
01 42 39 04 38.
Sushis.

The Rotisserie.
123, boulevard Voltaire.
75011 Paris.
01 43 73 26 26.
Grill, Chabad supervision.






6. THE EAST END.

O You.
164, avenue Daumesnil.
75012 Paris.
01 43 07 68 97.
French Cuisine.

Wang’s.
310, rue de Charenton.
75012 Paris.
01 43 40 84 36.
Chinese.

Chez Victor.
53, avenue du Dr Arnold Netter.
75012 Paris.
01 47 70 50 58.
French, excellent meat.




7. THE WEST END.


Il Conte.
36, rue de Berry.
75008 Paris.
01 49 53 01 21.
Dairy Italian, Pasta and Pizza. Excellent, quite unexpensive.

Inter Caffè.
22, rue Cambacérès.
75008 Paris.
01 40 07 03 90.
Dairy, French Style. Not bad,  innovative.

Fradji.
42 rue Poncelet.
75017 Paris.
01 47 54 91 40.
Tunisian. Arguably the best kosher food in town. Natural and flavoury. Excellent fish. Moderately expensive. Ask for Mr or Mrs Fradji.

Missada Chinese.
45 rue Laugier.
75017 Paris.
01 46 22 11 77.
Chinese, Thai. Run by Mr Fradji’s son. Pleasant place, valuable food, generous helpings, not very expensive.

Missada Japanese.
43 rue Laugier.
75017 Paris.
01 47 64 51 27.
Japanese. Also run by Mr Fradji’s son. Outstanding.

Meat’In.
110 bis, rue Cardinet.
75017 Paris.
01 47 63 71 02.
Tunisian.

O de Rose.
209, avenue de Versailles.
75016 Paris.
01 40 76 06 00.
French, elegant.

O de Rose 17.
7, rue Jouffroy d’Abbans.
75017 Paris.
01 46 22 10 23.
Same.

Cook (Juliette).
27, avenue Niel.
75017 Paris.
01 42 67 36 54.
French-style and elegant.

Ney’s.
117, avenue de Villiers.
75017 Paris.
Sushis and Bagels.

Raphaelli.
2, rue Sontay.
75016 Paris.
01 45 00 01 01.
Italian, halavi.

Boucherie Jerry Levy.
19 rue de Fourcroy.
75017 Paris.
01 44 40 07 26.
Excellent butcher, sandwiches, etc.

Le Jaguar.
96, rue de Lévis.
75017 Paris.
01 46 22 51 50.
French cuisine, expensive, mixed reviews.

Dado’s.
39, rue Jouffroy d’Abbans.
75017 Paris.
01 47 63 06 06.
Snack & Take-Away. Tunisian, French, Oriental, Asian. Excellent food. Rather unexpensive.

Contini Wagram
81, avenue de Wagram.
75017 Paris.
01 48 88 98 16.
Snack & Take-Away. French.

Darjeeling.
1 bis rue des Colonels Renard.
75017 Paris.
01 45 72 09 32.
Indian. Nice food, Glatt-Kosher. Take-Away Service. Not very expensive. Make sure to make a reservation in the evening.

Le XXV.
25, avenue Paul Doumer.
75116 Paris.
01 56 90 25 25.
Bakery, cakes, cookies, tea, etc. Elegant.


Darima.
89,  avenue des Ternes.
75017 Paris.
01 45 72 50 50.
Moroccan. Grill & Tajines.

Jardins du Belvédère.
111, avenue de Villiers.
75017 Paris.
01 42 27 16 91.
Delicatessen, take-away, Tunisian, Chinese. Quite good (the Chinese dishes are even outstanding) and quite moderately-priced. Open all day but closes at 8 or 9 PM.

Brasserie du Belvédère.
109, avenue de Villiers.
75017 Paris.
01 47 64 96 55.
A French style traditionnal « brasserie ».

Le Rafael.
107, rue de Prony.
75017 Paris.
01 44 40 05 88.
Elegant restaurant, French and International Cuisine.

Yayin.
33, rue Cardinet.
75017 Paris.
01 43 80 63 60.
Quality wine merchant and restaurant.

Sushi West Jouffroy.
1, rue Jouffroy d’Abbans.
75017 Paris.
08 26 88 26 88.
The original place.

Sushi West Villiers.
39, avenue de Villiers.
75017 Paris.
08 26 88 26 88.
Sushis, etc.

Zekai Lauriston.
101, rue Lauriston.
75016 Paris.
01 45 05 40 40.
Sushis, Bagels. Chabad supervision.

AiKo.
96, rue Pierre Demours.
75017 Paris.
01 42 67 02 44.
Sushis, Bagels.


La Fille du Boucher.
20, rue Cardinet.
75017 Paris.
01 42 67 14 19.
Grill, excellent meat. Not too expensive.

La Citadelle.
21, rue Médéric.
75017 Paris.
01 56 79 77 15.
French, elegant.


L’As du Roti.
88 rue Pierre Demours.
75017 Paris.
01 46 22 17 07.
New Style French cuisine.

Gaspard.
84 rue Lauriston.
75116 Paris.
01 45 05 31 89.
Both a butcher and an outstanding meat restaurant. Not too expensive.

Il Conte Poincaré.
47, avenue Raymond Poincaré.
75116 Paris.
01 47 27 98 40.
Dairy Pasta and Pizzas.

L’Asiatik.
47, avenue Raymond Poincaré.
75116 Paris.
01 44 05 05 44.
Chinese, Japanese, Thai.

L’Eden.
22, rue du Colisée.
75008 Paris.
01 43 72 88 99.
Grill.

Sushi West Longchamp.
12, rue de Longchamp.
75116 Paris.
08 26 88 26 88.
Sushis, etc.

Yapany.
23, rue Copernic.
75116 Paris.
01 45 00 12 12.
Snack, Japanese and Chinese.

L’Osmose.
31, avenue de Versailles.
75016 Paris.
01 45 20 74 12.
French, Fusion Food, good meat, very posh, very expensive.

Kavod.
26, rue Jean Mermoz.
75008 Paris.
01 42 25 65 26.
French. Mixed reviews.

King David.
14, rue Paul Chartrousse.
92200 Neuilly.
01 47 45 18 19.
French, Oriental.


8. THE LEFT BANK


RestoKfleg at Centre Fleg.
8 bis, rue de l’Eperon.
75006 Paris.
01 55 42 16 40.
Near Place Saint-Michel. At the Paris equivalent of a standard Hillel House, a students restaurant. 
Centre Fleg also runs « L’Auberge du Shabbath » (The Shabbath Inn) : a special program for rustic yet friendly accommodation on Shabbath.

Il Palazzo Saint-Michel.
36, boulevard Saint-Michel.
75006 Paris.
01 46 34 09 20.
Dairy Pizza and Pasta. Tasty, créative, not expensive at all.


Matana.
30, rue Broca.
75005 Paris.
01 45 35 21 00.
Dairy.

Mazaline.
11/13, rue Henri Michaux.
75013 Paris.
01 53 80 04 05.
Bakery, sandwiches, take-away dishes. Excellent quality.

Le Comptoir du Sushi.
129, rue de Sèvres.
75006 Paris.
01 40 56 05 45.
Sushis, delivery service.

Nina Sushi Montparnasse.
31, boulevard du Montparnasse.
75006 Paris.
08 26 62 22 22.
Sushis, delivery service. 

Sushi West Levassor.
41-43, quai Panhard & Levassor.
75013 Paris.
08 26 88 26 88.
Sushis, delivery service. Near France’s National Library.


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© Michel Gurfinkiel, 2013

Copyright strictly enforced.

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  9. Thank you for your excellent review. Do you know which of these restaurants are closed in August? Also, what would be your recommendation for authentic French dairy pastries (preferably a store open in August)? Thank you!

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