Holiday Goddess reader Katherine Roy loves Paris falafel. But is it the best in Europe?
Would you catch the Metro to the Paris village known as the Marais, just to try the world’s best falafel? So many people do, that the queue outside L’As du Fallafel (The Ace of Falafel) stretches out of the doorway. And is it worth the queue? Holiday Goddess readers and editors agree – absolutely.
Lenny Kravitz is said to be a huge fan of L’As du Fallafel, and as the Marais is very rock star, with all its hipster boutiques and dark late-night bars, perhaps the rumour is true.
Before you even get to the Rue des Rosiers, the so-called ‘Falafel Alley’ of the area, you’ll probably want to lick the windows of someof the best tea, candle and perfume boutiques in Paris. Diptyque and Fragonard are both in the Marais, along with some tres charmant shops with ancient French telephones and playing cards.
Vegetarians should head straight for the Marais, and Falafel Alley (Rue des Rosiers) if they ever hit desperation point.
So is the New York Times (not to mention Frommers) right about the takeaway falafel at L’As du Fallafel? The answer lies in the smell, which is a wonderful mixture of warm bread, fresh hommous and spicy eggplant. It’s enough to convert any meat-eater.
The success of L’As du Fallafel has made it easier for other sandwich joints to set up around them. Mi Va Mi, at number 23, also attracts rave reviews, from no less than Emily Horne at Vegan Paris and Yelp.
Even though L’As du Fallafel has over 100 seats, you’ll still need to arrive early (try just before noon) to bag a place for lunch, in the height of the tourist season.
It’s cheap too. When Holiday Goddess visited in the 2011/2012 season, a takeaway falafel sandwich was 5 euros to go, and 7.50 euros in the dining room.
The nearest Metro station is St Paul, and you’re heading for Rue des Rosiers (just follow the signs, or the crowds of salivating women). When you’re done, spend more time mooching around the Marais in the company of Holiday Goddess Handbag Guide editor, Jane de Teliga.