“My culinary tastes reflect my state of mind: eclectic and multicultural.”
My name is Ali Mortaza, and I am the co-founder of Tapatía. I was born in Afghanistan but I grew up in France since I was a child in the great city of Nantes, in the western part of France. I have been living in Paris for four years now, and I have had the chance to live in several countries for my studies and work, which has afforded me the opportunity to discover different cultures and ways of life. I’ve lived in Andalusia (south of Spain), Finland and then in Mexico where I met my wife.
My culinary tastes reflect my state of mind: eclectic and multicultural. So, here are my top restaurants in Paris that you must try!
Hours: Sun-Thu 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Call: +33 1-43-37-05-58
For delicious French cuisine I highly recommend Invitez-Vous Chez Nous in the Latin district. It is a restaurant owned and operated by a couple, with the madame running the kitchen and the monsieur overlooking the service. The restaurant boasts a cozy and warm atmosphere, and the dishes are simple and fresh.
Hours: Tue-Sun 12 p.m.-2:15 p.m. & 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Call: +33 1-48-28-53-37
Le Vieil Alger is my favorite place when it comes to Maghreb cuisine in the city. Simple, yet well executed, the dishes and portions are generous and delicious. I recommend the Méchoui couscous (baked lamb shoulder), which is an absolute a real delight! And if you have room for desert, you must try their homemade pastries, which are delectable!
Hours: Mon-Fri 12:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m. & 7:15 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Saturday 7:15 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
I love Thai food, and I highly recommend Thaim restaurant, situated at the very center of Paris close to the Palais Royal. The setting is beautiful, soft lighting, zen attitude, and the service is discreet. Despite the limited options on the menu, the dishes are fresh and excellent.
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Call: +33 1-47-03-38-59
Higuma is a must-try Japanese restaurant, but you won’t find any sushi or maki here! They serve hot and popular Japanese dishes that are cooked in front of you if you eat at the bar (a real show!), including lamen soup, itamemono (sautéed noodles) and donburi (rice with meat). Prices are unbeatable, but beware that the place is often crowded and you might wait a few minutes before getting a table.
Hours: Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-10:45 p.m.
Call: +33 9-53-41-92-30
In Paris, I recommend two Afghan restaurants that are very good. One is Buzkashi, which serves a limited, though delicious menu. Buzkashi exudes a typical Afghan atmosphere, which is one of the most appealing draws of the restaurant to me; in particular, you can sit and dine in true traditional Afghan style (cross-legged) and there’s another area with regular tables.
Hours: Mon-Sat 12 p.m.-2:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Call: +33 9-82-40-48-40
The other Afghan restaurant I love is Le Table Afghane, situated on the south side of Paris. The food is delectable and music is great, not to mention an overall great dining experience you will not soon forget. And don’t forget to try their all-you-can-eat buffet is a must for all your big eaters out there!
Hours: Tue-Fri 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. &7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Saturday 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
I am not necessarily very objective given my origins but the cuisine I prefer is Afghan. I went to almost all the afghan restaurants in Paris, but my favorite remains Restaurant l’Ariana located in Nantes, France, the city where I grew up. I have high expectations when it comes to Afghan food, which is complex and requires an accurate amount of various spices to taste just right. And the L’Ariana Restaurant in Nantes is by far the only restaurant I’ve eaten at that strikes the right balance of finesse and subtlety in its flavors and aromas to deliver an authentic Afghan dining experience.
What would you like to add to this list? Share with us in the comments.