Our Favorite Arab/Middle Eastern Restaurants in Paris

1 April, 2024
An admittedly minimalist list for what is a tremendous gastronomical landscape, including Tajik, Persian, Turkish, Syrian, Palestinian, Kurdish and other cuisines from the southwestern Asian and North African panoply.




Sizin turkish restaurant Paris
Inside Sizin, a venerable Turkish restaurant near République.

SIZIN • 36, rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75011 Paris

It was many moons ago that I first ate at this cozy Turkish hole in the wall, introduced to Sizin by Franco-Greek filmmaker Costas-Gavras (Z, Missing, Adults in the Room), who lived around the corner and brought me there following our interview about his latest film. Since that first meal, I’ve returned anytime I find myself near République, but I’ve also given Sizin’s address and dined there with countless friends over the years. Try their grilled meats (especially the Adana kebab with yoghurt and tangy tomato sauce), as well as the great variety of mezze and the homemade Lamahcun pizza.

Jordan Elgrably

Inside Tawlet.

TAWLET PARIS  • 2 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75001 Paris

Like many Lebanese in Paris, I often find myself longing for Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian dishes, yet this city doesn’t always satisfy those cravings. When I don’t cook at home using the Lebanese products that my mother treats me to when she visits, coupled with items I can find in “oriental” stores on Boulevard Ornano, in my beloved 18ème arrondissement, I can find solace in the 11ème.

People usually go to “Tawlet Paris” for its indulgent Sunday brunch experience. How could they not, when the food and the 3aj2a will easily transport you to Mar Mikhail in Kamal Mouzawak’s “Souk el Tayeb,” simply making you forget that you are in Paris, on rue de la Fontaine au roi near the Canal Saint-Martin? As for me, when I yearn for the soothing tastes of Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian meals, crafted with high quality products just like the ones from my teta’s fresh tabkhat, I find comfort at their plat du jour for lunch on weekdays. Each day highlights one of Lebanon’s regional cuisines, whether it’s from the South, the mountains, the North or the Beqaa. I still fondly remember their kebbe b’labaniyye from last spring, with its creamy laban, fragrant rice and, obviously, those delightful kebbe balls.

After the sun goes down, I head to “Dirty Lemon,” 24 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris, a Palestinian queer female-owned cocktail bar nestled between Saint Ambroise and Oberkampf. There, I indulge in a gin smash cocktail, affectionately known in Lebanon as gin basil. This blend perfectly balances the bold flavor of gin with savory, delicate notes of fresh basil. It pairs beautifully with a classic plate of fried halloum and its vinaigrette, creating the most exquisite apéro experience. Before leaving, I always make sure to top it off with a friendly doudou shot. Back in Beirut, we typically enjoy this vodka shot with a little splash of lemon, a small hint of Tabasco, the whole garnished with a delicious green olive. “Dirty Lemon”’s doudou replaces vodka with mezcal, making it even more indecent.

Sa7tein and kasskon everyone!

Sasha Moujaes

Le 15-17 Khar.

RESTAURANT LE 15-17 CHEZ KHAR • 15, rue de Sofia, 75018 Paris

Though not a Middle Eastern restaurant, the hospitality and warmth at this little Senegalese hole in the wall eatery is of legendary Arabian Nights-style. The first time I went there I wasn’t entirely sure what to order, and so the cook brought out a tiny sample of every dish they make (a limited number of excellent, homestyle stews) so that we could taste them and make a decision that way. Not that that made things any easier — everything was so good it was impossible to choose! The only thing to be done in such a case is go back again and again and again until you’ve eaten everything off the menu at least once and then go back and do it all over again from the top.

Lina Mounzer

Les Mots de la Ciel.

LES MOTS ET LE CIEL • 81 Rue Olivier de Serres, 75015 Paris, France

I’ve been following chef Karim Haidar around his various Paris restaurants for years. His cooking is always inventive — a modern take on Lebanese cuisine, yet he stays as close as possible to traditional quality products and doesn’t hesitate to research and reinvent recipes from villages that have been lost over time. His vegetarian pumpkin kibbeh with pomegranate seeds will have you dreaming about them until the next visit, as do his lightly fried fresh anchovies. His latest restaurant, Les Mots et le ciel (the words and the sky) is on an unlikely street off the beaten path and its name is testament to Karim’s love for books which pepper the shelves — including several cookbooks that he wrote with Andrée Malouf — around the tiny restaurant’s walls. You’ll also find top notch Lebanese products on the shelves: mind-blowing za’atar, homemade pickled vegetables, or bottles of top-quality arak, wine, and olive oil. To get a better idea of how delicious the food is, images are here. Karim’s generosity, humanity, and artistry come through in everything he cooks.”

Olivia Snaije

Assanabel, Lebanese cuisine in Paris.
Assanabel, Lebanese cuisine in Paris.

ASSANABEL • 6, rue d’Alésia, 75014 Paris

One of my personal favorites is Assanabel, a Lebanese restaurant that has been around since the ’80s, right near the Canal St-Martin. It’s unpretentious and the food is extraordinary: it is simply too hard for me to recommend any one of the mezze in particular. In a very different category, I’m also a fan of the La Cantine de Belleville. It’s not a “Middle Eastern restaurant” per se and they serve mostly classic French dishes, but the managers are Kabyle, and they make couscous on the weekends. A neighborhood institution.

Cole Stangler

Honorable Mentions

Bachir Glaces • Lebanese ice cream since 1936, 58 rue Rambuteau, 75004 Paris
Buzkashi • Afghan cuisine, 7 rue des Dames, 75017 Paris
L’Homme Bleu • Moroccan cuisine, 55, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris
Khana • Afghan cuisine, 69 rue St. Louis, 75004 Paris
Les 4 Frères, Algerian cuisine, 37 Bd. de la Villette, 75010 Paris


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