A table on the treehouse terrace │ Courtesy of La Cave
The neighborhood of Montreuil sits to the east of Paris, bordering the 20th arrondissement and to the north of Bois de Vincennes. It is the fourth largest of the city’s suburbs and also one of its most diverse. Residents even like to call it Mali-sous-Bois or Bamako-sur-Seine in honor of its large Malian population (and in spite of the fact that it is nowhere near the river). As you’d expect, cultural and culinary diversity go hand in hand here and our shortlist of the best restaurants below should help you sample the very best of what Montreuil has in store for your taste buds.
Restaurant, Steakhouse, $$$
My Food is a little patch of South Africa in France, one with an extraordinarily large barbecue. Known as braai in Afrikaans, this ginormous cooking machine, which kind of looks like a steam locomotive, carries with it the spirit of the South African lifestyle: family, friends, food and fun. The size of the portions are as impressive and, unsurprisingly, meat is a big feature on the menu, coming in the form of regional delicacies like biltong (dried beef), droëwors (dried beef sausage), and boerewors (traditional sausages with butternut squash). It’s a great place to put some inches on your waistline and a smile on your face. Open Tuesday to Thursday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm,Friday and Saturday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm and 7:00pm – 10:30pm, and Sunday, 12:00pm – 4:00pm.
For over 15 years, Rio Dos Camaraos has been bringing the myriad flavors of sub-Saharan cooking to Montreuil’s lucky diners. Husband and wife owners, Alexandre and Vicky Bella Ola are passionate about what they are doing and are determined to deliver authentic cuisine in a new, innovative way. House specials include thiéboudienne,a rice and fish dish from Senegal, and, for dessert, a banana tarte tatin. You won’t find many African restaurants better than this one in the entire Paris region. Open Tuesday t0 Friday, 12:00pm – 2:30pm and 7:30pm – 11:30pm, and Saturday, 7:30pm – 11:30pm.
The garden at Le Jardin De Montreuil is worthy of the attention the restaurant’s name bestows on it; the wisteria climbing over a dusky red wall, the lush shrubbery and the fairy lights are all pretty dreamy. Inside, the combination of dark wood furniture, original tile floors and open fire is just as charming. The cuisine is modern-French with some influences from Asia and the Mediterranean. Opened in January 2013, this restaurant on the south side of Montreuil is sure to delight for a long time to come. Open Sunday and Monday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm, and Tuesday to Saturday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm and 7:30pm – 12:00am.
La Cave is part of an exciting new trend in which Parisian restaurants are choosing to combine quality wine merchants, luxury delicatessens and elegant restaurants under one roof. To have a large, sunny terrace is great, if not unique, however, for a significant portion of this to be raised off the ground and perched among the trees like a treehouse for food-loving adults is something rather special. The dishes are made with only the finest, expertly chosen ingredients and elegantly presented. It’s stylish, highly regarded by locals and the French press, and full of good surprises. Open Monday to Thursday, 12:00pm – 2:00pm and 7:30pm – 10:30pm, and Friday and Saturday, 12:00pm – 2:00pm and 7:30pm – 11:30pm. The store is open on every day from 10:30am – 7:00pm.
A large, bright restaurant in the center of Montreuil, Le Rue Parmentier prides itself on maintaining the high standards and traditions of French cooking. The menu contains all the classic dishes you’d expect to see from a restaurant of this sort and its reasonably priced lunch menu makes it a popular choice for daytime diners. Open Monday, 12:00pm – 2:00pm, and Tuesday to Saturday, 12:00pm – 2:00pm and 7:00pm – 9:30pm.
They’re all about the produce at Villa9trois. It has to be fresh, seasonal and of the highest possible quality. With these raw materials, they create a robust menu of exquisite dishes, distinctive for their simplicity, refinement and modernity. The flavours are drawn out by wines from their extensive reserves and a meal can be nicely capped off with a tumbler of whiskey or rum from their handsome collection, one of the largest in Île de France. Like the food, the décor is chic and well-balanced and the terrace is enclosed with greenery and shaded by a vast, light-strung white canopy.
Café Salé is a popular, neighborhood hangout just a short walk from the local town hall. The brasserie serves the standard French fare and is busy from dawn till dusk. Open every day, 9:00am – 12:00am.
Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, French, Contemporary, $$$
Le Plateau des Mille Vaches showcases some of the tastiest aspects of Iranian cuisine. You can forget grease and excessive spice at this bar and grill. Instead, the food is subtly flavored, making excellent use of spices like saffron, fresh herbs, citrus and a variety of soft fruits. The dining room is contemporarily designed in the style of a New York bistro and it also benefits from a large, leafy terrace to the rear. Open Monday to Saturday, 10:00am – 3:00pm and 7:00pm – 11:00pm, and Sunday, 10:00am – 3:00pm.
The premier Indian restaurant in Montreuil, Gujarat offers a sumptuous selection of curries and other regional delicacies. The tables are pristinely dressed in linen and many of the dishes are served in individual copper pots. The homemade lassi (a savory yogurt drink) is a must-taste. Open every day, 12:00pm – 2:30pm and 7:00pm – 11:15pm.