I met Becca through Sugarplum, and we immediately bonded over our love of exploring food in Paris. Or just exploring food in general. She’s been much more adventurous than me, however, and has included all of these expeditions on her blog, Les Meilleurs du Monde. Yes, she has two blogs– this one is dedicated entirely to French food. But I’m incorrect in saying “French food,” because some of the food isn’t French (like you’re about to see). So let’s say “Food in Paris,” and keep it at that.
As an Amuhrcan, I have a love of texmex. Sorry, who doesn’t? Give me chips and guac and a margarita and I’m one of the happiest girls in the world. If you add a sunny day to that, I’m in heaven. But we can’t be picky about the weather in Paris; it, like the French, does whatever it feels like. No wonder it’s been so cold lately.
When I saw that Becca had written a post on Candelaria, a Mexican restaurant recommended by David Lebovitz (yes, 90% of French study abroad students’ experiences revolve around David Lebovitz), I knew I would be adding the restaurant to my list.
Deep in the Marais, this restaurant can be hard to miss– but you’ll recognize it through the window, with its bare-bones atmosphere that looks right out of California. And it’s an intimate experience, for diners– there’s just one large table and a few seats at the counter, so be prepared to get cozy with your neighbors. The menu isn’t extensive either, with only three options: tortillas, tostadas, or quesadillas, and only a few varieties of each.
Gordon– a frequent guest on the blog, as you know– opted for two queso fresco tortillas and a grapefruit Jarrito (delicious Mexican soda), while I went for a Napal tostada (WITH CACTUS) and a quesadilla with pineapple.
And how could we forget the appetizer of chips and guac?
We got dinner at 6:30 since we had tickets to see a play (WITH CATE BLANCHETT) at 8:30. They don’t start serving margheritas until 7, however, so we got ours for dessert. Since the room was so crowded, we were asked to enjoy our drinks at the bar. I assumed they meant the little counter next to us, but we were ushered through a door– that I could have sworn held some sort of supply closet– to this incredible, low-beamed room with soft lighting, sheepskin rugs on the walls, and a very snazzy looking bar. The room was buzzing with activity, from the bartenders shaking drinks to small groups of people clustered around low couches and tables. I could have sworn it was right out of the high class ’70s.
Gordon and I both agreed it was delicious, and not expensive at all– the drinks were 8 euros each, and were the most expensive part of our meal. Each menu item is in between 3-3.5 euros, so they suggest you get 3– we only got two things each, though were we to get 3, a satisfying dinner would have been less than 10 euros. And with the drinks, less than 20.
If you’re hankering for a taste of summer, make this your next stop! And be sure to get a margherita… it’s the cherry on top.
Candelaria. 52 Rue Saintonge, 75003. Metro Filles du Calvaire.