When it comes to the Marais, Paris’s center for LGBT life, we’re mostly concerned with drinking. But beer calories can only go so far. We have a few favorites for dining or lunching in the Marais at the last minute, without having to worry about reservations. So keep this list in your pocket when visiting Paris, in case hunger strikes between drinks.
For something obviously “French,” Les Philosophes is our go-to café on rue Vieille du Temple. Apron-clad waiters serve up traditional fare like onion soup, quiche, and beef bourguignon that are all freshly made each day. No frozen foods here. You can get a salad or quiche for 10-15 euros, so it’s a friendly place for those looking to save their money for drinks later on in the evening.
The falafel sandwich in Paris is what the slice is to New York, or the hot dog to Chicago. It’s a must. And the best place is L’As du Fallafel on rue des Rosiers. You’ll notice the line stretching from its green façade. Order the 6 euro pita stuffed with crispy fried chick pea balls, fresh cabbage and tomatoes, and grilled eggplant topped with a little spicy sauce. It’s open late until around midnight, but it is closed Friday evenings and Saturdays.
If kitsch is your thing – and it should be – Tata Burger is for you. The food isn’t bad at all, and the service is unmistakably gay, making this a fun hangout for guys visiting the Marais. One of the burgers is even served up on a penis-shaped bun, just in case there were any doubts. It’s located on rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie, which means it’s a useful stop between drinks at Open Café and Raidd Bar.
For something less overtly gay but still in the heart of the Marais, the Bar du Marché des Blancs Manteaux on rue Vieille du Temple is an easy stop. Family friendly, affordable, and full of French charm, it’s an easy no-brainer when you don’t feel like making reservations but want a salad or crepe and it's 10PM at night.
For sandwiches that go beyond the regular ham and cheese on a baguette, L’Improbable serves up Belgian sandwiches called pistolets. They are essentially overstuffed rolls with various meats and cheeses, but the space is why we love it. Housed in a little nook on rue des Guillemittes, the restaurant basically runs out of a little food truck parked permanently under the impossibly high glass ceiling. Bar stools at high tables and couches make it feel a lot more relaxed than most eateries. Give it a try for lunch or dinner.