Where to go for the best couscous in Paris? Do It In Paris went out on the town to find the 10 best addresses.
The Moroccan caterer of the Enfants Rouges market
The place: the couscous stand of the most trendy market in the Marais boasts a furiously beautiful people clientele since more than 10 years. The utmost of chic? Having an open sky lunch, seated at the pleasant tables in mosaic right next to the caterer. Ideal for a great take-out!
The couscous: tops! Impeccable semolina covered with lots of veggies and broth, accompanied, according to taste of divine merguez, eggplants stuffed with ground meat, or chicken (from €9 to 14). Must-have mint tea and gazelle horn at the end.
Le Traiteur Marocain – Marché des Enfants-Rouges, 38, Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
The place: it’s the place to be. The new buzzing rooftop in the Marais is the kid sister of La Perle, right across the street. Their daddy, Jean-Phi, has imagined a restaurant with view, where everything is cooked BBQ style.
The couscous: the most couture couscous in Paris is served here (€28). And with reasons. It happens to be delicate, light and gluten-free alongside a terrific grain made with quinoa. For carnivores, it is served with meat balls cooked on embers, chicken and a small lamb chop. Deluxe chicks will adore its veggie version with slivers of fresh truffles. You said chic?
AuTop, 93 Rue Vieille-du-Temple, 75003 Paris. 01 43 56 50 50
The place: a super-glam’ table amongst the small streets of the 15th, where one runs into the very Gotha-trendy and brainy clientele of Paris inside-trackers, including the regulars of Caroubier. Pierre Bergé and his followers loved this gourmet revival of Morocco, nostalgic sequence of the wild years spent with Yves Saint Laurent in their Villa Majorelle.
The couscous: their specialty? The kefta-meat balls delicious couscous (€19) or the fish couscous, by special order. A killer.
Le Caroubier, 82 Boulevard Lefebvre, 75015 Paris. 01 40 43 16 12
The place: Mourad Mazouz is the restaurateur who “knows his stuff” when it comes to long-lasting trendy and creating really cool institutions. As proof: the Sketch in London, that’s him. Andy Wahloo, him again. Right next to Derrière, the 404 serves a down to earth and Berber kitchen—it also happens to be a fanciful and wonderful place.
The couscous: it’s their specialty. And here, it is served like in the four corners of Nordth Africa. The real Berber couscous, just like in the desert: vegetarian and with no sauce (€16) and its “seffae” offshoot served with coddled milk (€16). While the couscous with merguez obviously does the job, the one served with home-made méchouis (€28) is really deluxe!
Le 404, 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris. 01 42 74 57 81
Le Méchoui du Prince
The place: this real 1001 nights palace conveys the sensation of absolute far-flung chic made in Odéon. It’s the perfect address when you dream of a fairy tale decor worthy of Aladdin.
The couscous: paprika, curcuma, ras el hanout… Spices galore… The proof ? Their Oasis with chicken, cinnamon, dried raisin, honey, orange blossom or Le Prince, with kefta, lamb skewers, chicken and a merguez, all served with a traditional vegetable broth, dried raisins and chick peas.
Le Méchoui du Prince, 36 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006 Paris. 01 40 51 88 48
The place: when the recipes of Moroccan grandmas land in the hands of hip guys, the result is a very trendy cantina. Abdel Alaoui (MC in C à Vous) and his buddies unfold the very best of the local “bled” with their three Instagram-friendly Paris addresses: tables in formica, graphic cushions, upcycled tin cans.
The couscous: join the “couscous clan”! Merguez, méchoui (veal cooked at low temperature), a terrific lemon chicken, wild veggie and our fave, the “boulougnaise” couscous kefta, the house “bolo”: meatballs cooked in an irresistible tomato sauce with cumin (couscous €12-16).
Yemma, 119 Rue du Chemin Vert, 75011 Paris. 01 48 05 67 07
The place: sick of sandwiches or the run-of-the-mill classic salads? Opt for a couscous bar. Digging into a good couscous on the run in a typically oriental decor, such is the concept of Graine.
The couscous: ex Top Chef Yoni Saada offers 100 % home-made couscous galore, small (à starting at €6.50) or large (starting at €8.90) format: veggie couscous, beef couscous, merguez couscous, chicken with olives couscous, and let’s not forget veggies with the green and gluten-free couscous with its semolina of whole barley, beans, broccoli, zucchini and green peas. We like: the possibility of composing your own couscous.
Graine, 114 Rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris. 01 71 20 68 20
The place: don’t be deceived by appearances. Everyone is unanimous when it comes to this cool small easy-going Moroccan: Mouloud Achour loves it; there we ran into Yves Camdeborde, Alexandre Legrand and the owner of patron Inrocks.
The couscous: delicious, you had not doubts. Clearly: the couscous méchoui (€25) is the local star, to be washed down with nice natural wines, in keeping with the organic spirit of the area.
Le Tajine, 13 Rue de Crussol, 75011 Paris. 01 47 00 28 67
The place: welcome to the bobos of the 13th. This hole-in-the-wall perched on top the Butte aux Cailles, is the hangout foodies looking for authenticity and where one comes to indulge into a whimsy of couscous and normalcy. Uber will get you there no problem.
The couscous: Mamane, a local Algerian old hand, is totally on top of the situation. Great semolina, fresh coriander, all with a nice broth to be enhanced in keeping with whimsies of chicken, merguez or leg of lam. The low-profile couscous, to be adopted instantly no ?
Chez Mamane, 27 Rue des cinq Diamants, 75013 Paris. 01 45 89 58 87
The place: a skip and a hop from the Institut du Monde Arabe, this happens to be a dining room with an ultra-picturesque decor where one runs into all the top players of the IMA at lunch time or after a vernissage. In short, a gourmet couscous where you are sure to run into beautiful people.
The couscous: call it the “couscous of the Atlas”, veal skewer, lamb chop, meat balls, broth and vegetables.
Atlas Couscous, 12 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005 Paris. 01 46 33 86 98