Times are hard for our small Parisian businesses and particularly for the restaurants, we love so much. The advantage of this crisis is the growth of numerous solidarity networks all across the capital city.
This solidarity momentum we are living is a source of inspiration for Les Panamiens. This is why today we wish to share with you 3 restaurants where solidarity is the n°1 priority. We loved those restaurants before the quarantine so it is for us essential to support them when they’ll be able to open again. It is important that this kind of initiatives survive to the economic downturn we’re facing.
1. La Table du Recho: an atypical restaurant inside an old police station
Welcome to the 16th arrondissement of Paris, surely one of the most boring areas of the French capital. But, lost in the middle of the Exelmans avenue is La Table du Recho, located in what used to be a police station. Thanks to the Aurore association the station has now been rehabilitated as a lively place to welcome migrants and refugees. This restaurant is one of those magical places where time stops and solidarity finds new energy.
Behind the stoves and serving you are the inhabitants of the station. They prepare delicious dishes and welcome you with a splendid smile that would warm anyone’s heart. La Table du Recho is a lively social restaurant: migrants’ children running around the tables, their parents drinking coffee or smoking a cigarette on the terrace, all of that in a laid-back, charming and warm atmosphere. We don’t come here willing to eat the best food we would ever have, but because it’s in these kinds of places that being human takes on its full meaning.
It’s maybe one of the things that this quarantine brought to us: we are social beings. We need social contact with other human beings no matter their religion, their country of origin, their race, their age, their sex, etc.
2. Les Cuistots Migrateurs: Social integration behind the stoves
This initiative was created when two school students realised they were not pleased with how their career path, either in the marketing or finance, was going along. They needed meaning in their lives. So, they had this idea and started solidarity and social company to change how people see refugees. The main activity, cooking, was an obvious choice for both of them as it was a shared passion.
They began their affair as caterers, then opened their first activity in Paris as a pop-up store Avenue Voltaire: Le Pop-Up des Cuistots Migrateurs. Their idea is simple: nurture refugees social integration thanks to cooking while training them professionally with a chef during a few months. In the end, the objective is to hire them on a full-time contract so that they can start their lives in France.
Each culture can express itself through cooking. This precise idea is what enlivens the Cuistots Migrateurs. Thanks to them and their will to share these precious values, we can discover different ethnic cooking cultures that are authentic: real home food done by people who come from all around the world. Go and discover beautiful and tasty Syrian meals thanks to Faaeq, Iranian dishes thanks to Rachid, Ethiopian thanks to Sarah, Nepalese thanks to Bishnu and way more to discover… Your taste buds will surely thank you.
3. Mam’Ayoka: low-cost and tasty zero waste cuisine
Mam’Ayoka is a newly installed restaurant in the Paris Yves Robert hostel located in the atypical Halle Pajol (18th arrondissement). This restaurant is hidden, but it’s worth the detour. Let’s just talk about the price: from Monday to Friday at lunchtime and for 8€50, you can have the dish of the day + a small starter or a homemade dessert or a homemade drink. Something rare in Paris and even more for such tasty and qualitative food.
Here, everything is homemade and served in jars as it’s a zero-waste restaurant. The food is very original, situated in-between world and fusion cuisine. We discover the flavours of African and Asian food in this restaurant where nothing’s done like anywhere else. Mam’Ayoka is also an engaged restaurant for women’s rights and integration. They create new jobs for women in need from the underprivileged areas inside and around Paris. Thereby, their cooking talents are transformed into sustainable employment. This is what we call solidarity!
Moreover, this restaurant favours social encounters as it’s located in a youth hostel. Don’t think, if you happen to find yourself in the North of Paris, you know where to have lunch once the quarantine is over!