After last week’s post on some of our favorite non-French eateries here in Paris, we thought we would delve deeper into the Japanese dining scene and check out some Izakayas.
An Izakaya is a the Japanese version of a cave-a-manger, a casual drinking and dining establishment that specialises in small shared plates and an excellent selection of saké. Over the past few years, a bunch of pint-sized Izakayas have popped up throughout Paris. We have
tried and tested a few of them and they are all equally delicious and each have their own take on the traditional Japanese Izakaya.
Located in the dining hub of the 1st arrondissement, Izakaya Issé will teleport you straight to Tokyo. The funky interior of collaged memorabilia and a glass of saké relaxes you immediately asyou browse the suggestions of the day and the permanent menu of tempura, clams and shitake mushrooms. The friendly staff and convivial atmosphere makes this a worthy after-work spot to try out.45, rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris Open Mon-Sat, 12pm-2pm; 7pm-10:30pm
In the bustling SoPi neighbourhood,the newest of the Izakayas is Ito. This restaurant churns out some serious Japanese nibbles on their changing seasonal menu of 10 dishes. Try three for only 19 euro or share all 10 for 65 euro. The friendly staff at Ito will put you in the mood and their excellent selection of Japanese whiskies will send you off for a festive night on the town. Looking for some late night grub and a night cap? Ito is open late so feel free to drop in for some post-party munchies before heading home too!
Icho is the only Izakaya that I have seen that has a strong focus on sushi and sashimi. Their dishes are served more as platters and large selections that can be eaten as a meal or shared between diners. The interior is sleek and modern and nothing quite as warm and cozy as the others but the fish is fresh and the staff is friendly. A great spot for some sushi and saki in the Marais.3 rue des Tournelles, 75004 Paris Open Tues-Sat, 12pm-2:30pm; 7pm-11pm
6036 is probably the tiniest of the Izakayas and is also probably the most affordable. Nestled between Melimontant and Parmentier, 6036 is not the casual dining experience that you might find in Japan. With the chef serving past stints at our beloved Saturne and, more recently, Abri, the small plates served at 6036 is of a superior gastronomic level. While the wine list might not be as extensive as the other Izakayas, the small selection of natural wines and saké is carefully cured. We have yet to try the Japanese-style hamburgers that they serve at lunch but we are intrigued!82, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris Open Fri-Sat, 12pm-2:30pm & Tues-Sat, 7:30pm-10:30pm
The well-established Lengué is hidden away on a quiet street in the Latin Quarter. Also a small intimate atmosphere, Lengué adds on a little Parisian charm with exposed stone walls and wood beams. This Izakaya serves up some serious fried gyoza and chicken wings to eat while sipping down your top-shelf saké. The menu is extensive so you will need to return often to get a taste of everything!31 rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris Open Tues-Sat, 12-3pm; 7-11pm.