Elephants, no. Indian food and spices, yes.

A steady diet of baguettes, cheeses stinky and not, and the ubiquitous roquette (arugula) sometimes needs a shake-up. That’s when aromatic Indian foods call to me. Luckily, a short walk past this reworking of a public announcement leads to an unexpectedly bustling Indian neighborhood:

IMG_3227Farther up this street—rue Louis Blanc—near Gare du Nord, sparkling saris, crates of mangoes, bags of spices, and inexpensive Indian restaurants jostle for space. Plus there’s an unexpected storefront for the Hell’s Angels of Paris.

Faubourg St Denis Indian saris in paris

rue du Faubourg St Denis, just past Rue Louis Blanc

Unlike the more touristy and well-known Passage Brady, where the string of Indian restaurants evokes 6th street in NYC, this neighborhood reminds me of streets in Delhi, filled with people and commerce.  David Lebovitz recommends one of the many restaurants near here — Dishny on 25 rue Cail. A few all-veg options are available too.

In the summer this neighborhood is the place to go for cases of Pakistani mangoes. As the weeks progress, so do the mangoes, from types with perfumed coconut flavor to those with heady, rich papaya-like tastes. You can also find mangoes further south on rue du Faubourg St. Denis in the rapidly gentrifying stretch below Blvd de Magenta.


mangoes in paris


Of course, the desire for Indian food might hit when you’re not near Gare du Nord. Closer to the Marais, check out the new hipster Persian-Indian-French canteen, MG Road which has gotten lots of attention (I haven’t eaten there yet). Here’s a Le Fooding review in English, and one from My Little Paris in French.


  • Streets to explore for Indian foods, saris, etc: the triangle of rue Louis Blanc, rue Cail and rue Perdonnet, as well as rue du Fauborg St. Denis. And rue du Faubourg St. Denis further south below Blvd de Magenta. All in the 10th
  • String of Indian restaurants: passage Brady, 10th
  • MG Road, 205 rue St. Martin, 3rd






  1. Mathilde

    I love the “bharath” in this area : it’s cheap, delicious and genuine. I also like that you smiled when you read “défense d’éléphant” on the wall because I think this is a smart and funny street art (this remind me I know the word “tusk” 🙂

  2. Mathilde

    Bharath is actually the name of a restaurant on Louis Blanc, my favorite meal there is Chicken Korma

  3. jen

    Oh yum. I’ll try it next time on rue Louis Blanc. Thanks for the tip!

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