Maybe you are under the impression that Paris is full of Greek souvlaki joints because of the Latin Quarter and several Greek restaurants, but trust me, it’s not so easy to find real souvlaki in the city of lights.
Most places Paris that prepare “un sandwich grec” as the French call it, wrap it with Arab pie because some of them are actually run by Turks and there is a confusion between gyros and doner.
Ask us, the Greek Parisians who were on the verge of putting a banner under the Eiffel Tower with the slogan “Bring souvlaki to Paris”. Fortunately, someone listened to our prayers (it wasn’t God, but some human beings to whom we are eternally grateful).
For all the souvlaki lovers out there or for those who live in Paris and miss the wonderful Greek street food, there is still hope!
Filakia in Greek means “kisses” and that’s exactly what we wanted to send to the owners when this restaurant opened in Paris, in February 2014. Created by Chloé Monchalin and Benjamin Rousselet, Filakia is a mixture of original Greek accents and French gastronomy that takes street food to the next level in a gourmet-ish way.
The first test was the “Pita”. As already mentioned, there are several kebab or souvlaki corners in Paris but wrapped with Arabic pie, not the original pita that we use for souvlaki in Greece. Filakia passed this test when we entered the tiny restaurant with minimal decor. The first thing that caught our eye was the pita! Pure happiness, transformed into delight when we tasted it.
The menu includes roasted chicken or grilled pork with fresh oregano, and some with a French twist, the “keftedakia” souvlaki with beef, halloumi and spicy tomato sauce, the veggie one with squash fritters, feta and fresh herbs and the “fish & Greek” with cod pane, cucumber, and lime. Well, it’s pricier than in Greece but we can’t have it all, can we?
A: Montorgueil, 9, rue Mandar, 75002/ Filakia Jussieu, 31 rue Linné, 75005
Agapi in Greek means “love”, and we love this tasty Greek spot too. At the heart of the Choiseul passage in the 2nd arrondissement, we see white and sky-blue flags waving away from a small terrace. A fresh and delicious familiar smell attracts us inside. Behind a large chiffonnier, there is a young brunette. Alexandra, the Greek owner, who brought the Cycladic aura of her island to Paris.
In fact, she brought back the key elements: homemade tzatziki, the original pita, and lemons, the flagship ingredients of Greek cuisine. Alexandra usually recommends the Keftedes pita, beef with mint and fresh parsley, with a few Mediterranean herbs. But if you are craving other Greek specialties, there is also moussaka, “pikilia” (variety of Greek food on a plate) and a Naxos plate (a vegetarian dish made each day in addition to the four pitas with chickpea, tzatziki, Feta, rice, kritharaki, tomato sauce with Cretan Oregano, served with a half pita in olive oil). We also like the Choirino pita – roast pork, lemon, and herbs – accompanied by homemade potato with lemon and onions. For dessert, try the mosaïko (you can’t find it anywhere else in Paris!) or the baklava. Agapi also has a delivery service.
A: 45, passage Choiseul – 2e