The 13th Arrondissement does not always make the cut for most guidebooks, but for those who want to see a side of the city with few tourists and a completely different urban layout, think about heading southeast. Much of the architecture in the 13th is new—an urban planning playground for Mayor Anne Hidalgo. The closest New York equivalent to the 13th would be Chinatown or Jamaica Queens. Because of all of this innovation and diversity, the food scene in the 13th is unparalleled, boasting some of the most interesting and modern experimentation in the city.
One of the first food trucks to dare compete with the other restaurants on Avenue de France, this piece of Bretagne nostalgia and modern burger fare is a great place to snack before or after catching a movie. Usually parked right in front of the Mk2 cinéma by the national library, it’s hard to miss the sky blue and scarlet red paint on this brasserie on wheels. From galettes to burgers à la française, this truck never fails to do the trick when you’re short on time before your flick or out of options after a late showing. – 132 Avenue de France (menu)
Practically hidden next to a grocery store on Rue de Patay, some of the best pizza in all of Paris is baked in a wooden oven at this hole in the wall. They also serve a piping hot lasagna in a ceramic tray. While most loyal customers in the neighborhood order for takeaway, there are a few counter and table spots inside with a view of Rue de Patay’s mix of Maghrebin and Asian restaurants along with traffic coming in and out of the Périphérique just down the road. – 48 rue de Patay (menu)
While the 13th boasts some of the richest Asian and North African cuisine in Paris, there are few better places to find some good barbecue straight from south of the Mason-Dixon line. Served mostly in baskets, Soul Food lets you order a variety of BBQ chicken with fry condiments, from succulent jerk chicken to some spicy chili. Also parked in the form of a food truck in front of the Bibliotheque National (BnF), Soul Food has added to the burgeoning food truck scene just off Avenue de France. – 128 avenue de France (menu)
A popular community hangout tucked away on Rue Tolbiac, Pasta Subito lives up to the promise of its simple name: fast pasta! Upon walking in, you are given a simple and quite un-Parisian liberty of choice when it comes to your kind of noodle, sauce, and subsequent cheese or other sides and desserts. The noodles are taken from a bin in the display window and popped into a mini boiler for just a minute or two, then doused in the sauce of your choice and mixed in a Chinese food container. As an added bonus, the TV in the back plays nothing but actual music videos, leaving you with a bit of 90s nostalgia while you indulge. – 39 Rue de Tolbiac (menu)
If you have a beer snob among your group in Paris, this is the place to keep them satisfied. In addition to a well organized terrace with a view of the bustling intersection of Avenue de France and Rue Tolbiac, the Frog is a great place to grab a rare craft beer in Paris and meet with some friends for a quick bite before moving onto the next phase of the night. While the terrace is always popular, beware of national soccer or rugby team matches, as the bar becomes saturated with fans of Les Bleues and Les Coqs when the giant projector is rolled out. – 114 Avenue de France (menu)