El Nopal

Restaurants, Mexican Canal Saint-Martin
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El Nopal (© EP / Time Out Paris)
© EP / Time Out Paris
El Nopal (© EP / Time Out Paris)
© EP / Time Out Paris
El Nopal  (© EP / Time Out Paris)
© EP / Time Out Paris

In Mexico, a nopal is a cactus whose shape bears a passing resemblance to a ping-pong bat. In Paris, it's a snug little restaurant tucked away in the 10th, a hop and a skip from the Canal Saint-Martin, where a modest range of dishes from the cactus's homeland is served. We're firmly in street food territory here: gorditas (cornflour doughnuts) for €3.50, tortillas stuffed with said cacti for €7.50, or – at the upper end of the price scale – flatbreads topped meat and veg for €8.90. It's fresh, filling and irresistibly flavoursome, and will only fuel the Parisian mania for gourmet fast food.

Unless the shop's one and only chair is free, you'll be taking away, though the nearby Square Eugène Varlin makes for a picturesque spot for a munch and a sunbathe.



Venue name: El Nopal
Address: 3 rue Eugène Varlin

Opening hours: Tue-Thur Noon-3pm and 6-10pmFri Noon-3pm and 7-11pm; Sun 1-9pm
Transport: Métro : Louis Blanc

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El Nopal is one of my favorite places to grab a quick lunch and sunbathe along the Canal or the nearby park. If you're hungry try one of their burrons, which are super copious, otherwise a set of 3 tacos with various meat fillings (they change them daily) or an order of cheesy quesadillas are sure to please. Although the staff look like they are working in a space the size of a closet, they are always super friendly and cheerful! A truly authentic Mexican joint in Paris! Just remember it is take-out only as there is nowhere to sit!