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Oct 21, 2009 02:43 AM

Best Couscous in Paris?

What's the best couscous in Paris in your opinion? I've eaten at Chez Omar, so I'd rather see some other suggestions—especially non-touristy, non-trendy places that just serve good food. I don't care about decor. I've already searched the forum here and found a big list that came from a guide. But I would rather know based on your personal experience—especially those who really know Paris. I have lived in Paris multiple times and am currently here for a few months, so I'm not a stranger to the food scene, but I'm looking to branch out from my routines and thought I would start by asking about couscous.

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  1. Well, this question comes up regularly. Did you search already?
    A good start is this thread where places like La Table de Fes, L'Atlas, etc. are recommended:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dodo

      Thanks for the link, but I already did search and had considered those answers to be the usual suspects. The only one I didn't know was Les 4 Frères, which I tried yesterday (a couscous royal—great beef and chicken, so-so merguez) and liked quite a bit. Also, the prices were ridiculously low, which is always nice.

    2. If you're here for a few months you might want to try the Royal Maroc (, a quiet off-the-beaten-path neighborhood kind of place.
      It is my favorite where I always order a Couscous Mechoui. The lamb shoulder has been slowly cooked for hours, is crusty outside and melts in the mouth. The stock is rich and also very good (very different from the Table de Fes, for which I don't quite understand the reputation).
      it is very cheap (something like 20 euros for a couscous). Two Moroccan brothers are running the restaurant. They almost retired earlier this year but eventually decided to carry on a little while. Sometimes the service is a bit slow but the overall experience for me is always very good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Theobroma

        Thanks, Theobroma. That sound like exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. It also looks vaguely familiar, like I may have had a tagine there several years ago. Either way, I will definitely go.

        1. re: Theobroma

          royal maroc appears to be closed. there's now another (non-couscous) restaurant at its
          former location on port royal.

        2. Just thought I'd do a follow-up on my quest for the best couscous in Paris. Le Tourne-Bouchon (71, Boulevard Raspail--not far from the Epicerie du Bon Marché, so convenient for food lovers) has absolutely wonderful couscous between 10 and 14,50 euros (the higher price is for the royal). It's more centrally located than Les 4 Frères and better overall. This is the kind of place chowhounds should choose, in my opinion. It's authentic, it's friendly, it's high quality, and it's not overpriced or pretentious. Search over. The only drawback to Le Tourne-Bouchon is that they offer couscous only on Thurs, Fri, and Sunday.

          1. This topic is like an ever-opening flower. We'll never really know as there are awesome places opening all over and off the beaten path. Go forth, ask some locals, discover...

            1. Ever opening flowers aside, I had to weigh in to add a bit to this thread.

              Not as familiar with Paris as most of you sound to be but, here for a week in search of some truly great Moroccan, came across your exchange. It really helped so thanks to all of you for sharing opinions that were instantly believable.

              To give back just a bit, I'll validate one of the cous cous reccs and fill in a bit more information on the other. We decided last minute to seek out Moroccan for tonight and, based totally on this thread, took a few different trains to get to Le Tourne Bouchon. Arrived at around 8:45 pm and: CLOSED! Man, was that seriously dispiriting. They shut down at 8pm. We'd wrongly assumed later than that given what the norm on closing hours seems to be around the city.

              But, not to be outdone, got back on metro, a couple more trains and over to Royal Maroc on Port Royal. We narrowly missed being shut out there but the front-of-house brother let us in to join what was only one other table. We had our hearts set on tajines but, no go. Not at that hour. So, we ordered the cous cous and it was as advertised. Some mergues to start, then the cous cous with roasted lamb of the falling-off-bone variety and that perfectly fluffy and flavorful cous cous.

              The mint tea was especially good along with a baklava-like triangle pastry called 'Patisserie Morrocaine' on the menu.

              Thanks hounds.

              2 Replies
              1. re: nwdchound

                I am glad you liked it.
                Note that they make their mergues themselves (but not the patisseries).

                1. re: nwdchound

                  Le Tourne Bouchon only serves food (including couscous) for lunch.