July 24, 2013
Tucked away on a quiet street in the 11e arrondissement, just across from a lovely little park where hipsters and bobos alike can be seen taking in the elusive summer sunshine, Chez Mamie Green is known for serving up some of Paris’s best organic brunches.
This pocket-sized place has seating for only a dozen people or so, but it’s packed full of charm and good energy. Inside, small pots of flowers sit atop mismatched wooden tables; organic green teas and honey line the counters and shelf spaces; and metallic baskets filled with fresh oranges hang from the ceiling.
The walls are covered with colorful Polaroids featuring the two lovely owners, Stéphanie Assouline and Emilie Goldman, alongside friends and family at home, at parties, on Parisian streets, and on weekends away. Taken together, all of these elements combine to make the space feel more like a cozy room in a friend’s apartment rather than just another restaurant.
Stéphanie and Emilie are full of smiles and warm welcomes the minute you walk in. Their easy interaction with each other as they busily take orders and prepare the dishes is a testament to their long-time friendship. Neither had any background in restaurants before opening Mamie Green: Stéphanie had previously worked in finance whilst Emilie was in fashion. However, they both noticed the lack of organic offerings in Paris and longed for “une cuisine saine, bio et maison” (healthy, organic, homemade cooking) in a cozy environment with vintage touches. Mamie Green’s opening in June 2011 was the product of this inspiration.
It’s only been a little over two years, but already Mamie Green is famous for being the go-to place for a light bio brunch in Paris. The cuisine reflects Stéphanie’s and Emilie’s philosophy of offering vegetarian dishes that are just as nutritious as they are “trendy”. The menu, written on a tiny chalkboard tucked away at the back of the room, changes daily, but the key focus is always the preparation of simple, healthy ingredients in creative ways.
The day I visited, they were serving an organic veggie burger, for which you could choose from amongst different types of vegetable base and toppings. At Emilie’s suggestion, I ordered the eggplant and olive “steak”, with dried figs and scarmoza cheese as toppings. It was served with fresh spinach salad, lentils and tabbouleh topped off with almonds, and freshly pressed raspberry and lemon juice. To end the meal, Emilie brought out their take on a raspberry cheesecake, made lighter and more delicate than usual to suit the summer season.
Altogether, it was one of the most refreshing, creative, and delicious meals (vegetarian and otherwise!) I have had in a very long time. What’s more is that the entire 3-course lunch with freshly pressed juice came to only €15, proving that delicious organic food doesn’t need to break the bank in Paris!
On Saturdays and Sundays, Mamie Green also serves a €17 brunch, complete with your choice of hot drink, organic juice, a “sweet” plate of their famous American-style pancakes, a “salty” plate with eggs, yummy veggies and salad, and their tart of the day. It’s a value proposition that’s hard to beat in the organic food community in Paris.
Given the growing interest of Parisian locals and expats alike in clean, wholesome, organic ingredients, with a focus on the innovative and delicious preparation of vegetables, Mamie Green is set to be a cornerstone of the bio brunch trend in the capital. Following the footsteps of other hot spots for la cuisine maison in Paris (such as Le Verre Volé and La Tête dans les Olives), Stéphanie and Emilie hope eventually to open, somewhere in the 9e, 10e or 18e arrondissements, an organic épicerie that would offer many of the same ingredients that they currently use in their cooking. That’s an address we look forward to adding to our list!
Mamie Green, 25 rue de la Forge Royale, 75011 +33 1 43 72 36 68
- Looking for more delicious brunch places in Paris? Check out My Little Paris’ map over the city’s best brunches during summertime
- … Or consult Girls Guide to Paris list of other places to eat in the hip 11th arrondissement
- If you’re in the search for more vegetarian friendly places in Paris you can read our previous post on the subject by Amy Thomas
Written by Milsters Mac
Milsters Mac is a third culture kid and serial expat: Canadian by nationality and Spanish / Filipina / Chinese by background, she has lived in 13 countries on 4 continents -- partly due to her parents' professions, partly due to her inner global nomad. In 2010, she left London to pursue her lifelong dream of living in the City of Lights, where she could fully indulge her love for French literature, cheese and wine, macarons, museums, and the art of taking your time. She has recently settled into a new apartment in the Haut-Marais, but personal and professional projects mean that she splits her time during the year between Paris, Buenos Aires, and Vancouver.
Website: Little Pieces of Light