32, rue Debelleyme, in the 3rd Arrondissement.
01 44 61 29 26. Mon–Thurs, 11 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Fri–Sun, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
I was shopping in the Marais the other day and wanted to pop in somewhere for a quick bite. Though I enjoy Rose Bakery and Poilâne, I didn’t feel like throwing down 20 euros for lunch on the run, but I wanted something more substantial than Subway, which seems to be popping up on every corner now. Enter Plan B, a great little gem among Paris restaurants that opened last summer and did indeed turn out to be the perfect backup plan.
The tiny shop has one table facing a wall that seats six side by side. It’s perfect for lone or off-peak diners, and even has a basket of magazines to read while your food is heating.
Nearly everything on the premises is made fresh each day by hand. When I arrived around 2:30 one afternoon, all of their delicious salads were sold out for the day. You can expect a range of organic ingredients, which any given day might include quinoa, rocket, eggplant, green beans and pine nuts. Luckily there was still some pumpkin soup left, made that morning by the woman who served it to me. The flavors were clean and simple, which I truly appreciated since so many of the soups in Paris are laden with butter and cream. Here the actual pumpkin flavor was allowed to shine.
There were several tempting tarts to choose from, like cranberry, onion, walnut and leek and bacon, but I went with the more classic spinach and chèvre. The crust was heated to crispy perfection and provided a good foundation for the generous mounds of spinach nicely balanced with the soft chèvre. Again, it wasn’t too cheesy or too buttery, but just right.
That’s probably so that you leave room for one of the beautiful single-serving tartlets, cheesecakes, carrot cakes or pecan pies. If you can’t finish it on the spot, grab a few to go. They’ll make a lovely centerpiece at your next dinner party.
In a nutshell: Plan B is the perfect spot to pop into when you need a shopping break in the Marais. Enjoy fresh homemade tarts, soups, salads and desserts in the small cantine, or take them home for an easy lunch or dinner.
Price check: A tart plus soup, salad or dessert is 10 euros.
If you like the sound of Plan B but want to sit down for a longer lunch, next-door neighbor Rose Bakery is the place to go. Read the review.
32, rue Debelleyme, in the 3rd.
01 49 96 54 01. Tues–Sun, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
and 46, rue des Martyrs, in the 9th Arrondissement.
01 42 82 12 80. Tues–Sun, 9 a.m.–4p.m.