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YAYA, Paris

The Place

In Greek, Yaya is the nickname given to a Grandma. And this place really reflects the unpretentious, simple but pack-a-punch flavours of a Greek grandmother’s cooking.

Yaya was born after head chef Juan Arbelaez and his two Greek mates (who also happened to be olive oil producers founders of the Kalios brand) spent a drunken night putting the world to rights. They decided that Paris lacked an authentic Greek restaurant and they were the ones to right that wrong.  

Yaya is a modern Greek restaurant, now with two Paris locations. I visited the central, Avenue Secrétan version.

The Neighbourhood

19th arrondissement. Very central and close to Gare du Nord, where Eurostar and European mainland trains arrive to. And a quick cab ride from two of my fave Paris hotels, 25Hours Hotel and the Hoxton.

A Good Shout for…

Authentic modern Greek cuisine. Your first Paris lunch after hopping off the Eurostar.

The Best Bits

  • The beautiful design. Modern but with hints of traditional Greece. A white and blue colour palette. An olive tree growing up from the centre of the restaurant. And huge floor to ceiling windows letting in a ton of bright, airy light.
  • The fresher than freshly made food. I had grilled fish. And a dessert that blew my mind – Greek yoghurt mousse, caramelized pistachios and Kalamata olives
  • – something I’d never experienced before but would definitely like to experience again.
  • Sitting upstairs on the mezzanine and getting a prime view of the Masterchef at work in the open kitchen.
  • Browsing the mini grocery boutique for a little bit of Greek goodness to take home with me. Almonds, pistachios, olives, breadsticks, balsamic vinegar, and of course Kalios olive oil, all produced in Mediterranean sunshine back in Greece.
  • The bustling, super busy atmosphere. This place is popular and chocka as soon as it opens. So be sure to book ahead, even if you’re thinking of a weekday lunch.

    Check out the toilets especially if you are a fan of silent films. wink, wink 🙂
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