I’m sitting in Strada (not the English chain of Italian restaurants, don’t worry). I feel… warm. It’s a grey autumn day, and the windows of this tiny café are all steamed up. Every table is full, of people on first dates, on working dates or on lunch dates.
The leather booth is very comfortable. Having been sat here on our laptop for two hours on one coffee each, no one has given us the subtle hint to order more or get out. That ticks a box. So, reverse psychology in action, I decide to order lunch. The aesthetically pleasing French guy behind the counter is very chatty. Another box ticked.
Ten minutes later (tick efficiency box) I’m munching on some mouth-watering sourdough toast, covered in chicken, Parmesan-style cheese and sundried tomatoes. This is served with a very refreshing bowl of tomato gaspacho, and some herb and red onion-speckled taboulé. Topped off with a drink of my choice, I’m satisfied that €14 isn’t at all bad for a filling lunch in the heart of the Marais. Later on, the two of us share a hefty slice of banana, chocolate and walnut cake. We leave Strada veritably complete.
On top of the tasty food and friendly staff, there were three things I very much liked about this little dwelling. 1) The big, bold writing on the windows. It reminded me of a 1980s East London caff – or at least how I imagine a 1980s East London caff to be. Sadly I’ve never seen one. 2) The art on the walls for sale. Like lots of small cafés, they curate exhibitions and hold viewing evenings. 3) The toilet was in a separate outbuilding. Going out the backdoor, crossing a Marais alleyway, and sitting on the grubby toilet, forget 1980s, I felt very 1950s. I love anything that allows me to pretend I’m in a different era. I’ve probably watched too much Woody Allen. But thanks to this enjoyable, food enticing experience, Strada Café, I will definitely be back.
94 Rue du Temple
+33 1 44 61 09 28