Moroccan mint tea is one of my absolute favorite drinks, so when a friend told me I could enjoy it at the Grand Mosque of Paris I was excited check it out. We decided to go on a Sunday which we ended up regretting because the restaurant was way too crowded. There was a constant line at the pastry counter, and it took awhile to be served tea as there was only one server for about fifty people.
The other downside, you could only order tea by the glass for 2€ each! I was shocked when I learned this; a tiny cup of tea for 2€. And as annoying as I may be, I really imagined my tea being served in a teapot. I had seen pictures online of small silver teapots, so I knew it was possible but just assumed they did not use them on weekends when the restaurant was crowded. I asked an employee for the least crowded time to come back, and he said any weekday at the beginning of lunch or dinner.
I told my boyfriend Julien about my experience and he was interested in going to the mosque; we went back the next day right before lunch. We arrived on Monday around noon and as I was told, there were only a few people. I picked the perfect table on the front terrance, under a fig tree, with a beautiful mosaic design behind it. But we soon learned that we had to order food in order to get a pot of tea. The restaurant only allows dining inside the restaurant or on the back terrance, so without hesitation I ran to the back terrance and found a table. I was determined to get my pot of tea.
Finally we were ready to order. One pot of tea, a chicken tajine with olives and lemon, another chicken tajine with almonds and prunes, and a side of couscous s’il te plaît! And of course some bread for the Frenchie. I am not extremely familiar with Moroccan food, and never tasted tajine before but we thought it was all delicious. And the tea was so good we ordered a second pot. Each tajine was 17.00€ which is a pretty normal price for Paris, but the pot of tea was 2.50€ and you could get about 3 glasses out of it. Way better deal than the 2€ per glass situation on Sunday.
After lunch Julien and I headed to the mosque. Tickets are 3€ and 2€ for discounted tickets. The mosque grounds were beautiful. You enter through two grand doors and are immediately greeted by the luscious green garden. Once inside you can walk around and visit the different rooms. It was not huge, but it was fun to explore and admire all the tiles and archways. I believe there are guided tours but I do not have much information on this. And just an extra piece of advice, if you’re not comfortable using squat toilets, use the restrooms at the restaurant first.
The Grand Mosque of Paris is located in the 5th arrondissement right next to Jardin des Plantes. A great afternoon could consist of first exploring the park, then heading to the mosque teahouse either for a quick snack or lunch, and finally exploring the mosque itself. I did not get a chance to check it out myself, but I know you can also enjoy hookah, an all women’s hammam, and a souk at the restaurant.
39, rue Saint-Hilaire 75005 Paris
2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris