A delicious brunch and lunch canteen that serves so much more than avocado on toast and coffee. Bienvenue à IMA.
IMA; a cosy and warm canteen that sits on Canal Saint Martin in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. I have heard that this is the place to go to for appetizing vegetarian or vegan food. Head chef Victoria chooses seasonal fruit and vegetables that are locally sourced to create various salads, side dishes, brunches, drinks and patisseries. The food is vegetarian and vegan with a large dollop of Mediterranean influence.
The Mediterranean influence is clearly seen by the beautiful North African platters on the counter where the food is placed. The colourful mosaic tiling on the wall, the dishes from shekshoka, vegetables and salads, that are full of texture, flavour and colour.
IMA’s vibe is wholesome Mediterranean mother nurturing cuisine. I came to this conclusion because of four things that stood out for me. Firstly, three fabulous and beautiful women where running the place, Victoria, Daphné and Agathe (who worked in my home town Kingsbury in London! What are the chances of that !) lets face it women do it better and they just know how to cook you a loving meal!
Secondly, delicious healthy seasonal organic food that nourishes you from the inside and gives you a skip in your walk. Vegetables like courgettes and quinoa and other ‘super ‘ food that you know you should include in your diet but don’t know how or were afraid to cook with suddenly look and taste succulent and easy to incorporate into your life. Thirdly, the non faff, no pretentiousness, just simple colourful interior with a large communal table in the middle is plus. Giving you the feeling of sitting at your grandmother’s big kitchen table where your large family are sitting around it making lots of noise, arms passing plates and cutlery clattering with a lot of chatter. The feeling of home wholesome and lovingly cooked food.
The fourth and final thing that stood out for me was the name, IMA. This was the magic word that combined it all. Mother. Which is what ima translates in Hebrew. Need I say more? All our mothers are incredible cooks that nurture and love us through their cooking amongst the million of things they do for us. And as an adult living away from my mum and consistently missing the feeling of happiness with every mouthful of her cooking, I look for nurturing mother kind of food. And I found it at IMA.
The atmosphere in IMA is more than cosy, trendy and friendly. The staff speak English a well as French, they are more than happy to explain the menu to you and you can request extra eggs or soya milk instead of almond milk in your coffee! They are open daily (which is a rare thing in Paris) from 8 am and on weekends at 10 am. It does get busy but you can order take away.
I couldn’t decide on brunch, thankfully I was with friends and I tried a bit of everything. I was not disappointed. I had the pancakes with ricotta, berries and date syrup it was tasty. Their shekshoka was beautifully hot and luscious, and the granola was yummy.
After I had a long and fun chat with the awesome girls behind the counter I got to know more about IMA and ordered a takeaway lunch, which was a mix of salads, a small portion would set you back 12.50 € and that is more than enough for one person.
I definitively recommend this vibrant wholesome place to everyone. Check out their website and Instagram to see their rotating menu and special offers like free coffee refills before 10 am on weekdays ! You will really enjoy the food and atmosphere at IMA.
Address: 39 Quai de Valmy 75010 Paris
Opening hours: 08:00 – 18:00 daily weekends 10:00 – 17:00
Metro: République (line 3,5,8,9,11) Goncourt /Hôpital St Louis (line 11)
www.ima.paris ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; Facebook & Instagram