Saravanaa Bhavan

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 25 reviews )
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0667281313
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170 Rue Du Faubourg, Saint Denis (at Gare du Nord area), Paris, France, 75010

Part of an international South Indian vegetarian restaurant group. It's located near the Gare de Nord station in Paris, since 2010. Seats 80. Try the crispy masala dosa. Gets Saturday night, with much of the menu unavailable after 9pm. Note, all dishes may be on the spicy side unless otherwise requested. Open Mon-Sun 10:30am-11:00pm.

Categories: Lacto, Indian

25 Reviews

First Review by Nicolas

not convinced - Edit

I feel a bit disturbed after having read the other comments - I did enquire about vegan options and had to explain the concept but the waiter seemed to care, and answered seriously... Anyway I was planning to have idlis and dosai, that are generally vegan, as far as I know...
This said, the coconut chutney was a bit bland. Very hot but lacking of something (cardamom? cinammon? lemon? I don't know)

Pros: genuine indian atmosphere, can be packed on a saturday evening

Cons: don't know what "vegan" means (that's suspicious)

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Fast indian - Edit

You have to know what you are in for: cheap and fast indian food. Dosas are ready in 5 minutes so it's perfect if you have a train to catch at gare du nord.
However service is not nice nor thoughful. It's a fast food joint more than a restaurant.
When they say spicy, they do mean spicy.

Pros: all vegetarian, fast

Cons: staff

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Indifferent to vegan request - Edit


The waiters were indifferent to our earnest enquiries about vegan menu. They gave different versions of the vegan versions and showed an altitude of " take it or leave it" . Even after request not to include dairy they supplied raitha with yogurt. The manager took the feedback casually as if it's not a big thing. Disappointed, as one of our family members was put off and did not have dinner. A world-wide chain could do better than this as vegan food is catching up everywhere and restaurants are trying to accommodate vegan customers showing more sensitivity.
Venks

Pros: Speak English, Convenient location

Cons: Very noisy, Poor service, Not aware of vegan concept

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Vegans - just avoid it - Edit

Had a bad experience here, and I've eaten at the chain around the world. First of all food - we specified vegan, yet a dish was served with (nonvegan) yoghurt and another served with (nonvegan) sambar. Also, there seemed to be some confusion with the servers as to whether the sambar was actually vegan or not. Secondly, service was poor. Finally, the menu stills says tofu in some dishes (as another reviewer noted), when it is paneer- a nonvegan product. Just go to Hank instead!

Updated from previous review on 2016-09-18

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The Real Deal - Edit

Unfortunately living in Israel does not afford access to good or even decent Indian food, to say nothing of vegetarian Indian food. Simply doesn't exist in Tel Aviv, sadly. So I have to get my fix when I travel to Europe or the U.S.

Saravanaa Bhavan is the real deal- the menu more or less consists of South Indian fare. When we went the place was packed with Indians from all over (North, South, West), which is usually a good sign - both for the quality of the food and for the experience. I don't mean that to sound Orientalist - only to say that it's a safe bet to trust the folks who intrinsically "get" the food.

Dosas, thali, various curries and breads - but not strictly South Indian. Everything we tried absolutely hit the spot. Plenty of spice too, which is my thing. Service was a bit chaotic and slow but they were over-busy so we gave them a bit of a pass.

Pros: Authentic, delicious, and fresh food, Pleasant staff

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Some of the best Indian food I've ever had. - Edit

Amazing surprise. Started out as one of those "whatever, at least it's vegetarian / vegan" type of choices and turned into "I NEED MORE OF THIS IN MY MOUTH NOW". Coming from Berlin good Indian food is very rare in my life, but I highly doubt that this place is sub-standard. If it is - it's still pretty amazing and tasty!

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vegans beware of "tofu - it's not - Edit

The place has a lot of vegan options, but make sure not to pick anything that has "tofu" in the description of you don't eat dairy: it's ordinary paneer made from cow milk, not tofu made from soy beans. I told the waiter that they should correct that. Otherwise, good authentic Indian food.

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no vegan food - Edit

Unfortunately this vegetarian restaurant advised us that there were no vegan options or items that could be made vegan for us.

1 Response
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gonga 13 Feb 2016 - Plenty of vegan options. The regular Idli is perfect.  


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Dépaysement culinaire garanti ! - Edit

Véritable restaurant indien, situé à deux pas de la Gare du Nord, les plats proposés sont variés et de qualité. Le service est rapide et la déco/mobilier/vaisselle sont ok.
Malgré qq difficultés à se faire comprendre du personnel, qui parle avec un fort accent, un très bon moment, j'y retournerai avec plaisir :)

Pros: Service rapide, Véritable restaurant indien

Cons: Difficulté à se faire comprendre

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Average Food. Poor Service - Edit

The location was good and easy to reach. Food was average to bad. The dosas and chole were average and bhatura was good.
But the service was really poor. I needed some special required food and the waiter walked away without listening to me or waiting for me to finish the sentence.
I've been to other saravana bhavan restaurants in Malaysia and the service was really good.
Price is moderate

Pros: Location, Price

Cons: Poor Service

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Spicy Indian food in France - Edit

Usually I'm disappointed by the Indian food in France because it often seems to be less spicy than usual Indian food. This is a chain that I've visited in several other countries which is always good. Having been in Bordeaux for a few days, and having had problems finding veg food, I was very hungry! Over the several times I visited, I took a South Indian meal, dosa and wada. All were very tasty and spicy! It is good value too. The service was efficient and it was always quite busy.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday December 24, 2013

Pros: price, spicy

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Typical Indian food in Paris - Edit

Food is exactly like the one in India, which is quite rare in our western country. The menu is very large and offers vegan choices if you know them (see below for help). Food is really good but the restaurant is often full (and noisy if so), like in India. It is well located, near Gare du Nord. Because it is sometimes difficult to make you understand by the servers in French, and if you are vegan, here is a list of traditionnal vegan dishes in India (that should be vegan also in this restaurant):

Dosa
Idli
Medu vada
Aloo
Gobi
Batata
Vada
Upma
Poha
Chapati
Roti
Paratha
Poori
Samosa

To be sure you will have no dairy products in what you're ordering, ask to confirm there are no:

Curd/Dahi (yoghourt)
Doodh (milk)
Makkan (butter)
Ghee (clarified butter)
Paneer (cheese)
Malai (cream)
Raita (yoghourt sauce)
Lassi (drink with yoghourt).

Pros: typical indian food, many choices, affordable

Cons: sometimes crowded, beware if you're vegan

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Bollygood. - Edit

Une carte gigantesque pour des plats tous aussi bons (et copieux) les uns que les autres.

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Pretty good Indian food - Edit

We arrived at this place on a very busy night when it was almost full, nonetheless the waiter found a table for us.

We ordered a Masala dosa, some rice and curry plates and a dessert from the extensive menu. The dosa was great and good value compared to the curry options, which seemed a little underwhelming for €10 per small-ish dish. The Biryani rice was good.

Service was a bit chaotic although may be understandable given the popularity of the place. There was some mis-understanding when trying to order in English, but eventually got it worked out.

Would have liked to have had a few more options on the dessert menu.

Pros: Lots of menu options for vegetarians, Reasonably authentic tasting, Dosas are great

Cons: Service a bit chaotic, Curry dishes a little over-priced

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vegan??? - Edit

I am amazed that there is so much appreciation. The waiter didn't get the message when I asked for vegan - en francais "vegetalienne" and I ended up with a plate of about 8 different little pots of sauces including 3 with dairy things! Paid 15 euros. I do not recommend this place.

Pros: fast service i.e. everything is prepared

Cons: no vegan dish

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Fantastic Indian Restaurant - top pick! - Edit

A delicious and reasonably priced South Indian restaurant right near the Gare du Nord. Hands down, the best Indian restaurant (meat or veggie) I've eaten at in Paris. While most Indian restaurants in France serve a range of bland dishes, with different ingredients but the same mushy consistency and blah curry flavors, Saravana Bhavan prepares fresh vegetables and spices into flavorful dishes that delight the senses. The result? Real vegetarian meals (not just meat dishes without the meat!) which are so yummy they'll also satisfy meat eaters! Spicy dishes are actually spicy (so watch out if you're sensitive to hot foods!). To top it off the meals are very reasonably priced. The place has a kind of school cafeteria feel to it, with metal cups and divided tray plates. Staff was efficient, though not particularly friendly. Dossa is a top favourite, and great value for money.

Pros: Delicious, Convenient location, Lots of choices

Cons: Might upset sensitive stomachs

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Good Indian - Edit

I had just arrived at Gare de Nord and knew I was near little India. I was craving Indian so I went to this restaurant. Service was great. The place was full at 10 at night. The food was good. It was not the best aloo gobi I've ever had. It was a bit expensive, but I understand that's how it is with vegetarian and vegan restaurants especially cuisine from a different country. With so many Indian restaurants try many, but if you want to go to a strictly vegetarian one, this is your place.

Pros: service, open late

Cons: expensive, good not great Indian

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authentic Indian in Paris - Edit

I ate at a Saravana Bhavan in Malaysia. This was the same, menu almost identical. Great Southern Indian fare, especially the dosa.
Most of the customers were Indian, which is usually a good sign.

Pros: great food, authentic, location

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Tasty, healthy food at a reasonable price - Edit

Very close to Gare du Nord. Friendly, efficient service, extensive menu. Mixed vegetable curry with plain rice 12 euros - cheaper lunch options available. Recommended.

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Not vegan friendly at all! - Edit

This restaurant may be vegetarian but they have no interest to educate themselves about veganism. We asked 3 different waiters what we could eat from the menu and got 3 complete different answers. We would have given up if we had not been with other people. We ended up ordering a vegetable biryani which was ok, but I would not recommend this restaurant if you are strict vegans like us.

Cons: not vegan friendly, tables too close to each other

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excellent food - Edit

good option for vegetarians
nice dosa, sambhar.
not very cheap

Pros: nice food, central location, quick service

Cons: little expensive

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Excellent - Edit

Perfect. Exactly the same food as in Saravana Bhavan in Chenai!! The best indian restaurant in paris ever.

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Mmmm, wonderful! - Edit

First things first, this restaurant is a good choice if you don't speak French. An English menu is available and several of the waitstaff, to varying degrees of ability, speak English as well. They're very friendly and not at all impatient.
The food here was wonderful and came out quickly. Perfectly spiced, totally rich, and reasonably priced. The rice doesn't come with your meal, you have to order it on the side (seems to be normal in Europe).
The restaurant's decor is lovely and lux, but be warned that you may be sitting very very close to other people.
Very convenient to Gare du Nord station.

Pros: good prices, great taste, friendly staff

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Saravana Bhavan...finally in Paris! - Edit

Check out my review of the Paris output of the legendary chain of Indian vegetarian restaurants:
http://www.mistress-of-spices.com/2011/02/saravana-bhavana-taste-of-home-in-paris.html

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Delicieux ! - Edit

First visited when it opened, pretty disappointed. After reading many enthusiastic reviews over the last months, I gave it a second chance and it was very good. I was warmly welcomed and had finely cooked fresh Indian vegetarian food, Southern style. It is conveniently located aside from Gare du Nord train station.

Pros: Delicious, Spicy, Well cooked

Cons: Unvegan

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