La Recyclerie


UPDATE: I've since been to La Recyclerie many times and I love it now. It's exciting being in a neighborhood where haircuts and blowouts are seven euro, and the fruit stand outside is always lively and it's fun talking to the Bengali men who run it. It is kind of annoying at night when the DJ plays loud music and you have to shout at your friends and you inevitably end up spitting in each other's food as a result, but I'm an old person. They have a great tool library and run classes teaching children and adults how to build and fix things. La Recyclerie is completely zero waste with bulk wine, a non-pretentious juicerie, and compostable everything. The hibiscus and planteur are some of the best cocktails around and the customer service is perfect now. Also, their tapas plates are delicious and every time we go we meet a nice and diverse array of people who just start chatting with us. Each month La Recyclerie organizes walks down Petite Ceinture, plus it's just a few minutes away from beautiful Jardins de Ruisseau, my husband's favorite burger place Ile de Ruisseau, and our favorite hangout Kiez Biergarten, where my husband speaks only German while I play foosball with the resident cat (all restaurants mentioned have gluten-free and vegan options). Stamp of approval for everything Sinny and Ooko do now.

La Recyclerie is one of those places I thought I liked, and if I'd stuck to their gluten-free desserts and cheap cocktails, things might have stayed that way. The DIY workshops are creative and fun, with partners like Atelier de la Souris Verte, Le Triporteur and Sophrologie- this month, they're hosting a sock-upcycling session. Gare Ornano makes a dreamy setting for brocantes and classic film screenings (E.T., anyone?), and their gluten-free rhubarb crumble is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. With that, I've exhausted all the nice things I have to say about this forsaken place. As I write, my husband and I are nursing what is undoubtedly severe food poisoning from La Recyclerie's nasty kitchen. If you prefer a more balanced discussion of the subject, head to Small et Beautiful now. For pure, unfiltered vitriol, scroll down!


After years of neglect, Gare Ornano became a testament to the veracity and resilience of nature, a secret garden in the vein of Petite Ceinture. We were in a good mood one day because we'd biked from the 7ème to Puces aux Clignancourt; next to the Velib stand is this verdant band of graffiti and grass, an old train station filled to the brim with exotic plants. Of course, we had to stop in, and- what luck! La Recyclerie opens at noon! It was now 12:21!

Only the staff hadn't opened the doors. They milled around, apparently aimlessly, as a lengthy line formed outside. One left for the tabac and locked the door behind him without so much as a glance towards the crowd of waiting customers. The manager came up around 12:30 and banged on the door, screaming for his employees to open up. When we finally made it inside, no one was behind the bar. No one would seat us. The patrons looked about, lost, until my husband and I plowed our way to a picnic table.


The manager frantically restored some semblance of order, and four bartenders materialized, though only one decided to work that day. She was super nice; I felt bad for her because her boyfriend, who was not a La Recyclerie employee, who was not an employee of any company, anywhere, hung around drinking free beers all day.


When we finally placed our orders- which I thought would never happen, because the employees kept erasing things I wanted to order, telling me it wasn't available that day, and then writing the exact same menu item over again under that day's menu- the "fresh-pressed juice" they were charging 5 euro per cup for turned out to be a brand-spanking new bottle from Carrefour costing 3 euro per liter. The food took a long time, too, but we didn't mind until we got a look at it and realized they just spooned cat and rabbit food onto metal trays before buzzing us to come pick it up. Literally, Kar and Toffel wouldn't touch a single thing from the La Recyclerie kitchen, and they lick their own butts!


Let's not talk about what happens when it's time to leave. No, let's: La Recyclerie shovels garbage unfit for animals onto trash unfit for polite homes, and they don't have the decency to compost, plus the guy in the kitchen yelled at me! Have I mentioned that La Recyclerie wasn't letting anybody use the bathroom that day? We had to go to Square Clignancourt to get my blood pressure down.

La Recyclerie made me so sick, I couldn't even bike home. Worst of all, I think we're going to go back. It's not the grossest meal I've ever had in Paris, and the prices are relatively reasonable. La Recyclerie gets 3 of 4 stars for atmosphere and 2 stars for food (the gluten-free desserts saved it). Go for a camion workshop, pop in for tea on your way to the flea market- but please, eat somewhere... anywhere... else.
Paris to Go

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