Oh là là – Vapiano opens close to the Champs-Élysées in Paris
The Champs-Élysées is arguably the most famous avenue in the world and one of the French capital’s main attractions with tourists and Parisians strolling along it by day and night. In late March, Vapiano opened its largest French restaurant a few minutes away in a small side street off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. With seating for 450 guests, it’s the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and take a well-deserved break from sightseeing or shopping. Anne-Sophie Caramelle from Vapiano’s Marketing & Communication team for France and Luxemburg explains what makes the location so special, and reveals some insider tips for your next trip to Paris.
Hello Anne-Sophie! At the end of March, a new Vapiano opened in the Rue Marbeuf, only a few minutes away from the Champs-Élysées. What makes this restaurant so unique?
The answer is in the question. This branch of Vapiano is literally next to the Champs-Élysées, one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions. We’re also located at the centre of the French capital’s “Golden Triangle” – an area where tourists, residents and professionals all mingle. For us, that means three very different target groups we need to appeal to. It’s an exciting challenge! As well as the location, the building is unique too. France’s biggest branch of Vapiano has three floors, including a mezzanine with a lounge, and ample space for 450 guests. Artists Philippe Collet and Jacopo Foggini designed the restaurant’s lighting concept.
Thousands of guests have already visited Vapiano Marbeuf since it opened. Are they mainly tourists or locals?
By day we have lots of tourists who are looking for good food at reasonable prices while they take a breather from sightseeing or shopping. At lunchtime we often serve professionals who work in nearby offices. The Parisians come out by night and pop in for a drink or a relaxed dinner. It’s a pretty even mix of guests to be honest.
Why do you think Vapiano is so popular in France?
I believe there are two main reasons. One is how fresh the food is and the other is the innovative design. The French love food culture. As well as tasting good, they expect a high level of quality when it comes to their cuisine. Vapiano ticks all the boxes: freshness, premium ingredients and Italian dishes that taste as good as they look. The fact we make everything freshly, from our pasta to the salad croutons, is something else I think our guests appreciate. A lot of the prepping happens in our Manifattura so visitors can watch their own dish being created. Restaurant design also plays a central role. We use wood and other materials for a warmer, more welcoming atmosphere. When you find yourself in the middle of a sprawling urban landscape, Vapiano feels like a nice place to unwind. And last but not least – our prices. You can enjoy a great meal at Vapiano without breaking the bank. And that’s not always the case, especially in Paris!
What are your French diners’ favourite dishes?
Our French guests prefer pasta to pizza. Their favourite dish is Pasta Gamberetti e Spinaci. And our most popular pizza is a classic Margherita.
Does Vapiano in France serve anything typically French?
We certainly do! Our selection of Kusmi teas is one example. Kusmi is a French brand of tea with a flagship boutique on the Champs-Élysées. And naturally we also stock a huge range of our own French wine in addition to the Italian varieties Vapiano is known for.
Can you remember where your first Vapiano experience was?
It was in 2011 in London during my Erasmus programme. A friend of mine raved about Vapiano. He kept talking about how amazing the food was and what a great vibe the restaurant had. He was even excited about the buzzer that vibrates when your pizza is ready! I was intrigued.
Can you remember what you ate? And what’s your favourite dish nowadays?
I actually ordered a pizza – just so I could try out the whole buzzer experience! No idea what the topping was though. Today my favourite dish is our Pasta Shanghai with prawns. It was launched in summer 2015 as a Special and proved so popular it’s now a firm feature on our menu.
Just like a trip to the Champs-Élysées on every Paris trip! What are your own hot spots in the capital?
I love strolling through Montmartre. It feels like the soul of the city. There are tiny cafes and boutiques dotted everywhere and small cobblestone streets that lead up to Sacré Cœur. The views from there are breathtaking.
Do you have insider tips we won’t find in a guidebook?
I love old buildings that have been given a new purpose, and there are a few great examples in Paris. One is “Les Frigos de Paris” which means “the fridges of Paris” in the 13th Arrondissement. It’s a former hangar for refrigerated railway wagons that has now been converted into a building full of artists’ studios. Look out for exhibitions or concerts at the end of May.
The Ornano train station in the 18th Arrondissement was shut down in 1939 but has been given a new lease of life as a restaurant. Nowadays there are vegetable patches and free-range chickens instead of trains on the old tracks.
Any faux-pas that tourists in Paris or on the Champs-Élysées should know about?
Don’t visit an Italian restaurant unless it’s Vapiano! (laughs) But seriously – I don’t think there are any gaffes you can make in Paris. That’s what I love about this city. Every Arrondissement has its own personality and unique charm.Back to overview to top