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The Pâtisseries of Paris: A Paris Pastry Guide

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There’s a nifty guidebook to the bakeries, chocolate shops, and tea salons, called The Pâtisseries of Paris. This handy little book is full of great addresses and tips, and is just small enough to slip in your shoulder bag when hitting the streets of Paris, should you come to Paris on a mission for sweets.

I was surprised at how in-depth this guide takes you. Naturally, the usual suspects, like Ladurée and Stohrer, are in there. And chocolatiers like Jean-Charles Rochoux and Patrick Roger are always a stop whenever I’m on the Left Bank, so I was happy to see the nods toward them.

There’s few places that aren’t quite worth the calories. Such as Au Panetier bakery, where the pastries don’t make up for the glorious art nouveau tilework, although it is gorgeous.

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Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris

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In the last decade, the vegetarian dining scene has blossomed in Paris and you can pretty easily find vegetarian food. A number of years ago, I had a vegetarian friend, Gideon, write up his favorites (which are listed farther down below) and I’ve updated the list of newer places and they’re here:

Bob’s Juice Bar (15 rue Lucien Sampaix) is a lively, fast-paced vegetarian restaurant and juice bar where you dine at a communal table. Owned by an American, the place is genial and the food is delicious. Think tofu sandwiches, muffins, and futomaki. The same owner, Mark Grossman, runs Kitchen (74, rue des Gravilliers) as well.

Two other good bets are Rose Bakery and Bread and Roses. Both serve very fresh food, much of it vegetable-oriented, in a casual atmosphere.

The hip Eastside Burgers has vegetarian hamburgers and hot dogs.

In the Batignolles covered market, there’s My Kitch’n.

La Bonne Heure (72, rue de Moulin des Prés, Métro: Tolbiac) is a cozy, all-organic neighborhood spot and a flashback to the 80s, with rice plates piled with vegetable stews. The freshly-made vegetable tarts with whole-wheat crusts are nourishing, if not revolutionary. Still, it’s a sweet place and the staff is warm and friendly.

I’m very fond of Saravanaa Bhavan, an Indian restaurant (170, rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, Métro: Gare du Nord.) The food is great and the restaurant is completely vegetarian.

Tuck Shop: 13 rue Lucien Sampaix, Tél: 09 80 72 95 40 – Casual café with an Australian Bent, and very good coffee.

Green Pizz: 8, rue Cadet, Tél: 01 48 00 03 29

Soul Kitchen: 33, rue Lamarck, Tél: 01 71 37 99 95

Café Pinson: 6, rue du Forez, Tél: 09 83 82 53 53

Pousse-Pousse: 7, rue Notre Dame de Lorette, Tél: 01 53 16 10 81

Soya: 20, rue de la Pierre Levée, Tél: 01 48 06 33 02

Gentle Gourmet Café: 24, rue de la Bastille, Tél: 01 43 43 48 49 – A purely vegan restaurant, located in the Bastille.

Le Bar des Artisans (Vegan): 23, rue des Vinaigriers, Tél: 01 42 01 03 44

Thank you, My Deer: 112, rue St Maur, Tél: 01 71 93 16 24 – Tiny gluten-free bakery and café with very good coffee.

Vegan Follies: 53, rue Mouffetard, Tél: 01 43 37 21 89 – Vegan cupcake shop on the rue Mouffetard.

The Superfoods Café: 29, Avenue de Ségur, Tél: 07 50 27 99 34

Loving Hut: 92, boulevard Beaumarchais, Tél: 01 48 06 43 84 – vegan and vegetarian foods.


This guest entry is from my friend Gideon Ben-Ami, who graciously stepped in and wrote this post about vegetarian dining options in Paris…david

A you can imagine, being a vegetarian in Paris can be a challenge. During my 5 years in Paris I’ve witnessed many die hard veggies succumbing to the sins of the flesh. The usual excuse is that it’s just too hard (or the temptations too great) in the self-proclaimed food capital of the world. “I never ate meat till I tried the duck,” one friend told me while another announced, “Technically I’m still a vegetarian, though sometimes I do eat steak.”

If you’re dining at a neighborhood bistro, you’ll probably get by okay if you eat fish. But if you’re vegan, then you might need to smuggle in a nut cutlet or two under your raincoat as you’ll soon get tired of munching on side salads. Unlike many other European capitals, restaurants here don’t necessarily have a vegetarian option on the menu.

Paris does, however, have its fair share of vegetarian restaurants. Are they any good? I donned my corduroy jacket, slipped on a pair of sensible shoes and criss-crossed the streets of the French capital to find out. What I found came as a pleasant surprise—there’s quite a lot on offer and something for every palette.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of some of the most well-known vegetarian restaurants in Paris:

Le Grenier de Notre Dame

18, rue de la Bucherie (5th). On the Left Bank a stone’s throw from Notre Dame this is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Paris, it’s a friendly place with a cozy atmosphere and a varied menu catering for vegetarian, vegan, and macrobiotic customers. English menu, serves alcohol.

Le Potager du Marais

22, rue Rambuteau (3rd), Métro: Rambuteau. A lacto vegetarian place near to the Centre Pompidou. The restaurant is very narrow with all the tables put together into to make one long community table. Looking down the restaurant I felt I was entering a Michelangelo painting. Our supper (maybe not our last) was quite tasty with a mainly French menu including classics such as French onion soup all made from organic produce. The desserts were especially good. English speaking staff, serves alcohol.

Grand Appétit

9, rue la Cerisaie (4th) Métro: Bastille. Closed weekends. Serves vegan, macrobiotic food. The food is a pleasant mixture of French and Far Eastern dishes such as soups salads quiches, lentils, vegetarian sushi. This place has a rather austere look to it, feeling more like a church hall than a restaurant. Has a macrobiotic shop next door.

Krishna-Bhavan

24, rue Cail (10th) Métro: La Chapelle. Indian vegetarian restaurant serving Thalis, Dosas, Pooris and all the South Indian favourites. Food is refreshingly spicy, which is not always the case at Indian restaurants in Paris. Good value with lunchtime menus from 9.50€.

Tien Hiang

92, rue du Chemin Vert (11th), Métro: Père Lachaise or Voltaire. Small Chinese vegan restaurant that with a large menu, food is tasty and freshly prepared with many mock meat options. Inexpensive.

Green Garden

20, rue Nationale (13th) Métro: Porte d’Ivry. Chinese vegan restaurant run by devotees of Ching Hai (known as The Supreme Master) whose pictures adorn the walls. Nice food with friendly service and a small store inside. Closed Tuesdays.

Maoz

8, rue Xavier Rivas (5th) Métro: St Michel. Maoz is an international falafel chain has a take away stall in Latin quarter. (Check out David’s write up on Maoz.) Also try the rue de Rosiers (Métro St Paul) several options including, L’As du Fallafel “as recommended by Lenny Kravitz” and Chez Hanna “The best fallafel in the world”.

Visit Gideon at his websites; Let Them Talk, a French-English language school and conversation exchange program in Paris, and at his blog, Paris Talk. Photo above courtesy of Gideon Ben-Ami.


Related Links

10 Restaurants Végétariens à Paris (L’Express)

Vegetarian Dining Tips in Paris

10 Ordering Mistakes People Make in Paris

Gluten-free dining in Paris

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Mon Vieil Ami

My Paris

Noglu Gluten-Free Restaurant in Paris

10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Flexitarian in France (Paris by Mouth)

Paris Restaurant Archives

Kreuz Market BBQ

“Do you want Texas barbeque, or Mexican food?”

Honestly, have you ever heard such sweeter words?

When my friend picked me up by the airport in Austin, those were the first words out of his mouth. How did he know?

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Since I’d never ventured out much into the outskirts of the cities in Texas (it’s hard when you don’t have a car, or time), here was my chance, and after much careful consideration—okay, maybe about four seconds of discussion, we floored it outta Austin.

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Pimandes: Chocolate Covered Almonds with Chile

Chocolate-Covered Almonds

I don’t know where they get these, and I don’t really care. But if you stop in da rosa and don’t pick up a bag of them, you’re making a terrible mistake.

These little dusty ovals of chocolate enrobe a Marcona almond tucked in the middle and there’s just a touch for the smoky taste of pimente d’Espelette, the bright-red Basque chili powder that I like to sprinkle over everything from pumpkin purée to chocolate-peanut bark. Once I open the bag of Pimandes, it’s assured that the rest will soon be history.

To be honest, I wanted to show you the inside of one.

Really I did.

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Breizh Cáfe: Buckwheat crêpes in Paris

When a British travel writer asked if I’d like to meet for brunch last week, he also asked if I could suggest a reasonable place for the article he was doing. So I put on my thinking cap, kicked off my slippers, tossed my funky pajamas in the laundry bin, showered and…get this…shaved!…and actually took a break from my project and got a few breaths of fresh air.

Imagine that! (This is getting to be a habit around here…)

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Le Brunch is indeed available at some places in Paris, but je deteste being around people first thing in the morning—and I’m not so fond of Le Brunch either. So we compromised on the more civilized hour of 1pm. Not much is open in Paris on Sunday, which our President is fixing to change, so I suggested Breizh Café a tidy corner spot specializing in galettes de blé noir, commonly known as buckwheat crêpes.

There’s no shortage of strollers or hipsters hanging out in this part of the Marais on Sunday. Once you get by all the folks peering in gallery windows, cigarettes perched in the corners of their mouth and the obligatory Sunday am dark glasses, it’s a relief to find an inexpensive place to eat where the food is anything but trendy.

Breizh Cafe

Because owner Bertrand Larcher is a true Breton, the Breizh Café focuses on the quality of the products and lets them shine, rather than trying to mess with the originals: there’s no red pepper dust on the corner of the plate or twirls of squiggly sauces that have no business being there.

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Beaufort d’Été

When I was in Méribel avoiding the steep slopes waiting in line at the cheese coopérative, I wasn’t alone: the joint was seeing more action than all those gasp-inducing ski runs.

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And just about every person ordered a nice hunk of Beaufort. And since they were in front of me in line, being France, of course each person had to have a 5 minute conference with the saleswoman about how to cut it, where they wanted it cut, exactly how much to lop off, if the other hunk on the shelf was better than the one they were getting, did they have another one in the back?…etc…etc…

The person in front of me scared me a bit when he requested a chunk that were as huge as a baseball mitt. It barely fit on the scale!

Naturally when it was my turn, it took me all of 1.3 seconds to tell her what I wanted and I ended up with a nice-sized piece as well—albeit of a more modest size—and could barely wait until I got home and dug into my chunk.

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Meribel

Les Alps

For the holidays this year, I decided to take up a friend’s offer to visit their family in Méribel, a village way high up in the French alps. As you can see, it’s a spectacular place. And I’m not just talking ‘gorgeous sunsets’ or ‘charmingly quaint’ spectacular. I mean, Méribel was mind-blowingly, insanely hallucinante.

Seriously, I wasn’t prepared for the awesome beauty of it all. Although I haven’t strapped on a pair of skis in over thirty years, there I stood, at the top of the mountain on my first day on skis in decades, ready to slide down.

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Let me tell you—skiing isn’t one of those things that you get more comfortable with as you get older. *sigh* Especially when you’re with a group of skiers that include some crazy teenagers who, at the top of a particularly steep run, simply point their skis in the straight-down position, and shove off with their poles and a banchee-like “On y va, Daveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!”

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And off they’d go…

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Camp Cassoulet

Cassoulet

Most people when they think of France, they think of only two places: Paris and Provence. While I’ll admit both are lovely spots for a visit (or in the case of Paris, to live in), there’s a lot more to this country than those two destinations. I suppose the romance of lavender in everything and hoards of tourists does have its appeal, but to me, Gascony is one of my favorite destinations in France.

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And during my recent trip to Kate’s kitchen, near Agen, we spent last weekend cooking up cassoulet of all sorts, tasting local products, and drinking Armagnac with great restraint (that stuff is st-rong!) There was lots of choose from, but to keep our wits about us, our primary fuel was the darkest vin rouge in France: Cahors, often called ‘black wine’, made from just up to the north of us, from the canal and boat I called home for the weekend.

(Note: This post contains photos of animals used for cooking, some resembling their natural state. It’s part of life in the French countryside where that’s part of their way of life. Just a mention in case you’re sensitive to seeing things like that.)

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