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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

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Paris Restaurant Archives

Le Violon d’Ingres

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Christian Constant has a mini-empire of restaurants in the 7th arrondissement, taking over an entire side of a city block. On one corner is the Café Constant, bookended by his upscale bistro, Le Fables de la Fontaine. Violon d’Ingres was his high-end joint in the middle until he decided to go ‘downmarket’ and turn it into a more everyday dining experience. With linen table runners replacing the starched tablecloths and waiters shucking their Hugo Boss togs (which the menu duly noted), the food is some of the best in town and now it’s more accessible to many more diners.

I had a terrific roasted Guinea fowl braised in a casserole, and learned an obscure new French word; “luttée”, which I thought meant ‘fight’ (lutte), although here it meant a luting paste.

Continue Reading Le Violon d’Ingres…

Tips for Vegetarian Dining in Paris

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While Paris is a meat eater’s paradis, there are pockets of places that are vegetarian-friendly, or are completely vegetarian. As a sideline to my guest post Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris, here are my tips for dining out and getting by.

Root Vegetables
  • If you’re looking for a typical ‘Parisian’ meal, don’t limit yourself to bistros and brasseries. Nowadays, Parisian cuisine includes ethnic dining. There’s excellent Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern restaurants that offer lots of options. The good Indian places are clustered by La Chapelle, behind the gare du Nord, and the Asian places are mostly in the 13th. Couscous restaurants are scattered across the city. L’Atlas (12, blvd St. Germain) is a favorite, and offers a lot of seafood couscous selections.
  • If you eat cheese, crêperies are good places to go for authentic French food. Note that if you want a buckwheat ‘crêpe’, they might not know what you’re talking about since they’re called a galette au sarrasin; galette is the term for a crêpe made with buckwheat. Curiously, sometimes they’ll call it a crêpe de blé noir, too. Check links below for addresses I recommend.

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  • Romantic Restaurants in Paris

    Chocolate Angel
    “Hmmm. Where would you send someone looking for a romantic dinner in Paris?”

    One of the questions I’m rather frequently-asked is for romantic restaurant recommendations in Paris.

    It’s not that I don’t go out to eat. It’s just that I don’t get asked out to romantic restaurants, so I wouldn’t know. Most of the time, I’m lucky if a paramour plops a falafel in my hands on the rue de Rosiers or I’m sharing a nasty bowl of stag stew with sex writers and rugby players—which someone commented made me look kinda ‘horny’.

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    Petrossian Caviar in Paris

    There’s a debate in the blogging community, that some of you may not be privy to—or more likely, give a hoot about—concerning gifts from companies. I’m always reading these things on bulletin boards, such as…“I’m really conflicted. Mercedes-Benz would like to upgrade the S-class sedan they gave me last year with a convertible, but if I accept it, does that compromise my integrity?”

    Caviar Tasting

    And I’m, like, “Dude, take the upgrade!…and kill the blog!”

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    Not that I’d want to be apart from you for too long. But if it was me, I’d take the car, go on a very long trip, and when I came back, donate the car to charity and start a new blog.

    (Reality Check Time: Figure out which of those previous statements isn’t true.)

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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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    L’Entredgeu

    One of the best restaurants in Paris is one that I have a hard time recommending.

    Wine Glasses

    It’s not that the food isn’t consistently very good-to-excellent. Nor is the service anything less than friendly and sincere.

    One problem with L’Entredgeu is that it’s way up in the 17th, pretty much away from everything else. That’s relatively minor, though. The big problem for me is the name; it’s almost impossible for me to pronounce—although my French friends have a bit of difficulty with it as well, so I don’t feel quite so lame.

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    In spite of those two minor flaws, I’ve never not enjoyed myself, and the food, at L’Entredgeu.

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