Saturday, Mar 31st 2018|
Vegetarian in Paris: Where Are the Best Restaurants?
A few years ago, it would have been almost unheard of for a vegetarian in Paris to find good food. But there have been more and more options popping up. Gone are the days where requests for vegetarian food are met with a confused expression and a 10-euro plate of lettuce with out-of-season tomatoes. If you’re visiting Paris and are not eating meat for any reason, here are the places to go.
For years, the only option for the vegetarian in Paris was to patronize Israeli establishments. The most famous of which is L’As du Fallafel, a falafel joint in the Marais that earned the approval of many celebrities, including Lenny Kravitz. The long lines outside this restaurant move fast thanks to years of experience. A host or hostess takes your order while you wait in line. When you make it to the window, you can watch your sandwich get assembled rapid-fire – the only thing you need to do is let them know if you want hot sauce.
But L’As is no longer the only place to get your fill of this vegetarian treat. Mi-Va-Mi just across the street has given L’As a run for its money, and some Parisian gastronomes prefer the newer establishment.
A few blocks from Mi-Va-Mi, you’ll find Miznon. This place is more of a sit-down joint that not only sells falafel but also a host of different vegetables. Look for their famed whole roasted broccoli to or their excellent sweet potatoes. The discerning vegetarian in Paris can make a whole meal of the different veggie options. To add a little flavor, veggies can be accompanied by toppings and sauces from the sauce bar.
L’As du Fallafel – 32, rue des Rosiers, 75004
Mi-Va-Mi – 23, rue des Rosiers, 75004
Miznon – 22, rue des Ecouffes, 75004
Want to visit some of these restaurants or perhaps some other Parisian landmarks? Check out our Paris Tours Page and book a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the City of Light.
The Mixed Bag
One of the toughest hurdles for a vegetarian in Paris is traveling with an omnivore. Often, the vegetarian gets stuck ordering a pizza or a plain omelette. The omnivore gets to partake in the steak-frites or boeuf bourguignon he or she was craving.
But there are a few restaurants that cater to groups looking for both excellent vegetarian and excellent omnivorous options.
Ellsworth is a restaurant not far from the Louvre. It’s owned by husband-and-wife team Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian. The concise menu usually boasts several vegetarian and vegan options. It’s best to call ahead and see what’s available that day – and make a reservation – before stopping by. The modern menu has a little bit of everything, and a great wine list besides.
On the left bank, Judy brands itself as a “qualitarian” restaurant with a host of veggie options. On offer are Buddha bowls, vegan curries, and a few choices for omnivores too, like fresh catch of the day.
Crêpes and savory galettes are a must-try in Paris. Breizh Café has options for both omnivores and vegetarians: ham and cheese, mushroom, egg, and more are all on offer at this Marais favorite.
Ellsworth – 34, rue de Richelieu, 75001
Judy – 18, rue de Fleurus, 75006
Breizh Café – 109, rue Vieille du Temple, 75003
The Veggie Mecca
Paris has advanced its vegetarian and vegan dining options by leaps and bounds in the past several years. Now there are more than a handful of places where a plant-based dieter will be catered to.
Café Pinson was one of the first great vegan restaurants in the capital, and it’s still a favorite. The ever-changing menu puts an emphasis on superfoods. It features dishes like poached egg with beet cream and crudités, large meal salads, and vegan chocolate fondant.
Brasseries are a French tradition, and Brasserie Lola invites vegans to the table, with veggie burgers, beet risotto, and even a vegan version of the classic croque monsieur. The brasserie also offers several dishes of Asian inspiration including samosas and stir-fried noodles.
Vegans can even get a true French cuisine experience at Gentle Gourmet. The haute cuisine menu varies with the season and may include chestnut-crusted Seitan with squash mousseline and mushrooms or a revisited vegan blanquette with button mushroom carpaccio. Desserts are just as creative, including ginger-poached pear with gingerbread and conference pear coulis or Normandy apple confit with fennel and green apple sorbet. Special attention is paid to signal the presence of gluten as well.
Café Pinson – 6, rue du Forez, 75003
Brasserie Lola – 99, rue du Théâtre, 75015
Gentle Gourmet – 24, boulevard de la Bastille, 75012
The increased presence of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Paris means that it’s easier than ever for plant-based dieters to find options they can enjoy in most restaurants. Just ask for des plats sans viande (dishes without meat), des plats végétariens (vegetarian dishes), or des plats véganes/végétaliens (vegan dishes). A smile and a s’il vous plait (please!) will go a long way!