Paris is considered to be one of the culinary capitals of the world, but for vegans and vegetarians it can be quite a frustrating experience to find yourself staring at menus full of foie gras, frog legs and worse, menus often containing not even one single vegetarian option, let alone vegan food. There are quite a few vegetarian, whole food restaurants, and I have tried some of these in the past. However the french understanding of vegetarian, whole food seems to mean mushy grains and overcooked vegetables. Or maybe the chefs just had a bad day. What we were served was food, for sure, but neither exiting nor delicious.
The solution is to find good gourmet and ethnic restaurants that explicitly cater to vegetarians and or vegans, and during these past few visits I was exited to notice that more and more restaurants now actually do offer vegetarian options. These are my favorites:
Sit down Meals
15 rue des Petits Champs
+ 33 1 42 97 53 85
This place is fantastic. It has an extensive vegetarian menu for 35 euro, giving you 3 options each on the first and the main course plus free choice in the desert card or a cheese selection. The food is exiting, cooked with style and innovation, mostly seasonal. Tomatoes in a ginger-lemon-onion marinade. The vegetables (pictured above) were raw, cold combined with hardly steamed, hot, which was super fresh. Gnocchi splashed with greens things, peas, beans, herbs, flowers. The restaurant is in a posh area of Paris, the interior very tasteful, with downplayed design elements. Highly recommended. Best choice for any vegetarian wanting a gourmet experience. A little pricey, but not too crazy.
69, rue des Gravilliers
+ 33 1 42 74 57 81
404 actually has built quite an empire with the 404 family restaurant, the bar Andy Wahloo and Dérriere, a back yard cafe. Northafrican food, moroccan to be more precise, served in an authentic, yet modern setting. They offer vegetarian versions of couscous and tagine in huge portions, plus plenty of salads and mezzes. We went for brunch, served Sat. and Sun. after 12. The vegetarian version consists of sweet couscous with raisins, tomato-cucumber-chili salsa and soured yogurt drink, berber pancakes with cinnamon oranges and mint tea. Fantastic. We were able to spot the couscous dish and the mezze on the neighboring table and will come back for those at another time. And that’s a promise.
Le café littéraire by Noura
Institute du monde arabe
1, rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard
Place Mohammed V
75236 PARIS CEDEX 05
+33 1 40 51 38 38
In the IMArabe there are three Lebanese restaurants in three different price ranges, the one up top with the incredible view is very expensive, the self-service cafeteria behind it is a little sad, but the cafe on the ground floor is very comfortable and not too pricey. Plus the good news is, the kitchen is the same for all three restaurants, serving fantastic Lebanese Mezze Food, that quite usually offers many vegetarian choices. Perfect on a Sunday, when many other restaurants are closed.
32 rue debelleyme
Excellent quiches and desert, you must try the green tea cheese cake. This place just opened three weeks ago and is located next door to Rose Bakery, that might also sell decent food, but we did not try it at this time.
30 rue Charlot
Paris France 75003
+ 33 1 42 77 51 05
Brooklyn style vegan burgers with a hipster attitude. Their vegan burgers really are super nice, the yucca fries we had a little less. The decor is a LOL-take on US diner style. Very cool for a quick meal.
2 Rue Hospitalières St Gervais
75004 Paris, France
+33 1 42 72 18 86
Israeli food at it’s best. The falafel has a wicked kick. Visit the jewish bakery across the street for a sweet desert after.
Sold exclusively in various places on Saint Louis en L’Ile
No foodie visit to Paris without hitting Saint Louis en L’Ile for some Berthillon Ice Cream served in small, super tasty scoops.
We think that the quality has decreased over the years.
But maybe our taste buds have evolved instead?