Let’s face it, there are certain cultures that loan themselves more easily to being vegan or vegetarian. Indian cuisine, for example, is usually pretty easy to get or make veg. Mexican is another one. Thai food is great with no meat. French food? Not so much. Finding Vegan food in Paris can be a challenge.
The French love their meat, and even though vegetarian and vegan culture is gaining respect in the world, it still has a ways to go in Paris.
However, Paris is a big, cosmopolitan city, so there are certainly places where you can eat without meat.
Farmer’s Markets: there are Farmer’s Markets in each arrondissement of the city on Sundays. The wealth of produce there is, in a word, stunning. The vegetables are so beautiful and fresh that most of the time you aren’t allowed to touch them! Usually the proprietor will pick out for you what you like–the bonus of this is, that you get the best product available. So if you’re Air B’n’Bing it instead of staying at hotel, and you have a kitchen, buying produce and making your own food is a great alternative.
Un Monde Vegan: is your supply for all things vegan. Their supply of vegan cheeses and meats was unrivaled by anything I’ve seen here in Canada, even. It’s a must-stop if you are cooking for yourself in Paris.
I Scream, You Scream… Il Gelato del Marchese offers certified vegan options. And let me tell you first-hand, they are amazing.
Fast/Casual: There are tons of kiosks and smaller cafes that offer quick, grab-and-go options. It’s easy to get vegetarian crepes all over the city, for example, both sweet and savory. Le Marais was one of my favorite neighborhoods for this kind of food. An alley filled with delicious treats at each stall, it also includes L’As du Fallafel (said to be Lenny Kravitz’ favorite) and Miznon. There will be for sure a lineup at the Falafel joint. Miznon may or may not have a line, but it is worth it. They roast whole cauliflowers, and then fold them into pillowy-soft pita breads. It is the ultimate sandwich–lots of texture and flavor, plus a tiny spark of heat. Eating there was a pretty holy experience.
Cafe Pinson: Also located in Le Marais, Pinson is more of a sit-down kinda do. It’s a super cute little cafe, and it does both vegetarian and vegan options that lean heavily towards raw and are very vegetable-forward. They also have some traditional baked goods, like a vegan Madeline.
The Gentle Gourmet: Other than Miznon, this was my favorite place to eat in Paris. It’s more upscale than Pinson, more like a traditional French bistro, but without the meat. They even have aquafaba macarons–the first I’ve tried that I didn’t bake myself!
I didn’t get a chance to try one, but my Paris roommates loved the veggie burgers at Blend.
For more about eating Veg in Paris, check out Lindsey’s Paris Guide on Lost in Cheeseland, and click on “Vegan” or “Vegetarian.”