In a city that prides itself on gastronomic traditions like raclette and foie gras, vegan foodies can at last rejoice in all the plant-based options now widely available in Paris: places where we’re dying to try everything on the menu… and actually can. From fine dining to fast food, here are 10 of the restaurants that any vegan (and non-vegan!) should try on a trip to Paris.
Ten years ago, if you tried to order a coffee with soy milk in Paris you’d have been laughed out of town, rainbow lattes were the stuff of science fiction, and a craving for nut milk was grounds to be sent to the nut house. If you dropped the word seitan into conversation, one would assume you were talking about the devil, and having frawmage in your fridge was social suicide. It’s only in the last few years that vegans no longer have to secretly dread a trip to Paris, with the French capital finally embracing the green movement. Here’s where to get your fix.
You’re unlikely to have contact with any self-respecting Parisian vegan without BrEAthe coming up in conversation. Located in a backstreet of the densely populated restaurant hub of Montorgueil, these curators of vegan Asian fusion have created an impossibly cool izakaya and maki bar. Chef Claire Vautrin and executive chef Clément Werbrouck’s dreamy, beautifully composed creations range from delicate rolls of red bean cream and chimichurri with grilled mango chutney, teriyaki seitan skewers garnished with buckwheat, or a steaming bowl of vegan ramen. The rich desserts and foamy cocktails are as breathtaking as the restaurant’s name suggests.
3 Rue Mandar, 75002
Long before hungry models from Fashion Week spread the raw food trend in Paris, Emil et Fabien had already founded 42 Dégrès, the first ‘crudivore’ restaurant in Paris. Entirely vegan, raw, organic and gluten-free, their meticulously presented creations feature absolutely nothing cooked over 42 degrees Celcius (107.6 Fahrenheit), thus preserving the nutritional value of the locally sourced ingredients. Chomping on celery sticks might not sound like the most exciting gastronomical innovation, and service here can seem very slow for something essentially uncooked, but 42 degrès elevates raw food into an art, with plenty of creative, seasonal solutions. Try the famous homemade vegan cheese platter (mainly cashew-based) with a side of their own dehydrated kale chips, or a slice of unbaked, four-spice carrot cake.
109 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière 75009
Pioneering superfood dealer in Paris, Jean-François Hammerlé opened this Latin American ‘from seed to plate’ cantine near the Canal Saint Martin in 2007. The fresh, rustic recipes integrate herbs, spices and grains that must seem positively shamanic to most Parisians: klamath, maca, nopal, urucum. Sol Semilla staff will patiently explain why all that is good for you, and after you’ve had a revitalizing blue juice with mint and cardamom or a nourishing salad, you can purchase some of the specialty ingredients to incorporate into your daily routine.
23, rue des Vinaigriers 75010 Paris
With two beautifully designed locations between Batignolles and Wagram in the 17th arrondissement, all dried flowers strewn artfully across burnished surfaces, the team at Bloom have ensured that the decor looks as delactable as the sushi itself. The founder of the Sushi Shop chain, Dominic Bujold launched his dining concept devoted to ‘sushi botanique’ out of concern for the protection of marine life. He enlisted the Mexican chef Christian Ventura, who had already made a name for himself in vegan sushi in Canada. When you taste the juicy, lacquered slices of ‘zalmon’ sashimi draped over clouds of rice, you may have a hard time believing it’s actually marinated carrot; the surprises continue with the ‘dragon eyes’ roll featuring temura asparagus and chives, pesto, carefully arranged slices of peppers and sweet potato. An omakase experience will give you a chance to taste a platter of 14 different sushis creations.
99 Rue Jouffroy d’Abbans / 6 1 Rue des Dames 75017
Le potager de Charlotte
With stylish modern presentation and an alluring menu, Le Potager de Charlotte was in fact opened by two brothers in 2015: David and Adrien Valentin, a chef and a naturopath. Their two restaurants, in the 9th and 17th arrondissements to the north-west of Paris, are named after their mother. Creations like hazelnut mashed potato with white asparagus, rooibos and tamari cream, or avocado ‘hard-boiled egg style’ with turmeric hummus and kala namak salt, are highly original while remaining seasonal. Don’t forget the special menu for Sunday brunch, or delectable desserts like the almond and rice pancakes. Charlotte must be proud.
12 rue Louise-Émilie de la Tour d’Auvergne, 75009 / 21 Rue Rennequin, 75017
This charming, staunchly traditional restaurant close to Bastille and Voltaire is one of the only vegan Japanese eateries in Paris. Sit seiza-style on cushions rather than chairs in the cosy mezzanine as you await piping hot bowls of don buri (made with vegan mince), bone-warming curries or the extremely filling breaded tofu ‘tonkatsu’. A Sunday brunch option includes matcha pancakes and other delights, all with impeccable, authentic bento presentation and attention to detail. On the menu you will find imaginative desserts (such as black sesame and red-bean riz au lait), specialty lattes and whisky, shôchû and tea-based cocktails. Itadakimasu.
2 Rue des Taillandiers
This spacious and convivial café near Bastille is part of a vegan concept store selling everything from groceries to cruelty-free clothing and beauty products. Animal friends are certainly most welcome in the café as you tuck into your bottomless bowl of vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, smoky nachos or moreish pancakes. Revel in the generous portions – something not generally associated with vegan food. Aujourd’hui demain (meaning ‘today, tomorrow’) is also a vegan cake specialist, so be sure to check the counter display for an enticing selection of outrageously oversized desserts.
42 Rue du Chemin Vert
Situated along the vibrant, trendy part of the Canal Saint-Martin, this bustling eatery prides itself on all-organic, fresh ingredients (like cashew-based mozzarella, tempeh nuggets, or lasagne with a creamy cashew-ricotta bechamel). Sunday’s lavish all-you-can-eat brunch is like a local social club for vegans: you can’t go without running into someone you know. Fill up guilt-free on samosas, fresh spring rolls, maki, sliders, and a choice of 16 different salads.
20 Rue de la Pierre Levée / Quai des Jemmapes 75011
Le Potager du Marais
A proper French bistrot, vegan style. If you thought classic dishes like soupe à l’oignon (usually made with a meat stock and smothered in stringy cheese gratinée) or bœuf bourguignon (this version is with seitan),were off limits for a vegan visiting Paris, think again. Le Potager du Marais (meaning the ‘vegetable patch’ of the Marais) was founded in 2003 and remains perhaps the only vegan restaurant in Paris entirely dedicated to traditional French cuisine. With its simple, rustic decor, tucked away in the charming Village de Saint-Paul neighborhood, the menu consists almost exclusively of hearty French fare, like the rolled lupine bean roast with spinach, mushrooms and tarragon sauce, or the dense crème brûlée and the vegan creme brule for dessert. Although it’s unlikely you’ll find anything innovative on the menu, Le Potager du Marais is one of Paris’ early pioneering vegan experiences, and essential dining for a vegan visiting France for the first time.
26 Rue Saint Paul 75004
Wild and the Moon
Founded in 2015 by globetrotter Emma Sawko, Wild and the Moon has expanded to become Paris’ most successful vegan franchise: she hopes it will one day be the ‘Starbucks of vegan organic food’. Thanks to its sleek, minimalist design and sheer variety of juices, smoothies and hot drinks, it became the first establishment to make superfoods accessible and trendy in the French capital (the brightly-colored Blue Magic spirulina bowl is still on the menu) and certainly the first to introduce CBD-infused nut mylks (Hollyweed). The superfood lattes are rich and flavorful: try the chaga hot chocolate (it’s made with mushroom powder). Wild and the Moon also has a delivery service for detox juices for those who want to take cleansing to the next level. (On the solid food side of things, though, there are salads, dahls, and curries for nourishment.) There are several addresses to choose from in Paris, all with that light, clean, plant-filled, pat-your-self-on-the-back-for-being-so-healthy feel.
55 Rue Charlot, 75003 (and other addresses)
Jimmy’s Street Food
Who said plant-based food had to be healthy? Some of us want to have our burger and eat it too. Plenty of vegan fast-food joints have sprung up in Paris over the past few years, but Jimmy’s is the only American-style diner in Paris offering an entirely handmade range of menu items, rather than relying on industrial fake-meat products. Their ‘love me tenders’ imitation chicken will have meat lovers stumped. Get greasy with crunchy jackfruit wings (the chicken bone cleverly replaced by a stick of cinammon), mac no’ cheese, the densest seitan vegan burgers known to man, and cookies the size of your head. ‘You won’t see quinoa salad on our menu!’ they gloat on their website. Get ready to loosen the belt notch.
4 rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009
At the heart of the HOY (Home of Yoga), Paris’ first dedicated yoga and wellness hotel in Pigalle, Mesa (Argentinean for ‘table’) is a Latin American-inspired, plant-based experience devised by Sabrina Goldin and Stéphane Abby. Its success lies in the calm, inspiring setting and in the refined details of each dish. Order à la carte for lunch or book an evening set degustation menu, expertly paired with natural wines. Portions may not be generous, but you will savor every mouthful: courgette ceviche with lime cream and matcha salsa; smoked almond emulsion, parsley oil and chilli granola; or for dessert, thyme biscuit, fermented lemon cream, beetroot jelly, Mezcal & raspberry sorbet. Early risers might like to attend a yoga class upstairs before sampling the breakfast menu (croissant with cultured vegan butter and pollen bread, or purple corn pancakes with warm red and golden berry compote and roasted almond butter.)
68 Rue des Martyrs 75009