It’s not easy being a vegetarian in Paris; there are only so many cheese baguettes and quiches one can eat. However, things are starting to change and the city has a slowly increasing number of restaurants that cater either exclusively to vegetarians, or at least won’t leave them struggling to find something appealing on the menu. Here, in no particular order, are some of the best.
Le Bichat works on a simple and delicious premise; they serve everybody the same basic bowl full of rice, veggies, seeds and pickles that can be eaten as is, or topped with an egg, fish or meat. This makes it a great compromise for mixed groups of vegetarians, pescetarians and meat-eaters. Everything is organic, made from scratch and tastes healthy. They also do beers, homemade soft drinks and great cakes.
11 Rue Bichat, 75010
It’s clear that the produce they use at Il Barone is something special. Before you even get to your table you walk past a deli counter piled high with fluffy-as-a-cloud buffalo mozzarella, then past the kitchen stacked with trays full of freshly made linguini. It’s not an exclusively vegetarian restaurant, but has more than enough good options to provide vegetarians with a choice of what to order. Dishes like artichoke pasta and pesto pasta both sound pretty simple, but were unexpectedly fresh and flavourful. This might be the closest you can come in Paris to authentic Italian food that tastes as good as it does in Italy.
5 Rue Léopold Robert, 75014
East Side Burgers
East Side Burgers does a range of veggie burgers, with two or three different types featured on their daily menu. The burgers themselves are tasty and original, but what will make you want to come back to East Side Burgers again and again are the golden, crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-in-the-middle fries. They also do other vegetarian snacks, like mozzarella sticks and American style desserts. There is a small seating area downstairs and outside seating in summer.
60 Boulevard Voltaire, 75011
Le Mary Celeste
Le Mary Celeste is a cute, candle-filled restaurant with a vaguely nautical theme, where you can eat at the bar or find a table next to the windows looking out on to the streets of Le Marais. The menu changes from day to day, but always features a couple of creative vegetarian options, such as roasted cauliflower steak. An extra bonus of eating at Le Mary Celeste is that you can also work your way through their cocktail and wine list, about which the staff is happy to advise you.
1 Rue Commines, 75003
Le Potager du Marais
Tucked in a side street near the Pompidou Centre, Le Potager du Marais is a completely vegan restaurant. If you’re going in a mixed group, dedicated meat-eaters will clearly struggle here, but for vegetarians there is a large and unusual selection of dishes to choose from. Seitan boeuf bourguignon and a vegeburger with vegan cheese might not be dishes that sound instantly promising, but they were well presented and flavorful. The staff is also happy to share cooking tips and information about vegan and vegetarian suppliers in Paris.
24 Rue Rambuteau, 75003
A long-running staple for vegetarians in Paris, Mi-Va-Mi, and other surrounding falafel shops in the same vein, do fluffy pitas stuffed with deep fried falafel, crispy salad and garlicky sauce spilling out of the sides. Most customers take away their hot sandwiches, to eat as they sightsee and window shop in the surrounding area. Anyone who chooses to eat in can also try their very good hummus, fries and vegetarian meze plates.
23 Rue des Rosiers, 75004
El Nopal is tiny, with just enough space inside for a mini-kitchen, counter to place orders at and menu board detailing the tempting burritos and tacos on offer. There are lots of different meat varieties but also vegetarian options, which don’t disappoint. To accompany their burritos and tacos, customers can choose from a range of Mexican beers, spicy sauces, chips and guacamole. As there is barely space to eat in, go there on a sunny day, take away your food, and enjoy it sitting next to the Canal Saint-Martin.
3 rue Eugène Varlin, 75010
This busy restaurant serves sweet and savory crepes, and a selection of ciders, wine and champagne. Tables are packed in cozily, and there are nice Breton touches to the service such as cider served in little ceramic cups. Vegetarian options include roasted vegetables, oozing cheese and runny eggs folded inside a huge crispy galette. They also serve non-vegetarian options. It’s worth noting that Breizh Café is extremely popular so make a reservation before you go there.
111 Rue de Vieille du Temple, 75003