Vegetarian and plant-based eaters may be dissatisfied with the array of options in Paris – where buttery croissants and fluffy fougasse stuffed with cheese and ham titillate passersby at every corner.
I have sometimes wondered what my mother, Kimberly Elise – a vegan with celiac disease – would do in France, if she were to ever travel with me!
By: Ajableu Oldham
Luckily, French cuisine’s fondness for cheese, meat, fish, and bread is paralleled by its obsession for fresh, organic, seasonal produce. France is among the 19 countries in Europe to ban the use of GMO foods entirely. You’ll find that foods like tomatoes, celery, or squash have a whole new intense taste – their real flavor.
Places To Eat Vegan In Paris
While shopping in the Marais, you’ll stumble on Rue des Rosiers, a charming, historically Jewish neighborhood where the best falafel sandwiches are sold.
Sol Semilla is one of the many multi-cultural restaurants in Republique that offers plant-based meals. Enjoy your light lunch then have a walk by the Canal Saint-Martin.
Preparing For Your Trip To Paris
Round Your Essentials
First things first – bring your vegan staples: nutritional yeast, agave nectar, prepared quinoa, flaxseed meal, and your favorite vegan spices, cheeses, and sauces. You can buy your produce in Paris.
Also, pack a stack of sturdy food storage containers in your suitcase. That’s not something you’d want to purchase while traveling.
Be Smart About Your Accommodations
For vegans, I recommend booking an apartment on Airbnb. Ask the host if they have a blender, so you can prepare your own juices and smoothies.
Also, consider finding an apartment in the neighborhood Montmarte, Republique, or Marais. These trendy neighborhoods tend to have a greater concentration of vegan-friendly restaurants.
Prepare To Eat Like A Local
While putting together your travel itinerary, I recommend adding an early morning visit to le marché (or farmer’s market) to find your produce.
You can visit any Monoprix or grocery store, but visiting le marché is truly a delight, even if you just pick up a few items. Traditional French households tend to purchase their groceries as fresh as possible, two or three times per week. They avoid canned and preserved foods at all costs. Visiting the marché is a great way to get into the spirit of the culture, and will make for good conversation with anyone that you may encounter.
Here is a list of every marché in Paris. Marché d’Aligre and Marché des Enfants Rouges are two of the oldest markets in Paris and cannot be missed.
Preparing For Your Visit To The Marché Or Grocery Store
Plan your preferred recettes végétaliennes, or vegan recipes, in advance. This sounds crazy, but I literally have a meal plan prepared for myself, so I know exactly what I am eating and don’t feel tempted to break the rules.
Some recipes to inspire you are below!
In your meal plan, I highly recommend preparing, for yourself, a big huge portion of ratatouille and letting that be your main staple for the duration of your trip.
You don’t even have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy ratatouille. It’s chock-full of healthy summer veggies, including zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, and—of course—eggplant. Add it to your pasta or toast!
Below is a ratatouille recipe to get you started. Feel free to add your own favorite flavors! For instance, I like to add black olives and olive juice to my ratatouille because that’s a flavor I enjoy.