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Top Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Paris


On the Paris Veggie Trail

With the level of choice and quality on offer, the Parisian culinary scene is a dream come true for committed foodies. That is, unless you're vegetarian. With meat the star attraction of France's world-revered cuisine, don't be surprised if your assertion of vegetarianism is met with confusion. Luckily, though, dig a little deeper and you'll discover a limited yet flourishing vegetarian (and dare I say it, vegan) restaurant scene. So don't fret if the sight of yet another beef bourguignon sends you packing-- your next great vegetarian or vegan meal is just around the corner if you know where to head.

1. Macéo

Courtesy of Maceo.
Just when I'd given up on finding vegetarian fare in Paris that could stand alongside the city's gastronomic traditional cuisine, I dined at Macéo. This traditional-looking restaurant near the Palais Royale in the city center has done what, to my knowledge, no gastronomic restaurant in Paris has dared to do before: place creative, gorgeously presented vegetarian cuisine at the centerpiece of its menu. There are several a la carte options, and all of the seasonal lunch and dinner menus are guaranteed to have at least one option for non meat-eaters. You won't be presented with a bland vegetable platter, either: here, the Japanese-born chef treats his vegetarian creations as just as important as the meat, if not more so. A true gem. Reserve ahead, and read the full review for more information.

2. Best Falafel Restaurants in Paris

The naturally vegan falafel sandwich is, perhaps, the perfect meal when you're touring the city or want to sit in a park or square somewhere to enjoy a light meal. Luckily, Paris has many excellent purveyors of falafel, and it won't set you back more than a few dollars.

3. Le Grenier de Notre Dame

Address: 18 rue de la Bucherie, 75005
Tel.: +33(0)1 43299829
Metro: Saint Michel
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A five-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral, this quaint little left-bank restaurant arrived on the scene in 1978. Seating is available on two floors, and the set lunch and dinner menus provide a good choice for vegetarians and vegans alike (skewered seitan, lentil moussaka, tofu ravioli, etc.) The juices are highly recommended too.

4. Piccolo Teatro

Address: 6, rue des Ecouffes, 4th arrondissement
Tel.: +33(0)1 42721779
Metro: St-Paul
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Combine good vegetarian food with romance in Piccolo Teatro, hidden away on Rue des Ecouffes in the Marais district. Couples can enjoy an intimate, atmospheric evening here. The cuisine is a mix of Italian and Indonesian, and the menu provides a mix of hot soups, salads, curries and pasta, all of which can be washed down with a bottle of organic red wine. Main courses cost between 10-15 € (approx. $13-20) and there's a special tasting menu for first-timers. Reservations are recommended.

5. Au Grain de Folie

Address: 24, rue La Vieuville, 75018
Tel.: +33(0)1 42581557
Metro: Abbesses

Possibly the smallest and most intimate of Parisian veggie restaurants, Au Grain de Folie is a homey vegetarian eatery in the Montmartre district. A stone's throw from the Sacre Coeur, visiting vegetarians should not miss out on this off-the-beaten-track gem. Make sure to call ahead, though, to secure one of the elusive tables. This is a quirky experience, to say the least, but will please those with a more traditional veggie palette looking for a healthy, balanced meal. Open for lunch and dinner, Au Grain de Folie serves wholesome organic fare at reasonable prices.

6. Le Marais

Address: 54 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, 75004
Tel.: +33(0)1 48874871
Metro: Hôtel de Ville or St-Paul

Formerly Aquarius, this restaurant is one of the best-known among the Paris vegetarian community. The menu is a combination of salads, wheat pancakes and savory tarts, with fish dishes also a feature (puritans beware!). Organic wine is on the menu but smoking is not, making it one of the few restaurants to offer a smoke-free environment pre-2008. Vegans should check with wait staff before ordering. There have been some reports of unfriendly service here.

7. Le Potager du Marais

Address: 22 rue Rambuteau, 75003
Tel.: +33(0)1 42 74 24 66
Metro: St Paul

Also located in the Marais, this restaurant is a convenient stop following a visit to the Centre Georges Pompidou. Compact and hectic, the atmosphere is fun and homey. Hot soups, homemade tofu, and seitan bourguignon are all on the menu, which has a la carte and set menu options. Allow for between €10-€15 (approx. $13-$20) for an a la carte meal, and the set menu (starter, main course and dessert) costs €20 (approx. $26). All dishes are prepared with organic ingredients.

8. Krishna-Bhravan

Address: 24 Rue Cail, 75010
Tel.: +33(0)1 42057843
Metro: Gare du Nord
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An authentic Indian curry is almost as hard to come by as vegetarian food in Paris, but fortunately, Krishna-Bhravan provides a little of both under the same roof. Crepes and basmati rice are served with spiced vegetables and sauces (which are often dairy-based, so vegans should check suitability before ordering). Value for money here is second-to-none: for less than a tenner, you'll feast on a main course, pappadams, soup, salad and a traditional Indian dessert. Take-out is also available.

9. Le Paradis du Fruit

Address: 1 rue des Tournelles, 75006
Tel.: +33(0)1 40279479
Metro: Bastille

Part of a chain of restaurants, this French cafe offers a tropical atmosphere and an innovative menu. While not exclusively vegetarian, it's worth a mention as there are plenty of healthy, meatless options to choose from, including soybean salads, skewered tofu and pineapple, and Indian vegetable curry. Main courses range from €10-€15 (approx. $13-$20). Inventive ice creams, juices and smoothies average at €7 (approx. $9), and are a must for any visit here. Great for a refreshing spring or summer meal.

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