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France has not been especially vegetarian, vegan or celiac friendly with traditional dishes like duck confit, and boulangeries on every corner. But big changes are taking over the Paris food scene. Nowadays, most eateries offer at least a gluten-free and vegetarian main dish or two. But where to find them?
Here are our favorite restaurants catering to dietary restrictions and offering vegans and celiacs wider options than the eternal side salad and the omelet with pommes frites!
GF = gluten-free, V = vegetarian, VGN = vegan.
Noglu (16 passage des Panoramas, 75002) Tucked in the picturesque Passage de Panoramas lies Noglu, a restaurant serving up 100% gluten-free dishes. Go for lunch, brunch or bring home a world of pastries. We recommend their carrot cake! GF
Café Pinson (6 rue du Forez, 75003) – This place has it all – or should we say, doesn’t have any of it? No meat, no lactose, no gluten (although cross-contamination possible). Lunch, brunch and dinner (reservations recommended) are served with the localest ingredients as are their take-away pastries. Cooking classes are also offered (with dinner included!). GF, V, VGN
Bob’s Kitchen (74 rue des Gravilliers, 75003) Bob is a star on the healthy eating scene (their long lines are proof). You can’t go wrong with any meals on the menu. Take a seat at their family-style tables and perhaps make a vegetarian friend. Bob’s Juice Bar (15 rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010) also serves up light vegetarian fare, and of course, freshly pressed juices. V
Breizh Café (109 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003) Super popular with Parisians, you may have a long wait, but their galettes are worth lining up for. Galettes, whipped up with buckwheat, are traditionally gluten-free. Just double-check with your waiter that your desired dish is sans gluten. GF
Le Puits des Légumes (18 rue Cardinal Lemoine, 75005) A haven for healthy eaters, this restaurant even features macrobiotic cuisine. V, VGN
Café Marlette (51 rue des Martyrs, 75009) Along the picturesque rue des Martyrs and surrounded by specialty shops and markets, Café Marlette offers fresh, organic pastries and cakes, detox juices, and plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. All of their pastries are made from the easy baking mixes that made this brand popular. Pick up a couple of mixes (from chocolate-chip cookies to gluten-free crêpes) on your way out! GF, V, VGN
Pousse-Pousse (7 rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, 75009) Sip on a freshly pressed juice, take a wheatgrass shot or enjoy deliciously inventive and gluten-free, vegan, and even raw food meals at Pousse-Pousse. GF, VGN
Helmut Newcake (36 rue Bichat, 75010) This patisserie boasts 100% gluten-free, lactose-free treats. Their cosy converted loft is ideal for afternoon tea with an old friend or Sunday brunch (by reservation). GF, VGN
Sol Semilla (23 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010) Fresh vegan and gluten-free dishes with South American flair will tempt you here. Their intimate, retro dining space doubles as a grocery, selling syrups, powders, cacao and other specialty products you may not get your hands on elsewhere. GF, VGN
Thank you, my deer (112 rue Saint-Maur, 75011) This snug bistrot cooks up a menu of gluten-free sandwiches. Their kitschy décor goes well with their light snacks and dessert. GF
Soya (20 rue de la Pierre Levée, 75011) One of the leading vegetarian restaurants in Paris, you’ll recognize Soya by its glimmering candles in the window. Its minimal industrial interior is packed for dinner, so make reservations! V, VGN-friendly, GF-friendly
Gentle Gourmet Café (24 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012) Dine on vegan gourmet dishes along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin. Their Portobello burgers come very highly recommended. VGN
M.O.B. (Cité de la mode et du design, 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013) This vegan burger joint comes all the way from Brooklyn to offer up meatless, eggless and lactose-free hot dogs, pizza and cheesecake, too! VGN
Pho’hung (129 Avenue de Choisy, 75013) This bargain Vietnamese restaurant, nestled in the 13th arrondissement’s Chinatown, is happy to accommodate gluten-free diners, just remember to request gluten-free rice. GF
In the mood to cook in your own long-term furnished rental? But where to shop? Find your closest store by clicking on Naturalia, Biocoop, Bien l’Epicerie, Bio C Bon, La Vie Claire and La Récolte, Paris grocery stores that specialize in organic foods, and are located throughout Paris. For locally grown fruits and veg, learn more about Paris’s locavore food movement. You may also join the popular Paris Vegan Meetup Group and discover vegan restaurants in Paris with other vegans, and even participate in a vegan potluck!
Haven’t gotten your fill? Celiacs, to simplify your gluten-free lifestyle, check out Sortir Sans Gluten. Vegans and vegetarians can visit Happy Cow for a much longer list of meat and lactose-free restos in Paris.
Here’s to healthy eating – bon appétit!