Hi all. I am starting a new sub-theme on my blog on our vegetarian eating exploits. I’m excited to inaugurate this with a write up on what we ate in Paris.
Most vegetarians complain about the dining options in Paris, and it is true it can be tough. The best way to prepare is to research ahead of time and create a list, by arrondisment, of places that have vegetarian options, and note which Metro stop is nearest to the restaurant along with the address. It’s a lot of work, yes, but this way you can fully appreciate the loveliness of the food in the City of Light even if you skip the meat, and even if you find yourself somewhere off the beaten path.
I am hoping some of you reading this will be able to use this listing as part of your research.
My first bites in Paris were at our hotel, Paris Castille. Truly the best coffee I drank the entire trip, as well as the best bread, served as mini rolls with excellent butter and confiture (jam).
On the first day I wanted to dive into French food by having crepes for lunch, but the place we were looking for was closed. We settled for one of the many cafes, and since it was our first, we loved it. Aadi ate Croque Monsieur without the ham (sans jambon) and it was delicious. Michael and I had salads loaded with cheese, avocado, sliced eggs, beets, and more, which we enjoyed.
The salad, cheese and bread options are pretty standard in Paris cafes, and we had a few meals like that. We fully enjoyed coffees or glasses of wine and the atmosphere of these charming places. And we were glad we our list of other places so that there was some variety over the week.
Cafes we enjoyed:
Le Village Ronsard: 47 Ter Bd St Germain, 75005, Paris. First cafe in Paris. Friendly service.
La Cafe Coupe d’Or: 330 Rue St.-Honoré, First Arr. Paris. Hip feeling cafe, and very accommodating.
Le Nemrod: 51 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006, Paris. Very family friendly. Berthillon ice cream and french fries available : ).
SPECIAL MEALS IN NON-VEG RESTAURANTS
Because we have a toddler in our clan, we planned for all of the more formal meals at lunch time. This worked out great with toddler in tow, and it is a good cost saving strategy as well. Our first, and best, meal like this was at Maceo in the 1st Arrondisment. I had to search the internet every night for a week to turn up this option. Maceo offers an entire “Green menu.” There is a 33 Euro prix fixe where you can partake of appetizer, entree, and dessert.
They sat us in the bar seating area, since we had Aadi and were perhaps a tad under-dressed, but it was acutally perfect and very beautiful with colorful leather chairs and rustic tables.
I had chilled green pea and coconut milk soup that was like decadent velvet in each bite. The entree was a floating “ravioli” stuffed with smoked vegetables in a wonderful curry-like broth. I had a wonderful cheese plate to top it all off. Michael’s food was equally delicious. That was the brilliance here. It wasn’t like there was only ONE choice for vegetarians. There were a few options for both appetizers and entrees, and all of it was magnifique!
The next day we did lunch at Le Fumoir. Located behind the Louvre, this place was ALL ambience and charm. Here are some shots from their website that perfectly capture it.
We just loved it the minute we stepped inside. It was filled to the hilt with Parisians lunching, there were a few families with kids, students on laptops, and GREAT FOOD! There are always 2 vegetarian entrees on the menu, and I noticed they have changed since we ate there last month, so seasonal! It is easy to take a lunch break here on the day you decide to “do” the Louvre.
Towards the end of the trip we had a much welcome meal at Noura near the Opera. Noura offers Lebanese cuisine in a fashionable yet casual enough setting. The meal was welcome because quite frankly we were getting tired of eggs, cheese, and rich creamy concoctions. The Vegetarian tasting plate was sizable. We added one or two smaller plates and it was MORE than enough food for the three of us, and we were very, very hungry. Aadi loved the hummus. I loved the Moussaka. Michael loved the Moujadarra. We were all happy!
Even non-vegetarians rave about the Rose Bakery. It was indeed so incredibly fresh and tasty. We went for brunch at the location in the Marais and had great eggs, sandwiches, coffee, hot chocolates. The vibe was like being in a bakeshop with lots of really beautiful people who looked like they could be sophisticated grad students, plus expats and a few tourists. Rose Bakery has a British owner, and indeed it doesn’t feel exactly Parisian, save one thing: It is busy without a lot of waitstaff, so, like most places in Paris, prepare for a meal that is twice as leisurely as any meal you would have in NYC. Definitely not to be missed.
Our last meal in Paris was at the Potager du Marais, also, as the name would imply, in the Marais. We so loved the food. I had a quinoa cake topped with goat cheese with a vegetable salad that seemed heavenly. It was truly the most unique feeling of all the cuisine we had. Definitely had a more down-home feel, so know that you will be taking a break from Paris posh. It was that experience of being faced with a menu of options that made it difficult to decide that will take us back there the next time we are in town. Or maybe just the chance to eat the quinoa cake again.