Vegan Guide - Paris
Both of us were pretty ‘blah’ when it came to Paris. Ben had lived there for a couple of months on a stint during his languages degree and hadn’t fallen for its charms. I had been when I was younger with family friends and wasn’t in any particular hurry to get back. We thought it was fine; the Eiffel Tower is, you know, quite cool and impressive. The streets are pretty, but they are in London too. There were better places to be than Paris.
OH, HOW WE WERE WRONG.
After we agreed that we were gonna give Paris one more go, just for fun, I immediately hit Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration and started to get really excited. ‘Oh my god, there’s a vegan bakery’ followed by ‘oh my god; look at this cafe it’s so cute’. Armed with an entire list of cafes, bars, restaurants and bakeries to hit up, we boarded the Eurostar and headed straight to the heart of the city.
(We will, however, add a pretty important caveat to this post before we jump in. It might seem obvious, but if you’re vegan and going to Paris, you have to research where you’re going to eat. One morning we decided to wing it for breakfast, like ‘come on, how hard will it be to find something vegan for breakfast.’ We went hungry that morning. So, do your research because you probably won’t find much on the fly.)
85 Rue La Fayette
Nearest Metro station: Poissonniere
In typical foodie style, we arrived in Paris just in time for lunch. VG, only a ten minute walk from the Gare du Nord, had four vegan burgers going - I went for a mushroom and bean patty and Ben went for a Mexican style guac and corn fritter. They’re generous on the fries, and the burgers were pretty decent too.
Bob’s Bake Shop
Halle Pajol, 12 Espl. Nathalie Sarraute
Nearest Metro stop: La Chapelle or Marx Dormoy
Breakfast pancakes should happen everyday. Bob’s felt like an American diner - the sort of place you could have pulled over at a truck stop somewhere out in the midwest for a coffee - but in a great way. It’s super casual, the staff are really friendly, and we even bumped into ‘Bob’ who noticed we’d posted to Instagram and came over to say hi. They do loads of vegan food, from smashed avo bagels and soups of the day to the half or full stack of fruity vegan pancakes with maple syrup. Again, this place was so good we came back twice.
53 rue Mouffetard
Nearest Metro station: Place Monge
Vegan Folies kind of looks like what everyone thinks ‘being vegan’ looks like. It’s got lots of green décor inside, and there are plaques on the wall with sheep and cows and pigs with quotes about animals. We’re all down for that, but it can definitely put off any omni friends you might take there, so approach this place with caution. The lunch was kind of average - it was nice, but nothing to shout about. We had a tofu baguette with hot sauce and a vegan quiche baked with vegan cheese. But the real treat was their range of cakes. We went over Halloween weekend and they had a raspberry cheesecake with a solid chocolate skull on top that I would have eaten several times over if I could. So. Good.
118 Rue des Moines
Nearest Metro station: Brochant or Porte de Clichy
Essentially the Parisian equivalent of Berlin’s Vöner, this unassuming diner sells vegan döner kebabs and burritos and isn’t too far from Montmartre. The kebabs in Vöner are absolutely gigantic, but the ones at Super Vegan were a lot more manageable (and way easier to eat.) Packed full of seitan, you can pick a sauce (garlic, ketchup and their own recipe hot sauce) and order with or without British-style skin-on chips. Obviously we ordered with the fries. If I could eat this meal again right now I totally would. (N.B 10.30am at time of writing)
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux
Nearest Metro station: Saint-Sebastien - Froissart
When they say ‘hole in the wall’, Boot is the absolute definition. It was pretty cold on the day we went and the glass-fronted cafe was entirely steamed up. When we’d finally fought our way inside (it has a really terrible door handle that every single subsequent customer battled with) we realised it really was tiny. There are three tables and you’re at the counter as soon as you step inside, which means most people just grab coffee to go, although it’s worth sticking around for a bit if you can. There isn’t actually anything vegan to eat here - we had just seen it online and wanted to stop by for a coffee - but the coffee was definitely worth it. The playlist was 10/10 - all chilled electronica -and the barista was so French it hurt. Overall a wonderfully Parisian experience.
123 Boulevard Voltaire
Nearest Metro station: Voltaire / Leon Blum
When people ask me, ‘what do you miss about your pre-vegan days’ I can honestly answer, not that much. Now that I know what happened to get it to my plate, what’s in it, and the devastating impact animal agriculture has on the planet, I really don’t want it. With one exception: chocolate croissants, the Prêt chocolate croissant in particular.
So when I found out Paris had a whole freakin’ vegan bakery I was beyond excited. It didn’t let us down. We got a little carried away and ordered a whole tray of pastries between us for breakfast, so it took us a while to get through it all.
From chocolate twists and croissants to cakes, tarts and biscuits, it was an absolute treat. The pastry was light and fluffy and they didn’t skimp on the chocolate either. Highly recommend for any fellow pastry fiends.
14 Rue Bichat
Nearest Metro station: Goncourt
Everything on the menu at Tieng Hiang is vegan (aside from one dish) and it was so delicious that we went back twice. From spring rolls and dumplings to soups and fried shiitake, their sides and starters were pretty expansive. We ordered Thai rolls, incredibly golden and crispy, stuffed with taro, potatoes, Thai beans and curry.
We also ordered a huge bowl of Bo Bun - rice, lemongrass ‘beef’, soy sprouts, tofu, cucumber, carrots, Batavia, mint and peanuts served over noodles and salad. This was amazing - so many different textures and flavours that all worked really well together. We’d recommend to get there early though, if you don’t want to queue for a table!
We also stopped by, but didn’t manage to take any photos of:
- Bodhi Vegan
Similar recipes to Tiang Hiang but without the ambience. Perhaps worth a go if the former is completely packed out, as it’s only a five minute walk away.
- Hank’s Pizza
While it’s reasonably small and the pizza is more thick American style than a crispy Neapolitan, Hank’s is a cheap and cheerful place to grab a slice if you’re looking to save money or want something quickly. It’s also near Le Marais, so it’s the perfect place to stop off before going out in the centre for drinks.