Paris is no doubt a city of indescribable decadence. Every street will have at least three boulangeries and a couple patisseries, not to mention specialty chocolate shops, artisan cheese stores and millions of small cafes boasting foie gras, bistec and duck confit to be served with, usually, if not always, white fluffy bread and butter. So, in short, a health nut’s worst nightmare? not necessarily.
Yes, health nuts, vegetarians, vegans and anyone with an intolerance may be looked upon strangely sometimes and even told that their dietary needs were just figments of their imagination, but Paris does actually have a healthy food scene, including several vegan and vegetarian restaurants and even one specializing in superfoods! You just have to dig a little deeper and travel a little farther to find them.
Here are some of my favorites:
First of all, Carrefour as well as Monoprix, both French chains, have “bio” aisles in all their stores, which contain all the organic foods you could possibly need! There are also several organic grocery stores in Paris, with locations in every neighborhood: Naturalia, also by monoprix, Biocoop and La Vie Claire.
As for eating out:
Gentle Gourmet: 24 Boulevard de la Bastille 75012 Paris,- Just a little farther from la place de la bastille, this homey yet elegant restaurant boasts haute vegan cuisine at a moderate cost (9-18 euro), serving both lunch and dinner as well as a special sunday brunch for 14 or 19 euros, the former containing a hot drink, a juice, a savory dish usually containing tofu and vegetables, as well as fresh bread with vegan butter and jam. The latter contains all that, plus french toast ( I would get the french toast, last time I didn’t and I deeply regret it!) I did however, adore the cinnamon hot chocolate that i chose as my ‘hot drink’, which can be made with any plant based milk you desire! I would definitely recommend going with a friend and sharing several things.http://www.gentlegourmetcafe.com/
Tugalik: 4 Rue Toullier 75005 Paris – a deux pas de la sorbonne (literally just by the Sorbonne!), Tugalik isn’t vegan or completely vegetarian, but it is organic and largely gluten free, with a menu that clearly states what does and doesn’t contain gluten. It is also largely lactose-free. The food is also cheaper than that at Gentle Gourmet, with meal plans (formules) at 15euro sur place (eating in) and 10 euro for takeout. I would go for the quinoa salads, the gluten free pasta with pesto and zucchini and the buckwheat chocolate cake. Maybe the lactose and gluten free carrot cake as well. Delish. http://www.tugalik.com/
Green Pizz: 8 Rue Cadet 75009 Paris, open from 2 – 10:45 and not terribly far from the Louvre (a twenty minute walk), this pizza place is one of the only restaurants in Paris with vegan pizza!!! (called tutti legumi), not to mention several other delectable, vegetarian and non-veg options that are all cheap, organic, healthy and most of all, delicious. The crust was apparantly created by a nutritionist to be as healthy as possible and is made with whole grains. They even have a page containing nutritional info if you’d like to take a peek. I would go for lunch and have a greeny pack, which can get you a mini-pizza (not so mini, i assure you), a soup or salad and a dessert for only 13,90. A very good deal for downtown Paris.Oh, and they have adorable mascots: http://www.greenpizz.com/
Sol Semilla: 23 rue des vinaigriers, enseigne Bar des Artisans dans le 10ème à Paris. Also called, ‘Bar des Artisans’, this supermarket turned restaurant that opens at noon and closes at 8 each day save monday, boasts south american superfood influenced dishes (foods that are extremely high in nutritional as well as medicinal qualities) specializing in aztec inspired drinks, soups and desserts (read: spicy&sweet), salads containing exotic ingredients and daily platters that change each day, always containing vegetables, a salad, healthy grains and fruit, all spiced well and cooked to perfection. You can eat it all and leave full, happy, healthy and blessed. Not a bad deal.http://www.sol-semilla.fr/img/cms/PDF/Menu_SOL_Semilla_04_2012.pdf
Lune de Miel : 100, rue de Paris 94220 Charenton Le Pont. I haven’t been, but several tell me that this is the best lactose-free and kosher bakery in Paris! They specialize in both jewish and french specialties and boast very intriguing flavor combinations for their cakes, such as ‘chestnut-whiskey’ and ‘pistachio-creme brulee’ as well as classics such as the ‘opera’ cake and ‘mile-fuille’.
As you can see, there is something for everyone!