Following a vegetarian diet can be tricky in the city of charcuterie and canard, but it is possible.
Vegetarianism hasn’t quite reached Paris in the same way as it has the rest of the world. But lately, the gastronomic pride for charcuterie and beef bourguignon is starting to feel threatened.
Although many traditional bistros and brasseries will usually serve something veggie-friendly, often it’s not on the menu, and it’s usually just a plate of random vegetables.
If you’re not looking to feel awkward and then follow that up with disappointment, try out any of these vegetarian restaurants in Paris—they’re good enough to convince the even staunchest meat enthusiasts.
Le Potager du Marais
The doors of this family-run restaurant in the heart of the Marais—Paris’ first exclusively vegetarian eatery—opened in 2003. It’s strictly veggie, offering a meat-free twist on the classic French cuisine that draws countless gourmands to Paris each year.
There’s vegetarian French onion soup, traditional buckwheat crepes and even meat-free “beef” bourguignon. It’s got all the comfort of a French countryside home, with none of the meaty guilt.
L’as du Fallafel
This Marais staple (32-34 Rue des Rosiers) is worth the inevitably long line. The signature sandwich is chock full of falafel (of course), pickled cabbage, cucumber, grilled vegetables and garlic sauce—all yours to take away for the modest sum of €6.50. There’s some space to sit down inside the small locale, but we suggest finding one of the cute gardens nearby and digging in there—weather permitting, of course!
Café Pinson is a long-standing veggie paradise serving tasty, healthy and organic fare. It’s a classic brunch hotspot in the trendy Haut-Marais, welcoming the fashion crowd for cold pressed juices and raw vegetables like you’ve never tasted them before.
But while the clientele might be impeccably Parisian and stylish, the place is welcoming—think comfortable chairs and Dad-pop playing on the jukebox. Don’t miss the “no meat-balls” and the vegan chocolate cake for pure indulgence at its finest. Many gluten-free options are available here as well.
Le Petit Keller
Hidden in this retro bistro—complete with cracked tile floor and formica tables—is an unexpected fusion cuisine.
Bringing her Japanese heritage to quality French produce, chef Kaori Endo has created a whole flavor world of her own. She pairs her original menu with homemade fermented drinks and a pared down natural wine selection (try the fiery homemade ginger ale!).
It’s not strictly vegetarian, but there is a great range of choice for lunch, and veggie-heavy tapas for dinner.
Les Marmites Volantes
Les Marmites Volantes aren’t just serving incredibly tasty and well-priced lunch options in this northern Paris canteen. They’re also changing the way people eat and think about food across the capital.
They source directly from a farm in the suburbs, which works with zero pesticides and properly treats its free-range animals (there is meat on the menu, too). They’re changing the way kids eat at school, providing fresh, seasonal, tasty meals to hundreds of students per day. And they’re taking on Sodexho—the canteen giant—and delivering to offices around the city, with their own bike delivery person.
In short, they’re doing everything right and producing delicious results at the same time.
In the trendy 10th arrondissement, along the Canal Saint Martin, you can find Ima, a home-cooked lunch spot with Middle-Eastern influences. The exposed brick and colorful interior is matched by a flavorful menu and friendly service. The menu changes often, depending on the season, and they serve Paris’s own roasted coffee from the caffeine maestros at La Brûlerie de Belleville.
While not strictly vegetarian, this hip wine bar offers small sharing plates with a very veggie focus. It’s all seasonal and the menu changes from week to week, but if you see the Romesco sauce, get it. We don’t know how they do it, but something about their take on this classic sauce has changed our world.
Pair your veggie small plates with any of the sulphite-free natural wine (the reds are almost like fruit juice) and you’ll be in gastronomic heaven.