With the level of choice and quality on offer, the Parisian culinary scene is a dream come true for committed foodies. That is, unless you're vegetarian. With meat the star attraction of France's world-revered cuisine, don't be surprised if your assertion of vegetarianism is occasionally met with confusion. Luckily, though, dig a little deeper and you'll discover a limited yet flourishing vegetarian (and dare I say it, vegan) restaurant scene-- one that's gaining in force and in reputation all the time. So don't fret if the sight of yet another beef bourguignon sends you packing. It's becoming so much easier these days to find a delicious, reasonably priced veggie meal-- provided know where to head.
01 of 07
Just when I'd given up on finding vegetarian fare in Paris that could stand alongside the city's gastronomic traditional cuisine, I dined at Macéo. This traditional-looking restaurant near the Palais Royal in the city center has done what, to my knowledge, no gastronomic restaurant in Paris has dared to do before: place creative, gorgeously presented vegetarian cuisine at the centerpiece of its menu. There are several a la carte options, and all of the seasonal lunch and dinner menus are guaranteed to have at least one option for non meat-eaters. You won't be presented with a bland vegetable platter, either: here, the Japanese-born chef treats his vegetarian creations as just as important as the meat, if not more so. A true gem. Reserve ahead, and read the full review for more information.
02 of 07
03 of 07
A five-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral, this quaint little left-bank restaurant arrived on the scene al the way back in 1978. As such, the fare here is fairly "traditional" vegetarian-- don't expect anything hugely innovative; instead, the dishes are healthy, simple and tasty. Seating is available on two floors, and the set lunch and dinner menus provide a good choice for vegetarians and vegans alike (skewered seitan, lentil moussaka, tofu ravioli, etc.) The juices are highly recommended too.
04 of 07
Address: 54 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, 75004
Tel.: +33(0)1 48874871
Metro: Hôtel de Ville or St-Paul
Formerly Aquarius, this restaurant is one of the best-known among the Paris vegetarian community. The menu is a combination of salads, wheat pancakes and savory tarts, with fish dishes also a feature (puritans beware!). Organic wine is on the menu but smoking is not, making it one of the few restaurants to offer a smoke-free environment pre-2008. Vegans should check with wait staff before ordering. There have been some reports of unfriendly service here.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Address: 22 rue Rambuteau, 75003
Tel.: +33(0)1 42 74 24 66
Metro: St Paul
Also located in the Marais, this restaurant is a convenient stop following a visit to the Centre Georges Pompidou. Compact and hectic, the atmosphere is fun and homey. Hot soups, homemade tofu, and seitan bourguignon are all on the menu, which has a la carte and set menu options. Allow for between €10-€15 (approx. $13-$20) for an a la carte meal, and the set menu (starter, main course and dessert) costs €20 (approx. $26). All dishes are prepared with organic ingredients, and many vegan options are available. Another plus? The staff is reputed to be friendly and to speak excellent English.
06 of 07Address: 24 Rue Cail, 75010
Tel.: +33(0)1 42057843
Metro: Gare du Nord
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An authentic Indian curry is almost as hard to come by as vegetarian food in Paris, but fortunately, Krishna-Bhravan provides a little of both under the same roof. Crepes and basmati rice are served with spiced vegetables and sauces (which are often dairy-based, so vegans should check suitability before ordering). Value for money here is second-to-none: for less than a tenner, you'll feast on a main course, pappadams, soup, salad and a traditional Indian dessert. Take-out is also available.
07 of 07
Address: 1 rue des Tournelles, 75006
Tel.: +33(0)1 40279479
Part of a chain of restaurants specializing in juices and smoothies, this French cafe offers a tropical atmosphere and an innovative menu. While not exclusively vegetarian, it's worth a mention as there are plenty of healthy, meatless options to choose from, including soybean salads, skewered tofu and pineapple, and Indian vegetable curry. Main courses range from €10-€15 (approx. $13-$20). Inventive ice creams, juices and smoothies average at €7 (approx. $9), and are a must for any visit here. Great for a refreshing spring or summer meal.