With the level of choice and quality on offer, the Parisian culinary scene is a dream come true for committed foodies -- 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, dig a little deeper, and you'll discover a limited yet flourishing vegetarian--and even vegan--restaurant scene, one that's gaining in force and reputation all the time. So don't fret if the sight of yet another beef bourguignon sends you packing. It's becoming much easier these days to find a delicious, reasonably priced veggie meal, provided you know where to go.
Address: 15 Rue des Petits Champs
Phone: +33 1 85 15 22 56
Metro: Pyramids, Royal Palace Louvre Museum, Exchange
Bus: 29, 39, 48, 81, 72, 76, 95, 27
Macéo can easily stand alongside the city's gastronomic traditional cuisine. This traditional-looking restaurant near the Palais Royal in the city center has done what no gastronomic restaurant in Paris dared do before: place creative, gorgeously presented vegetarian cuisine at the centerpiece of its menu. There are several à 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. It is a true gem. Reserve ahead, and read a full review for more information.
The naturally vegan falafel sandwich is, perhaps, the perfect meal when you're touring the city or want to sit in a park or square to enjoy a light meal. Fortunately, Paris has many excellent purveyors of falafel, and it won't set you back more than a few dollars.
Address: 18 Rue de la Bûcherie
Phone: +33 1 43 29 98 29
Metro: Saint Michel
A five-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral, this quaint little left-bank restaurant arrived on the scene way back in 1978. As such, the fare here is fairly "traditional" vegetarian. In other words, don't expect anything hugely innovative, but do expect the dishes will be healthy, simple, and tasty. Seating is available on two floors, and the set lunch and dinner menus provide good choices for vegetarians and vegans alike, including skewered seitan, lentil moussaka, and tofu ravioli. The juices are highly recommended too.
Address: 22 rue Rambuteau
Phone: +33 1 57 40 98 57
Metro: St Paul
Also located in the Marais, Le Potager du Marais is a convenient stop following a visit to the Centre Georges Pompidou. Compact and hectic, the restaurant embraces an atmosphere that makes it fun and homey. Hot soups, homemade tofu, and seitan bourguignon are all on the menu, which has both à la carte and set options. Allow between €10-€15 (approx. $13-$20) for an a la carte meal and €20 (approx. $26) for the set menu (starter, main course, and dessert). 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.
Address: 24 Rue Cail and three other locations
Phone: +33 1 42 05 78 43
Metro: Gare du Nord/Chappelle
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 ingredients 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. Takeout is also available.
Address: 148 rue de la Roquette and other locations
Phone: +33 1 49 23 73 23
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 €7 (approx. $9) each and are a must for any visit here. This spot is great for a refreshing spring or summer meal.