Paris has a wide variety of vegetarian-friendly options beyond just cheese and baguette (though I'd gladly eat that for a week). If you're planning a trip to Paris, here's a guide to some of the best places I discovered, including some really quirky bars, speakeasies, and cafes.
A wine and empanadas bar serving 4 types of vegetarian empanadas (spinach, cheese and onion, corn, and vegetables). Delicious, delicious, delicious! There isn't anything else on the menu so either OD on empanadas, or come here for drinks and appetizers before heading out to the many, many, MANY restaurants in the chic neighborhood of Le Marais.
What to order: All the vegetarian empanadas
A funky spot right beside Clasico Argentino in Le Marais, this Mexican spot has just one table but a really cool speakeasy in the back. I wouldn't recommend the food here as there's only one vegetarian taco on the menu, which isn't too great. But the speakeasy is fab - such a cozy spot!
L'as du Fallafel
Rated the best falafel spot in Paris on TripAdvisor - it is definitely delicious, but I think sometimes things get really hyped. Rue de Rosiers (where L'as du Fallafel is located) has about 5-6 falafel shops so feel free to experiment. I ate at L'as du Fallafel and Chez Hanna.
What to order: Falafel sandwich
Right around the corner from L'as du Fallafel is Chez Hanna - less crowded and cheaper than L'as du Fallafel, just as delicious and has better seating.
What to order: Vegetarian falafel platter
Paris is a great place for multicultural culinary experiences -try out Ethiopian cuisine at Godjo; it's delicious, flavorful, really filling, and fairly cheap. If you've never had Ethiopian food, think of it as similar to Indian food. Lots of vegetables, lentils, spices and a spongy bread similar to roti or naan. The food is served in a giant platter to share, and is extremely vegetarian-friendly.
Make a reservation just incase because it's a tiny spot with just a few tables.
What to order: Vegetarian platter
Potager du Marais
A vegan French restaurant that serves up some classic French fare, keeping your dietary restrictions in mind. We just made a spontaneous drop-by, but the place was packed and we were lucky to snag a table. Try making a reservation!
Shakespeare and Company Café
This new outpost sits right beside the famous bookshop, serving slightly expensive juices, sandwiches and wraps. In my opinion, it's worth it. Spend a morning at the bookshop, and follow it up with an outdoor lunch at the café. Their sandwiches are delicious.
Little Red Door
One of the coolest bars I've ever been to, this speakeasy feels like you've walked into the Prohibition era. A tiny staircase leads to a loft-like area with comfortable couches and candles. Best part? Remember those children's illustrated books you read as a kid? The ones with only a few, thick pages made of cardboard. Imagine a menu like that with about 10 pages, each with an abstract image on it. Each picture represents a cocktail - choose an image that appeals to you, and they'll bring you the corresponding cocktail!
As I quickly came to realize, Parisians love their picnics, especially in the summer. A local friend told me it's not uncommon to see people picnicking even in the winter. So you can't possibly come to Paris and not picnic at least once (really, do it more than once). Buy some food from a local grocery store, and set up a picnic spot in the early evening.
Make sure to pick up: baguette, cheeses, Dijon mustard, chip and dips, some dessert, and a bottle of wine!
Picnic spots in Paris:
- Champs de Mars - the garden surrounding the Eiffel Tower
- Along the banks of the Seine river
- Canal Saint Martin (very much a local favorite)
- Steps of the Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre
- Jardin des Tuleries
There's plenty of options for vegetarians in Paris (contrary to what I had thought). Check out my post on some of the best cafés I found in the city. Comment below with any other recommendations you have! And if you haven't been to Paris yet, hurry up and book your tickets!