Eating vegetarian food in Paris
A vegetarian Bento Box at Nanashi in Paris. (Kim Laidlaw Adrey)
Gone are the days when the only source of sustenance for a vegetarian in Paris was a goat cheese salad.
Now, to vegetarians’ delight, Paris has a handsome selection of veggie-friendly restaurants that are so good they’re also drawing in the carnivores.
Bob’s Juice Bar (15 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 10e, 09-50-06-36-18), a small canteen near the Canal St Martin, is a stellar example of Paris’ new vegetarian standard. Here, the purely vegetarian menu features homemade smoothies, juices, sandwiches and soups made from seasonal ingredients, with an additional healthy kick courtesy of super foods such as acai or acerola. Sweet delights such as cakes and muffins are also available -- because no one ever said being veggie meant counting calories, after all. Their sister branch, Bob’s Kitchen, (74 rue des Gravilliers, 3e, 09-52-55-11-66) near the Centre Pompidou, is newer and more spacious than the juice bar, and serves a hot and hearty (and of course meat-free) stew of the day.
Rose Bakery, Paris’ healthy English-inspired café, has branches in the ninth arrondissement (46 rue des Martyrs, 9e, 01-42-82-12-80) and in the Marais (30 rue Debelleyme, 3e, 01-49-96-54-01). It offers a fine selection of vegetarian fare, from excellent seasonal salads and savoury tarts to a weekend brunch selection including warming cheese scones. It also offers a small section of meat dishes, including the English breakfast, to keep staunch carnivores satisfied.
Nanashi (57 rue Charlot, 3e, 01-44-61-45-49) is in the same vein as Rose Bakery but with a Japanese, rather than English, twist. Every day there is a choice of three bento boxes -- vegetarian, fish or meat -- each including a protein, grain and salad, and the meat-free option often includes deliciously prepared tofu alongside quinoa or barley. There are also fresh juices and a selection of desserts, including the excellent matcha (tea) and raspberry cake.
MOB (30 rue Charlot, 3e, 01-42-77-51-05) is the newest addition to Paris’ non-meat eating scene, serving healthy and inexpensive take-away vegan food in the super-cool Northern Marais district. With their first branch having opened in Brooklyn last September, MOB serves meat-free (and guilt-free) fast food such as flavourful vegetable and herb tarts, soups and even faux-chicken nuggets.
Kim Laidlaw Adrey is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes unlockparis.blogspot.com.