Where can I find a vegetarian hotel in Paris?
November 9, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Where can I eat vegetarian while staying in Paris? I'm planning a week's holiday in Paris or perhaps nearby, and would like a hotel that's either vegetarian, or very sympathetic to a vegetarian diet. What are my options? Are there any options?
posted by curious_yellow to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (24 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Don't eat at your hotel, then it wont matter, or better yet go to a bakery for your breakfast instead, you will get better food that way anyways.

Its not like they are going to stuff your pillow with fois gras.
posted by BobbyDigital at 2:15 PM on November 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


There are lots of North African restaurants in Paris, and they usually have vegetarian options. I recommend Au Bon Cous Cous, we went there twice on our visit to Paris the other week, and usually have a few meals there every time we are in town.
posted by Megami at 2:18 PM on November 9, 2010

There's plenty for a vegetarian to eat in Paris:

- Falafel from the Turkish/Lebanese/Moroccan restaurants on every corner
- Little vegetable quiches and onion tarts from the local bakery
- Bread from the bakery, cheese from the cheese shop. Combinations galore.
- Zaatar (flat bread with oil and herbs) from market stalls

That said, you may need to relax a little on additives like rennet, stock and gelatin. I realise this isn't an option for everyone, but I think I would have found it hard to eat in Paris if I'd been really strict about those ingredients.
posted by embrangled at 2:26 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Au Sommet de L'Himalaya.
posted by fire&wings at 2:28 PM on November 9, 2010

I agree with the previous posters - don't worry so much about the hotel - get out and see the city.

Check out It Ain't Meat Babe - she's a mostly vegan vegetarian from Ottawa who posted her reviews of the various places she and her husband ate on their recent trip to Paris. Looked like a lot of fun vegetarian grub.
posted by machine at 2:34 PM on November 9, 2010

Contrary to what a few others have said, I found eating out tastily as a vegetarian in Paris mostly rather trying. Fast-food type stuff (kebab shops, noodle joints, and the like) isn't too hard-- l'As du Falafel is truly amazing (and definitely worth the hype over nearby clones)-- but anything a little nicer can be really difficult. The main thing I find is that it's expensive; for example, a full three-course omnivore meal will be, say, 20 Euro, or alternately you can get a bowl of spinach à la carte for 18 Euro (it is extremely rare to find somewhere that actually has a prix fixe vegetarian item, in my humble experience). The dedicated vegetarian restaurant I tried was (IMO) bland hippie-style fare. Paris is an amazing city, but I wouldn't consider eating a nice dinner out there as a vegetarian one of its joys.
posted by threeants at 2:43 PM on November 9, 2010

rennet, stock and gelatin.

Repeating for emphasis - almost every cheese in France has rennet from animal products. There is lots of gelatin from animal sources in lots of things. It depends how 'strict' you are as a vegetarian.
posted by Megami at 2:51 PM on November 9, 2010

There are a ton of good vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the 5th near rue Mouffetard/Place de la Contrescarpe:

1) Les 5 saveurs d'Anada (72 rue cardinal lemoine) 100% organic, vegetarian and vegan food.

2) Le Puits de Légumes (18 rue cardinal lemoine) also 100% organic / vegetarian / vegan

3) Mouff'tarte (53 rue Mouffetard) - most of their tartes are vegetarian.

If you take the 5 minute walk from pl. de la Contrescarpe to the end of rue Mouffetard, you'll find a moroccan restaurant with vegetarian tagine and couscous, a greek restaurant with vegetarian dishes (hummus/tzakiki/rice/etc), a burrito joint with vegetarian options (cactus burritos/beans/rice), crêperies, a natural foods store with vegan snacks/reheatable meals, a WannaJuice (smoothe shop with delicious vegetarian soups and sandwiches), and lots of other stuff.
posted by helios at 2:56 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oooh ooh! A hotel... uh. Yeah, no foie gras pillows here.

For a HOTEL, you may be interested in the SolarHotel, I cannot guarantee that they are up on vegetarian stuff, but they are solar powered and otherwise green. Nice neighborhood, too, safe and kinda local feeling without being isolated. Easy to do shopping on nearby rue Daguerre and at "normal" supermarkets.

But face it, the breakfasts here revolve around MEAT. You will also get a choice of croissant and pain au chocolat, there should be some kind of fresh generic fruit, and yogurt.

Another couple RESTAURANTS. For your fast and cheap, there is 1) a delicious falafel place in the Latin Quarter called Maoz at 8 rue Xavier Privas. Falafel is all over Paris, and the Latin Quarter is usually associated with expensive before delicious, but this is fast, fresh, cheap, and delicious.

2) Check out Tien Hiang at 92 rue Chemin Vert. It is a Vietnamese restaurant with lots of delicious vegetable, tofu, and "meat" dishes. All of their "meat" is different soy preparations, seasoned and cooked to match the way the dish is normally prepared. There is NO MEAT at the restaurant.

3) I LOVE Raclette, which primarily revolves around potatoes and CHEESE, as well as pickles and little sweet onions. And bread. Meat is optional. My favorite raclette restaurant is Le Chalet Savoyard, 58 rue de Charonne. The potatoes and cheese are all you can eat, so come hungry. The cheese gets set up on a heater in its giant wheel form; it is pretty cool to see how much cheese you have gone through in an evening. Beware this is usually a 2 or more person dinner!

Crepes are a good bet if you choose your fillings well, and your creperies. My favorite creperie is La Belle Ronde on rue Daguerre. They have fantastic veggie fillings (guac on avocado, cheese with nuts and spinach...).
posted by whatzit at 3:13 PM on November 9, 2010

the ^hotel^ breakfasts revolve around meat. Also, your hotel will probably charge 8EUR or more for a breakfast when you could get it for 3EUR outside. Just eat outside!

I guess others took your recommendations as being vegan friendly, but mine are mostly avoiding-meat-friendly. It comes down to balancing the experience of French food and how to avoid meat...
posted by whatzit at 3:18 PM on November 9, 2010

I have not personally been to Paris, but many of my friends have for school and one of the things they spoke of was going to farmer's markets as often as possible for fresh fruits, veggies, and breads since I am vegetarian and I am planning a trip to Europe asap. While that can get a little carb-heavy, you should also be able to find artisan cheeses and some smaller markets might sell certain packaged goods that could get you through the trip very happily.
posted by patronuscharms at 3:25 PM on November 9, 2010

Seconding HappyCow... Paris is tough for vegetarians but not impossible!
posted by themadjuggler at 3:25 PM on November 9, 2010

My husband is a borderline vegan, and our go to option when traveling almost anywhere is to look for an italian restaurant. Pasta with tomato sauce is always an option.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:26 PM on November 9, 2010

If you want an elegant, white-tablecloth restaurant that has a vegetarian 3-course menu (the menu au vert), you can't go wrong with Macéo. English is spoken. I'm not a vegetarian but I sometimes order their vegetarian menu because it's so good! It's not vegan, though. Their wine list is quite good.
posted by brianogilvie at 4:18 PM on November 9, 2010

Check out David Lebovitz's blog on living in Paris. Here is his post on vegetarian dining in Paris and vegetarian restaurants in Paris.

His website is full of recommendations and info on visiting Paris - you should be able to find some great tips.

Have fun!
posted by lvanshima at 4:24 PM on November 9, 2010

If you're an ethical vegetarian, keep in mind that the widespread veg options of omelettes and crepes will probably use eggs from caged, factory-farmed hens (probably more inhumane than many kinds of meat).
posted by dontjumplarry at 4:42 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you are not yet booked in at a hotel and you have some time before you leave (like the trip is next year), I would really recommend renting an apartment instead. Believe me, even if you cannot cook, just buying stuff in the markets on a daily/every-other-daily basis will be vastly superior to many of the vegetarian meals in Paris. There are lots of great AskMe's about them. You get to eat what you want when you want and you might end up saving money not only on restaurant meals but also on the accommodations.

The David Lebovitz links above are great for info.

La Briciola Pizza
is worth killing people for.

I love the crepes at Breizh Cafe
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 4:52 PM on November 9, 2010

I was just in Paris two months ago. I'm a fledgling vegan. I had only the slightest problem eating vegan in Paris. I spent more on my wine than I did on my food and the wine was quite cheap by US standards.

I did, however, succumb to some pesto which was not vegan (but oh so good). On the menu at the bistro down the street that dish has ham in it. I merely asked that they prepare it without any meat and they were more than happy to do so. Had I been asking for animal-product free dishes at this place that would have been a challenge. Vegetarian? No problem at all.

My hotel had the priciest meals and after the first morning I skipped right on our on that noise. Even a croissant at bistro just outside the Louvre isn't worth what they were charging for a sorry version.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:13 PM on November 9, 2010

If you're an ethical vegetarian, keep in mind that the widespread veg options of omelettes and crepes will probably use eggs from caged, factory-farmed hens (probably more inhumane than many kinds of meat).

Actually, that may or may not be true. France tends to export many of the eggs produced in caged environments.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 9:43 PM on November 9, 2010

Flaming Bore, did you check what the stock was made with?
posted by Megami at 11:25 PM on November 9, 2010

@megami... stock in a pesto pasta dish? That's a new one for me. I asked for an ingredient list. They provided. I asked that no ham be included.
posted by FlamingBore at 11:54 PM on November 9, 2010

Actually, that may or may not be true. France tends to export many of the eggs produced in caged environments

I agree with dontjumplarry on this; unless they advertise otherwise, assume that it's caged. In France, all individual eggs are labeled with a number: 0 is free-range organic, 1 is free-range, 2 is "not free range, but not in a cage", and 3 is caged. At most crêperies, the eggs are laid out behind the counter in plain view, and I've never seen anything other than 3 marked on the eggs.

Of course, you can always ask before ordering. Also note that if you buy eggs in a market, open the carton and check the numbers, because "3" eggs are often passed off as free-range to people who don't know the difference.

There is one crêperie that uses organic eggs that I know of, chez Armoric Saveurs.
posted by helios at 6:01 AM on November 10, 2010

nthing Falafel
posted by xammerboy at 12:39 PM on November 10, 2010

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