Vegetable fare is gaining traction, and not just amongst flexitarians. Eating vegetarian is no longer unusual and gourmet restaurants with "0 meat" have multiplied around Paris. Those who once thought that banning chicken and beef from their diet would mean eating bland or tasteless food needn't be disillusioned any longer, at least not in this French city.
Here are addresses of some of the best vegetarian restaurants that prove that even though Paris is not Berlin, seen as the capital of vegetarianism, when it comes to vegetarian food, the French capital is up to the challenge of dispelling any myths, so much so that from 2 to 3 April 2 Paris will also host the next Veggie World.
7 Best Vegetarian Restaurants, Paris
1. Le Potager du Marais
Le Potager du Marais is more than a vegetarian restaurant: it's also a vegan address. Located just steps away from Beaubourg, you can enjoy vegetarian pasta, browned crispy cheese (vegan!) bake, nut roast or a seaweed tartare, the food of the future par excellence. If you plan to go, remember to book ahead: the place is small and fills quickly.
Where? Le Potager du Marais, 24 rue Rambuteau, 3 arrondissementFacebook
Soya is on of Paris's veggie institutions. Rooted in the 11th district of the city for almost 10 years, the restaurant is always full, and with good reason: the menu is as impressive as it is tasty. Mezze of the day, couscous with seasonal vegetables, spices, roasted seeds and tofu steak, lasagna with vegetables ... you'll struggle to choose from the house specialities. A special mention must be given to the 100% organic and vegetarian brunch, including freshly squeezed juices, and a buffet with tabbouleh, hummus, salads, beetroot cream, lasagna and other assorted cupcakes. Again, it's advisable to book.
Where? Soya, 20 Rue de la Pierre Levée, 11e arrondissementWeb
3. CAFÉ PINSON
Café Pinson serves "high vitality," organic, gluten-free, lactose-free and meat free food. If that sounds like too much of 'free' to you, rest assured. Despite the obvious restrictions, the address serves refined and tasty gourmet dishes. The mini cakes with dried olives and tomatoes are irresistable served with fennel salad and kale, lemon sauce, or superb crispy quinoa, zucchini and roasted cauliflower, radicchio, vegan mayonnaise sauce and mesclun salad. If you still have room, you will certainly succumb to the delights of one of the homemade desserts, like lemon cake or the trio of madeleines.
Where? Café Pinson, 6 rue du forez, 3e arrondissement; 58 rue du faubourg poissonnière, 10e arrondissement; 66 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 8e arrondissementWeb
4. Bob's Kitchen
The big brother of Bob's Juice Bar, Bob's Kitchen is a canteen where everything is organic, good, beautiful and ... vegetarian! On the menu you'll find favourites like "Veggie Stew" – a large bowl of rice complemented with tasty roasted vegetables – futomaki, soups and bagels that are a real alternative to the traditional ham and butter baguettes eaten in a lunchtime rush. For the sweet toothed, Bob's Kitchen offers cookies, muffins, and vegand and gluten-free crumble.
Where? Bob's Kitchen, 74 rue des Gravilliers, 3e arrondissementWeb
5. East Side Burger
East Side Burger opened in 2013, riding the crest of the wave of the burger and vegetarian trend, and offering the alternative "East Side" burgers (double cheddar, vegan bacon, ketchup/mustard and red onions), "Basque" (lettuce, cheddar, tomato, caramelized red peppers) or "cheese" (cheddar, cream cheese, dried tomatoes and pickles). They also serve vegetarian nuggets, hot dogs and vegan tarts.
Where? East Side Burger, 60 boulevard Voltaire, 11e arrondissement Web
Opened in September 2016, IMA is a specialist restaurant serving vegetarian Israeli cuisine in the Canal Saint-Martin quarter, just waiting to be discovered.
Where? IMA, 39 quai de Valmy, 10e arrondissement de Paris.Web
7. Le Bichat
Another one to try is The Bichat, a good vegetarian gourmet restaurant and place to enjoy vegetarian food for around 10 euros in Paris.
Where? Le Bichat, 11 rue Bichat, 10e arrondissement. Web
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.