Only say the word, “Paris” to lovers of fine food, and eyes will roll back, mouths will salivate and bellies will rumble approvingly. Long the undisputed keystone of excellent food the world-over, Parisian dining has also always been synonymous with meat-centered dishes and sauces. Well, animal-loving foodies need fret no more, because times, it seems, are changing. If you’re a vegetarian who loves travel and food and has a hankering to spend some time in the romance capital of the world, book a flight and search for Paris hotels, because a number of excellent restaurants are serving Paris-quality meals, and not a single animal was injured in the making of them.
It’s not only chocolate festival in Paris that is becoming more and more famous. Nowadays the vegetarianism, veganism and raw food diet are also expanding.
In my opinion, the best vegetarian restaurant in Paris are:
*photo credit - Macéo restaurant
When it comes to contemporary French cuisine, it’s difficult to do better than L’Arpège. A Michelin-starred (it has three) haute cuisine gem, L’Arpège is loved as much for its vegetarian offerings as it is for its seafood. A lifelong lover of food who first learned to cook from his grandmother, chef and owner Alain Passard grows his own vegetables and transforms them into simple and transporting meals. Ravioli, gratin, consommé, tarts, soufflé — there is something for even the pickiest vegetarian tongue to savor. True to the demands of haute cuisine, the presentation of every dish is spectacular, and while it will set you back a pretty euro or two, L’Arpège is well worth the cost as the overall experience is unparalleled.
*photo credit - L’Arpège Facebook
Arguably the best creperie in Paris, Briezh Café’s crepes and galettes (thicker, buckwheat versions of crepes) are flavorful, delicate and never dull. Using only organic produce, the fillings can be surprising, brave, rustic and decadent, regardless of whether you’re ordering according to the demands of a savory-seeking palette, sweet-seeking or both. Much of the menu is vegetarian, and the kitchen will willingly make vegetarian versions of whatever is not. The ingredients are fresh and seasonal, and they also have an amazing selection of cider, which they serve in the traditional fashion — in bowls. Briezh is very popular with locals and with tourists, so if you haven’t thought ahead to make a reservation, hitting it at an irregular time like late afternoon may be your best option.
Liza Asseily’s Lebanese restaurant adds a marked Parisian allure to traditional Lebanese fare—both in the quality and presentation of the food and the restaurant’s atmosphere. With many vegetarian options on the menu, classics like mezze, tabbouleh, moussake and moutabal are perfectly expressed, and any lesser-known dishes are certainly worth a try as Liza’s kitchen is faithful to the demands of Lebanese culture and excellent cuisine. Brunch is a particularly bright spot as the bulk of its menu is vegetarian as well.
A coffee shop of the highest order, Café Pinson is a strictly vegetarian joint that doesn’t make a fuss about its vegetarian (as well as vegan and gluten-free) leanings, because it wants to be known simply as a place where people can expect to enjoy fresh, whole and natural food. Because of this, the owners of Café Pinson make sourcing choices based on a food’s “vitality.” The sweeteners they keep on hand for espresso drinks are raw sugar and agave syrup. Juices are pressed when ordered, and the fruits and vegetables offered change daily. Everything — even the vegan butter — is made in-house from whole, fresh ingredients. Their pastries are excellent, and many of them are vegan as well. For a lighter meal or snack, Café Pinson is a great choice for vegetarians.
*photo credit - Café Pinson facebook
Located near the Palais Royale in the heart of Paris, vegetarian cuisine is the centerpiece of Macéo’s menu. From lunch and dinner offerings to a host of a la carte options, vegetarians are guaranteed not just great-tasting food, but beautifully presented food as well. Meat and seafood are still available (it is a French restaurant after all), and they’re excellently prepared, but owner Mark Williamson’s vision for all of Macéo’s dishes is to allow vegetables to be the center of the diner’s culinary experience. The fusion-style menu is seasonal, and for the winophile, Macéo’s wine cellar has over 10,000 bottles of wine, including bottles from the owner’s own vineyards.
There has never been a better time to be a vegetarian in Paris. From the heights of haute cuisine to the commonplace wonder of an excellent crepe, the City of Food and Love’s heart has opened to the animal lover’s stomach.
*photo credit - Macéo restaurant
If you are visiting the romantic capital of France for a few days, besides not missing the best vegetarian restaurants in Paris, check out also free things to do in Paris if you are on a strict budget.
About the Author: Courtney David is a contributing writer who has been a vegetarian for over 15 years. He travels extensively in Europe and across North America.