Archive for December, 2008

Vegan Lies in Paris

If you’re a vegan you might recognize this routine. You ask if something is vegan. You ask another guy at the store if it’s vegan. You go away and you come back another day and you double check. You maybe even get invited into the kitchen. You discuss eggs. You discuss milk. You bring up cheese, fish juice, the whole 9 yards. Finally you are convinced it is vegan. You relax and enjoy it.

Then about a year later – for some reason you don’t really understand  - you ask again. And they say… No! It’s totally full of eggs and sheep brains… who told you it wasn’t? Me??? No! My cousin!

Anyway, had a couple of disappointing revelations last week to share.

1- The bitterest of all. I scoured the Marais when I arrived here looking for the elusive chocolate filled vegan croissants promised by this joker here: guess what… I didn’t find them… or any chocolate filled vegan unicorns either. But I did find these almond croissants at the lovely Murciano Bakery on Rue des Rosiers, which were actually more like crescent-shaped marzipan pastry rather than the flaky “French Croissant.” Then last week, I just had to ask one more time in front of my out-of-town vegan friend and… guess what? Full of eggs. Barf me out …


2-Amorino. The widespread chain of Italian glaces artisanales. There’s one very close to my place,  and I have been guaranteed repeatedly that the sorbets I get there are just fruit, sugar, water. Ingredient lists were checked. What could possibly go wrong?

Then the other day, I don’t know why, I had to check again and right there with my kids already holding their cups she tells me “Why no… it has milk protein in it.” Don’t think switching to their chocolate soy ice-cream is going to save you because it is full of eggs.

I hope that I don’t need to update this post with more horrors… but I will if I have to, dear vegan readers!

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My sister introduced me to this very quick, easy and yummy hummus recipe. And it’s raw! 

I use the organic frozen peas from Picard or Naturalia. Peas are generally frozen shortly after picking (but some brands may be blanched prior to freezing.) Frozen products are still considered raw: although a small amount of enzymes are lost in the process, it’s much less than when compared to heating. Perl Amande‘s tahini is a great raw choice.


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove

If using frozen peas, thaw at room temperature. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl or plate. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with crudités and crackers. Flax crackers are my fave: recipe for them coming soon!

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La Victoire Suprême du Coeur has gone vegan!  This is a big deal for Paris… now we have two vegan restaurants!

You used to have to request vegan versions of their dishes, but they have recently had an image makeover, new decor and a whole new menu that they call vege chic.

The new menu is a bit more chic: they have added tofoie gras to their repertoire for example. I hear they force feed a soy bean for weeks to make that: I will be avoiding it…

I had Transcouscous Goa (Tandoori seitan, tofu and couscous) : it was nice, but less filling than the main courses form the previous menu. I was also impressed by their Ravioles de légumes verts: the ravioli pasta had a real home-made look and taste. 

I have also recently visited their Sunday brunch buffet. Since it was a buffet, I checked in with the waiter to see if everything was vegan. He said yes. I asked “Even that big plate of croissants?” He said “Ah, la seule exception!” [they are brought in from a bakery.] After further discussion I learned that the kitchen is now totally animal-product-free [except honey that's in one of the drinks on the menu.]

The buffet is about 20€, and had a tasty lasagne, plenty of salad and tapenades, soups, a mushroom loaf, a sliced raw vegetables dish, tofu, carrots, lentils etc. And a big table dedicated just to desserts. In fact, the buffet is probably 50% desserts: the chocolate tart is particularly worth trying.

 Dessert Buffet

La Victoire Suprême du Coeur

27-31, rue du Bourg-Tibourg 75004

Métro: Hôtel-de-Ville

01 40 41 95 03

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My Vegan Christmas in Paris

I always like to find out what other vegans make for their holiday meals so I can get inspiration. Donc, here’s what we had this joyous Noël:


  • Polenta crusted tempeh
  • Orange-ginger sauce
  • Olive-oil roasted potatoes
  • Emily’s Mâche Salad
  • Sauteed leeks with lemon 
  • Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic & Rosemary
  • Mushy Peas courtesy of my English mother-in-law
  • Fruit salad with lots of pomegranate
  • Crudités with creamy, nutty dips

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I was walking up Rue Debelleyme from Rose Bakery when I looked up and saw this big sign.


I thought to myself “What could this be? I need to find out right away!” My heart started beating faster like a true grocery store addict and I decided to go in and check it out.

Well, it turns out that bio-moi is a supermarché not unlike Naturalia but with some distinctive touches of character. Firstly, I was greeted very warmly and even offered a cup of rooibos tea, which I, of course, accepted. It is impeccably laid out and not cluttered up with crates everywhere. It was really well staffed, and the staff actually asked me if I needed any help, which is not something I’ve come across here in the capital before.

All the bio-marchés have a little something they carry that the others don’t…  what caught my eye here were the goji berry cereals and organic hearts of palm.

35 rue Debelleyme
75003 Paris
01 42 78 03 26
Métro: Filles du Calvaire

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Buckwheat Crêpes

Oh, it must be so easy to be a vegetarian, wandering around town eating eggy crêpes dripping with cheese or Nutella hot off the steamy grill whenever the fancy takes you.

Of course, a vegan can always make her own crêpes, but when you crave a bit more convenience I really recommend the ready-made organic Galettes de Sarrasin carried by Naturalia.

Don’t be fooled by the name: in Bretagne, buckwheat crêpes often go by the name of galettes. Also don’t be misled by the serving suggestions that talk about putting an egg in the pan: these galettes have just three ingredients — water, buckwheat flour and Guèrande salt.

I like to fill them with something sweet like maple syrup or vegan chocolate hazelnut spread, but they are also great with a savory filling.

Be warned, the buckwheat crêpes you sometimes find at the market usually have ‘just a little’ egg in them. Thankfully, these particular galettes prove that vegan crêpes are délicieuses.


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Vegan Soaps and Creams

When you eat vegan, you also start thinking about what you’re putting on the outside of your body. After all, your skin is your largest organ. So I am a bit particular about the soap I use.

I had heard a lot of good things about the company Lush. It’s absolutely great that they are vegan and environmentally minded, but there is something about the vivid, radioactive colors of their products that sets off my alarms.


It turns out that in addition to lots of synthetic coloring, they include many questionable ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, and parabens. Parabens in particular are something that I have concerns about due to the connections to cancer that a lot of researchers have found.

Here in Paris, I like to take a back-to-basics approach and go with Savon D’Alep. This is the original way soap was made, dating from Antiquity where it was created in Syria with olive oil and bay leaf oil. You’ll find this soap at any natural foods store in town.


It’s a very natural-feeling soap, but sometimes, when you want something that is more scented and fun I love Raw Gaia. Not only are they 100% Vegan and organic but their products are raw, which like with food means it’s not heated to more than 40ºC, and therefore maintains its antioxidant properties. They have really nice smelling creams too and everything they make is very pure and simple.


Raw Gaia is based in England, so now that the pound is slumping it’s the perfect time to exploit your powerful Euro by buying from their web site!

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Egg Nog sounds totally gross in English, but it is even worse in French “Lait de poule” [Chicken Milk.] But Père Noël has to have a drink to go with his cookies, so this is what we whip up chez moi.

So go and get your “noggin” ready [old English word for small cup] and create a batch of this creamy holiday beverage.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 tbls cashew butter 
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 tbls agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavor or fresh vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 frozen banana
Place all ingredients in a blender and process at high power until nice and smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg or cocoa powder.

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Here is a list of the main Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants that will be of interest to a Vegan in Paris.

Here in France the awning will say ‘vegetarian restaurant’ but they might serve fish because they are macrobiotic. I’m going to include those restaurants here, even though a fish is never going to be a vegetable. There are also many places that offer vegan food even though they are not vegetarian restaurants. They aren’t on this list, but you’ll find plenty about them elsewhere on this blog.

Restaurants come and go and their hours can be unreliable so I recommend calling first before you get your heart set on it.


[Updated: January 14, 2013]

Saveurs Végét’Halles

41, Rue des Bourdonnais, Paris 75001

Métro: Chatelet or Les Halles

01 40 41 93 95

This restaurant is so close to being vegan with only one non-vegan item on the menu: the lasagne. Situated in the former location of La Victoire Suprême du Coeur. Great crispy fried tofu. Plenty of vegan desserts. Review


32, rue Charlot 75003
01 42 77 51 05
Métro : Filles du Calvaire – ligne 8

Hot new basically-vegan, hip hop fast food place with menu designed by legendary chef Alain Senderens. Review

Le Potager du Marais

22, Rue Rambuteau, Paris 75003

Métro: Rambuteau

01 42 74 24 66

Organic, with all-day long service. Small, cozy and charming: my favorite ambience. Gets busy weekend evenings, so call for a reservation.

Le Végétarien

65, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, Paris 75003

Métro: Poissonnière

06 60 97 16 12

Simple, pleasant vegetarian place with several vegan options.

Le Grand Appétit

9, Rue la Cerisaie, Paris 75004

Métro: Bastille

01 40 27 04 95

All vegan restaurant. It’s very macrobiotic and hippy: get ready for a no frills experience (i.e. you’ll be setting your own table.) I love it, though, because it is vegan and they have a great grocery store next door.

Café Ginger

9 Rue Jacques Cœur, Paris 75004

01 42 72 43 83

Métro: Bastille

Vegan friendly international cafe


Les Cinq Saveurs d’Ananda

72, Rue Cardinal-Lemoine, Paris 75005

Métro: Place Monge

01 43 29 58 54

Great macrobiotic plates. Very friendly staff and in a charming part of the Latin Quarter. (Serves fish)


Le Puits de Légumes

21 Quai de la Tournelle, Paris 75005

Métro: Cardinal Lemoine

01 43 25 50 95

Macrobiotic place, with vegetarian on the sign and fish on the menu. Also organic.


Le Grenier de Notre-Dame

18, Rue de la Bûcherie, Paris 75005

Métro: Saint-Michel

01 43 29 98 29


Rue des Deux-Ponts, Paris 75004

Métro: Pont Marie

Welcoming, macrobiotic oriented, Paris institution. Review

Maoz Vegetarian

8, Rue Xavier Privas, Paris 75005

Métro: Saint Michel

01 43 26 36 00


36, Rue Saint-André des Arts, 75006

Métro: Saint Michel

Small falafel place. Close to vegan except for a few cheesy items and the mayonnaise in the coleslaw. No gross schwarmas here! Order at the counter, fight for one of the three tables or walk to the Seine with your sandwich.

Vegan Folie’s

53, Rue Mouffetard, Paris 75005

01 43 37 21 89

Vegan organic cupcakes, cheesecakes and more!

Guen Mai

6, Rue Cardinale, Paris 75006

Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés

01 43 26 03 24

That means brown rice in Japanese, you know. Macrobiotic. They have a counter service as well as seated dining. Tucked right behind St.-Germain-des-Prés and I love their sidewalk café tables.


7, rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, 75009

Métro: Notre-Dame-de-Lorette

01 53 16 10 81

World-class raw cuisine in the heart of Paris in a small and friendly location. I love this place with all my heart. Review

Sol Semilla

23, rue des Vinaigriers, Paris, 75010

Métro Jacques Bonsergent

Tél : 01 42 01 03 44


All vegan, organic, superfoods from South America. Highly recommended. Review

Bob’s Juice Bar

15, Rue Lucien Sampaix, Paris 75010

Métro: Jacques Bonsergent

09 50 06 36 18

A lovely juice bar that even does green juices. A vegan salad and soup everyday. The best juice bar in town. Review

Krishna Bhavan

24, Rue Cail, Paris 75010

Métro: Gare du Nord or La Chapelle

01 42 05 78 43

Sounthern Indian/Sri Lankan, very vegan friendly with great prices. Review

Tien Hiang

92, Rue du Chemin Vert, Paris 75011

Métro: Voltaire

01 43 55 83 88

Buddhist restaurant. Very vegan. Casual and chinese. Unfortunately, they use MSG, but you can ask them to hold it.

Loving Hut

92, Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75011

Métro: Saint-Sébastien - Froissart

01 48 06 43 84

Part of the international Vegetarian chain led by Master Ching Hai, this restaurant has an extensive vegan menu…including Vegan Croissants!

Gentle Gourmet

24 Boulevard de La Bastille (at Place de La Bastille)
01 45 00 46 55
Métro: Bastille

100% vegan combination of French and Mediterranean food. The dishes vary with the seasons and are full of organic ingredients.

Open from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and even ‘le goûter.’ They also have a deli where you can pick up food for a quick picnic. Review

Green Garden

20, Rue Nationale, Paris 75013

Métro: Porte d’Ivry

01 45 82 99 54

Another Buddhist Chinese restaurant with a big menu. It’s really good and right in Chinatown. Review


40, Rue Gergovie, 75014 Paris

Métro: Pernety

01 45 41 36 88

I have never been here, because I have read there’s basically nothing for vegans. Please add a comment if I am wrong.

My Kitch’n

96 bis, rue Lemercier, Paris 75017

Métro: Saint-Sébastien Froissard

Small vegan restaurant in the Batignoles covered market.

01 48 06 43 84

Joy in Food

2, Rue Truffaut, Paris 75017

Métro: Place Clichy

01 43 87 96 79

Lively hole in the wall. Open for lunch week days only. A vegan option available for each course.

Au Grain de Folie

24, Rue la Vieuville, Paris 75018

Métro: Abesses

01 42 58 15 57

A trippy little nook of a place with helpful service and standard macrobiotic fare. Review

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Noël en Bio

The Noël en Bio Christmas organic food expo is right around the corner (Fri, Sat and Sun, Dec 12,13,14) at Espace d’Animation Blancs Manteaux in the 4ème. It’s open to everyone and entry is free so you can pop in when you like. 

This event has a lot to offer for holiday-loving vegans, for example: stands selling seaweed, flower elixirs, spices, cosmetics, goji berries, real fresh vanilla beans, maca, aryurvedic tea, chutneys and much more to behold.

The highlight for me last year was discovering Les Produits de la Vie. It’s a fabulous all-vegan, all-organic stand from a German mail-order company that has divine cookies, breads and sunflower-seed-based creamy spreads, and who are lovely people who understand the power of free samples. Basically, I cannot wait to get there on Friday and stock up on holiday treats.

Noël en Bio

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