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I always like to post about Vegan travels and although this one is not close to Paris, I hope you’ll find it interesting anyway!

Ever since I heard there was a vegan restaurant in Ensenada, I’ve been itching to cross south into Mexico to check it out. It turns out there are several vegan destinations worth visiting in Tijuana and Ensenada, within a short drive of the border.

Tijuana

Rock & Donuts

First (attempted) stop was to head to Rock & Donuts, a vegan donut place in Pasaje Rodriguez, a little arcade off the main tourist street in Tijuana, Avenida Revolución. We got to the right spot – we thought – and people told us it might be open in the afternoon, but we never actually saw it open. But we did discover that also in the same Pasaje is a place called Happy Vegan. We weren’t that happy though, because that place was closed too. Still, it seems like if you get there at the right time, Pasaje Rodriguez is the vegan capital of Tijuana.

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Bona!

Just down the street is Bona! Boutique. It’s a cool boutique and café, with lots of local crafts and design goods. As well as carrying the vegan donuts from Rock & Donuts, they also usually have panqués veganos on the menu, described to us as ‘amazing cakes’. If you like your tea or coffee with a splash of milk, they have powdered soy milk for you.

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Veggie Smalls

Ten minutes drive south of downtown is the Food Garden – a lively and creative food court. The main attraction for vegans there is Veggie Smalls. It’s an all veggie food stand, and in fact if you ask them to hold the cheese, everything is vegan. The menu includes tacos, hot dogs, burgers, and very good French fries and onion rings. You have to try the cauliflower tacos – delicious! This is an excellent veg fast food place, with nice outdoor seating in a stylish, modern, comfortable setting. They also have a great range of local craft beers and the people there are very friendly.

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Ensenada

A beautiful drive down the coast from Tijuana is Ensenada, which has a few gems for vegans. We stayed at Las Rosas – 10 minutes north of town, with balconies overlooking the ocean – which is a hotel I would recommend.

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Quesadilla

Quesadilla is a 100% vegan (with honey) Mexican restaurant located toward the south end of downtown Ensenada, a couple of blocks in from the coast.

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The menu is broken down into three main sections: quesadillas (with almond cheese), huaraches and tacos. There’s a large variety to choose from and they offer daily specials such as chilli relleno.

Everything we tried was good and we also enjoyed breakfast there a couple of times, with smoothies, pancakes and Tofu a la Mexican.

The staff are friendly and can understand a bit of English. The only downside to this restaurant is that they close at 4pm on Friday and are closed all day Saturday.

We ate here a lot and would gladly have eaten here every day, because it’s great.

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Breakfast chilaquiles

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Tofu a la mexican

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Mushroom taco

Chilli Relleno

Chilli Relleno

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Tortilla Soup

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Papaya hidden at the bottom!

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Almond ‘coffee’

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La Milpa

A great spot to pick up vegan snacks and grocery staples, is La Milpa. It’s a classic little natural food store that carries products like seaweed, grains, crackers, fruit etc.

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Starbucks

On the main street through Ensenada is a large modern Starbucks Coffee. They have really fast wifi and they have soy milk. But there’s nothing vegan to eat here.

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Hogaza Hogaza

On the long tourist shopping street in the center of town you’ll find the artisan bakery Hogaza Hogaza, where they make some good bread, most of which is vegan. We tried a plain and a garlic-fennel ‘hogaza’ which we enjoyed on the outdoor seating. 

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Valle de Guadalupe

Since you can’t go to Quesadilla on Saturday, that’s a great day to hit Wine Country. Ensenada’s Ruta del Vino is the home to dozens of little wineries, speckled across the picturesque and pleasantly empty valley. No wonder it is sometimes known as ‘where Baja meets the Mediterranean coast.’

We ate lunch at the Terrasse de San Roman restaurant at the AlXimia vineyard. The waiter was super accommodating to tweaking the menu for us and we got a nice selection of salads and a veggie-packed pizza. AlXImia’s modernist architecture and the valley surrounding it make the Terrasse a wonderful place to be.

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Eggplant Salad

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Cactus salad

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Grilled peach salad with nuts

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Pizza

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Sticking with the modernist theme, we hit the Origen restaurant at the Encuentro hotel and Vineyard for some snacks and drinks. We enjoyed a delicious guacamole with pistachio nuts in it, along with herb tea and local beer and watched their helicopter put on a little show for us. The view from the balcony was beautiful and serene.

I am looking forward to staying here on my next trip to La Valle (without kids, though, because they aren’t allowed at the hotel due to the rugged terrain.)

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Fruit Stands

 As you drive around Baja, you’ll see plenty of small fruits stands offering fresh coconut to drink, fruit cups of mango and jicama and other fruity treats. I loved just pulling over, watching the guy prepare the fruit with his machete and then enjoying the delights. I also really liked the combination of pineapples drizzled with freshly squeezed lime juice and dusted in chill powder – so simple, but so delicious.

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With a bit of planning, Tijuana/Ensenada make a great getaway destination. The food is good, the people are friendly and the scenery is beautiful. It’s a great time to get back to Baja!

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Vegan restaurants in Paris cover a wide range of styles of food, but one that is hard to find is real, traditional French cuisine. But the one place that does it really well is Le Potager du Marais, which is one of my favorite places in the city.

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When you enter, you immediately feel welcomed by the super positive staff, who speak great English, by the way, and who love to explain their delicious food. The restaurant is lively but cozy, with lots of nice touches like the little pottery wine carafes.

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The menu is full of French classics like onion soup, (seitan) Bourgignon, Crème Brulée, Moelleux au Chocolat, Tarte Tatin and many more. The food looks great and tastes delicious and prices are in line with what you would pay at any other Paris vegan restaurant. And they have upgraded from their original vegetarian menu and now everything is 100% vegan

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Just a block away from the Centre Pompidou, le Potager gets busy, so I would recommend making a reservation if you can. Also they are closed on Monday and Tuesday. But on any other day of the week, if you want some of the best food in town and especially if you want something “authentique” then Le Potager is the place to go.

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24 rue Rambuteau, Paris,75003

Métro Rambuteau

01 57 40 98 57

http://www.lepotagerdumarais.fr

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MOB at Les Docks

MOB is one of Paris’s 100% vegan Oases, with two locations – one in the Marais and one in Les Docks: Cité de la Mode et du Design, the bright-green riverside place-to-be for design enthusiasts, night clubbers, and lovers of vegan fast food.IMG_9215

MOB is right in the middle of the “Cité” with some deck seating with a view of the Seine, as well as plenty of tables inside if you want to check out the cool decor and music. They also have a small kids’ play area.

MOB’s menu is simple and limited, specializing in burgers and Pissaladières. Some of the items on the menu are very good, such as the grilled artichoke hearts and the cookies. Some are awful, like the corn on the cob. The burgers are mushy and fall apart, but they taste good and the bun and toppings are nice. They also offer smoothies, juices. Too bad that they serve all the food in disposable packaging, even for eating in. It does sort of make you feel like you are at a baseball game in the U.S.A. but it sure creates a lot of waste.

The staff are friendly and relaxed, even when it gets busy with long lines. Overall, it’s a cool, great place to be, even if it may be less gourmet than its parent location in Brooklyn.

This location is not far from the Jardin des Plantes and Gare D’Austerlitz and the branch in the Marais offers the same menu.

34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013
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I had a great lunch at 42 Degrés, an all vegan/raw/organic restaurant not far from Gare du Nord Station. 

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It’s a small, modern place with an elegant raw kitchen and a welcoming atmosphere. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and skilled English speakers. The first thing they did was ask if we understood the concept and were ready to explain it all. 

It was quite busy when we got there but we were able to get a table and leaf through the appetizing menu, which is small but they have specials and I wanted to get everything!

In the end, we went for: 

  • the special of the day which was a Mexican layered salad with tomatoes, guacamole, delicious nut cheese and fresh corn, topped with greens
  • caesar salad with spiced cauliflower and raw ‘crumezzan’ sprinkles
  • cheese and wine plate which was rich with subtle flavors and great texture
  • a refreshing glass of home-made kombucha

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As well as being delicious, the food was very satisfying leaving no room for dessert, much to my chagrin as I had been eyeing the banoffee pie.

Their lunch combos are 14 -18€ and individual dishes are around 14€, which is similar to what you pay at most of the non-casual vegan places in town.

All in all, it was a great experience and it’s walking distance from the Eurostar if you’re coming over from London!

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109 rue du faubourg poissonnière, 75009

Métro: Poissonnière

09 73 65 77 88

http://www.42degres.com/

Tuesday – Saturday 12h – 22h30

 

 

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I’ll be back in town soon and there are some interesting 100% vegan places I can’t wait to check out:

42 Degrés

All-raw restaurant a bit south of Gare du Nord. I’ll have to see how it compares to Paris’ first raw restaurant: Pousse Pousse 

http://www.42degres.com

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Le Centre Tout Naturellement

Restaurant is part of a natural health center. Vegan, organic menu looks simple: veg, grain, protein. Near Gare du Nord, 2 minute walk from 42 Degrés. I’ll pop in and check it out.

http://www.lecentrenaturo.com

 

Hank Restaurant Bio

All vegan and organic Hamburger ‘joint’. Menu has burgers, fries, and desserts. In the Marais, not far from Centre Pompidou

http://www.hanksburgers.com

 

Café Ginger

Cute place serving simple food: salad, soup, tarts. Uses organic. Near Bastille.

http://www.cafe-ginger.fr/

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My Kitch’n

Looks like some yummy organic sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. Raw food too!  In the middle of Batignolles covered market. 10 minute walk from Sacré Coeur.

http://www.mykitchn.fr/www.mykitchn.fr/Welcome.html

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Some other vegan places I’ll be sure to frequent:

  • Gentle Gourmet – looking forward to their croissants!
  • MOB –  Love this place
  • Le Potager du Marais – One of my faves
  • Sol Semilla – Superfood heaven!
  • Vegan Folies – vegan cupcakes! For my kids! And maybe one for me. Or a couple. Or more.

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Paris Vegan Day 2013

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October 12, 2013 will see a truly amazing event take place: Paris Vegan Day!

Starting from 10h and running through 19h under the motto of “Cook for Life!” there will be an amazing array of events composing what they are calling the world’s biggest day of organic cuisine.

Attendees will be able to take cooking classes, hear from a global collection of star chefs, visit booths and enjoy photography, film and dance.

It sounds like it is going to be a wonderful celebration of vegan culture and absolutely not to be missed.

Tickets are 10€/8€ and can be purchased here http://www.parisveganday.fr/products-page/tickets/

 

Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design 

Métro : Gare d’Austerlitz, Quai de la Gare, Gare de Lyon, RER : C, Gare d’austerlitz, Bus : 24, 57, 61, 63, 89, 91

 

(Thanks to Gentle Gourmet for passing on the info about this event)

 

 

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M.O.B.

M.O.B. is a typical vegetarian/vegan fast-food, hip-hop spot with a menu developed by a Michelin 3-star chef in the north Marais.

The restaurant was created by Cyril Aouizerate, who also started the Mama Shelter hotel by Père Lachaise. He was inspired to create a restaurant that reflected the philosophies of the pro-veg medieval scholar Maimonides and the global creative culture of hip hop. So if you are unwilling to listen to hip hop music, then maybe just get take out.

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The food is really affordable because they want everyone to be able to enjoy it…not just rich people. The centerpiece is the M.O.B. – a pizza-like dish that comes in the shape of the arches of the Brooklyn Bridge (the restaurant name stands for Maimonide of Brooklyn.) They are topped with seasonal organic vegetables and sometimes fruit. They also have gluten free versions.

(photo by Rachel Barrett / tabletmag.com)

(photo by Rachel Barrett / tabletmag.com)

The menu also features burgers, some nice salads, donuts, and the scarily authentic looking ‘saucissson.’ But not to worry, everything is vegetarian and in fact honey is the only ingredient to look out for.

I’m looking forward to my upcoming trip to NYC to check out the original restaurant in Brooklyn and I like this quote from the chef, Alain Senderens: “I strongly believe that in ten years nobody will be eating meat. This will be the way we eat, entirely vegetarian or vegan, and science and medicine will thoroughly support that. I have always lived in the future, that is a philosophy of mine, and this way of eating is the future. I’m committed to that belief.”

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

http://www.mob-usa.com/fr

Tuesday to Friday, 11h – 15h and 18h – 21h

Saturday 11h-18h

 

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