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Posts Tagged ‘Markets’

There are many things in Paris that are extremely good, tempting and expensive. Vegan food is no exception. It can be very hard to stick to a budget. Here are a few places I have found where you can enjoy the good life for less.

Restaurants: (see restaurant list for details)

One of the best deals in town is Maoz Vegetarian falafel shop. For 6€50 you get a falafel sandwich with a self-serve salad bar to fill your pita. Squeeze in as much as you can! You’ll also get a handsome portion of great crispy fries and a drink. They always seem laid back about going back for more salad, which must mean it’s okay otherwise you can bet you’d get a big “Il faut pas!!!!” You can also just get the sandwich and load it up for 3€90. I should add, that it’s also very good.

Falafel on rue des Rosiers is also value for money. There’s no do-it-yourself here but for 5€ (prices have recently gone up) you get a well stuffed and very satisfying falafel pita. To eat it inside, you’ll pay 1€50 more.

Green Garden Chinese restaurant has a set menu for 10€. It includes appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee or tea with soy milk. The à la carte menu has good prices too. It’s easy to over-order here but they happily pack up leftovers.

Krishna Bhavan Indian is also good value: 10€ will fill you up.

Saveurs Veget’Halles vegan and vegetarian restaurant has a lunch special:  12€90 for main course plus choice of either starter OR dessert. That’s a tough choice right there. But for a veg*n restaurant in Paris, it’s a great price. La Victoire, Le Potager and Le Grenier are not cheap, with la Victoire probably being the priciest with its 19€ small main courses.  That said, these restaurants are not that expensive by Paris standards, but they wouldn’t make my budget list.

If you do want the Vegan menu and atmosphere of La Victoire, you can try the Weekend ‘Brunch’ (starts at noon) buffet: for 19€90 it’s all you can eat (but no drink). Fill up, skip dinner and still in budget!

Generally speaking, satisfying vegetarian main dishes at Paris restaurants will usually cost between 10 and 15 euros. My dad has always said “the drinks is where they get ya,” and Paris is no exception. If you can resist drinks and desserts you can leave without breaking the bank. Really, drinks will generally cost at least 3€50 and often much more. Keep water in your bag or go for the tap-water carafe d’eau if you can handle it.

Cafés can be affordable if you find one that has a good salad, and they all have a complimentary bread basket. I’ve almost always found that the café waiters are very cool about veganizing the salads. Maybe it saves them money on the ham and eggs or something.

Groceries:

Naturalia organic food stores have a good range of lentil, quinoa, and veggie salads already prepared, which is convenient for a picnic or unexpected hungry moments. Naturalia has a lot of branches but is considered pricey. It’s worth seeking out the many organic food co-ops around town. Prices are a bit better, they have lots of bulk options, and more interesting variety. Monoprix has vegan options too that might be worth checking out. Ed Epicerie stocks mainstream basics at lower prices. As a veg student in the 90s this was my épicerie of choice. They’re all over, and recently made a big push to carry more organic goods.

Markets:

Raspail organic market on Sundays is the best but has a reputation of being the most expensive. There’s always something to discover at the other farmers markets and they are easier on the pocket book. Here’s a list of Paris’ many markets. 

Just as an example, Marché Bastille on Sunday, is fun and at the Bastille end there’s a Lebanese stand selling hot-off-the-grill, best-I’ve-ever-had Manakish for about 2€50. It’s not a meal but is filling, although you might end up eating two anyway!

Manakish

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I love the Marché Raspail

There are many excellent markets in the city, and it is often possible to find a stand specializing in organic produce, but the Raspail Organic market [Métro Rennes, Sunday, 9h to 15h] offers much more.

For starters it’s all organic, and even heavily biodynamic so there is a lot to choose from. But it is also a haven of vegan delights that are perfect for a day’s picnicking or for loading up the pantry at home. Here are a few of my favorite things at the market.

English Muffins: A small stand run by a French woman and American man offers this breakfast delight whole grain and dairy-free.

The vanilla and chocolate stand: lovely vanilla green tea, vanilla beans, other interesting vanilla derivatives and a variety of robust chocolates.

Mediterranean food: This always-busy stand offers a wide range of hot food like a great paella and always satisfying “galettes de pois chiche” [chick-pea pancakes] that they offer with a selection of sauces. I usually go for the tofu pistou.
Galette de Pois Chiche

Orange Juice: It’s not the cheapest in town but it’s very good and my kids love watching the amazing Willy Wonka-esque machine that makes it.

Seaweed guy: You can buy a wide range of sea vegetables and also he makes some nice spreads.

South American Superfoods stand: Maca, yacón, açerola, cacao nibs and other foods to boost your diet. For sure my favorite stand.

Herb stand: I track down hard-to-find herbs like loveage (livèche) and often enjoy a wheatgrass shot to get the energy to make my way through the hundreds of shoppers.

Jam: From the basics to the fancier fruits the jam man never disappoints and is not at all stingy with his free samples.

Nuts and dried fruit: A great stand which has a wide range of bulk goods.

Vegan pastry stand: I am in shock with delight to be able to eat pastry in Paris each time I stop by here. If you are at the market and see a blonde woman in shock… it’s probably me. Please say bonjour!

Biodynamic stand: My recommendation for the best stand to get your produce is the stand about half way down the market with the Demeter signs and the longest line! The line moves fast, the stall-holders are really nice and it’s worth the wait.

PROS: Everything is organic and it’s not far from the Luxembourg Gardens for a Sunday in the park.

CONS: My kids sometimes have to cover their faces to make it past the smell of the meat, fish and cheese stands. Don’t rule out encountering a pig head.

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