The Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to Paris

a stack of pancakes, topped with fruit, sit on a wooden table, cupcake with Oreo on top in background

When you think of Parisian food, frogs legs and snails are probably the first things that spring to your mind. But never fear, my fellow veggie travellers, for the city does have some gems when it comes to vegetarian and vegan eating as well. I won't lie, sometimes it was a bit tricky to locate suitable food during my recent holiday in France and a lot of wandering up and down the streets, perusing multiple restaurant menus was involved, but I was lucky enough to discover some fantastic places that were really worth recommending. Lots of you really seemed to enjoy my veggie guide to Amsterdam and that's why today's post is the Paris instalment. So, if you're hitting up the French capital in the near future, where should you be eating?

Hank Burger: 55 Rue des Archives

We're starting off our Parisian food tour on a very good note. When I sent out a tweet prior to my trip, asking for veggie and vegan eatery recommendations in the city, Marais was an area suggested by the fantastic foodie blogger Bejal. Marais is one of the trendiest parts of town and it has a fantastic vibe, with Pride flags everywhere and cafés and restaurants packed with happy, jovial locals. Within Marais, there were quite a few veggie places to choose from, but after seeing how much my good friend Ellis enjoyed Hank Burger, located in the heart of Marais, on her trip to Paris, I just had to pay a visit. And (spoiler alert) I definitely wasn't disappointed.

exterior of hank burger restaurant in Paris

The Hank Burger restaurant, like the surrounding area, had a trendy feel but was still really welcoming, with very friendly English speaking staff. They also had a menu in English which was really handy for my awful monoglottal self. Once inside, my boyfriend and I both opted for Hank Burger's Le Petit Menu deal, which included a burger, side, and drink. We both went for a L'Allumé burger, potato wedges, and a soda. The burger was absolutely delicious, with smoked BBQ sauce and sweet red and yellow peppers. I must admit that I don't think the burger had an intensely BBQ flavour, it was more of a mixture of sweet and savoury tastes, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. The salad inside was fresh and crunchy and the patty was of a good size and definitely hit the spot without weighing you down. I tried Goji Berry soda for the first time at Hank and I would also really recommend this, it was very refreshing. Our meal was served incredibly quickly - McDonalds speed with even better taste. And it was vegan too - what's not to love?!

Abbey, a smiling brunette, holds up a vegan burger in the Hank restaurant
Price: €13 Le Petit Menu
Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Cloud Cakes: 6 Rue Mandar

Next up, another recommendation from my friend Ellis. She and her husband James raved about Cloud Cakes and their vegan sweet treats, so on our last day in Paris, we hit up the café to see what all the fuss was about. We were lucky to grab a table inside the tiny café as they were not short of patrons. One look at the cakes will tell you why - they certainly are Instagram friendly! We ordered a selection of breakfast items and cakes between the pair of us, and it does look like quite a spread in our photos (our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs). However, we did eat every single thing, so no worries about wastage there! However, I wasn't quite as in love with the Cloud Cakes experience as I'd like to have been, and here's why.

three plates of cake, one chocolate, one pear, one Oreo muffin, viewed from above

To start things on a positive note, there was plenty to love about the place. The decor was adorable, the sofas very comfy to relax in, and the staff were pleasant. In terms of food, I really enjoyed their pancakes - how they managed to get such a light and fluffy consistency into their vegan pancakes, I do not know! The sponge part of their cakes were, for the most part, quite nice, if a little dry. But to be perfectly honest, I think I've baked vegan sponge at home to a better standard. The element that I really didn't enjoy was their Chantilly-style cream "icing". This was heaped onto my order of pancakes and on the top of the Oreo cupcake that I ordered. I don't know what it was made from but it tasted really artificial and off-putting. There are so many tasty vegan cream products out there now that this was a real let-down. Oatly's creme fraiche would've been a far better alternative. The service was also rather slow, with the pancakes taking a long while to get to the table. Sadly, I don't think I'd rush back to Cloud Cakes on my next trip to Paris.

exterior of cloud cakes cafe in Paris, with blue signage
Price: €7.50 Pancakes | €4.50 Cake slice  | €3.40 Cupcake
Overall Rating: ★★

We have TripAdvisor to thank for pointing out this little gem. Guenmaï is a tiny vegetarian café attached to a health food shop in Paris's 7th arrondissement. The place feels very authentically French, with green trellises inside and out as the main decorative feature, and a huge basin in the centre of the seating area, filled with real roses! The other diners in the venue were French, which gave the impression of a place popular with locals and not just a tourist trap. The vegetarian menu was extensive and I was pleased to see that seitan (one of my new faves after trying it at Wagamamas) featured. The restaurant is entirely vegan aside from the daily fish option. I was quite surprised to learn that they serve fish on an otherwise totally vegan menu but when I learned that the French don't really consider fish to be meat and that many French vegetarians still eat it, this put made a little more sense!

interior of guenmaï cafe, Paris, with large basin of water filled with roses
exterior of guenmaï restaurant, with customers seated at window

From the menu, I selected a vegetable tart, which was packed with pumpkin, courgette, and onion. This was incredibly tasty and although this was supposedly a starter sized portion, it was very generous. I was very impressed with the quality of the pastry, as a vegan pastry can be tricky to get right. My tart was served with a small side salad, seasoned with parsley, which made for the perfect accompaniment. We found out after our visit that Guenmaï is in fact the oldest organic restaurant in Paris, and with the quality of the food, you can easily see why it has endured for so long! Everything was low-fat and healthy as well as being delicious. A great lunch stop if you want a break from gorging yourself on baguettes and camembert! This place wasn't as good value as you may find elsewhere, but I would recommend it nonetheless.

vegetable tart, orange and green in colour, seasoned with parsley
Price: €6.50 Vegetable tart 
Overall Rating: ★★

Crêperie Beaubourg, 2 Rue Brisemiche

Another blogger recommendation, this time from the lovely Seetal, brought us to Crêperie Beaubourg. Because of course, you can't come to France without indulging in a crepe! This pancake house specialises in savoury buckwheat crepes as well as your usual sweet varieties, and I was very eager to try them out. I opted for a Tiki crepe, which contained spiced tofu, salad, fried onions, and peppers. The tofu was a great texture (not too soggy) and was well seasoned. The portion was also very large - I thought I'd have to be rolled away from the restaurant! However, I can't say that the crepe itself had much to it, in terms of taste or texture. I don't think it added much to the plate, as I'd have been just as happy to eat the tofu and salad alone. My boyfriend ordered a meal that ended up comprising a plain crepe, a slither of cheese, a fried egg and a distinctly average quality burger placed on top, which at 14, we both found to be overpriced. On the basis of my veggie meal, I'd probably eat at Crêperie Beaubourg again as the tofu was so good, but I'm not sure my boyfriend would say the same!

crêpe with salad leaves on top, some onions and peppers visible within
Price: €12 Tiki crêpe
Overall rating: ★★

Falafel du Liban, 35 Rue Rambuteau

This post started on a high with Hank Burger and it's definitely finishing on a good note too with Falafel du Liban. This was a completely accidental discovery - my boyfriend and I were wandering along the street looking for a suitable dinner venue and this place jumped out at us - in no small part due to the numerous veggie options advertised outside. This venue specialises in amazing Lebanese food, served up either as a takeaway or on one of the tiny tables perched on the pavement outside. Located just around the corner from the Centre Pompidou art gallery, this place provides the perfect lunchtime pit stop if you're tired out from a morning of museum hopping. It's also conveniently close to the Hôtel de Ville metro stop, in case you're travelling in from a different part of the city.

two plates of Lebanese food, with salads, houmous, cous cous and vegetable pie

My vegetarian plate at Falafel du Liban consisted of houmous, moutabal (a Lebanese houmous equivalent better known as bobaganoush, made with aubergine), taboule (salad made with tomatoes and mint), falafel, a vegetarian pie known as sambousek, and lots more! It also came with a pitta bread, shared between me and my boyfriend. He went for a meaty alternative to my veggie plate and was surprised by how much he enjoyed it! All of the flavours on the plate were delicate and aromatic, working together incredibly well. Everything was seasoned well without being overpowering. Portion sizes were extremely generous and I was completed stuffed afterwards. The houmous was a definite highlight for me, it was clearly homemade, giving it a slightly rough but tasty texture with a satisfying lemon and oil accompaniment - delish!

exterior of falafel du liban restaurant in paris
Price: €12 Végétarien plate
Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Have you ever been to France? What do you think are the best things to do in Paris? Any further veggie / vegan food suggestions that you have would be most welcome - please leave them in the comments!

Until next time,

A x