The Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Paris

| Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo
Emily Monaco

France is not famous for its vegetarian cuisine. Whether it’s steak-frites or beef bourguignon, many of the country’s most famous recipes are heavy on the meat (and often light on the vegetables). But with plant-based dining taking hold around the world, the French capital has finally welcomed vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurants worth writing home about.

Loved by over 40s

Just a few years ago, a request for vegetarian options at any Parisian restaurant would have left many waiters stumped – and offering an assortment of questionable choices ranging from the not-vegetarian (chicken or fish) to the not-delicious (green salad with watery winter tomatoes and little else).

Luckily, this is no longer the case. Amanda Bankert, founder of Boneshaker Doughnuts in Paris’s 2nd arrondissement, notes that while “traditionally, French cuisine was 100 percent meat and dairy-based,” today, “attitudes are changing.”

Fred Pouillot, the vegetarian founder of Le Foodist cooking school in Paris’s 5th arrondissement, explains that French cuisine, by design, is characterised by “a reliance on techniques to cook each and every ingredient separately,” as well as “a repertoire steeped in regional tradition”, and, “a centuries-old taste for innovation.” As a result, Pouillot notes, French cuisine can be a “solid basis” for vegetarian cooking – though reliance on dairy makes fully plant-based recipes difficult to envision.

In his vegetarian cooking classes, Pouillot creates both traditional French recipes that are naturally vegetarian, such as leeks with gribiche sauce or ratatouille, as well as traditional recipes reimagined through a vegetarian lens.

“For example, you do not need a beef stock to make a very good French onion soup,” he says. “So we take the opportunity to show people how to make a delicious and deep mushroom stock.”

Attitudes towards plant-based menus are changing in Paris

Both approaches feature on Paris’s plant-based dining scene, which nevertheless remains in its fledgling stages when compared to other preeminent food cities around the world. Bankert calls the scene “limited but enthusiastic,” but nevertheless growing, pointing to prominent French chefs like Alain Ducassse who have already begun focusing more and more on vegetables in their menus.

Robert Mendoza, chef of Le Saint Sébastien in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, is one of several chefs in the city naturally gravitating towards a more plant-heavy menu, a choice he says stems in large part from the wealth of fantastic produce around Paris.

Prominent French chefs are focussing more and more on vegetables in their menus

“What makes plant-forward cooking exciting is working directly with a variety of farmers and foragers around Paris,” he says. “I don’t think I consciously make it a priority working with the plant kingdom, it’s just how I like to eat and what comes more naturally.”

With restaurants ranging from fully vegan to merely plant-forward, Paris’s plant-based cooking scene is perfectly poised to grow in the coming years. Here, Paris-based writer Emily Monaco shares the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Paris.

Abattoir Végétal

Restaurant, Vegan

Exterior of Abbatoir Végétal
Courtesy of Abattoir Végétal

This vegan restaurant’s name translates to ‘vegetable slaughterhouse’. With a menu featuring exclusively organic vegan ingredients, it takes its inspiration not from French cuisine, but from international influences: West African mafé (peanut stew), Thai kao pad (fried rice) and American burgers may all appear in this Montmartre dining room. A special €17 (£14) lunch deal is a steal, including a soup of the day, vegan plate and dessert.

Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée

Restaurant, French

Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee
© Directphoto Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

In 2014, Alain Ducasse overhauled the menu at this luxury hotel to focus on sustainability, with a plant-heavy menu that also includes plenty of pescatarian options. All of the produce on the menu comes from the gardens at the Château de Versailles, and is highlighted in dishes such as spelt with sea vegetables and salsify or truffled pasta with nutritional yeast. Be sure to note your specific needs when making a reservation for the best chance at more choice, especially if you do not eat fish.

Arpège

Restaurant, French

Restaurant LArpege in Paris
© Maurice Rougemont / Alamy Stock Photo
Vegetables have been the centrepiece of Alain Passard’s Michelin-star menu since 2001. Today, the chef takes full advantage of the richness of the soil in western France with vegetable gardens that provide the bounty featured on his menus. A vegetable tasting menu for €420 (£353) offers a wide variety of flavours and textures with haute cuisine appeal. The prix fixe finishes with Passard’s landmark “bouquet de roses” apple tart, which is crafted in the form of a rose.

Wild And The Moon

Restaurant, Vegan, Gluten-free

Acai bowl with berries
Elena Shashkina / Alamy Stock Photo

The organic, plant-based menu at Wild and the Moon has captivated many a plant-lover, including Chef Mendoza of Le Saint Sébastien, who names it as his favourite inexpensive plant-based restaurant in Paris. The fully vegan menu features açai smoothie bowls, bo bun-inspired konjac noodle bowls and lentil bowls, which join a daily hot plate (often a curry), soups, and snacks such as guacamole, avocado toast and vegan, gluten-free muffins. With several locations throughout the city, this spot is as popular for lunch as it is for a coffee (or a cold-pressed juice) and a snack.

VG Pâtisserie

Patisserie, Pastries, Vegan, Dessert

C5842CA2-F38D-4C14-A89F-7E028089BE84
Courtesy of VG Pâtisserie

Paris is famous for its pastry, and while most French pastries are butter-based, vegans visiting France’s capital need not despair. Boneshaker Doughnuts’s Bankert says that this spot in the 11th arrondissement makes “consistently delicious vegan versions of traditional French pastries”. Vegan croissants, macarons and flan are all on offer, and with gluten-free versions of some pastries, too, it’s a must-visit address for anyone in Paris with dietary restrictions.

Le Potager du Marais

Restaurant, Vegan

Ratatouille - traditional French Provencal vegetable dish cooked in oven. Diet vegetarian vegan food - Ratatouille casserole.
Oksana Bratanova / Alamy Stock Photo

While vegan offerings in Paris skew towards the health food that defined plant-based dining in other cities a decade ago, Le Potager du Marais seeks to take advantage of its location in France’s capital to adapt traditional French food for vegan diners. Dishes may include seitan (wheat gluten) bourguignon in a red wine sauce, mushroom terrine, or tofu blanquette in a rich, white gravy. Desserts continue in the same vein, with vegan chocolate mousse, crème brûlée and tarte tatin.

Judy

Restaurant, Vegan, Vegetarian

AD6C9B28-86AB-4151-9BEC-5E03B47AFC08
Courtesy of Judy

Judy pegs itself as neither vegetarian, nor flexitarian, but rather “qualitarian”. This health-conscious, gluten-free restaurant regularly changes its menu in accordance with the seasons but may boast Buddha bowls, avocado toast, soup or teriyaki stir-fry. While meat does feature in some options, there is always a wealth of both vegetarian and vegan choices, and the smoothies are particularly tasty.

42 Degrés

Restaurant, Vegan

Noodles of spiralized zucchini, cucumber, cherry tomato, garlic in a creamy pesto from avocado. Raw food for vegetarian. Close up
Oleg Doroshenko / Alamy Stock Photo
As its name suggests, 42 Degrés offers cuisine that’s not only vegan: it’s raw. This restaurant’s gourmet approach means the menu may include choices such as brussels sprouts and pumpkin raw granola, sprouted buckwheat toast and raw konjac and sweet potato noodles with seaweed pesto. With a raw, plant-based cheese course and raw apple tart for dessert, it’s an impressive demonstration of what can be achieved with raw ‘cooking’. Le Foodist’s Pouillot notes that he enjoyed the restaurant “thoroughly” on his first visit, when the chef applied “classic French techniques to the concept of vegan raw food”.

Tien Hiang

Restaurant, Asian

Chinese dumplings and chopsticks
Rodney Bedsole / Alamy Stock Photo
Asian restaurants are often the best bet for plant-based diners to find something interesting to eat in Paris, but at Tien Hiang, vegetarians can eat the whole menu. The first fully vegetarian Asian restaurant in Paris, Tien Hiang uses soy as the base for almost every dish, from its fried ‘chicken’ to its glazed ‘pork’ to its ‘shrimp’ bo bun. Influences run the gamut from Cantonese to Vietnamese to Japanese, with something for every palate.

Miznon

Restaurant, Sandwich Shop, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Israeli

Healthy Vegetarian Falafel Pita with Rice and Salad
Brent Hofacker / Alamy Stock Photo

Paris’s rue des Rosiers has long been the go-to spot for all things falafel, with spots such as L’As du Fallafel and Mi-Va-Mi battling it out for years. Israeli restaurant Miznon was nevertheless a welcome addition to the neighbourhood when it opened around the corner on rue des Écouffes. The ever-changing menu always boasts several vegetarian options that may include marshmallowy roasted sweet potatoes, ratatouille or the now-famous monumental whole-roasted cauliflower.

Maafim

Restaurant, Israeli

Shakshuka , middle eastern traditional homemade breakfast- fried eggs, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and parsley in a pan on a dark background
Nataly Hanin / Alamy Stock Photo

Israeli cuisine also captivates diners at Maafim, which Bankert particularly loves for its falafel. Reviews of this spot from the team behind Salatim – a garment district favourite for its schnitzel sandwiches – praise the shakshuka, eggplant arancini, and dukkah-spiced roasted carrots, and the rich, decadent French-toast-style babka is already becoming a local favourite. The lunchtime prix fixe, meanwhile, is a reasonably priced option often featuring vegetarian or pescatarian options.

This article is an updated version of a story originally written by Jade Cuttle.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider

Hanna

women sitting on iceberg

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?

2 years.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.

WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?

I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

X

Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.