Hello people! Shame on me for this unexpalined absence! OK (no excuses 🙁 ) and on to Part Deux of my American Vegan in Paris adventures with my beautiful non-vegan daughter!
Vegan Dinner at an Authentic (non-vegan) French Restaurant
I feel like I should begin this with…”so a vegan reads a review on TripAdvisor and walks into a straight up French restaurant in Paris and thinks that the very meat-heavy menu will be altered for her…” chuckle chuckle. After Tara and I were escorted to our table in this intimate, eclectically decorated and immediately inviting establishment, we were greeted by Raula, whom I much later discovered was one of the owners of Les Trublions. She took our drink order (bottle of crisp Rosé, thank you) and proceeded to review the menu, eloquently displayed on a table-side chalkboard. Nothing vegan or remotely vegetarian was listed or described and I had a moment of panic as I had been warned that French chefs are reticent to customize menu items. We apologized and stated that we were under the impression that vegan options were available. Raula seemed only briefly put off, describing that when they had made such accommodations in the past, they were not well reviewed by the patrons. I assured her that anything the chef would be willing to do would be immensely appreciated. And, let me tell you, it was IMMENSELY APPRECIATED! This American Vegan in Paris dined like a vegan queen! The starter of raspberries, arugula, and green and white asparagus with a dulcet vinaigrette was delectable. And the bread- oh the bread!- warm, whole-grained, chewy…trés magnifique!
More Happy Surprises at Les Trublions
Next was the entrée, a melange of mushrooms, spring peas, potatoes, asparagus and raspberries…and, oh, the presentation…almost to pretty to eat:
The dessert did not disappoint, either. Fresh raspberry sorbet with apples and kiwi…oh boy! Perfect.
The presentation, the flavors and caliber of each dish was surpassed only by the excellence of our server, Raula. She was so humble in accepting our praises and never let on the she was behind the concept of Les Trublions. Look for this review on TripAdvisor for sure.
There ARE Vegan Options at Non-Vegan Eateries
Above is a delightful breakfast that one could order in pretty much any café in Paris. Most do not offer milk alternatives, unless you happen upon any of the vegan cafes listed at the end of this post. Still, the rich dark French coffee is amazing and the baguettes abound. Throw in a little fresh fruit and you are good to go!
I do recommend, if possible, food and a view. Below is my feeble FITA attempt near the Eiffel Tower at a wonderful restaurant called Monsieur Blue at the Palais de Tokyo. Nothing like dining al fresco with the Tour de Eiffel in the background…
I found that most places will happily leave off cheese or dressings, but are reticent to sub in another item. For example, there were avocados elsewhere on the menu, but my request to sub them in for the cheese was politely declined. No worries, this American vegan in Paris was very pleased with my lunch (yes, there was also bread!). Still, view the menu prior to booking a reservation (most are online). This way you can be armed with a plan to suggest a simple alteration on an item you know is offered (i.e. “sans fromage, S’il vous plaît”). No fuss, no muss and your non-vegan daughter won’t suffer awkwardly 😉
Frites, Frites We All Scream for Frites!
When in doubt, there’s always potatoes and by that I mean fries or frites en Français! I don’t know if they are supremely excellent here simply because one is dining in Paris, but je m’en fous (“I don’t care” said with a smile of course) because excellent they are. Whether indulging in a midnight snack after ten miles of walking EVERYWHERE or a simple respite from flea market treasure hunting on the Seine, get the fries!
Straight Up Vegan Eateries in Paris
To protect the innocent (aka Tara) I will not explicate the reasons we missed these well-reviewed establishments. They are definite musts on my next Parisian journey and I hope you will consider a visit. If you do or have been to any, please by all means, share your experiences!
- Gentle Gourmet Café (a short walk from our hotel in the Bastille). The menu looks amazing and the reviews are stellar. Click on the venue to link to their website.
- Sol Semilla Visit this link to check out the wonderful write up on thegirlsguidetoparis.com.
- Le Potager du Marais Also in Le Marais, has teriffic Yelp, and TripAdvisor reviews. When you click on the name, you will be taken to the Happycow.net review. I recommend Happycow as one of the best go-to sites for any vegan globetrotter.
- Cloud Cakes A vegan bakery with terrific reviews on Yelp, Happycow, TripAdvisor. Please check out the post on this wonderful blog http://veggiemagnifique.com.
Of course there are many more vegan eats and if you found this blog you MUST have decent googling skills:) Go to Happycow.net to start, sprinkle in Yelp and TripAdvisor and you are well on your way to vegansatisfaction in Paris (or anywhere else for that matter)! Bon appetit!