“Veganism is happening now in Paris.” So said the waiter in a Parisian vegan restaurant I visited recently. But is it true?
I recently spent eight days in Paris. It’s a beautiful city and I was visiting to enjoy a break with my partner and then to attend a film festival. Such a treat, but of course, I was a little concerned about the, y’know, vegan thing. After all, French cuisine is virtually a temple to red meat, butter, cream, eggs and beaucoup de fromage.
On previous trips to Paris, I had eaten in vegetarian and even vegan restaurants, but I worried that being entirely vegan would be tricky or at least a bit of a headache. Nobody wants to spend hours traipsing around to find the one specialist restaurant on Google Maps, when you could be sightseeing, or eating already. And once I was back in my AirBnb cooking for myself, or grabbing meals between films, how would I get on then?
The answer is that by and large, the news is good! There are many, many places to eat vegan in Paris, and a notable number of omni restaurants offering vegan food. Also, whatever your phrasebook says, the word vegan, rather than végétalien seems to have stuck – so look out for that on menus and food labels. In my experience, based on my week’s stay, there are plentiful vegan supplies in healthfood shops as well, to a lesser extent in the supermarkets and even the corner shops. But there are a few things to watch out for.