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Paris’ Best Vegan Restaurants and Food: Our Top Ten

Veggie Magnifique round up of the top vegan spots in Paris for HiP Paris BlogCloud Cakes

Just a few years ago, it was nothing short of a miracle to stumble upon an assiette végétarienne in an otherwise meat-and-béchamel sauce-heavy Parisian restaurant.  

But, oh how the tides have turned.

Nowadays, there’s a veritable veggie revolution going on in the City of Light. Vegan and healthy hotspots are poppin’ up like daisies, and more and more, we veggie-hunters are spoiled for choice.

Dieu merci and hallelujah.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

On Being a Vegetarian in Paris: Tien Hang Bistrot & more

Rosa Jackson, the fabulous food writer and chef, is based in Nice where she conducts market tours and succulent Provençal cooking classes. She travels to Paris frequently (as one must) in order to keep up with the restaurant scene. Here she checks out Tien Hang, a true haven for Parisian vegetarians!

Rosa Jackson Vegetarian Restaurant Paris
Rosa Jackson’s vegetarian son Sam in Zen restaurant

A few months ago, my son Sam declared himself a vegetarian. Now, if we lived in California this might not sound unusual, but this is France, proud land of steak-frites and saucisson, andouillette and tête de veau. What made his decision even more surprising is that both of his parents are meat-eaters. If much of my cooking relies on fresh vegetables from the market, I also can’t deny having a passion for steak tartare.

At first I wasn’t sure how to react. He had been making noises about becoming vegetarian ever since watching a cooking show on the television channel Arte in which a group of 12 to 14 year-olds visited a rabbit farm to see where meat came from. Picture the poor bunnies dangling from hooks, then cut to the skinned rabbits a few seconds later, ready to be chopped up for lapin à la moutarde. Who could really blame Sam?

For two years (he saw the show when he was five) I persuaded him that eating a little meat and fish is not a bad thing if you choose it carefully. But, as he got older, he became convinced that anything with a heart and a brain shouldn’t die in order to feed him. When he started to categorically refuse meat and fish, I decided not to fight it.

Rosa-Jackson-Vegetarian-resto-Paris-Stuffed-tofu1
Rosa Jackson’s Stuffed Tofu – Tien Hang

I quickly discovered, though, that becoming vegetarian in France isn’t so simple. First, there was the school’s reaction. The teacher and canteen supervisors came to me saying, “Is he serious?” When I assured them that he was, they frowned and shook their heads. In France, school canteens operate on the principle that every child should eat everything, or at least try everything, unless they have a religious or health reason not to. The upside of this is that France is a nation of unfussy eaters. The downside is that la différence is not welcomed.

I went to see the économe, the woman in charge of collecting money for the canteen, and explained the “problem.” She gave me a sympathetic yet puzzled look.

“Vegetarianism is not a recognized diet in France,” she said. “We’ll have to put everything on the plate even if he doesn’t eat it.”

Thus, my son who doesn’t want to animals to die for his sake still gets served meat or fish every day at school, and has to eat around it.

As any vegetarian who has travelled to France knows, eating in restaurants is also a challenge. Fortunately, I live in Nice where the Italian influence means that gnocchi and fresh pasta with pistou or tomato sauce are nearly always on the menu. Nice also has one of the best vegetarian restaurants in France, La Zucca Magica, where children under 12 eat for free. Paris bistros are a bit more problematic, but since Sam is not fussy in other ways he will settle for almost anything that doesn’t contain animal protein (as long as goat cheese is not involved). He is also thrilled to eat miso soup and vegetable maki at my favorite Japanese restaurant, Zen.

Last night, as we were meeting a friend who has also gone off meat (or at least non-organic meat) after reading Eating Animals, I decided to see if we could find a good vegetarian restaurant in Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 27 Comments »

Organic Resto Paris: Super Nature’s Seasonal Cuisine

burgerSuper Nature’s cheeseburger.
Photo: dansmongrosventre.blogspot.com/

Just as the weather varies by season in Paris, so do our appetites. In spring when the city starts to heat up, we forgo bottles of deep red Cahors for glasses of rosé, we swap gateau au chocolat for seasonal fruit tarts and refreshing sorbet, and we scour local markets for the fresh fruits and vegetables that we’ve been dreaming of all winter. The city’s best restaurants shift with us, adjusting their menus seasonally (if not daily). Super Nature, one of Paris’ hottest new organic restaurants, is among those that abide by a “what’s fresh is best” policy. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Green, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments »