Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The vegan/vegetarian student's guide to Paris (Vegan mofo 2013 XIII)

Paris might not strike you as the best place to be a vegan or vegetarian student. It's kind of expensive and kind of meat-heavy. Don't despair though: there are plenty of ways to avoid paying a fortune for a green salad, or surviving on greasy crêpes and paninis. Here are a few favourites this rentrée.

Eating out: cheap and lots

Broke but don't want to cook? Here are some places to fill your belly without spending a fortune. They're a bit more interesting than a standard cheese and lettuce sandwich from the boulangerie.

Maoz Falafel: Fill up your delicious falafel sandwich with the self-service salad bar: all of it's vegan, including the creamy and yummy tahini sauce that comes out of a pump. Oh yes. 8 Rue Xavier Privas, 75005 and 36 Rue Saint-André des Arts, 75006.

Tien Hiang: This fantastic pan-Asian restaurant has a great three-course meal deal for €11. Or just go for a one-pot wonder rice or noodle dish for around €8. The bo-bun is vegan and fabulous. Full review here. 14 Rue Bichat, 75010.

Pizzeria Le Coq: Quite possibly the biggest, cheapest pizzas in Paris. For €6 you get a gigantic pizza with whatever toppings tickle your fancy. 55 Rue Traversière, 75012.

Le Relais Gascon: This place does a roaring trade, and with good reason. They do a great line in HUGE salads. I mean HUGE. The salade végétarienne will set you back €10.50 and you won't need to eat anything else for 48 hours. It also happens to include drop-dead delicious sautéed potatoes. 6 Rue des Abbesses, 75018.

Chettinadu: Amazingly delicious dosas bigger than the Hulk's torso for only €7. There is nothing more to say. 15 Rue Cail, 75010.

Eating out: pushing the boat out

Maybe your parents are visiting and treating you to a meal out. Maybe you've got a 1st on your essay. Maybe you've acquired a sugar daddy/mummy and are being wined and dined. Whatever the occasion, here are some places where vegetarians and vegans can eat out in style.

Gentle Gourmet Café: This 100% vegan place is super swanky. It's a chic little resto that serves up beautifully cooked and presented dishes, as well as a dead good portobello burger. Take your own wine as they don't sell any. Full review here. 24, Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012.

Jodhpur Palace: Fed up of the rubbish Frenchified 'Indian' food available all over Paris? This is the place for you. It dishes up the perfectly spiced curries that we know and love (and miss so very, very dearly). 42, Allée Vivaldi, 75012.

Le Potager du Marais: A very cute all-vegetarian restaurant that serves up meat-free versions of the French classics everyone expects you to be eating all the time in Paris. Full review here. 22 Rue Rambuteau, 75003.

Godjo: Not super expensive, but definitely super fun. This is the place to come for Ethiopian delights, served in the traditional style on a giant injera (tangy flatbread), with everyone digging into the same shared stews and vegetable dishes. 8, Rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique, 75005.

Eating in: where to get your crazy veggie supplies

Sometimes, just sometimes, vegetarians and vegans need to buy crazy things like tofu. If this need ever hits you, try one of the following places.

Bio Génération/Les Nouveaux Robinson: Shops all over Paris. There's a list of them here.

Naturalia: Shops all over Paris. There's a map of them here.

Un Monde Vegan: Stop press: Paris now has an all-vegan supermarket selling way, WAY more than tofu. 64 Rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth, 75003.

Chinatown (x2): Paris has two areas with large Chinese populations: Belleville and the part of the 13th arrondissement around the Avenues de Choisy and d'Ivry. Tang Frères at 48 Avenue d'Ivry is an Asian wonderland, with more tofu than you can shake a stick at.

Monoprix v. Franprix: For day-to-day shopping, don't go to Monoprix. It's crazily overpriced. Try Franprix instead.

See, it's not so bad being broke and vegetarian in Paris.

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