The Insider Guide to Eating Healthy in Paris
Whether you're traveling to Paris for business, pleasure or PFW, you might be craving a meal that fuels and nourishes over one that only indulges (we're looking at you, baguette). We tapped fashion photographer and fellow plant-based aficionado, Erin Baiano, while on her latest trip to Paris for the healthy haunts she frequents while running around the city. See below for Erin's cafes and resto recs that will delight your senses and give you the energy to power through your travels when you're craving a green juice more than a café au lait.
Paris is not just croissants, fromage, steak frites and baguettes anymore. Eating healthy there is easier than ever. Being a mostly-gluten-free vegan I have a few go-to eateries that I depend on when I visit twice yearly. One of the challenges of eating there is that restaurants can keep odd hours and often require reservations which is difficult if your schedule is erratic, and as a Fashion Week photographer, mine certainly can be unpredictable (keeping a Sakara Energy bar or Detox Bar in my camera bag is essential)! Luckily there are some great options to keep you fueled for all the running around you will inevitably do in this incredible city. Here are my top picks:
1 - WILD AND THE MOON Big with the fashion crowd, this gem is entirely gluten free and vegan. Pre-bottled juices and mylks are plentiful and there are daily specials ranging from soups to “focacia” sandwiches. Personal favorites include their turmeric latte and daily special grain bowl. The banana bread is out of this world. On my last visit they had a “Fashion Week Survival Kit”collaboration with Virgil Abloh’s Off White. It consisted of a limited edition tote filled with drinks such as “Blue Magic” and “Better Than Botox”. A bonus is that the location in the Marais is open late 7 days a week which can be a life saver when most restaurants require reservations and are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Be warned though; it can get crowded and getting a seat can be challenging at times.
2 - BOB’S JUICE BAR Located in a tiny but charming space in the 10th arrondissement Bob’s is a mecca of healthy eating. I’m a fan of their pre-made salads that you can grab from the fridge with a smoothie and an uncut sushi roll made of brown rice with cucumber, avocado and mango. If you have a sweet-tooth the matcha chocolate chip cookie is rich and delicious although maybe not the healthiest choice on the menu. Bob’s has other locations with different services and menus but this is the original. Check their website for hours as they close quite early - 3pm on most days. On warm days it’s nice to grab lunch and eat it a few blocks away on the Canal St. Martin.
3 - CAFÉ PINSON Not far from Wild and the Moon is one of two locations of the organic Cafe Pinson. Everything on the menu is gluten free although not everything is vegan. Vegan dishes are noted on the menu (all in French, although the waitstaff all speak impeccable English) which is loaded with tasty vegetable dishes. I like to start with the hummus and gluten free crackers. A favorite dish of mine is the Quinotto - Quinoa with mushrooms, smoked tofu and onions in a hazelnut mushroom sauce. The sautéed vegetables are also always cooked to perfection. Reservations are recommended for dinner.
4 - SOYA CANTINE BIO This spacious restaurant located a little off the beaten path in the 11th. is worth the extra effort. It is vegetarian but has vegan and gluten free options. The menu denotes “not vegan” or “gluten” if it contains gluten. The vegan antipasti is perfect for sharing before moving on to a flavorful curry or couscous main course.
5 - LOULOU’ FRIENDLY DINER If it’s late or it’s Monday and everything is closed you can depend on Loulou’ to save the day. A darling location in the 5th arrondissement on the Left Bank is friendly indeed. Look for the red and white striped awning. I like to sit in the heated, enclosed outdoor patio no matter the season for great people watching. The diner is not vegetarian but has great vegan and gluten free options. My favorite dish is the Hippie Bowl salad, which is extremely filling. They have all day breakfast, fantastic açai bowls, and matcha lattes. Strolling back home past the Cathedral Notre Dame and across the Seine is a favorite ritual of mine to digest all that delectable food which I inevitably over eat.
6 - HANK BURGER Ok, not exactly “healthy” but this is my favorite veggie burger in Paris. The location in the Marais is not much more than a burger stand with upstairs seating. This place can get pretty crowded at lunch time. If you can’t find seating, order a L’allume (Smoked BBQ sauce, sweet red and yellow pepper with vegan cheese) and head across the street to the semi-hidden Jardin des Archives Nationales. Gluten free bread is available but for some bizarre reason the fries are NOT gluten free. Fingers crossed, that will change in the future!
7 - NATURALIA AND BIO C’BON GROCERY - various locations. I no longer use AirBNB (I had a terrible experience once in Paris. One word - bedbugs), but when I did, I use to shop at these well stocked health food stores to shop for groceries. Now I’ll pop in to grab some healthy snacks and stock up on Schar gluten-free bread which I take home. Load up on their great selection of bulk nuts and seeds, which you put in paper bags and weigh. (Yes to eco-friendly!). I usually pick up matcha powder sticks, fruit, some almond milk for my morning coffee and any non-toxic toiletries I may need. Bring your own bag or buy a canvas one on site.
Additionally here are some places where I have not been but come highly recommended:
Health Inside - Vegan friendly restaurant and juice bar in the Marais.
Juice Lab - Juice bar with food options. Various locations throughout the city.
Season - Healthy vegan and gluten free friendly food and juice. Various locations that offer a cafe, restaurant and take-away respectively.