Carnivores, avert your eyes: the humble légume is having something of a moment. Once undeniably the capital of all things meaty, Paris is coming around to a lighter, greener way of eating. Vegan is no longer a byword for fusty: veg-packed bowls, dairy-free gelato and coconut-butter cakes are cropping up on menus all over town. A playful, vegan-curious wave is livening up the local food scene, from Jean-François Piège's love affair with vegetables at Clover Green to cashew creamery Jay & Joy. Here's our pick of the best vegan spots in Paris.
A short stroll from Gare du Nord, this diminutive lunch spot sates hunger pangs with Middle Eastern flair. Toppings regularly change on the generous hummus bowls, rich with Tahini imported straight from Israel: smoky aubergine, say, or root veg glazed in date molasses. There are meaty options for carnivores, too, and colourful salads and tabbouleh that will keep everyone happy.
Top of the list of the most Instagrammable spots in Paris, this Montmartre café with a soul has come a long way since its former days as a charcuterie. The seasonal menu happily skips from Persian-inspired rice to wine-poached pear. Don't miss the vegan blue cheese tartine, scattered with pomegranate seeds and edible flowers, which could happily fool the most entrenched of fromage aficionados.
Forget bean bags and reclaimed pallets: this with-a-conscience Marais hangout has been elegantly kitted out by interiors whizz Dorothée Meilichzon. It's not strictly vegan (ethically raised eggs make an appearance in some pastries and the occasional dish), but there's still plenty of choice. Our pick? The toothsome smoked tofu and mushroom skewer, perched on a creamy carrot purée.
What happens when classic brasserie training gets an injection of West African cool? An intimate, inventive 11th-arrondissement eatery, where 80 per cent of the menu is vegan. Pull up a chair at the bar for genial chat and moreish tapas: crunchy red-bean akra fritters, yuca gnocchi with earthy shitake or a soul-soothing black-bean risotto topped with pear and peanut.
In the heart of Veggie Town (the bobo nickname for the capital's meat-free epicentre), this concept store stocks essentials for the voguish vegan. Pick up ethical denim from Monkee Genes, natural salt spray for a tousled ‘do and salted caramel coconut spread to take home. The tiny kitchen rustles up the likes of fluffy pancakes and avo toast; be prepared to queue for the popular weekend brunch.
Image credits: © Abattoir Végétal; © Abattoir Végétal; © Yafo; © Abattoir Végétal; © Philippe Lévy; © Table Métis; © Aujourd’hui Demain; © Thomas Baltes; © david haffen; © puxan photography