Vegetarian In Paris

On the off chance that Google picks this up without my making any effort whatsoever to do whatever it is that you do to be noticed – here is a quick post about eating in Paris when you’re a vegetarian. Since I went and did that pretty recently, you know, and the internet is all about people going on about their niche personal experiences.

Crucial to the vegetarian experience in Paris is Rue des Rosiers. Crucial to Rue des Rosiers is L’As du Felafel. Simply put, whatever your eating predilections, you need to eat there. It caters handily to vegetarians (felafel, surprisingly enough), but has a bunch of meat options too. It’s extremely affordable. It’s really a fantastic place to get some street food, though you have to be a bit ballsy about the “people don’t eat on the street” rules of Paris to stroll with your giant sandwich until you get to a park or somewhere pleasant to eat.

When we were in Paris this last time, L’As was closed for Passover, so we ended up heading to the nearby King Felafel. Brilliantly, because it was Passover, they were dishing out amazing plastic-tray based meals with the ingredients of the traditional felafel sandwich along with matzoh. We ate a couple such meals in the smaller park along Rue de Francs Bourgeois and they were stunning.

The relatively hidden gem of Paris vegetarianism, though, is Tien Hiang. Simply put, holy shit you have to eat there, vegetarian or not. But if you are a vegetarian you may possibly weep with joy at being able to order everything on the menu. It’s one of those places that’s gone crazy over fake meat stuff, so you can have cheesy “Western Chinese” dishes like sweet and sour pork and cashew chicken to your heart’s content. It’s a big menu, and the place is one of the cheapest places to eat in Paris – outrageously good value. A must eat. Have a fake beer (a Buckler!) to complete the experience.

Beyond those two basic options, the vegetarian going was tough. Obviously there’s bakeries, bread, and home-cooking, but really the options when you head to restaurants is bleak. I’d be more than tempted to shuttle between Rue des Rosiers and Tien Hiang and count myself a fortunate man.

Anyway, sorry to bore you if you don’t give a crap or are weirded out by the major tone-shift for the blog, but I thought it was worth putting another voice out there pointing this stuff out.

12 May 2011
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