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Pictures by Holly Pickering

Kim Burrows

December 21, 2018

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Vegan Paris - from cheese to patisserie!

April 22, 2019

Paris you have been absolutely great! Merci 

 

Lately I was feeling overwhelmed and I could feel my level of anxiety rise up, so I decided to take some time off from work to get some rest, spend sometimes with friends and to check “Vegan Paris” out! 

 

I decided to travel on my own as I wanted to spend sometime alone and visit some old friends. I forgot how great it is to travel on your own, being in a relationship and having little leisure time often forces us of only travelling with friends, family or lovers to maximise our time off with our loved ones. I think the fact that you are alone pushes you to meet new people, ask more questions and be more open and spontaneous. Getting a table for lunch was also super easy as they can squeeze you in easily for a quick meal. Don’t be put off by the idea of travelling alone, instead write down a list of all the places you want to visit and make sure you stay somewhere easy to go to and from, then put yourself out there and have fun!

 

The Hoxton Hotel Paris  

 

I have been to Paris before but this was the first time as a vegan, so in one way I had a completely new city to discover. How exciting! You see when in Paris I will always go to Angelina a famous french patisseries and now of course I needed to think of alternatives and discover new places if I wanted to eat some delicious dessert. I had a list of places i wanted to visit but I was very keen to discover as many options as possible, so through Instagram I looked out for advises and tips on vegan places to visit. Thank you so much to everyone who shared their tips with me, in the end I went to many places that were suggested to me, and super glad I asked for advices. Here is what’ve happened!

 

I stay at The Hoxton Hotel, I really enjoyed my stay both the service and the accommodation were really good. They use vegan products in their rooms such as shower gel and shampoo and the room service, bar and restaurant menus have plenty of vegan options including some wines - so eating there was really easy. The hotel is located in a busy area, 15-20 minutes walk from many places I visited during my stay, so very convenient for me. I wanted to stay somewhere that allowed me to move freely and walk as much as possible. I must say my husband picked the hotel for me, and what a great job he has done (thank you!).

 

First pit stop (literally 10 minutes after I arrived on Sunday) was Poenies, a lovely pink and stylish coffee shop which did me a great flat white but disappointed me within the food choices, the only thing in the menu I could have had was an avocado toast. Now don’t get me wrong, I love avocado in all possible ways but I haven’t come all the way to Paris for that. Shame as it is a tiny little cute place where you can also buy flowers, definitely pay them a visit if you are interested in the Parisian coffee culture but lower down your expectation on food. Great coffee though if only tooooo expensive! 

 

Poenies

 

Can we please spend 5 seconds talking about the incredible prices of a flat white in Paris? So a cappuccino is about €3, ok how did we go from there to €5 for a flat white? Perhaps they pay lots of vat to transport an Australian barista every time you order a coffee -  lol, no joke, I am not sure why the price is so high but keen to hear some possible explanations if you might happen to know the reason behind such an exclusive price, please share! This definitely put me off and didn’t had as many coffees as I planned to, no offence but I wanted to save my pennies for some tasty food. 

 

With my great surprise Paris is super vegan friendly, all the supermarket where I went had plenty of vegan options and the same was for bars and cafes, obviously some places had limited options but it was nice to see that you don’t really need to struggle to find decent food in this beautiful city. 

 

Tip from me, remember to ask if bread has butter as they often use that in the mix for baguettes - just in case like me you wanted to staff your face with bread and cheese anytime you could! 

 

I visited for lunch L' Abattoir Vegetal, the place has a great energy, it is airy and full of lights and the food is lovely. All plant based. The food didn’t blow my mind but it was very tasty and I would totally recommend you to check them out especially over the weekend when they have their special brunch menu. This is priced at 27 euro and it comes with literally everything you might wish to order (but in small portion) - when I went they offered a smoothie, a hot drink, a granola pot, a soup, a dish of the day (a little side of marinated tofu and lots of different salads combined all in one plate), a fruit salad with a tiny slice of cake. The portions are small so you can manage to eat everything but they are also very filling! I didn’t go for the brunch as I didn’t think I could have ate that much, I order the dish of the day which perfectly filled me up! I paid 19 euro though so the place isn’t cheap for sure. You need to think you are going there to treat yourself and not so much for a quick bite as the prices are a little bit too hight to justify a quick mid week lunch between working hours. 

 

L' Abattoir Vegetal

 

After that I walked nearly one hour and half to get to VG Patisserie, I purposely wanted to earn my piece of cake! I wanted to arrive there so much in need of sugar to justify buying so many cakes. Not that you need a justification for that of course! I have ordered 3 different cakes and a chocolate croissant. I spent about 20 euros and I didn’t think the place was expensive for the extensive selection they have and the quality….genuinely one of the best patisserie I have had ever tried. The cakes are light but packed with original flavours, the texture of the cream was perfect and I forgot it was 100% vegan. Unfortunately, they didn’t had any macarons when I visited. You must go there, make sure you include this gem in your list of places to visit. 

 

Mon Epicerie is a little grocery/delicatessen shop 100% vegan where you can find literally anything! I spotted so many amazing cheeses that I didn’t know before, my favourite was a brand called jay-joy -  phenomenal. I had the blue cheese and it was incredible - I had it with half baguette and a glass of wine after a full dinner! When I’ve got back to my room, I thought why not! When in Paris….so I called room service for some french fries too - classic! 

 

This little grocery stocks wines, spirits, soft drinks, all sort of snacks both savoury and sweet, a huge selection of cheeses and mock meats and all the rest such as grains, teas and cleaning products. I felt they really had all you might need on your day to day life, price wise, I don’t think it was too expensive but I think it is too quick to judge, i will only be able to say if it is expensive or not after purchase a weekly grocery there. So make sure you leave sometime on a side to visit this shop and bring with you a tote bag so you can fill that in with all sorts of treats!

 

On the way to Mon Epicerie I stumbled on Ai's Bento guys, seriously food alert here! The place is tiny tiny but you feel welcome and comfortable, they only have 5 different options, including a vegan one. My bento was incredible, the tofu was so tasty, I think they must have marinated and smoked it for many hours to get it so juicy, also they used a spiral to make it look like spaghetti, which was looking very appetising. Please go, the food is excellent and cheap, I spent 12 euros for a massive and fulfilling bento and a soft drink. One of the best meal I have ever had (and boy this girl can eat!).

 

Ai's Bento

 

After lunch I checked Hank pizza out. At first I didn’t like the look of the pizza, sorry - the options looked pack of ingredients and I that wasn’t appealing to me, I am more of a fan of a simple pizza. However, I am glad I tried a slice (rocket, potatoes, truffle oil and hazelnut) it was delicious. Slices are priced 5 euro each, in my opinion that is definitely too expensive as I would have need at least 3 to calm my hunger down, which bring us at 15 euro…well at that point I rather have a full pizza no? Great base and original toppings combinations (a bit too adventurous for my likings), definitely pay them a visit. Personally I wouldn’t have travelled to go there but if you are near by then go try it and judge it for yourself, you might actually love it! 

 

If you are walking around and looking for an organic supermarket then Naturalia is the place for you. They have everything you need from bread to veggies to personal hygiene products. Some brands where familiar and some completely new to me! The chain isn’t vegan but they have anything you might need for ok prices, I didn’t have the felling products were over priced, it reminded me a bit of Planet Organic but sightly cheaper. 

 

As some of you might already know I am doing a new challenge not to buy any clothes until the end of summer so I avoided any boutiques on purpose, however I can tell you that if you are into sustainable fashion and vintage attire you have plenty of options in Paris. One of my fav places (which I literally visit very single time) is Paris Flea Market a market where you can find crookery, lights, clothes, accessories and furniture. I bough a little present for a friend’s birthday and some lovely plates for our afternoon tea at Lele’s. Bring cash with you as many vendors don’t take card and don’t be shy of rustling on the price, they alway try their luck and ask for higher prices you can definitely negotiate with them for a discount. 

 

 

 

This was my mini break in Paris, mainly it was all about food for me and visiting my dear old friends, I hope this little post could help you if you are planning a visit anytime soon. 

 

To recap: 

 

  • Don’t be afraid to go on your own 

  • Make a list of place to see and things to do 

  • Try and find an accommodation easily reachable and closes to the main places you want to visit 

  • You can find anything you need in any of their supermarket

  • Ask your peers for suggestions and be open to try places that you wouldn’t normally pick, if the tips comes from someone local you are most certainly in for a treat, as sure they know what goes down in their own city 

  • Bring a tote bag to take back all the food you might buy, I forgot mine and the journey back was a bit stressful!

  •  

Have fun!

Valentina x 

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