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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Has Isa on speed dial

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definitely bookmarking this thread, thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:51 pm 
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I took the list of restaurants with me but the only one we managed to get to was Saveurs Veget'Halles. It was really good after eating hummus sandwiches and chips for a few days, but some of the stuff seemed like 70's vegan food (plain barley and lentils with carrots). It was still delicious and one of two meals we had in an actual restaurants.

I am officially in love with France because of baguettes, speculoos paste, and the wonderful soy yogurt. The alps, the Mediterranean, Bretagne, Paris - none of those hurt either.

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:14 pm 
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in grocery stores, the selection of vegan yogurts and pudding is insane. Also, I had really great luck with a laminated print out apologizing for my lack of French language (haha), it said I am vegan, described what I cannot eat and some ideas of things that I can. Most people thought it was funny, I usually tried communicating without it, THEN I whipped it out and man, it was a lifesaver while in France!


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:17 pm 
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I'm in Paris! I'm in Paris! Paris Paris Paris!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:10 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
I'm in Paris! I'm in Paris! Paris Paris Paris!!!!

Oh la la!!! C'est fantastique!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:06 pm 
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I'm going to Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Perpignan in 3 weeks. I saw on Happycow that La Faim des Haricots doesn't have a lot of vegan options? Is that incorrect?


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:41 pm 
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intheend wrote:
I'm going to Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Perpignan in 3 weeks. I saw on Happycow that La Faim des Haricots doesn't have a lot of vegan options? Is that incorrect?


I had several good meals there, but it was a few years ago! What a great trio of destinations!

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:41 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
I'm in Paris! I'm in Paris! Paris Paris Paris!!!!


Parfait! Amuses-toi bien!

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:35 am 
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I have some questions about Paris. I'm playing around with visiting next year, but I'm still undecided.

First of all, thanks for posting all the incredible info. I've been a bit discouraged looking at the Happy Cow website. I'm pretty intimidated still. I imagine I'll carry a duffel bag full of vegan nutrition bars just in case I'm not near any of the places listed when I get hungry:)

Are there smoothie and/or juice bars? Are they available in stores? I like to start my day with a smoothie and fruit/veg juice blends. This seems like the perfect way to get some nutrition in case I resort to baguette and Speculoos munching.

Also, how important is it to really know the language? I took a course in high school and have a few books and cd courses handy to refresh my brain. I think I'll have the basics ready. Does one really need a course at the local community college or get Rosetta Stone (expen$$$ive!!)? I've heard of people who do not know a lick of French that have gone and made it through without any trouble and also of people that have taken courses and found they were useless in the end.

Finally, a sillier question. Any advice on blending in with everyday Parisians? Fashion advice, etc? I might be traveling alone and probably don't want to stick out as a lone tourist. This might be impossible though!


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:33 pm 
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We weren't in Paris very long but I never saw a juice bar, maybe someone else can help with that. We ate at two restaurants the entire two weeks we were in France. The monoprix has everything you'd need for meals and we found a few great hostels with kitchens. It was like eating at home.

I speak a muttly mix of French, German, and Spanish and without my French-fluent partner would probably have been more frustrated with things like the train but in general attempting some French and maybe resorting to English when that failed helped out. If someone asked me a question I would apologize in French and explain that I didn't speak it and then they would smile and switch to English. Everyone was very nice to me despite every American telling me that French people hate us.

Blending in? Wear heels, beautiful clothes (no jeans) and good posture. At least that's what stuck out to me. I usually hate feeling the tourist, but it's what I was and there was no way I was walking ten miles a day in heels. Paris is the world's biggest tourist city so everyone is used to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:23 pm 
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You can definitely buy smoothies in ordinary stores & I thought that finding vegan food was really easy, just mark everywhere that sells vegan food onto your map & you'll always be near(ish) to something. I loved Tien Hiang & the amazing falafel place mentioned on the first page was amazing & the falafel sandwich was HUGE!

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:24 pm 
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meanderer wrote:
I have some questions about Paris. I'm playing around with visiting next year, but I'm still undecided.

First of all, thanks for posting all the incredible info. I've been a bit discouraged looking at the Happy Cow website. I'm pretty intimidated still. I imagine I'll carry a duffel bag full of vegan nutrition bars just in case I'm not near any of the places listed when I get hungry:)

Are there smoothie and/or juice bars? Are they available in stores? I like to start my day with a smoothie and fruit/veg juice blends. This seems like the perfect way to get some nutrition in case I resort to baguette and Speculoos munching.

Also, how important is it to really know the language? I took a course in high school and have a few books and cd courses handy to refresh my brain. I think I'll have the basics ready. Does one really need a course at the local community college or get Rosetta Stone (expen$$$ive!!)? I've heard of people who do not know a lick of French that have gone and made it through without any trouble and also of people that have taken courses and found they were useless in the end.

Finally, a sillier question. Any advice on blending in with everyday Parisians? Fashion advice, etc? I might be traveling alone and probably don't want to stick out as a lone tourist. This might be impossible though!


They don't have a widespread presence of juice bars per se, but there are definitely lots of places where fresh juice/fruit is available, and you can buy fresh-pressed juice in any supermarket. I haven't seen much in the way of smoothies, but these places look promising: http://gridskipper.com/archives/entries/064/64196.php

Knowing even a wee bit of French will greatly enhance your experience. The French, among North Americans, have a reputation for being mean, but I really think it's just a difference in cultural expectations and norms. I have found that when you try and don't assume everyone speaks English, that people will be very helpful. Even a few basic bonjours, mercis, etc... will go a long way.

For blending in, dark clothes, few patterns, simple lines, and scarves. Things without logos. Though there is a great variety there too--you'll see lots of university students in standard bohemian outfits, elegant women in heels and trench coats--everything. The Americans who pop out wear American logo outfits, sweatshirts, sneakers.... The French, broadly, tend to dress up a bit more in everyday life--not in terms of formal wear, but they look put together.

You will have a wonderful time--Paris is astonishing! And it's a great place to travel alone. Bon voyage!

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:15 pm 
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Thanks Catalina, Jojo and Molasses Jane...all very good advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:58 pm 
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meanderer wrote:
Finally, a sillier question. Any advice on blending in with everyday Parisians? Fashion advice, etc? I might be traveling alone and probably don't want to stick out as a lone tourist. This might be impossible though!


Haha! Let's see, what's our cliché of American tourists... Skip the fanny pack and running shoes?
I hear most visitors are surprised by how dark we dress - black coats, black, brown or grey everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:01 am 
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Haha....I love the saying: "When in doubt, wear black."

I'm kind of bummed because the Musée d'Orsay is undergoing renovations and some of their collection is on the road at various museums (San Francisco, Nashville, etc). This is an important stop! Grr.


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:16 am 
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Yay, a France thread! If you know where to go, surviving in Paris is really very easy. There is a website which lists basically all options: http://vg-zone.net/. It is in french though, but I guess the map is easy to understand ("VG-Carte de Paris").

I was a bit frustrated that my french is not so good and therefore I have difficulties in meeting french vegans, or rather: communication issues. So I recently founded an english speaking meetup group for vegans in Paris: http://www.meetup.com/Paris-Vegan/. I hope it will be full of activity in the near future.

One issue, if you are conscious about this: Sojasun (which you can get at normal supermarkets) and Sojade (the organic version that you can find in organic stores) make awesome soy yoghurts. However, to this day, they refuse to say what they cultivate their bacteria on, claiming it is a company secret. They just say their products are 100 % vegetable... but the products still are if their bacteria grow on milk. If I have the choice, I buy the soy yoghurt from Provamel instead (can be found at some organic stores). They belong to Alpro Soja and are definitely vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:21 am 
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Is there anything food-wise I can ask my parents to bring me back from France? That would be totally neat. They'll be staying in Paris the whole time, but I'm not sure which other cities they'll visit.

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:39 am 
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Speculoos paste, vegan nutella, wine, good French grey salt, fancy jam. I wish I had bought some of the nice liqueur I had over there, but shipping the wine was expensive enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:44 am 
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cstadt: Everything Catalina mentioned, and also crème de marrons (a sweetened chestnut purée)!

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:22 pm 
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I have never been to Paris before, am considering it for this summer and am just beginning my research and planning so I don't have fully formed questions yet. It seems a little overwhelming! For weather (clothing) I have checked average temperatures etc but can someone give me an idea of how HOT it gets in early July? I am afraid of melting.
Also, perhaps a suggestion on a neighborhood to stay in that is good walking distance to the hub of things but not crazy touristy?
thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:07 am 
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We stayed at the Meridien in Montparnasse. It was nice yet inexpensive and the metro made it very easy to get wherever. Highly recommend if you're not set on a tiny boutique hotel. (we capped our trip off with a trip to the Maison du Vert B&B in Ticheville (Normandy), which I highly highly highly highly OH SO HIGHLY recommend ;) )

Restaurants: I thought the Cinq Saveurs was just stuck-in-70s BAD. I think the Potager du Marais was where I had the most amazing seitan bourgignon, HIGHLY recommend there. We were near Aquarius, and it was pretty good, but I don't recommend ordering anything non-French because the local palate does not enjoy spices. REALLY liked La Terre de Saveur in Avignon, good food ad a very friendly intimate place.

Some of that basil premium tartex (sometimes refrigerated) and a baguette will get you far. And I will echo the Soyade thought. If you're nerdly like me check out the Musee des Arts & Metiers, it's awesome.

BTW if you speak french or can find a french person to adopt you and talk for you, no respectable French chef in any restaurant will let you go hungry. After explaining veganism to the wait staff at one tiny bistro in the 4th arondissement, french-fluent friends we visited managed to somehow get the chef to make us a delicious vegan ratatouille, dessert of the most delicious fresh strawberries with lemon and sugar (the post-meal fruit desserts in france are so simple, but SO DELICIOUS), and even shots of calvados and pommeau on the house after our meals. So I don't think it's necessary to speak French but it sure does help if you do. We got by the rest of the trip without our friends (who were leaving town after that evening), mostly by sticking to vegetarian restaurants.


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 10:13 am 
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I just got back from Paris, and I would 100% recommend staying in a place with access to a kitchen - especially if you don't speak enough french to feel good about making special requests in restaurants. That said, it wasn't too hard to find food when out and about. I don't speak french, just enough to say "I would like" and please/thank you. Almost everyone either spoke English or was nice about pointing/acting out whatever needed communicating.

I went to Potager du Marais (everything on the menu looks distressingly 70s and beige, but what I had - quinoa croquettes and mushroom pate - was delicious), Oh Bio (seems fast food-ish online but is actually pretty cute and the staff is really nice, vegan crepes stuffed with nice fillings like tajine veg and they also had a variety of croquettes), and Loving Hut (good, not totally amazing except for the pear cake - which I got hot out of the oven and it was awesome).

I also ate a lot of falafel (sadly the places in the marais were closed or doing weird passover menus) and ful mudames sandwiches (le marche des enfants rouges has a fair number vendors with vegan/veganizable options--Lebanese, Moroccan, Japanese). Maoz is in a horrible tourist hellhole, so I'd stay away from that unless you're either dying to try it or are stuck in the area with no other visible options (ahem, that's how I wound up there).

Monop' also has vegan terrine (tartex) and other stuff you might want as snacks, and there are a fair number of health food stores with vegan prepared foods around.

Vegan food seemed much easier to come by around the marais than anywhere else in the city, and it's pretty central. It's also very charming and has lots of great little museums and other stuff to see. So, I'd definitely think about staying in that area. I did and was really happy about it.

Also, seconding,
annak wrote:
If you're nerdly like me check out the Musee des Arts & Metiers, it's awesome.
It really is awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:11 am 
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I can't update the first page, but am in Paris for several months and have been amazed at the huge growth of the vegan scene even since last summer.

Some new eats:

Oh, Bio: 58, rue rambuteau (next to Pompidou centre): vegan crepes! and other really good, simple fare. relatively inexpensive, and they have vegan desserts. not 100% vegan, but close.

Loving Hut: 92 Blvd Beaumarchais. Vegan pain aux chocolat! the No Moo Vegusto cheese! this is part of the worldwide chain, but also has a small epicerie with vegan nutella, cheese, faux meat, etc....

Saravanaa Bhavan: 170 rue Faubourg St. Denis: all veg/mostly vegan South Indian, part of a worldwide chain.

Chennai Dosai: 14, rue Perdonnet: also all veg/mostly South Indian. the special masala dosa is amazing.

Tien Hiang has a second restaurant now near Belleville: 14 rue Bichet

Speculoos is now widely available at Monoprix and other places. Naturalia and Biocoop (a gorgeous new-ish, with many more locations) both have Chokenut, the best (in my opinion) vegan nutella, as well as Tartex, twiobio, and the soy yogurts (the key lime Provamel is amazing). The "health food"/"bio" scene here has really exploded, with lots more options. But even Monoprix and Franprix have a lot more options now. The Sabra hummus with the pine nuts on top is amazing, and I got some great stuffed grape leaves from Monoprix too.

I agree with Annak that the quality at Les Cinqs Saveurs has sadly really gone downhill. It used to be so good, but is now really bland and even bad in some cases.

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:31 am 
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eta: for Bio-coop, I meant to write "gorgeous new-ish health food shop, with..."

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 Post subject: Re: Paris is not vegan hell! The official vegan France threa
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:33 pm 
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I'm going to Paris next week and I'm taking this list with me!!


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