France may be much more well known for it's saucisson and duck paté than its vegetarian scene, but some say the tide is slowly changing.
Indeed, there are 1,228 restaurants in France that are 100 percent vegetarian and vegan. To mark the World Vegetarian Day, we take a closer look eight of the best.
Opened in 2014, this stylish restaurant in central Bordeaux, just five minutes from Hotel de Ville, has gained a reputation for its authentic yet modern twists on the classics. Catering to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets, it has gleaming reviews both on its Facebook page and TripAdvisor.
Loving Hut, Menton, Cote d’Azur
With a conscious-raising slogan ‘la paix commence dans votre assiette’ (peace begins on your plate), this sun-drenched eatery’s large choice of mains – ranging from vegetarian classics to Asian fusion – has earned it a gleaming reputation, and was recently voted the vegetarian ‘hot tip’ from The Guardian readers, in particular for the sea view and relaxed atmosphere.
(Photo: Loving Hut)
Having recently been included in a list of the Best Veggie Burgers in Paris in French Vanity Fair, Blend has cemented its reputation for offering a quality vegetarian alternative when out with meat-eaters. With the veggie burger coming in at €8, one can indulge guilt-free both in terms of animal ethics and the change left in your pocket after the meal.
With nearly 400 people grading l’Arpege as ‘excellent’ on Tripadvisor, this three Michelin star restaurant is truly a gourmet veggie paradise. The chef, Alain Passard (pictured below on the right), declares that he ‘enters into vibrations with the vegetables’ and reveals he ‘is in a totally drunken state of colours and of flavours’ when in the kitchen – reason enough to give vegetarian cuisine a try.
Toutes les Couleurs, Lyon
This boho-chic, off-the-tourist-trail gem serves strictly vegetarian, vegan and organic. It is worth tracking down for the quirky lighting and its communal atmosphere, as well its celebration of eating clean.
One TripAdvisor reviewer, Claire K from Lyon, enjoyed the intimate atmosphere as well as the rustic cuisine. “My taste buds say THANK YOU!” she wrote.
(Photo: Toutes les Couleurs)
Country Life, Marseille
On Happy Cow, the go-to database for vegetarian and health food shops around the world, Country Life is revealed as having it all. Not only is there a vegetarian restaurant serving up to six vegetarians plats per day, but inside there is also a natural health food shop and, upstairs, a beauty institute which uses only organic products – a veritable veggie paradise.
La faim des Haricots, Toulouse
One of the very few entirely vegetarian restaurants in Toulouse, this is a great family-fun find, with fantastic quiches and daily specials. Opened in 1996, there is now two other outlets in Blagnac and Innopole, perhaps revealing France’s slow but steady conversion to, or at least acceptance of, vegetarianism.
Vegetarian James W on TripAdvisor beamed about the restaurant.
“I imagine that even meat eaters will be satisfied by the delicious dishes on the all you can eat buffet,” he wrote.
Café Pinson, Paris
Recently featured in French Vogue as a perfect pick-me up during Paris Fashion Week, this little café oozes style, and is right on trend with its focus on whole grains, raw ingredients and detoxing juices. It was also recently named Critic’s Choice on Timeout Paris.
By: Ellie O'Driscoll