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May 11, 2014 06:17 PM

5 dinners in Paris with a vegetarian!

My wife and I are staying 5 nights in Paris. The problem is she is a vegetarian, I am not. We're looking for low key places, nothing too fancy. Maybe 20-30 euros per person. After some research, I've narrowed our dinners down to:

Verjus bar a vins
L'Avant Comptoir
Frenchie Wine Bar
Breizh Cafe
Candelaria or Saravanaa Bhavan if we need a break from french food.

Any thoughts? I also am considering Les Papilles or L'Office (as I've heard they may provide a vegetarian option for the price-fixed menu with advance notice). I am open to replacing any of the restaurants, but obviously there need to be vegetarian options on the menu (with some meat options for me). We are willing to take the metro for dinner, but preferably not too long of a ride from Opera or Chaussée d'Antin - La Fayette (closest metro stops to our hotel). Thanks!

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  1. The first three are wine bars with snack like food. you can certainly build a meal if you want to but its a meal of bar snacks not the best representation of a Paris meal. Verjus (when I went) was pretty meaty and as there are only a few options that may be an issue. L"Avant Comptoir is very meaty (and no seats) - its a bit of a piggy paradise. Frenchie does have some really good salads and you can avoid meat - its probably the most meal like.

    Understand the desire to have a non-French option but you don't have many true traditional French options to start with apart from a crepe cafe (which again is snacky food). Verjus is definitely American, Frenchie is French but quite international, and L"avant Comptoir is Basque (I know is French basque but its not trad French)

    My advice is to simply choose from any of the decent places recommended on the board, double check the menus and avoid any that have a USP based on meat (Hugo Desnoyer for example), you can almost guarantee that menus will have good options for a non-meat eater. So bottom line is neither of you need to compromise.

    Three cautions: "Named" salads can often have undeclared meat as that is the traditional recipe - best to double check. Soups are often meat stock based - again ask. And finally you will struggle on that budget - and this includes the wine bars you name as they are not really that good value (and remember if you go to a wine bar they sort of expect you to order wine).

    1. Several years ago, well before it became more common, we travelled and dined out with someone who "ate nothing that ever had a face". To guarantee his comfort and to simplify things for the restaurant, we booked every dinner and advised the restaurant in advance that one of our party at no meat, foul or fish. To a place, we were welcomed warmly and he was served interesting plates, often unusual, but always appealing looking and delicious. In other words, we did not visit or not visit any restaurant especially because of the vegetarian in our group.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mangeur

        Thanks for the tips. I should have clarified, 20-30 euros per person not including wine/drinks. I definitely will book a few places and advise in advance that one of the party is a vegetarian. Any thoughts on places that do a particularly good job of this?

      2. Macéo -- 15 rue des Petits Champs in the 1er -- always has a vegetarian option, but it might be above your everyday budget. However, food is delicious, and I think you'd like the place.

        If you read this article you might not want to go to Saravana Bhavan...

        1 Reply
        1. When we ate at Pierre Sang Boyer the other night, a woman nearby was a vegetarian, and we watched (from the counter at the open kitchen) while they modified dishes for her. I believe she ate well (it was her choice for her birthday). At dinner, six courses are 39E, but there are smaller/cheaper lunch options, and it is six metro stops from your hotel.

          North African (Mansouria, Chez Omar) and Lebanese are also done well in Paris and will offer vegetarian options.

          1. Based on the recs, I made reservations at L'Office and Semilla (and asked them to accommodate a vegetarian). I'll probably keep Candelaria and Breizh Cafe on this list. Thanks for the help!