There are many vegetarian places in Paris that are anything but run of the mill. If you have to pick just one, go with Le Potager du Marais for its “return to solid values” ambiance. Open from Wednesday through Sunday, the space is simultaneously welcoming, cozy, and full of culinary surprises. The vegetarian menu at this small restaurant in the heart of the Marais, and close to Beaubourg and its museums, is a delight. Start with lemonade or an apple-carrot cocktail to create the mood. The cuckoo clock on the wall and the general decor make you feel as if you’re in the country. The plants hanging from the beams and the apple green curtains evoke nature and get you thinking about the many vegetarian flavors.
After the soup of the day, give into the temptation of the croustillant du potager (a crunchy quinoa burger) with mushroom sauce or the salad auvergnate, in which the ham has been replaced by smoked tofu. Veggies are never boring here. The dishes are plated carefully and the freshness of the produce means they taste fantastic, just like the vegetables we remember as children. For meat lovers who are not totally convinced that a vegetarian menu is for them, there is the seitan bourguignon, which, although totally vegetarian, is as satisfying as the best meat dish elsewhere. Every effort has been made to create balanced dishes that are nutrious, protein-rich, and include delicious sides like the rice with almonds. For dessert, if you love moelleux au chocolat, but can’t eat eggs, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll also find other classic desserts with a twist, like the tarte tatin or the creme brulee. Finally, if you have a taste for novelty, try the cereal coffee. It’s a real discovery with a more subtle taste than ordinary coffee.
There are, of course, other vegetarian places in Paris in different neighborhoods that are certainly worth the trip. In the 5th arrondissement (rue de la Bûcherie), Le Grenierde Notre-Dame is a vegetarian restaurant with an enchanting decor of climbing plants. If you want to start with a hydromassage before sampling a vegetarian platter you’ve put together yourself, then head to La Verrière on avenue de Tourville in the 7th arrondissement. It also offers an excellent Sunday brunch. And finally, Rose Bakery (rue des Martyrs in the 9th) is well-known for its subtly flavored salads, famous carrot cake, and very British decor. This is a place to truly relish the vegetable world.