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Paris, Day 1 – Airport Food, Touristy Stuff, A Kitten, And Of Course Vegan Noms

OMGawd, I’m Going To Europe!

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine informed me that he was heading to Europe, at the end of April, for the largest veg event in all the land, VeganFest 2012! Being a supporter of Will Travel For Vegan Food from day one, he kindly invited me to come along on what’s sure to be the perfect compliment to this grand vegan adventure. Sure, sure the trip is focused in the US but could I really pass up an opportunity to find out what the vegan scene is like in another country?! I think not!! And hey, we did go to Montréal a few months back. So really, some branching out had all ready begun! ;)

As it goes with much of my life these days, a trip to Europe came up rather last minute. Thankfully my friend took care of all the details, so in no time we were in route to Italy… um… with a 3.5 day “layover” in Paris!!! Eeee!! I’ve never been to either France or Italy so hold onto your hats (***pause for brief hyperventilation***), and as The Joker would say… here. we. go. (***resume hyperventilation***)

VA>DC>Paris

The timing of all of this is actually quite perfect. My friend, who did the planning and inviting (yay!), is currently stationed in Virginia for work. And where did my latest vegan adventures place me just in time for a joint adventure? Virginia of course! So, on Sunday afternoon we hopped a quick flight from VA to DC and then from DC to Paris.

Our flight to DC was delayed by at least an hour or so due to weather so we ended up missing our connecting flight to Paris. However, all was NOT lost! After about three hours in line at customer service (no biggy!) we were booked on the next flight to Paris which left only a few hours after our originally scheduled flight, and happened to be a shorter flight as well. Perfect!

This did leave us some time to scout out vegan noms at the Dulles Washington airport as we weren’t flying out until nine-something. After walking up and down Terminal C a few times, asking around a little, and doing some label reading to no avail, we eventually found ourselves staring at the menu board at a place called California Tortilla. To our surprise the word ‘vegan’ appeared on their menu. Just once! But that’s enough for me!! Especially when I’m a hungry hungry hippo! The “No Meato Burrito” – sauteed veggies, rice, black beans, guac, spicy sunset sauce, leaf spinach, and salsa “(vegan friendly)” hit the spot. Perfecto!

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Dullas Washington AirportDullas Washington Aiport
During the 6.5 hour flight to Paris we were delighted to receive vegan chana masala as the main meal on board!! This is actually kind of a big deal. I’ve only been on one super long flight once before and I think the airline gave me a tuna sandwhich as their veggie option. Um. No. So this was a nice surprise. Although the side salad with cheese and ranch dressing, and bread and butter, were left untouched, this fairly tasty main course was gobbled up in no time.

Aaaaand sleep (sort of).

Vegan Chana Masala United Flight to Paris

We arrived at the airport in Paris, picked up our luggage (thankfully it traveled with us despite the delay and missed flight), taxied to our hotel, checked in, took a two hour nap (if you’re like me and have an extremely difficult time sleeping on airplanes — even during red-eye flights — then this part is key), and then set off to find vegan food! Yaaay!!

Our very first dining out experience took us to one of the oldest veg establishments in Paris, Le Grande Appetit. Very cute and very welcoming. The server and chef/(owner?) were very kind and thankfully spoke English pretty well. Better than either of us can speak French!

Le Grande Appetit

9 Rue la Cerisaie (at Bastille)
Paris France 75004
01 40 27 04 95

vegan paris francevegan paris francevegan food in paris france

Since we had arrived before 7PM we were initially told that they were only serving limited items. However, the chef came out to say that we could order anything we wanted off of the regular menu. How lovely! We decided on a piece of the chickpea and caramelized onion pie, as well as the nori rolls. Pretty good!

vegan food in paris francevegan sushi in paris franceparis france vegan sushi

As we were finishing up, another English speaking couple came in and sat a few tables down from us. They asked us if we were from the States and then ended up chatting with them for a little bit. One of the two are vegan, though her partner jokingly admitted that he’s on the cusp or has been toying with vegetarianism for a while. We learned that they’ve spent quite a bit of time in Paris. It’s one of their favorite cities though they currently reside in North Carolina.

They were incredibly kind and made a few vegan restaurant recommendations as well as explained to us how the city is broken up into twenty arrondissements municipaux administrative districts, or arrondissements (see map here). Once we understood how this worked it made it much easier to get around.

Now that we were rested and full it was time to do some exploring! Pictured below: a beautiful side street (I need to take some pictures of the super cool doorways and courtyards around here!), metro tickets (one per ride!), a kitty on the metro (what!?), and the Eiffel Tower (oooh aaaah).

Vegan food tour of Paris, FranceParis Metro TicketsKitten on the Paris, France metroEiffel Tower in Paris, France

Believe it or not it was close to 9PM when I took the picture above, of the Eiffel Tower. Pretty light out! But given the time we needed to find a place to eat before heading back to the hotel.  We ended up going to Loving Hut as it was open late and my friend Aurelia (who lives here!) said that it’s worth checking out. Perfect!

Loving Hut

92 Boulevard Beaumarchais
Paris France 75011
01 48 06 43 84

This is by far the best Loving Hut location I’ve been to (there are hundreds of locations worldwide). From the decor to the food, this place is really great! They also sell some to-go items, pictured in the case below, and carry some educational materials – like Colin Campbell’s The China Study and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, in French (of course!).

Loving Hut France decor, vegan foodLoving Hut in Paris, FranceLoving Hut in Paris, FranceLoving Hut in Paris, France

For food we ordered the fresh spring rolls, pho soup, and pizza! For dessert we had a banana split. Eating vegan in Paris?! No problem, ami!!!

vegan spring rolls in paris francevegan pho in paris franceLoving Hut Paris, FranceA vegan banana split at Loving Hut in Paris, France

On our way out I left behind a ‘Will Travel For Vegan Food was here’ decal and business card. I might have also staged a business card, for a vegan sweets place here called Vegan Folie’s, as well as a flyer for VeganFest in Italy, in this pic. Teehee!

Will Travel For Vegan Food biz card and decal in Paris, France

It’s around 11:30AM on Tuesday right now. We’re going to meet up with a friend for lunch, do some more sight seeing, probably more food (w00p!), and then back to the hotel so I can update you on even more vegan goodies from Paris! Weeeee!!!!

PS – I feel blessed beyond words for this experience and am over the moon to be able to share it with each of you. xoxo :)

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Comments

  1. Jan

    I am speechless daughter and a bit teary eyed ~~ :-)Enjoy, learn, have fun and veganize, THIS IS GREAT, Luv ya much!!

  2. Great post!

    I wish I had found that No Meato burrito when I was at Dulles airport. I think I actually ended up with some tomato sauce spaghetti… not bad, but definitely not perfect.

    I went to Paris this winter so I had fun reading about your experience.

    I was at the Gran appétit and ordered the sushi though. They were pretty good, as you said, but I wish there had been wasabi and ginger to go with them. The side salad was very good though. I wish I had ordered that onion tart. It just looks so good.

    You can see what I ate at Grand Appétit here :
    http://veganamontreal.blogspot.ca/2012/04/grand-appetit.html

    Isn’t the banana split so great at the Loving Hut? I couldn’t get enough of it. I had that and the pizza and really enjoyed it all, although it is a bit pricey. And the no-muh cheese is great too.

  3. It’s great to hear of your travels, and that you are having fun. Europe?! Awesome! Can’t wait to hear and see what’s to come. All the best.

    -Jon and Katie

  4. ENVY! I wish I was you! ;-p

  5. Aunt Colleen

    Hi Kris — I can’t believe you’re in Paris! I think it’s truly wonderful and exciting what you’re accomplishing. Your blogs are fun and interesting, and it’s great that you’re meeting so many people along the way. Be safe, and enjoy all the adventures coming your way.
    Love ya,
    Aunt C

    • Hi Aunt Colleen!! Thanks so much! I’m most certainly having the time of my life! :) Love you!!

  6. lynn rampacek

    wow! how awesome, i hope you have a wonderful time!
    i went to paris 12 years ago, for 10 days, and we managed to find a different vegan restaurant each night… amazing!
    great vegan food and dogs everywhere (as well as dog poo- watch where you step!).

    so glad wtfveganfood has taken it international…
    have fun!

    • Thanks, Lynn!! Yes, it’s been a blast and the vegan food here has been wonderful so far. I can’t wait to see more.. only a couple of days left! :) PS – still dreaming about Eden … nearly every night! Can’t wait to make it back!! ;)

      • lynn rampacek

        we are getting ready to open, and can’t wait to see you again, this time, we will have to have some dinner together and talk about your trip! hurray!

  7. Clod

    Kristin, my name is Claudio I’ve been reading you since your very beginning. I live in Milan, in Italy and I can’t believe you are coming here! If you manage to come to Milan, it would be a great pleasure to meet you guys and show you some places here around! ;)

    • Hi Claudio! Thank you so much for your support!!! I’m not sure that we’ll have a chance to stop in Milan but if we do I’ll surely let you know! I’d love to meet you and have a meal together! :)

    • Clod! We’re heading to Milan today! I emailed you!! :) Hope to meet up!

  8. Dave

    Kris,
    So incredible. Your good Karma is returning right back to you. Be safe and enjoy. Living in the moment priceless

    Luv Ya

    Dad

  9. Thanks very much for your report! We’re going to be there soon, so thanks for being the forward team. That pho looks amazing.
    I wish we had kittens on the Metro in DC. But I’d probably never want to leave if we did.

    • Very exciting!!! You’ll love it here! :)
      Yeah, kittens on the Metro. It surely is a unique strategy to get new passengers aboard! ;)

  10. Rafa

    I am going to Paris next week. Someone led me to your site. It’s awesome to know that there are plenty of vegan options in Paris. I am staying in a hotel at the 3e arrondissement and I hope to find vegan places nearby. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Hi Rafa, Oooh how exciting!! Yes, eating vegan in Paris was easy as pie. You’ll have a blast! And if you don’t already have it, check out the “VegOut” app from Happy Cow. It helped us out a lot! :) I tried to cover all of the 100% vegan places in the area, so I hope you find wtfvf to be a good resource as well. Have a wonderful time! :) xo

      • Rafa

        Hey Kristin,

        I got back from Paris over a week ago and had an awesome time! I was able to try some of the veggie restos that you mentioned in your blog. My partner Daniel and I stayed in the Marais district where we tried Le Potager du Marais on Rue Rambuteau (mainly vegan, but some of the dishes have goat cheese and dairy). We went there twice. I had the quinoa burger and the apple crumb and both dishes were delicious! The only problem is that the place is rather small and feels claustrophobic when it’s full. Also, the decor is hideous.

        We went to Rue Mouffetard to check out Vegan Folie’s and I met the young woman who was working there (I think it’s the same woman with whom you had a picture taken outside the store). But when we got there, it was almost 7:30 PM and we hadn’t had dinner yet, and since the place only sells desserts, we ended up going to an Indian place for our veggie dinner. So we missed the desserts at Vegan’s Folie! :( Oh well, next time… Nearly the same situation happened also when we went to Montmartre to try Au Grain de Folie for their dessertss, but they were all gone (we got there late afternoon).

        Then before visiting the Louvre, we went to Saveurs Veget’Halles on Rue des Bourdonnais. I wasn’t impressed with the location (right next to a noisy high school), but I have to say I was impressed with the menu, the service, the atmosphere and the prices. I loved the seitan steak and mango pudding topped with fresh fruit! During my next time in Paris, this will definitely be the first vegan resto I will visit again! I told my server that the first time I was in Paris (23 years ago!), there were hardly any veggie places; but now there are about a dozen or more! So times are changing!

        After our visit to the Pere Lachaise cemetery on a Sunday, we walked over a mile to The Loving Hut but much to our dismay, it was closed! Darn!

        Finally, we tried Voy Alimento at Rue des Vinaigriers. I tried the assiette crudite and I can tell you it was out of this world! It was my first 100% macrobiotic meal! It was tasty, nutritious and delicious! I ordered it with acai milkshake (which was served in room temperature – also a first for me because I usually drink my shakes chilled). My server – I think she’s Brazilian – explained the restaurant’s philosophy of providing fresh, healthy and interesting ingredients. She sounded very well informed and charming. They have two friendly cats (one was purring constantly! haha). I would definitely come back to this place.

        In those times when we had problems accessing vegan places, we ended up eating in veggie-friendly Asian, Indian or Lebanese restaurants.

        I just wanted to share with you about my vegan experience in Paris and I can’t wait for my next visit to try out the vegan restos that I missed and try the new ones!

        • Hi Rafa,

          That’s so cool. I’m glad you had a nice time… Voy Alimento is definitely one of my favorite restaurants!! :) Thanks for sharing and I look forward to your future vegan adventures! :) xo

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