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Vegan Travel Suggestions Discussion Forum

Hiya, I'm going to France in June (Paris) with my school, is it possible to last 4 days in France as a vegetarian? Also how will I persuade teachers that I'll be fine? They don't know yet but my mum is worried that I'll starve, so the teachers might think so too! Thank you =D

Responses (5)

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    Posted by jenly at 01/07/15 06:51:41

    Hi SerenaSkye I was last in France more than 15 years ago, and since then the country has become more veg friendly. Four days is not very long and, frankly, you could survive just about anywhere on the planet for four days if you bring a jar of peanut butter along. If you eat dairy or eggs this isn't even an issue. If you are a strict vegan, you can tell your mom French people have the world's best french fries, bread, a treat called socca which is like polenta but made from chickpeas and cut up and fried like french fries, green beans, nuts, olives and fruit. You might find that if your group eats out, the waiter or chef might become indignant if you ask for something prepared without the meat (at least this was my experience when I was there last). It is not a culture that embraces ordering food exactly the way you want it. Cooking is considered an art and you as the diner are the somewhat passive spectator. Perhaps times have changed, so definitely make your requests as early as you can, but don't get upset if they snub you.

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    Posted by SerenaSkye at 01/07/15 11:40:44

    Hiya jenly, thank you for replying, I was planning on living on baguettes for four days, but since I have more information I won't be! Socca sounds quite tasty. I won't really mind if a waiter snubs me, I'm used to the people in my class not respecting me, its my life and they can judge all they want!

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    Posted by backpackercarl at 01/27/15 21:36:38

    Vegetarianism in France

    Association végétarienne de France - Offers online nutritional information, news, and discussion forums, as well as a quarterly magazine.

    Végétariens Magazine / VegMag - Bi-monthly French magazine about vegetarianism and organic food, with recipes, travel tips, and news. (stopped publishing in 2011)

    Veggie pride - Annual parade held in May in Paris, France and Rome, Italy. The site also has info about vegetarianism (in French).


    Vegetarian Restaurants in France
    Here are some regularly updated lists of vegetarian restaurants in France. Please note that I don't have any affiliation with these sites - if you know of a restaurant that should be listed, you need to contact the webmasters directly:

    FrenchEntree.com - Vegetarian places to stay & eat

    Happy Cow's Vegetarian Guide - Vegetarian restaurants and health food stores in France

    VegDining - Vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants and food stores

    Végétannuaire - Restaurants 100 % végétariens et/ou végétaliens.

    If you're curious about vegetarian restaurants that I've actually eaten at, please see my list of vegetarian restaurants in France.


    Vegetarian Cooking in France
    I've always thought it would be really fun to do a vegetarian cooking class in France. Haven't done it yet, but here are the places I've been considering.

    ArtHoliday Cookery Course in France - Spend a week cooking, eating (and drinking). English-language course with trips to local wine and cheese makers, in a small village in Languedoc-Roussillon.

    Cook in France - English-language cooking course in the Dordogne.

    Tomlin's Vegetarian Cookery School in France - English-language cooking course in the Charente-Maritime region of France.

    Végétannuaire - Le Carnet d'Adresses du Végétarisme - French-language vegetarian and vegan cooking classes.


    Vegetarian Places to Stay in France
    Again, I have no affiliation with these sites - if you'd know of a place that should be listed, you need to contact the webmaster of the site.

    HappyCow's Travel Guide - Vegetarian bed & breakfasts (B&Bs), resorts, retreats, and workshop centers

    Végétannuaire - Hôtels, gîtes, auberges, pensions et séjours proposant des repas 100 % végétariens.

    Vegetarian Vacations - Vegetarian bed & breakfasts in France

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    Posted by Joanna Dubois at 04/15/15 11:54:36

    A lot of chefs still think vegetarians eat fish. And most think vegans only eat plain boiled vegetables (and strangely enough they don't seem to consider potatoes are a vegetable).
    There are now a few vegan restaurants in Paris (albeit on the pricey side, except for 'Ginger Café'). Le POtager du Marais is my personal favourite.
    If you have to eat in a non vegetarian restaurant (i.e. if you are on a school trip), here's a tip given by a French fellow vegan:
    just say to the restaurant that you'd like a dish made up of only vegetables, pulses, cereals.
    My suggestion is that you say you are on a special diet prescribed by your doctor, which chefs will accept, whereas if you'd tried to say it's your preference, some are not so understanding.
    Here's the French translation: "je dois suivre un régime spécial prescrit par le médecin, sans viande, poisson ni produits laitiers ou oeufs.Merci de me préparer un plat avec des légumes/pommes de terre ou céréales/ légumineuses, assaisonnés sans beurre/lait/fromage.
    There are now plenty of wholefood stores in Paris where you can buy delicious vegan (healthy!) food. The Naturalia chain has branches all over Paris (you'll find the adresses online). They sell naturally leavened bread and baguettes too (ask for 'pain au levain'). A lot of bakeries also sell organic baguettes and bread made with natural leaven.
    If you really can't resist croissants, there's a brand that does a vegan version (Croissants "La Borie"). They come in packs of 4, but they need to be reheated in an oven otherwise they taste VERY dry. Usually 'Loving Hut' has some in stock.
    Here's some favourite vegan things you'll find at most wholefood stores:
    SOJAMI: they do a range of soft vegan cheeses; the one 'aux 5 poivres' is particularly delicious....but it doesn't keep for more than a couple of days (even refrigerated) once open;
    TAIFUN: ready to eat tofu (the best!) Try the 'graffiti' one or the smoked one with almonds (Tofu fumé aux amandes).
    The other French brands are usually pretty bland.
    Another very healthy food to survive on as a vegan in France are the "Gaia Galettes de céréales germées". I particularly like the Dates ones. They're little individual 'essene sprouted cereals' little loaves (comes in packs of 3).
    BEWARE CHOCOLATE AND COOKIE LOVERS: always read the ingredients: in France even some dark chocolate contains milk solids and most wholefood store cookies in France contain eggs and/or butter.
    As a healthy alternative to peanut butter while in france, I suggest "Tahin" (Lima is the best brand and also the most economical). This is sesame seed butter.
    LE GRAND APPETIT, near the Place de la Bastille does some great vegan/no added sugar takeaway fruit pies. (Like most places in France they have odd opening hours and since they're run by Orthodox Jews they are closed on Jewish religious holidays, so do check before going: Tel: +33 (0)1 40 27 04 95. They have a wholefood store selling the takeaway vegetable and fruit pies and a macrobiotic restaurant next door (I'm personally not that keen on macrobiotic food, so wouldn't recommend their restaurant...but that's a personal preference)
    Please note virtually all wholefood stores in France sell meat/fish!

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    Posted by TerryCSTX at 06/14/15 06:30:16

    Wow - Awesome responses to this question! I hope you enjoy Paris SerenaSkye. It is a beautiful city. Thanks to all who shared info. It will help me during my visit to Martinique in a couples of weeks.
    I'll be sure to report on my findings!

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