CLOSED: Au Grain de Folie

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 46 reviews )



Rue la Vieuville, 24 (at metro: Abesses), Paris, France, 75018

Paris veggie restaurant with a small menu. Near Sacre Coeur. Helps a little to make a reservation in advance. Confirmed closed, Jan 2016. Open hours vary, call ahead.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, French

46 Reviews

First Review by Poundie

Unique & Delicious - Edit

My husband and I had dinner here and found the owner to be refreshing, natural and real rather than pretending to fit a mould and be false.
The meal was simple, fresh and delicious. It was like being in a quirky small hotel with an owner running it all. And her English is great.
It's not instant microwave food so be prepared to engage with your dining partner and relax and enjoy the leisurely pace.
We are very experienced vegan travellers and we loved it.
Prices for mains €15

Pros: Delicious fresh food, Unique environment, Homely

Cons: Opening times vary

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worst vegetarian food and service - Edit

I read a similar review that I was about to write but anyway, the place seems to be consistent in the quality delivered:

I visited Paris for New Years Eve and we were hungry after the walk to Sacre-Coeur. It is unfortunately the only veggie place in the Montmatre area.

We were the only guests and the server greeted us friendly, removed some leftovers from the table and gave us the English version of the menu. She explained us that combining a starter with the menu is not recommended since it would be too much. We took the menu, ie main course and dessert. It took forever but we expected at least freshly cooked food. It arrived a large plate with raw carrots, cole slaw, medium warm rice, lentils and some mixed vegetables. Everything was covered by a brown salt/spice which not really contributed to a better food.

We were hungry and finished almost everything but we already agreed after 2 minutes that this was a disaster. Just before we finished our server disappeared and left the restaurant for about 15 minutes.

We were patient since we wanted at least to taste the desserts. After another 10 minutes wait the deserts arrived, a cold apple crumble - still the best and a piece of the chocolate cake - worst ever seen and tasted. It all came with dirty utensils, on a dirty table. Not to mention that the whole place is crammed totally useless stuff like veggie magazines from 2010.

We paid 50€ in total which is really a joke, even for expensive Paris. Don't go there!
Updated from previous review on Wednesday December 31, 2014

Pros: the dog of the server was cute

Cons: the remainder

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Puuh - Edit

Raw vegetables, some rice and a bit of seitan for 15 euro. The Restaurant is not clean and too small. It doesn't help that the guy working there is really friendly. The meal stopped my hunger, but that's it. We wouldn't go there a second time...

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Worst meal I've ever had - Edit

Me and my friend were visiting Paris for a weekend in October. Since it was one of few restaurants with vegan options in Montmartre, we decided to visit Au Grain de Folie for dinner. The location is nice, but that is the only thing positive I can say about this place.

I ordered a mixed plate with seitan, and my friend ordered a mixed plate with a vegetable pie of some sort. We also ordered some wine. We received the wine and two dirty glasses, and then the waiting began. There were three other guests at the restaurant who had arrived just before us. After 15 minutes, they received a soup of some sort, but we kept on waiting. 20 minutes later they received their mixed plates, but we kept on waiting. When we had waited 45 minutes, my friend asked our server what was taking so long since the other guests had received two courses, to which he replied "This is the way we do things". We finished our wine, visited the restroom (which was also a broom closet), and waited some more. After an hour we received our food.

The food was what the most ignorant meat eaters would say vegans eat: some lentils (overcooked), some raw shredded carrots and kale, some sliced cucumbers, brown rice (overcooked), a vegetable stew of some sort (overcooked) and seitan/vegetable pie. It was all topped with some sort of herb salt, and just looked like a brown mess. I would be surprised if Au Grain de Folie has updated their menu since they opened over 25 years ago, it certainly didn't look like it.

We were both hungy after our long wait, so we felt we had to eat, and after the first few bites, I couldn't stop laughing. It tasted just as bad as it looked, and I told my friend that I was so happy we visited this place, because anything I would eat from that moment on would be better than this. We also made a deal that sometime in the future, without notice and at any time during the day, we would give the other person 10 minutes to prepare a full meal with whatever she had at home, and compare it to what we received at Au Grain de Folie. I am convinced it will be a million times better than what we had just eaten.

If you want a meal that looks and tastes like it was prepared in the 70's, this is the place for you. But if you, like most people, realize that vegan food has evolved a lot the last couple of decades, and actually want something good, don't visit this "restaurant".

I really wish this place would go out of business. It gives vegans and vegetarians everywhere a bad name.

Cons: Outdated menu, Disgusting food, Extremely slow service

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Amazing Location - Edit

Had vegan hot chocolate & vegan dessert (crumble). Small place but very cosy, terrace is very nice. Friendly atmosphere, hard to beat the location & scenery.

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Much appreciated veggie oasis :-) - Edit

Unbelievable that just one person runs this place! Very healthy and tasty food (I had the ginger/onion seitan main meal option for €15 which came with Brown rice, curried veg, puy lentils, raw beetroot, carrot, and cabbage). My boyfriend had a different main meal option, plus a dessert. A carafe of good wine was €15,50. Yes, whilst there's not much space and just one person working there, overall, it was so refreshing to have an affordable, tasty, nutritious and non-stodgy meal in a normally expensive part of Paris, cooked and served up by a friendly owner who's dedicated to vegetarianism/veganism :-)

Pros: Great healthy food, Lovely, hardworking owner/chef/waitress , Reasonably priced for Monmartre

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Great character - Edit

All the reviews below are accurate - both positive and negative!
Bit cramped (especially toilet which is full of stuff!) but charming. There are about 5 tables inside and another 3 outside so you may have to wait for a table.
Owner/chef/waitress is disorganised indeed, and waited over half an hour after ordering before I got my drink (after asking for it again). It seems everything is made from scratch (you can see it being made) which is good.
Felt very healthy.
There was a second chef/waitress this evening. Both friendly. Would go again.

Pros: Healthy, Charming, Atmosphere

Cons: Slow service, Cramped

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au grain de folie - Edit

We stumbled upon this place on our last night in Paris when on our way to a different veg-friendly resturant. Let's just say we wish we continued on our way past! The strangest thing about this place is that it actually has some good reviews on Tripadvisor, Google and Happy Cow... how on earth they exist we will never work out. I love a quirky little hippie cafe, heck, I'm drawn to them, which is probably why we ended up deciding to eat here. The omni-partner on the other hand hates the slow service that normally comes with them. Mistake number one was probably him asking the waiter/owner if she had a menu we could look at. Her response? "Of course I have a menu, how can I sell my food?!". I laughed it off and we sat down to order a few beers, a hummus starter and the 13 euro plate each, which was a selection of vegies and your choice of 'main'. When our beers arrived they were hemp beers (cue the partner's eye rolling), which I found quite funny ("it's still beer!"). Starving, we glanced towards the kitchen every 5 minutes or so, waiting for our hummus to arrive. 25 minutes later it comes and we dig in... unfortunately it's super dry, probably the only 'bad' hummus I've ever eaten, and the bread is stale. Ah well, it filled a hole! Another hour passes and after asking a few times for our meal, and getting responses in French from the owner who speaks perfect English, we're told that it's taking so long because they ran out of rice. A few minutes later our meal arrives, with cold rice (how did that happen?). It's, um... interesting. A plate of raw vegies, cold seitan, with the only seasoning seemingly being a sprinkle of vegetable stock over the plate. The result is a sometimes bland forkful of food and sometimes overpowering salty flavour. All up we paid 45 euro.

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Sweet and cozy but... - Edit

A tiny place where a woman cooks for you. Feels like going to someone's house. Which can be either great or terrible.
If you're in a hurry, don't go there. This a slow food restaurant :) I didn't wait for long but the place was almost empty and I could guess that it would take forever to serve everyone if the place was full.
You pay 13€ for the menu, which has salad, lentils or beans and the main course you choose. My seitan had too much ginger in it (and I love ginger) but the rest was great. I particularly liked the hummus. The apple crumble is also delicious.
A fine choice for one of those days when you feel like strolling slowly. You can climb the hill, see the views, stroll in Montmartre, eat here, have a cafe with Amelie Poulain and end the day at the Seine, thinking about how our obcession with time ruins our life. If you're not in the mood for this, skip this place and have a Falafel. Hmmm, Falafel... :)

Pros: Good food, Nice mood

Cons: Slow

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An absolute nightmare - Edit

What can I say ... This is a very small restaurant, very dirty and chaotic. The food tasted weird and I'm surprised not to be sick. I even found a Hair in my pie! Disgusting!

Cons: Unclean, Outdated, Bad food

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Avoid! - Edit

This is definitely not a 'restaurant'. It's a very small place, reminds me of some old lady's kitchen. We got super stale bread, horrible service and strange dips, that tasted like its been sitting in the fridge for weeks.

Cons: Service, Food

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Mostly Vegetarian

  Contributions +11

Excellent, Quaint with good Service - Edit

My wife and I found this restaurant during our vacation in France. The food was delicious; a surprising burst of intricate flavors and spices. We highly recommend this restaurant for anyone visiting Paris.

Pros: Healthy Food, Delicious, Good Service

Cons: None

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Will not be returning... - Edit

Went here for dinner on Saturday. It is the only place I could find in central Montmartre.

The options are limited: a few apps, and then the standard "plate" of veggies/bean/grain with 4 options of items to add to the plate. We both chose the seitan option.

We waited over an hour for our food to arrive. One-third of the plate was shredded raw cabbage and carrot. The rest of the plate was filled with small mounds of different items (carrot salad, lentils, rice, onion salad). The seitan mound was delicious - but it was only 3 spoonfuls of food!

So we left very unsatisfied. We waited so long for a small serving of very mediocre food - all of which could have been prepared in our own apartment. I remember thinking the seitan was really yummy but I cant remember what it tasted like because I only had 3 tiny tastes of it.

We also ordered humus which was okay. Served with a few tiny slices of bread.

Another disconcerting thing is the cleanliness of the place. Our table was not wiped down, the crumbs from the previous people were just shaken off the placemat. The server was also prepping the food, while handling money and clearing plates. She made the humus from scratch - which is one reason things took so long. We could see everything she did from our table (it is a very tiny place) and we could see her sneezing and not washing her hands etc. She was not friendly either, perhaps because she was trying to get the carrots/cabbage, humus etc prepared for the dinner rush.

All in all, a weird place. Food didn't taste bad, but our bill was 40Euros and we were not at all satisfied when we left, or treated nicely when we were there. If I am ever back in the area I will try to find a falafel stand or other ethnic food option rather than going here again.

Pros: healthy, cute and cozy place

Cons: loooong wait, hygiene poor, small portions

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Nice place - Edit

The owner is very friendly and helpful.

I ordered the La Curieuse plate and it was quite delicious. The beans were perhaps not really seasoned, but the tart and salads were delicious.

Good macrobiotic food.

Pros: friendly owner, atmosphere

Cons: some things are bland

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wish i could like this - Edit

I would love to be more positive about a vego place, but I too found the interior shabby, not cute, service beyond slow and food far below what I would make at home. Service was polite, but if you're vego go somewhere else and if you're vegan, hmmm, try cooking at home. It was healthy, fresh but very bland and oddly presented. The seitan was good but was served with flavourless cold lentils and all the sides described previously. The bread for our entrees was stale. The download and hot chic drinks were nice. Sorry to review negatively, but this is not a good place for the vego cause! Definitely don't bring non vegos here.

Pros: friendly staff, healthy, fresh

Cons: bland, slow, ambience

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Au Grain de Folie improves!! - Edit

When we visited this charming little restaurant yesterday we were surprised positively by a waitress in addition to the owner/ cook.
We did not have to wait long for our food, which was very good.
Price was 13 EUR for "formule" which means entrée and main course on one plate. Seitan can be truly recommended.
Sure, this is no place for "fast food". And this was pointed out by the very friendly and warm-hearted owner herself. Bring time and enjoy the atmosphere, then "Au Grain de Folie" is a beautiful experience in the heart of Montmartre.

Pros: food, atmosphere

Cons: very small

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Mixed - Edit

I read the previous reviews and pretty much knew what I was letting myself in for, and in that way, all the comments here are extremely accurate. The place and owner are incredibly charming, the food is fresh, although not particularly inventive, but it is a disaster - total chaos.

At first, the lack of organization and scatter-brained owner/chef/server are entertaining. But as time wears on and you still haven't eaten, or been brought a drink, or waited 45 minutes to pay, it becomes more and more irritating - at least it did for me. I had nowhere else to be, but started to resent the fact that with the addition of just one competent waiter or chef, this could have been a lovely experience. One person cannot do it all - especially one with apparent severe ADHD!

The menu tells you that you can choose one of about 4 different main courses, which then come on a plate with a grain, legume and salad, but these vary from day to day and are not specified. I hope you like surprises. I chose the seitan, sautéed with mushrooms and onions and it was delicious - served with brown rice, plain lentils, grated (raw) carrot, red and white cabbage and lettuce. SHe sprinkles on a flavored salt, which helps with the somewhat bland flavors

I sincerely hope that the owner will see some of these reviews and recruit someone to help. Although if that were going to happen, I'm sure she would have done it by now. There is a great amount of affection and sympathy for this place and many of us would like to see it succeed. Several people came in after me and their meal took even longer. She acknowledged (to the entire room) that she is disorganized and that our only consolation should be that sometimes she is even worse!

Pros: Great location, cute ambience, fresh food


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Pleasant surprise - Edit

My wife had injured her foot earlier in the day, so rather than dragging her around to find a place to eat, I scouted this place out (there's some uphill walking from the underground). When we came back, the tables were filled, so we had to wait. My wife struck up a conversation with another American waiting outside (turns out she is in Jimmy Buffett's group). Eventually, we got seated inside, but it seemed like we were never going to get served. When I finally decided that my wife's blood sugar was not going to allow us to wait any longer, the hostess asked, "Oh, you are leaving me? You are next." So I pointed out my dilemma and she said not to worry.

I waited. Best decision I made in Paris.

Both meals were delicious, healthy, and interesting. The owner/cook/hostess/waitress was busy but never rude. The atmosphere was correspondingly charming. I would definitely go again. I wouldn't plan to be in a hurry, but then that's a good rule of thumb when eating anywhere in Europe.

Pros: atmosphere, flavor, selection

Cons: speed, capacity

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cute little surprise - Edit

we visited this restaurant in April 2011. Although its small in size it has a great energy. The owner is very lovely, speaks fluent english and is very knowledgeable. The menu is small but its best to get the set menu that she cooks each day. The plate is large with alot of variety. Organic beer was great too. All food is local produce and organic. We highliy recommend you visit. Its always busy so make sure you get there early in the evening.

Pros: yummy food, large servings, inexpensive

Cons: limited space/tables

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I was dissapointed!!! - Edit

Well, this was my third time in Paris but my first as a vegan. It was hard to find good vegan food along with a good value. The food was good but nothing extraordinary, I consider myself a good cook and this was not a really well thought out cook meal. One of the problem for us was that we had to share the tiny place with two American Californian yuppy girls talking nonsense with an American kid coming from Amsterdam. The place was very small and it didn't allow us to enjoy our meal without knowing all the details about their trips.The cook/owner/waitress was friendly..maybe too much...You can call the owner friendly, or maybe a little odd, she talked too much and took too long to serve everyone. We asked for a little more bread to eat it with a bit of olive oil she served us with our meal and we were asked "why, you already finished your meal...and tomorrow there's no bakeries open"...the place?...well you can call it cute, or whatever some people call it on other reviews..I call it messy!! can improve that little place and make it look so much better and take the advantage of the wonderful produce and products that France has to offer along with an excellent location and you have an excellent restaurant!!!. I went after this not so good experience to the Le Potager du Marais and Le Grenier de Notre Dame and what a difference!, same price, more food and so much better (sit in the first floor of the Le Grenier not the second... better atmosphere). It was a very disappointing experience.

Pros: healthy cuisine , good location

Cons: value, portions, atmosphere

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Great location, food fine but nothing special - Edit

Restaurant is welcoming and well situated, woman who owns it is friendly and nice. So that's all fine, but while the food itself was nice it was not especially good value: the 13-euro plate was full of stuff, but most of it was just rice and plain-ish veg, with only a small bit of distinctive hot main course. Mind you, Paris is pricey, so good value is hard to find at the best of times!

Pros: Location, Service

Cons: Value

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Mixed feelings - Edit

We visited this cute little restaurant in Montmartre with 2 omni friends and it was certainly an entertaining experience. The owner/waitress/cook prepared everything while we were there (actually the kitchen was open so we could see what she was doing) and it was good that we were the first ones to arrive, because service is slow. The food was good, tasty but not very filling at all! Portions are not too big so don't go here if you're feeling very hungry. The owner was definitely a bit peculiar, came to our table mid-lunch to add some ingredients she had forgotten - while we were eating... Still, a good option for a quick lunch when you're strolling through Montmartre.

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Healthy food prepared fresh - Edit

Cute little restaurant tucked away in the Montmartre district. At first glance when you walk in, it seems to have more of a feel of someone's home dining room. Nevertheless, the owner was very welcoming and prepared us a delicious meal in her back kitchen. We had the vegetable soup, then the seitan platter with rice, lentils, salad, beetroot, and mixed veggies. It was very tasty and healthy- exactly what you want after walking around Paris for hours in the snow!

Pros: warm atmosphere, healthy meal, friendly owner

Cons: a bit cluttered for a tiny space

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Charming find in Montmartre - Edit

This is a nice little find after ambling around and climbing the hills of Montmartre. If you are in a hurry, continue on... But! if you have the time to soak up the ambience, check in with the proprietress and sit tight with your patience. We did have to wait outside the door until she was ready, but it was well worth it. If you are antsy the curvy streets nearby are filled with interesting boutiques to soak up your wait time.

The menu is a bit limited and everything might not be available, but what she prepared was pretty darn fresh. Everything is in season - take note by the farmers market fare all around her kitchen. The seating is tight! but cozy and intimate. The wine list was fantastic and she advises in detail her thoughts and suggestions (she does speak English, and does not make you feel badly if you need her to). She has a great selection of medicinal teas. The seitan and vegetable tart were super yummy. The apple crumble (a must for vegans) was my fave - straight out of the oven hot!

The experience was that of eating a home-cooked meal in your grandmother's kitchen. The decor is eclectic and the postings on the wall clue you in that this is a local spot. So, don't expect fancy, but do expect good clean fresh vegan cuisine in typically relaxed Parisian fashion. Also note there is a tiny bathroom in the back - tiny and "Parisian" in its own right. It did get busy and if you are able to plan-and call-ahead, that is probably best as the proprietress does the serving AND the cooking.

Pros: romantic, near Sacre Coeur, healthy cuisine

Cons: tiny, slow service, pricey

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Cosy friendly restaurant - Edit

Cosy restaurant, feels like being in a living room. Very friendly and helpful owner. It isn't a la carte but its tasty hearty food and definitely worth a visit.

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Nice little place to grab a small meal - Edit

I went here a couple times. First time I ordered a full plate, second time the soup. The portion of the plate was rather small and the food was mediocre; for the price, I didn't find it worthwhile. The soup was a better deal, much less in price, tasty, and a nice filler-upper for lunch. The lady I met working there was nice. The place is cute. If your in Montmarte and your vegetarian, I suggest this as a possible stop for a light meal.

Pros: cute place, healthy food

Cons: pricey, tiny location, small portions

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Romantic Little Setting - Edit

In the heart of Montmartre a few blocks away from the Sacre Couer this is the perfect setting for a cosy night out. Generally, the restaurant is run single handedly by a very pleasant lady who prepares all food in the small kitchen at the rear. In some ways it's like being in her dining room. There is a homely setting with lots of nice touches decorating the walls and shelves. Outdoor seating can also be arranged on a warm night. The food is good and consists mainly of pulses, salads and goulashes all served together on a large plate for 12 EUR. There is also vegan dessert and a choice of starters. Wine is very reasonably priced. We got there at about 21:15 stayed until 23:45 and were made to feel extremely welcome. It is advised to arrive at 21:30 - 22:00 at the latest in order to appreciate the experience.

Pros: setting, staff, wine

Cons: limited food choice, very small

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