You can’t just go into a Parisian cafe and ask for some soy brie. I wish you could, but it simply isn’t done. I have a passing knowledge of French, but even if I could make such a request in a grammatically correct way, it would not make sense culturally. Dairy is so inherent to French cuisine, hardly any meal, even a salad, is made without it. So what’s a vegan to do in such a cheese-loving society?
Well, it’s really not that hard, but it’s really not that easy either. Everywhere I’ve traveled, I’ve been able to find the one or two foods that are vegan friendly and, accompanied by salads, chomp happily through the weekend. However, Paris is the city of love, lights, but also cheese. The mice from Disney’s Ratatouille can vouch for me on this one.
Navigating around the French cheese obsession was difficult. I’d like to talk about a great vegan cafe that does offer non-dairy cheese products, but traveling with omnivores, I didn’t go to any. Still, even though I wasn’t able to experience it, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For the local Parisian vegan, Un Monde Vegan offers a wide selection of vegan cheeses. I wish that I had known about it when I visited because I probably would have a brought a large wedge with me to every meal. No shame.
However, because no vegan cheese alternative was available to me, I just had to exert my good old fashioned willpower at meal time. Besides salads, there were a few vegetarian sandwich options which really just amounted to lettuce and tomato on bread. Granted, it was a beautiful French baguette, but it was still just bread. So if you’re going to Paris, just make sure you do your research. There are vegan restaurants and resources if you know where to look.
Despite our differences in taste, Paris is still one of my favorite places in the entire world. I plan to go back, just with a list of vegan restaurants and Google Maps directions in hand.
Here is the best resource I found post Paris
Happy Cow Paris listings