While summer is perfect for picnics in parks and along the banks of the Seine, Parisians head indoors in the winter – to an increasing variety of cool cafés and cosy restaurants.
Whether you’re seeking to eat organic, gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian, or just an alternative to traditional French cuisine, there are plenty of fantastic places in Paris where you can fill up and keep warm when skies are grey.
Here are seven of the best (and be sure to check Vilda again soon for our guide to Paris for the summer!)
1) Café Ginger: My favourite place to go, rain or shine, for plates full of vegetarian and vegan food that feel home-made and yet entirely pro, created and served by the warm and very friendly staff. Their delicious savory tarts are accompanied by a range of different salads, their soups and juices are wonderful, their mugs of hot chocolate just perfect for wintery weather – and don’t miss their raw chocolate cake for dessert. Open for lunch Monday to Sunday from 12:30pm to 5pm, and for dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, 9 rue Jacques Coeur 75004, metro: Bastille.
2) Gentle Gourmet Café: Open from breakfast until well after dinner, this restaurant is a little bit fancy, and 100% vegan. Their creative takes on traditional French dishes – everything from croissants and crepes and creme brulée to savoury stews from the south – are beautifully presented and a delight to taste. Open every day from 9am to 11pm, with Sunday brunch from 9am to 1:30pm, 24 boulevard de la Bastille 75012, Metro: Bastille, Gare de Lyon or Quai de la Rapée.
3) Pousse Pousse: The name translates as ‘Sprout Sprout’, and sprouts are indeed the basis for what is incredibly filling, delicious raw food that is both vegan and gluten-free. They also sell all that a raw foodist might ever need, such as books, seeds, raw chocolate, and all kinds of amazing machines for the kitchen. Open for lunch Tuesday to Saturday, 7 rue Notre Dame de Lorette 75009, Metro: Notre Dame de Lorette.
4) My Kitch’n: One glance over My Kitch’n’s collection of Instagram photos is inspiration enough to take one’s self directly to this vegan restaurant and smoothie bar. The food tastes as fantastic as it looks, and everything is organic, plant-based, gluten-free and soy-free. You’ll find it inside the Batignolles covered market, where you can eat in or take away. Open Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 1pm, then from 3:30pm to 8pm, Saturday from 9am to 8pm, and Sunday from 9am to 2pm, inside the Marché Couvert des Batignolles, 96 bis rue Lemercier 75017, Metro: Brochant.
5) Vegan Folie’s: In the middle of the lively rue Mouffetard is this little oasis of organic, vegan desserts. The gorgeous cupcakes are named after rock stars and other famous figures (John Lemon, Sid Delicious, Rosa Pinks). The generous slices of cheesecake are a particular delight, rich in all the right ways and often flecked with gold. This week, they have a special coconut and peanut cheesecake to celebrate Chinese New Year. Open from 11am to 8pm Tuesday to Sunday, 53 rue Mouffetard 75005, Metro: Place Monge.
6) East Side Burgers: Tasty vegan and vegetarian burgers cooked before your eyes by fun staff, with a menu that changes by the day. Enjoy with a fruit tart, or a vegan cookie or two. There’s a table out front for sunny days, or seating downstairs if you need to escape the weather. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 12pm to 6pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 8pm, 60 boulevard Voltaire 75011, Metro: Saint Ambroise or Richard Lenoir.
7) Un Monde Vegan: Whether you’re making a packed lunch to take on a day trip Versailles, or cooking up a feast for friends, this well-stocked store is full of healthy staples for vegans, as well as those who follow a gluten-free diet. Vegan treats are available in abundance, including a great variety of different types of chocolate, “cheese”, meat substitutes and all kinds of things to accompany some delicious French bread. You’ll also find vegan versions of French delicacies such as pâté, faux gras, and several types of chocolate-hazlenut spread. Open 12pm to 7pm Monday to Saturday, open till 8pm Thursdays and Fridays, 64 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth 75003, Metro: Strasbourg – Saint-Denis, Réaumur – Sebastopol, Arts et Métiers or Temple.