It’s been a while since I updated after my last study module and moving house… so it was a couple of months ago we went to Paris now, but I’d like to review a particularly excellent vegan restaurant there.
Eating vegan in Paris
On the whole, eating as a vegetarian or vegan is Paris is not actually that difficult, despite what the mind conjures when you think of traditionally French food. Yes, they tend to not let any part of the animal escape the cooking pot, generally speaking. But with a combination of forward planning and fortunately stumbling upon places, I did pretty well. It was certainly less of a herbivore’s headache than Brussels, but that’s another blog entry entirely. We stayed in Marais, in the troisième arrondissement. I chose this because the majority of the vegan/veggie restaurants are around here, but it was a lovely place to stay generally, kind of like an upmarket Soho.
Le Potager du Marais
This is the first place we ate when we arrived in Marais, for lunch. I’d already read La Potager du Marais Google reviews and printed off a location map. So in my heart of hearts I think I already knew what I was going to order. Vegan boeuf bourguignon <3 My dad always used to make the traditional version of this dish, served with mashed potato – one of my favourites. To my delight it was served with a big pile of garlicky vegan mash! How did they pull off the missing beef? Seiten. Hail seitan! Apologies, bad joke. Been watching a bit too much Vegan Black Metal Chef. (Check it out, the guy’s hilarious and there’s some good recipes.)
A quick note on Seiten…
Seitan is just a wheat gluten fake meat, think we most commonly use soy protein in the UK (as far as I’ve seen). They’d cooked it up to be soft, fall apart in your mouth and have a really similar texture to the stewed beef traditionally used in this dish, very convincing.
Back to the food
You’ll obviously never perfectly replicate the intense taste of beef and beef stock with vegan alternatives, but it certainly tasted like a hearty, delicious stew with realistic mock meat. I was also overjoyed to actually eat French food in France, rather than having to opt for other types of cuisine because it’s easier to find non-meat dishes in say, Asian restaurants. So this was an excellent start to the weekend. Here is a photo of my dish in all its glory:
The service was amazing considering the place was filling out by that point (about 1pm… ) – there seemed to be one chef and one waiter. They were attentive, friendly and made every effort to talk English after hearing our attempts at murdering their language ;)
The food was a little expensive, but having said that they are an independent set up with bills to pay and high quality organic produce to source. We also can’t blame them for the rubbish exchange rate at the moment between the Pound Sterling and the Euro, plus Paris was expensive full stop. So I think in comparison to other places in Marais, this place really wasn’t overpriced. Especially since price is about perceived value – and my lunch was worth every cent :)
Don’t just take my word for it
As well as the Google reviews there’s a whole host of excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, where people are usually the hardest to please. Also Le Potager du Marais website is still under construction, so you can find the address and phone number etc through Trip Advisor too.
I highly recommend this place if you’re visiting Paris.