Thankfully eating ‘sans gluten’ in the City of Light has never been easier.
Visitors (and lucky folk like me who live there) can now track down gluten free goodies pretty much all across Paris. What started as a small enclave of gluten free restaurants in the 10th arrondissement has spread out far and wide – from GF eclairs near the Arc de Triomphe, to GF waffles near the Hotel de Ville and even a tartine à l’avocat (avocado toast) to be found near the Canal St Martin. I’ve put together a list of GF eating options in Paris, including those with vegan and vegetarian options, to help you.
The coffee scene is improving here too with many independent coffee shops now being supplied by the ‘Atelier des Lilas’ who produce GF baked goods like madeleines, brownies, quiches and bread for them as well as for restaurants and the Grande Epicerie food store. You can also find GF groceries – breads, pasta, cookies etc in most supermarkets now. Brands such as Schär, Carrefour and Genius are stocked in mainstream supermarkets but there are some interesting (and better quality) products from smaller producers in the organic ‘bio’ stores like ‘Bio Co-op’ ‘Bio C Bon’ and Naturalia across the city.
It’s worth knowing that apart from less expensive brasseries and chain restaurants, many small restaurants will only offer lunch between about 12h and 14h and dinner between 19h and 22h and be closed at other times. Outside of Paris there isn’t the all day eating culture to be found in many large cities of the world like London and Singapore.
If you eat in small independent restaurants then look out for this sign:
It means the restaurant makes things from scratch, meaning they are likely to be far more knowledgeable about what is actually going into your food.
Consider trying a ‘steak frites’ here – the national dish! France does not have the habit of frying very much apart from ‘frites’ so chips/French fries can be a safe option (but, as always, eater beware!). Choose a small restaurant where there is nothing vaguely like fast food on the menu and, as always, speak to your waiter about your requirements when you order.
Most brasseries will offer an omelette with ham or cheese (or mixte, with both) which will be made with unadulterated eggs and butter. Galettes, or savoury pancakes, are usually made with buckwheat ‘sarrasin’ flour but cross contamination can be an issue – fortunately there are a few GF friendly creperies across the city.
Another option for eating out is a wine bar where they will often offer a ‘planche de fromage’, a wooden board of assorted cheeses. Perfect if you pitch up with your own GF bread or crackers in your handbag like I do all the time! Of course in the summer months, a stroll around a local market buying a piece of cheese here and some saucisson (salami) there, along with some ripe red tomatoes and a juicy peach can make for a lovely picnic.
And as for dessert there are some fabulous GF bakeries and patisseries – the renowned NoGlu, my favourite – Chambelland, Helmut Newcake, and the new kid on the block for stunning patisserie, Sitron. Sadly I have no great news regarding sourcing a GF croissant here – no one is yet selling fresh ones.
Things to remember:
Always say ‘bonjour’ to your waiter – they are a proud bunch and don’t like to feel they are being unappreciated.
If you can’t speak French then carry a Coeliac travel card explaining your dietary requirements and politely ask the waiter to read it – s’il vous plaît!
There are some great websites that will keep you up to date with the GF scene here –
www.bacididamaglutenfree.com is the website of Chiara, an effervescent Italian lady living in Paris who eats her way through the city and blogs about it in English and French. She also has reviews of great finds in other European cities and conducts food tours in Paris.
www.becausegus.com is a French site but worth a look for their reviews on restaurants and products
www.glutenfreeinParis.com which is in French but often features reviews of raw, vegetarian and vegan restaurants
Lastly, if you’re in town why not come to my home and take a GF baking class or join me on a GF Baker’s Walk in Paris? You can find all the details on my blog www.biencuitglutenfree.com.
17 Rue Duphot, 75001 Paris
Soups, salads, sandwiches and patisserie 100% GF
La Guinguette d’Angèle
34 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris
also new tea room:
2 Rue du General Renault, 75011, Paris
100% GF tiny takeaway only kiosk – salads, a hot dish, juices, cakes and cookies, vegan options
16 Passage des Panoramas, 75002 Paris: GF restaurant in a gorgeous old covered passageway with a little takeout café opposite
38 Rue de Saintonge 75003 Paris
69 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
21 rue des Jeûneurs, 75002 Paris
4 avenue Percier, 75008 Paris
25 rue de Sedaine, 75011 Paris
2 rue Georges Clémenceau, 78000 Versailles
Eco restaurants offering locally sourced meals in glass jars, many GF options and lots of healthy veggie-packed offerings
Love juice bar
26 Rue Chapon, 75003 Paris
100% GF raw, vegan café
6 Rue du Forez, 75003 Paris
organic, wheat free, dairy free, lots of veggie options
Big Love Caffè
30 Rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris
A mixed menu, but ALL pizzas are GF
61, Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris
relaxed café/restaurant with lots of GF options on the menu
Wild and the Moon
55 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris
Vegan GF juice bar
Le Potager du Marais
24 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 Paris
Vegetarian restaurant with GF and vegan options.
Yummy & Guilt Free
3 Rue du Temple, 75004
100% GF waffles on a stick with sweet or savoury topping
90 Rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris
100% organic and GF, options to eat in or take out
18 Rue Gregoire de Tours, 75006 Paris
Small Italian restaurant with GF options, including pasta
3 Rue Dupont des Loges, 75007 Paris
Little café/naturopath with 100% GF baked goods made by 100% GF ‘Atelier des Lilas’ and friendly staff
47 Rue de Laborde, 75008 Paris
Patisserie and creperie 100% GF
28 Rue Vignon, 75009 Paris
takeaway GF bakery – amazing patisserie
51 Galerie Montpensier 75001 Paris
109 Rue Amelot 75011 Paris
68 Rue Condorcet 75009 Paris
Café selling only GF patisserie sourced from NoGlu (above)
Le Potager de Charlotte
12 Rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, 75009 Paris
Vegan restaurant with lots of GF options
My Free Kitchen
1 Bis Rue Bleue, 75009 Paris
Organic, 100% GF DF cafe restaurant
20 Ave Trudaine, 75009, Paris
Relaxed café restaurant 100% GF with vegan and lactose free options
8 Rue de Châteaudun, 75009 Paris, France
Lots of veggie and GF options
La Maison du Sans Gluten
12 Rue d’Hauteville 75010 Paris
14 Rue d’Hauteville 75010 Paris
Filled GF savoury ‘sandwiches’ made of choux pastry. Sweet options are NOT GF.
Jules et Shim
36 Rue Bichat, 75010 Paris
Korean restaurant serving GF bibimbap with desserts from Chambelland (above)
11 Rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris
100% vegetarian, organic, GF
29, Rue du Paradis, 75010 Paris
100% organic grocery store, with some SABO food options (without rye, oats, wheat or barley)
Bears and Racoons
21 Rue Richard Lenoir. Paris 75011
100% GF sandwiches and cakes
Thank You My Deer
112 Rue Saint Maur, 75011 Paris
100% GF relaxed café with food and good coffee
38, Rue du Faubourg-du-Temple
GF lactose free cafe and patisserie with good coffee
14 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris
GF bakery with some seating
Cantine Bio Yuman
70 Rue du Chevaleret, 75013 Paris
Organic restaurant with vegetarian and GF options
83, Rue Daguerre, 75014 Paris
raw patisserie with vegan and GF options
99 Rue du Théâtre, 75015 Paris
vegan brasserie with GF options
52 Rue des Acacias, 75017
also at Edmond 75006 (see above)
100% GF eclairs, made to measure in front of you (except one granola topping)
82, Rue Lemercier, 75017 Paris
Vegan, organic and GF
Chain of restaurants – takeaway or eat in pre-packaged food, all clearly labelled with lots of GF options.
Paris is divided up in to 20 arrondissements or neighbourhoods, in the form of a clockwise spiral, which is often likened to a snail’s shell. They vary from 1 to 8 square kilometres in size. The arrondissement always appears in the address, so 75004 is Paris 4th (or 4e arrondissement), 75010 is the 10th (10e) etc. The 1st arrondissement (75001) is in the middle of the city on the right bank of the Seine, and includes the famous Louvre art gallery and Place Vendôme. The arrondissements curl round until the 20th (75020) on the eastern edge of the city. Each arrondissement is like a town in itself with its own Town Hall and police headquarters.
This list is obsolete almost as soon as it is written, but the information is correct at the time of reviewing in April 2017. Restaurants often change locations and others will have opened by the time you might visit. I have not been to all these restaurants. As always ‘eater beware’ – ask to speak to someone who can inform you about risks of cross contamination etc – in such restaurants there will usually be someone who speaks English. Most, if not all, of these restaurants will have an online presence, often in English as well as French, so do check opening times before you set out – some are open only lunchtimes and not evenings, some are closed at the weekend.
Lastly, if you’d like to take a GF cookery class while you’re in town then get in touch!
About the Author
Lisa Rumsey is a UK-trained doctor who worked in General Practice and Women’s Health in both the UK and France from 1988 until 2010. After moving to Singapore, she contributed to a magazine as a food writer and editor and subsequently teaching gluten free cooking, both privately and at a local cookery school. Now living back in France again, she is teaching GF baking from her home in the western suburbs of Paris. She also takes people on walking tours in Paris hunting down ingredients, bakeware and good GF things to eat. All the details are on her blog www.biencuitglutenfree.com.