Ahhhh, Paris. Before I got to experience the beautiful City of Love, I misjudged you. I was told to skip Paris. That Paris was a city filled with garbage and snobby Parisians. I am SO glad I did not listen to them, because out of my euro trip, Paris was my favorite. So much that I actually started a plan to move there! But don’t worry New York City, I’m not done with you yet.
Aubrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.” She was right. It was cheaper for me to go through Paris than fly from Nice to Munich, so I thought why the hell not spend a few days in Paris?
I never thought Paris would be so eco-conscious. I explored Paris the way I explored any other city- by foot- and stumbled upon some wonderful sustainable foodie spots and shops. Check these eco-babies out:
Le Pavillon des Canaux
Out of my three days in Paris, I went to this lovely psychedelic, Alice and Wonderland themed, artsy coffee shop twice. They have coffee, organic wine, and plenty of farm to table noms- all of which you can enjoy in a bathtub upstairs while you people watch out the window. It’s definitely a locals spot and the only reason I found out about it was through my amazing Airbnb host. I loved it so much I went twice, and I still couldn’t get enough.
OKAY. HANDS DOWN. THE BEST. VEGAN FOOD. OF LIFE. Just thinking about it makes me cry. I found this restaurant a little bit out of the way from where I was staying (19th ARR.) but worth every struggle. It was a rainy day in Paris, and I was ready to just pass this place up, go home, and snuggle in my bed. However, a friend of mine (Hi Gaby!) convinced me to not skip out. I decided to take myself out on a date and splurge on my dinner. It’s not cheap- I spent about 40Euros- but I had no regrets. I had the Saint-Jack which is oyster mushroom pan-fried scallops (dead.), black rice risotto (YUM), seaweed, and green apple. To top it off, I had some biodynamic wine and the craziest vegan chocolate cake with some sort of raspberry dressing. It was for sure an “I can die happy now” meal for my belly.
I honestly feel like I ate my way through Paris, but I’m not mad about it. I started one of my days here and although there was a couple totally breaking up next to me I STILL happily enjoyed my vegan pancakes and coffee. Cloud Cakes is the definition of cute and cozy. It’s small, but they have a great menu and a bunch of delicious vegan pastries you can help yourself too! But seriously- get the pancakes.
Krishna Bhavan Restaurant
After my 6-hour train ride from Nice to Paris I was so disoriented from hunger and CRAVING Indian food. Instead of going straight to my Airbnb I went on a little detour through Gare du Nord neighborhood which is the “Little India” of Paris. I walked by a restaurant that had a sign that read “100% Pure Vegetarian” and my stomach screamed at me to go inside already! I ordered the Menu Midi for 14.50Euros and got the spinach/lentil curry with some rice and chai tea. Don’t worry vegans, they have plenty of options for you too! There are two locations so make sure you hit up the Gare du Nord location and don’t be shy in exploring the neighborhood. The fabric colors, smells of incense and curry, and different cultures are so vibrant!
Out of all the vintage stores I went to, Kiliwatch was my favorite. You can easily spend two hours in this store. I was on the hunt for some awesome black denim jeans and it was SO hard picking one because their denim section is out of this world. Each section of the shop catered to a different style. If you’re more into a Bohemian style, they got you. High fashion? Preppy? Punk? Goth? Kiliwatch really has it all. They’ve even got different decades! It was almost overwhelming how many options there are! This store was pricier than others but well worth a visit. Even if you’re just looking- you’re bound to find a treasure in there.
This shop had a more low-key vibe, which I liked after coming from Kiliwatch. It’s a smaller thrift store, but even then had so many options. They had a ton of vintage dresses and skirts while I was there, and it was so hard not to splurge. They had a little something for everyone. It’s almost like opening a treasure chest of vintage gems. I ended up getting a 90s vintage long-sleeved crop top that was WAYYYY cooler than me. But when you’re at a store like that, you do feel super cool. 8) The owner was very helpful, so don’t be shy if you’re looking for something specific! Although we all know that when you’re thrifting, the more open-minded you are, the more bang for your buck.
This tiny hole in the wall boutique looks unappealing from the outside, but on the inside it’s vintage galore. Catered to a younger, hip crowd there really is something for everyone in that tiny little shop. It has just the right amount of stuff- not too much to overwhelm you or too little to leave you feeling like you’ve wasted your time. Mad Vintage is also in Rouen, Caen, and Reims if you find yourself exploring the rest of France and craving some vintage shopping!
ZERO WASTE VEGAN SHOP
When I first stumbled upon this story- it was closed. I couldn’t believe my eyes looking through the window! A zero waste AND vegan shop?! LaMazuna has everything: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, lotion, shampoo, conditioner…it’s absolutely amazing. Especially for a traveler like me. I like to travel as minimal and zero waste as possible. Every product I buy has to be vegan. This store hit all of my requirements! I promised myself I would not leave Paris without paying homage to this shop. I’m so glad I went back. I bought a bunch of toothpaste as souvenirs for my friends! It is a bit pricey (9.80 euros each), but it’s a great stepping stone to making your own zero waste vegan toothpaste! The woman at the store was very helpful answering all my questions even though her english and my french were very minimal. Such a cozy, warm atmosphere. Everything is sold here so if you are flying you won’t have a problem with the liquid requirements!
WINE WINE WINE
I found this wine shop totally by accident (THIS IS WHY I LOVE WALKING A CITY!). Paris was rainy, and I had another hour to kill before Gentle Gourmet opened. It was close to La Seine, Notre-Dame, and Shakespeare & Co, so after checking out those spots I walked and saw this tiny little wine shop that read “biodynamic wines”. I had a mini freak out since I completely forgot I was leaving for Munich to see my best gal pal from high school the next morning (I’m such a bad friend) and would’ve shown up empty handed! I walked in confidently and said, “tell me what you recommend for a red wine that’s no more than 50Euros!” to which he responded, “I don’t have the poison you’re looking for- only good wine.” Coming from New York City, I was un-phased by his condescending tone and said, “Yeah I know I read your sign and I’M HERE FOR THE BIODYNAMIC WINE!” Finally, I got the badge of approval and he walked me through a bunch of wonderful choices in my price range. We nerded out over biodynamic farming for a couple of minutes and I happily left with the best Bordeaux I’ve had in my LIFE. And I drink a LOT of Bordeaux. Ha!
That sums up all my fav eco-spots in Paris! If I were you I’d grab a baguette, a bottle of wine from L’Etiquette, and a blanket to have a picnic at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Read a book you bought from Shakespeare & Co and breathe in the fresh air. It was the perfect way to end my trip in Paris and I just can’t wait to go back and do the same damn thing all over again!