I took a small trip to Paris for work this week, and found myself facing the age-old dilemma of arriving at Paris-Nord station far too early for my Intercity train back to Amsterdam. I’d spent some time walking through the city, taking selfies with various monuments (hello, l’selfie du Louvre), and I hadn’t eaten since the very sad “Continental” breakfast that was served at my Ibis hotel that morning. For me, that meant tough bread, watery black espresso and marmalade. I was getting haaaangry.
If you’ve also had the good fortune of looking for food spots around Paris Nord, you’ll know that the area is awash with over-priced Brasseries serving rubbery steak, Croque Monsieur and escargot for those who decide they simply cannot wait to try snails within a minute of stepping off the Eurostar. It’s touristy and tacky—even if I wasn’t vegan, I really wouldn’t want to eat here.
I whipped out my trusty Happy Cow app to find out if there was anywhere serving anything remotely veggie nearby. Just under a ten minute walk away was a Vegan Cantine called Le Veganovore that had opened a month earlier, so I thought I’d check it out.
The place was tiny but super cute with rustic vibes. The menu was simple, 100% organic and homemade that day by the owner. For a main, you could choose one of two veggie bowls—hot or cold, alongside a veggie soup of the day for a starter and some tempting looking dairy-free desserts if you so wished.
I was about to board a three hour train, so I went for the hot option to keep my tummy warm and full. Less than a minute of ordering, I had a huge bowl of goodness in front of me: slow-cooked lentils with braised onions, tender green cabbage, chunky grilled aubergine, sweet potato puree, perfectly-cooked rice & a green salad with a classic French-style dressing. It was hearty and comforting, and exactly what I needed (I was feeling a little fragile after a night on Champagne island). I had a bit of food envy over the cold bowls, which basically contained loads of veggie components to make a techni-colour rainbow salad. Either bowl would set you back a wondrous 7.50 EUR each—which wouldn’t even buy you a plate of fries in central Paris.
Despite the small (but perfectly formed) menu, the exact offering changes daily—although the concept, multi-coloured bowlfuls of different veggies, grains and fruits stays the same. And veggie bowls are literally the best, since there’s so much variety and they give you loads of slow-releasing energy.
I’m not saying you should make a beeline for this place above all of the the Parisian gastro delights (and my god, there are many!); but for a quick and satisfying lunch that’ll put you back on track after falling off the health wagon, this is très magnifique and worth a visit. 🙂