Vegetarians and vegans...where can they enjoy great restaurant meals?

If you are a vegetarian or vegan can you eat a great meal in Bordeaux, Libourne?

In the coutryside of France?

Are any of you vegatarian?

Do you accept that French chefs avoide fine vegie cuisine.

Or am I wrong?

Any one interested in coming here for a vegie cooking class 3/4 DAYS

You know how to find me for details.

By the way 26 degrees here today summer!!!!

Veggie restaurants just do not exist in our part of France - nor menu options for something alternative to meat - except I did go to one in Toulouse once, and I sat there thinking, 'I could do better than this', the food was sooo bland but packed to the rafters all the same! When I mention to any local people that I'm a veggie, their reaction is, 'why did you move to France?'!!

that was part of the joke - their names that is - but good restaurant anyway...

french food is nothing like it was when I was here with OH no 1 in the late 60s, early 70s and it strikes me that apart from generous lashings of things from the USA or typically seeming to be, there has been no real innovation. great and famous chefs there will always be, but under 1% of all chefs, but mediocrity seems more apparent that genius by far. veggie is probably a step too far for them...

Brian I remember someone called Arthur Brown ...THE CRAZY WORLD OF.
Sorry caps again
But if i can cook good vegie cuisine the great Mastyer Michelin lads can do it?

Maybe I need to do it again....could do...

But the French would not understand it....untill they tried it.

It can be tasty.

If you can cook.

What am I saying?

This topic certainly resonates with me after some "interesting" experiences with veggie options. I live in Nice, so I think we have a few more options down here due to the Italian cuisine and the local "socca" dish, which I love. But there are still plenty of restaurants with meat and fish dishes and nothing else - ie the traditional French restaurants. There is a well-known veggie restaurant on the port here, too. There is no doubt that France is a terrible place to be veggie on the whole, but from my experience the south is the easiest area so far, although the choice is still a little limited! I don't let it stop me eating out whenever I feel like it, though - and I am the only pure veggie (ie no fish) in my social group, although I am not a vegan. Indian food is a reasonable option here too, plus Chinese. And I'm seeing more tofu in the restaurants than before...

woooh, guru nanaks... do you, perchance, remember some geordie brothers called brown (arthur, john and charlie) plus pat grover who lived less than 100m from there and were asian food freaks when not chip sandwich boys. well, we used the place a bit, long ago, perhaps not your time even but you jolted my memory back to good food.

ok, I eat anything and everything because anthropologists who have worked in and potentially still might work in places where things I tell people about are what you get, point. however, when eating vegetarian I insist on (by item) no red meat but also no other kind such as chicken, etc, no fish or other sea or fresh water, no eggs and yet during my week in bergerac hospital was presented with a quiche with ham bits, something pretending to have once been chicken, fish finger things, lamb in a revolting tomato sauce. all of which I refused and lived on yoghourt and pots of 'desserty-things' and a bit of fruit. I have even been served fish as the meal of the day in a bordeaux 'vegan' (?????????) restaurant and demanded the chef come to the table where I delivered a loud 'lecture'. my conclusion is that it is possible, but restaurateurs have not worked it out yet. perhaps they never will at that.

Hi Barbara! When were you at the 606? This takes me back a long time! Tony!

It's L'Arpege - Alain Passard cooks there, he's the Michelin starred chef who scandalised Paris when he said he was more interested in vegetables. It is NOT vegetarian but there is a great emphasis put on vegetables and you can eat there as a vegetarian (we had a tomato fantasy menu which was fantastic). Few places can cope and yes it curtails one's social life. However I've been cooking with my village Asso and we've now had a couple of veg-friendly feasts - it's all fine and everyone enjoys it. Just don't mention the V word.

Hi all

A subject which is very close to my heart! We've been coming to France since 1994 and moved here permanently 8 years ago. We're both vegetarian and have found that things have improved a lot....but is that because we've had the usual bad experiences and now we're more careful, we know what to look for and my French is much better?! Or is it because there are more veggie tourists round here? Who Knows?! Here in the Charente they seem to be quite enlightened!! and we do quite well for high-end dining.

We have the Grange aux Oies at Nieuill who do a veggie menu (although you do have to make sure it doesn't come with Salmon sometimes) Here is their "Menu Découverte Autour du Potager":

Menu Découverte Autour du Potager 48 € ( Vin compris (apéritif et café offerts)
Apéritif : Pineau, Kir, Pétillant de raisin ou Cognac tonic
Les entrées
La salade de poireaux grillés à l'oeuf de caille et salade de mâche
La bavaroise de carottes bio aux chips de céleri, feuille d'huîtres végétales
Le crémeux de topinambours aux algues pourpres, mirepoix de légumes aux croustillants de poireaux
Le velouté de potiron aux noisettes torréfiées, baguettes grillées aux légumes racines
Les plats
La grande assiette de légumes de saison au chèvre "Kalidaan"
L'embeurrée de choux de Chine aux fruits d'Automne, fricassée de champignons aux châtaignes
La galette de pomme de terre et sa poêlée de légumes d'hiver
La gratinée d'endives au safran d'Angoumois et mousseline de céleri
La grande ardoise de fromages affinés, d'ici et d'ailleurs
Les gourmandises sucrées, les desserts chocolatés

We've also just discovered that La Domaine des Etangs at Massignac does a veggie menu although we've not been there yet:

Menu "Balade dans le potager"
Salade du potager
Gaspacho de légumes saisonniers
Tian de légumes d’été, caviar d’aubergines, écrasée de pommes de terre aux herbes et petits pois
Tartelette au fenouil, tomates séchées sur poêlée d’artichauts et champignons du moment
Assiette de fromages régionaux (supplément de 7€)
Petites douceurs
Moelleux coeur violette, verrine pistache
Macaron aux fraises
Mousseux de jus de griottes, prunes du Domaine et sa tuile de pop corn
Verrine mousse carotte, dacquoise et glace caramel
Millefeuille de café et mascarpone, compotée de fruits de saison
32 €

In Angouleme old town, the "Passe Muraille" says on the chalk board (in french) that Vegetarians are accepted, just like Mastercard & Visa!!! But if you ask in advance they do a really good veggie plat du jour, if you just turn up they will still do you something for you that is "French" ie nothing that you could possibly predict.

With all of the above together with the usual pizza places and "normal" restaurants who usually do something veggie we not that badly placed.

When we travel throughout France it is a different matter just because we are not familiar with what's on offer and we do tend to seek out the Italian type restaurants.

Honestly, Vegetarians are getting a raw deal coming to Haute Savoie.... Vegans even worse. Everyone is expected to try the cheeses, Reblochon, Tomme, etc, and of course, the local dishes all contain an assiette du charcuterie.

The chef I work with is VERY intolerant of vegetarians, basically, you get an omlette...... vegan... then it's an assiette des crudites.... nice, but when you're staying on full board in the hotel for three days, and complain that you've had fish and omlette every meal, my answer from the chef is this "what the F@#K can she eat, she's vegetarian, bordel."

We once had a group of 45 people for a week, who ate fish every meal, because there were 5 muslims, and 1 vegetarian. It's embarassing.

On the plus side, in Annecy, there are quite a few restos that have special menus for vegans/vegetarians. I can't name any off the tip of my tongue, because I eat meat (but only local and organic wherever possible), but we have, on occasion commented on the menu being very considerate for people with different eating habits.

The chef once asked me why I had a problem with his anger towards veggies, and posed the question "what would you do".. I answered "vegetable curries, homemade quorn pie, veg rissotto, stir fry.. the list is endless".... and he threw a meat cleaver at the wall, lol.

Deeply sympathise with vegans in France - I heard of a case recenlty where the chef created a lovely assiette de légumes, and then garnished it with cream! Culturally, vegetarianism and veganism are still alien concepts here. French people believe it is unhealthy, and you can argue until you are blue in the face, but they won't budge. After 18 years of omelettes and salads "sans lardons SVP", I started eating meat again, but prefer veggie options if availalbe. I was vegetarian for political reasons in any case, and not on the principal that meat is murder......

Where have all the great chefs gone?

And why should great cooking be cheap?

Great cooking requires skill and money spent on good ingredients.

We were in Paris in the Milatary area and had dinner in a micheline stared restaurant called

Aparge? Not sure of the spelling.

I believe it became a vegetarian restaurant.

Wondered if you know it Yevette?

We've given up eating out locally, we do eat fish, but find it tends to be the same dishes in most restaurants. there is never a vegetarian dish on the menu, and a plate of vegetable is not appetising as they tend to be overcooked for my preference. WE did have a fantastic vegetarian restaurant in Montauban, only opened weekdays at lunchtime and was always busy, very basic, 2 starters, 2 main courses, 3 desserts, fruit juice or wine to drink. It was extremely good value and my children loved to too, but we went 6 months ago and it was gone!

As for Indian and chinese, we have tried a few, but found the food bland and salty!

We have certainly picked the wrong area of the country to be vegetarian!!!!

Hi Barbara

Philippe runs a brasserie in Paris in the 19th called Cafe des Dames - on Place colonel Fabien right opposite the siege social of the Communist Party. He is going to take on a different brasserie in September as he's now been there 4 years and is ready for a change and to be in a slightly busier area. He's done very well adn I'm extremey proud of him - when we met 8 years ago he was a waiter so he's really worked hard and acheived a lot. He's more than doubled the revenue of this brasserie since taking it over. He introduced fresh fish and fresh pasta dishes which change daily (always fresh pasta and this is often a veggie option) and has a veggie option on the menu (albeit the standard omelette and then veggie wok dish but it is really tasty.)

Have a lovely weekend :)

Tony the restaurant was called Naturally.

It ....AT first shared premises at 606 Kings Rd Chelsea with the 606 CLUB.

Fairly Long story.

Then we took over from GURU NANAKS IN All Saints Road...Notiing Hill

Gate....Then it moved to mainstream Notting Hill and became an everything restaurant

called a Taste of Honey.

A few months as chef at The last Resort....OH MY GOSH...My boss was involved

in Operation Julie and I held the liscence with him.

From here we moved to open the Perfumed Conservatory and then onwards to

Chinon in W14.

Funny how life evolves....there was plenty going on in mine.

I wrekon that I was totall exhaused with my 16 hour working days ...SOMETIMES 7 days

a week. Inspired to create something special I never gave into being tired or sick as

my determination always won over rest.

Maybe there should be a vegetarian dining society here in my region.

At the moment there seems as if there is little or no respect for this type of


Ah yes the ingredients are there.

Yvette please tell me more about the restaurant....Web site?

Veggie cooking can be amazing. Funnily enough my diet has hugely improved since moving here as it was so easy to be veggie in the UK and I just lived on ready easy food like quorn fillets (which my freezer here is simply bursting with for lazy days!) Living in a country where I'm not catered for at all has really expanded my horizons and now that I have children and have to think about their nutritional needs I'm even more adventurous. I wouldn't say they appreciate my efforts mind you - incidentally I have not enforced my veggie lifestyle on them but I will only buy free range meat and so they certainly don't have meat at every meal. Just once a day. My husband who is a full blooded meat eating Frenchie has completely embraced veggie meals and happily admits they can be as tasty as meaty meals in spite of his original belief that I was a crazy freak who would soon learn to change my ways. I do know lots of expats though who are also ex-veggies because it is more complicated!

I have exactly the same problem with a lot of my local restaurants if I venture outside the Italian/Indian/Chinese options. I usually end up asking for an 'assiette de legumes' too. The whole concept of being a vegetarian seems to be alien to my neighbours and to most restaurants here where I live, although, having said that, a while ago I went to a superb restaurant outside Dunkirk, which could not have been more welcoming to me.

A new Chinese restaurant has opened up close to me and I have friends coming over, so I will be trying that out soon. There was a great Indian restaurant in Calais a few years ago, but the owner died, which was a bit discouraging and nobody took it over. If you want to know about my experience as a vegetarian on P&O's ferry, then go to my website, . I have written a blog there entitled 'When is a vegetable not a vegetable.' … I know this sounds like a plug, but, for a few years, it was the highlight of my trip over to the UK going into the Food Court on their ferries! They were mad!

What was your restaurant in London, Barbara?