La Belle France is an insanely popular destination for travelers. The countryside is incredibly diverse, it’s home to 49 UNESCO sites (natural and cultural), stunning diversity, rich culture and heritage, a place with stunning villages, jaw-dropping towns, and unforgettable cities. Most non-vegans would probably add French cuisine as another reason to visit – they’d probably wax lyrical remembering the dishes that would probably make most vegans fairly disgusted. But I am here to tell you that there are many incredible vegan or vegan-friendly businesses that will help you enjoy the best of France.
Now, we couldn’t possibly share all the vegan businesses that exist in France, but you will find a list of travel opportunities that will really add to your France vacation either because the experience is unique or very French but always vegan!
Vegan food and drinks in France
So, I want to level with you here. You will not find vegan options in many non-vegan restaurants especially outside of the big cities, especially in French restaurants. You will probably find something in Italian or Indian restaurants which you can modify, but you’ll need to manage your expectations a little bit. On top of that, I cannot think of a single classic French dish that is accidentally vegan or even a dish where you can ask them to leave the nonvegan item off without just leaving you with some green leaves.
It’s not all doom and gloom though.
French vegans are finding that in recent years there has been a huge shift in attitudes by restaurants and chefs. While they might not have marked vegan options on the menu or even dishes that are easily veganisable, they often frequently understand what the word vegan means and are willing to rustle something up for you. You won’t starve.
Supermarkets and Health Food Stores
Supermarkets (especially the big ones) will have a wide range of vegan products that will be perfect if you are self-catering, camping, cycling or just having a picnic on a trail. Most small towns will also have at least one small health food shop with a good range of vegan staples.
Vegan Grocery Stores
There are a surprising number of vegan grocery stores throughout France (at my last count there were 20) so you can try some amazing vegan cheeses and meats. There are many online stores that will deliver to your Airbnb too.
Helpful Apps and Sites
Of course, Happy Cow is very helpful for vegan travel in France but an app and website you need to know about is called Veg O Resto. It’s a French version of Happy Cow, in my opinion, it is even more comprehensive and even if you don’t read French, you’ll be able to make sense of it.
Vegan and Very Vegan-Friendly Accommodation
This plant-based hotel (they do use some honey and bee pollen) is absolutely beautiful. Part retreat, part florist, part yoga studio, part restaurant, and part boutique hotel. It is situated in the 9th arrondissement and has 22 tastefully decorated rooms with health, relaxation, and self-care as a priority. Their beautiful restaurant and yoga studio is open to the public so consider dropping in when you are in the area.
La Maison du Vert, Normandy
Normandy may well be the home of butter and cream, but the D Day landings, cute villages, cider, and classy beach towns of Honfleur, Deauville, and Trouville are reason enough for vegans to visit anyway. La Maison du Vert is a vegan hotel and restaurant an hour southeast of Caen in a very small village called Ticheville. Their small hotel has three rooms and a separate gîte which can sleep up to six. Situated in a stunning valley with 2.5 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, it’s the perfect place to come for a relaxing holiday or short break. Their restaurant has an international menu, but you will find apples in Calvados – apples pan-fried in a Calvados and caramel sauce, served with a lightly sweet almond cream and cinnamon, and Wild Mushroom and Chestnut ‘Steak’ on garlicky spinach with a creamy horseradish and parsley sauce served with baked dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Like so many of the vegan accommodations in France, La Beurette is also deep in the countryside but in a less visited but still beautiful area. This beautiful B and B located close to some ski fields is tucked into a narrow valley surrounded by forest and is a wonderful launch pad to discover the huge range of hiking trails, Lac Blanc, the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle and the natural park of Ballons des Vosges.
Moulin de la Cueille, Central France
This small rural accommodation (formerly a 19th-century mill) is owned by an English couple and long-term French residents. You’ll find four spacious suites and a small one-bedroom gite for more privacy. Overlooking the beautiful River Clain, Linda and Russell offer a delicious plant-based breakfast and dinner is available on request.
Deep in The Dordogne countryside, you’ll find La Domaine de Sirius, a small retreat and accommodation set overlooking the woodlands of the Purple Perigord. The 18th-century buildings were recently renovated using Feng Shui principles and you can connect with nature and enjoy comfortable accommodations and a hearty breakfast and dinner or lunch included in the price. La Domaine also offers a number of retreats and events throughout the year focused on health, self-care, and relaxation. This plant-based establishment (it does use local honey) is also wheat free.
Studio Vert, Perpignan
Studio Vert is a small 3-room accommodation located just south of Perpignan and just a few kilometers from the beach, this quiet corner of France could be just what you need. Their very reasonable rates include breakfast, comfortable beds, and wonderful views. With a car you can access Castelnou (one of the most beautiful villages in France), visit Perpignan, a large city, hike a wide variety of trails from easy to advanced in the Pyrenees, or stroll along the deserted beaches of the Côte Vermeille. Proudly vegan, Andi and Al, also offer 4-day vegan breaks which include breakfast and dinner for only 425 euros for 2 people and are on hand to help you discover this wonderful corner of France.
Aprie Cosy Provence
Nestled in the middle of olive groves, at 500m altitude, Bargemon (where Aprie Cosy is located) is in a picturesque medieval village close to the lakes of Sainte Croix, Saint Cassien, and the Verdon canyons and staying at this lovely vegan accommodation is a great way to explore the Provence region. Aprie Cosy is located 75 minutes north of St Tropez and has several beautifully appointed rooms in such a gorgeous setting. They all include a buffet breakfast, and if you book ahead they will make a wonderful dinner for you for only 20 euros. It’s Provence so expect Ricard, beautiful views, a swimming pool, Mediterranean cuisine and lots of al fresco eating.
Restaurants (French cuisine only)
ONA caused a huge splash a few years back for being the first vegan Michelin-starred restaurant in France and not only that, this restaurant is located in the South West of France known for its love of all things duck. Only an hour from Bordeaux and situated close to the coast in Arcachon Bay this restaurant is worth a detour.
Le Potager du Marais, Paris
This fan-favorite has been located in the Marais district of Paris since 2003 and went completely vegan several years ago when vegan cheese started to get better and more available. This restaurant was the first Paris restaurant to recreate the dishes and the atmosphere (right down to the checked tablecloths) of a cozy French bistro. The Boeuf Bourguignon has massive hunks of chewy seitan and the French onion soup has a very rich and delicious broth topped with bread and melted cheese on top.
Cloud Cakes, Paris
There are a few all-vegan patisseries in Paris and this one also includes a small cafe with some light meals as well. We love Cloud Cakes because it is situated close to other vegan restaurants and businesses so we recommend choosing a hotel close by and making this your daily breakfast spot. Our pic is the almond paste stuffed croissant.
The first vegan patisserie in Paris, and still one of the best and we maintain that their croissants are the best in the city. We also love the small but cute terrace so you can watch the Parisians stroll past.
Velicious feels like a salon du thè when you walk in. On entering you find a counter filled with Alsatian specialities like Black Forest cake (they even give you the choice between a boozy and alcohol-free) Also on this level is a small vegan grocery with lots of products you won’t have seen before. Just up a few stairs, you will find a small ‘salon’ with a huge menu which as well as some more standard food like ‘Hot Vogs’ you can taste Tartiflette, Raclette, cheese platters and we’ve even had their vegan Steak Tartare!
Land and Monkeys, Paris
Maison Landemaine is a chain of high-end bakeries and patisseries in Paris, Lille and Tokyo that started selling very well-marked and spectacular vegan baked goods including vegan sandwiches several years ago. The owners of this successful chain became vegan a few years ago and started to explore the idea of creating something similar to Maison Landemaine except vegan! In 2020 Land and Monkeys was launched and now there are five branches throughout Paris selling patisserie, sandwiches, Viennoiseries, drinks, tartines, quiches and so much more!
Le Potager du Charlotte Paris
Le Potager de Charlotte has two branches in the 9th and 17th arrondissements and this is probably our favorite choice for some slightly higher-end food that is vegetable focussed. While the menu is not extensive, we do love the attempts to recreate some popular French dishes like the oeuf au mayonnaise into vegan versions (they use avocado)
Tours / activities / excursions / visits
Vegan Surf Camp , Biarritz
Want to learn to surf? Down on the southwest Atlantic coast and the best surfing in France you’ll find Vegan Surf Camp. They offer a number of different packages of different lengths and different standards.
- Yoga & Surf, a weekly stay with different accommodation options, in tent or in mobile homes
- Green Flow, an all-inclusive weekend yoga retreats with an initiation to surf
- Salty Waves, our 18+ Vegan & fun weekly stays, a more affordable option for young people during the high season
You can choose between staying in a shared basic or deluxe tent or a mobile home and their camps include food which is prepared by passionate and experienced people with a wide variety and quantity of foods which is exactly what you need after several hours surfing and doing yoga. If you have ever wanted to try surfing, this is a wonderful opportunity all the way on the amazing surf coast of Occitanie.
Le Cheval Blanc, The Lot
This hidden gem is located just south of The Lot region in the South West of France in a small village called St Antonin Noble Val, an undiscovered gem of a corner of France. The owners are an English couple who settled here after falling in love with the place after their bike broke down on a cycling holiday. After they became vegan 5 years ago, they pivoted their business from vegetarian to vegan. Natalie has created a wonderful spot for vegans who want to get off the beaten track. She has a table d’hote (accommodation with breakfast and dinner) as well as a number of residential courses and classes that she holds on-site including vegan French cuisine, advanced vegan cookery and vegan foraging weekends.
St Antonin Noble Vélo, The Lot
This vegan bike tour operator Peter is the husband of Natalie from Le Cheval Blanc. Peter offers guided and self-guided holidays for road or gravel bikes throughout the stunning Occitan region of France. For their guided trips, using Le Cheval Blanc as their base, travelers explore different areas of the region each day after a hearty vegan breakfast. While not all meals are included in the price of their tours they make sure you never go hungry by offering you meals at their beautiful auberge or recommending some nearby restaurants that have some wonderful vegan options.
Just because you are vegan, doesn’t mean that you can’t take home some of France with you (to enjoy on your return or to gift with friends). We suggest you pack a small cool bag and some blue bricks so that you can bring home items that require refrigeration. There are just so many products available in France that you just can’t find back home and that your friends will be so excited to try!
Arsayo is run by a family of passionate vegans and their shop is located in the Marais district. They just sell one design in different colors, sizes, and materials. The unique design of their backpack has won awards and is stylish, appeals to everyone, is so comfortable, and chic enough to look good for the streets of Paris. We love their more sustainable bags made out of cork and AppleSkin leather and their exotic collection really do look like snake or crocodile leather!
Jay & Joy, Paris
Jay and Joy is a vegan cheese shop (with some vegan meats and even some vegan ‘joie gras’) located in the 11th arrondissement in Paris. While you can find many of their cheeses in the vegan grocery stores around the country, this place (to my knowledge) is the only vegan fromagerie in France with a physical location where you can drop in, sample some of their products, and watch the artisans creating the most wonderful Camembert style cheeses. Jay and Joy also have lots of other vegan products to make the best picnic you could dream of.
This vegan grocery store in Paris is possibly one of our favorites. Even if you are dining out every single meal, this place is a fantastic spot to come to shop for gifts for friends back home.
There are plenty of vineyards around France that are vegan. While they are not always labeled as such, the general rule of thumb is that if they are ‘bio’ they are probably vegan but did you know that there is a vegan champagne producer? If you think that I mean sparkling wine, I’m not. This winemaker is located in The Champagne region, and they produce six varieties of Champagne. They are proudly vegan, practice vegan viticulture (their compost is vegan) and promote biodiversity in their vineyards with more than 300 trees throughout their vines. They also welcome visitors to their vines, cellars, and tastings.