With 40 million visitors in 2018, Paris is the number one tourism destination in the and a must-see destination for all those who travel to Europe.
Known for its emblematic tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre Museum, the French Capital is full of cultural and architectural treasures, that you can visit at any time of the year.
Whether you go there to discover its most emblematic monuments, its picturesque districts, or for a business trip, Paris is also an excellent playground for food lovers!
French gastronomy, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, is represented en-masse, and the city is full of organic, healthy and environmentally friendly restaurants and bistros.
Where to eat eco-friendly in Paris?
Whether you are looking for an organic restaurant in the Marais or a vegetarian spot for an aperitivo in Oberkampf, finding a restaurant where you can eat organic, vegetarian, or just healthy is no longer a challenge in Paris compared to a few years ago.
The capital is full of a multitude of eco-friendly places to eat, whatever the district you have chosen to visit.
You can find healthy canteens near the Grands Boulevards to eat before or after a show at the theatre, after a walk in the city’s emblematic covered passages, near museums or the Grande Bibliothèque de Paris, and even in the heart of the most popular shopping districts.
From the foot of the Canal Saint-Martin, through the Marais to less touristy corners like Batignolles, more and more organic restaurants and chefs committed to sustainability allow you to have sustainable food options in Paris.
To get there, you can take advantage of the multitude of clean and low carbon emission transport options. Self-service bicycles, electric scooters, metro, and even an ethical ridesharing service, there are many options.
Sustainable restaurants for all styles
When we think of Paris, we often think of the high-end restaurants filled with Michelin-starred chefs, unaffordable for our wallets and wardrobes, or on the contrary of restaurants in crowded, noisy, tourist districts, often pricy and tasteless.
Fortunately, the options in Paris are much more extensive than that. And a variety of styles also applies to your eco-friendly food options.
Eco-friendly restaurant = juice bar and seeds?
Forget your misconceptions, if sustainable restaurants promote a cuisine that is good for the planet and your health, this does not mean that you will only find vegan restaurants, vegetarian tables, salad bars or grilled tofu bowls in the French capital’s eco-friendly restaurant offer.
On the other hand, it is unlikely that you will manage to stay away from the Avocado Toast fashion that seems uncontrollable in recent years.
And if you’re in for the hype, choose an organic version, even if it still means your carbon food-print will be skyrocketed being in a country where Avocados don’t grow.
The offer ranges from gourmet meals to fast casual eateries, bistros, cafés and tea rooms.
For dinner, you can enjoy a timeless moment at Anona, the eco-friendly gastronomic table of Chef Thibaut Spiwak, or an evening of music at the Bistrot Bio in the Canal Saint-Martin district to enjoy organic wines and live music.
For lunch with colleagues on your Parisian business trip, you can head to Mûre, a locavore canteen on the side of the main boulevards, which grows its vegetables. Or Simone Lemon, the ugly veggies paradise.
If you’re more in a mood for a place where you can eat fast and be relaxed: choose the fast-casual restaurant options.
– Hank Burger for their 100% vegetarian menu
– Pur Etc for its farm-to-table approach
– Wholywood for the organic, plant-based cuisine and its zero-waste philosophy.
In short, the parisian eco-friendly restaurant scene is varied in styles and colours as much as its districts and the offer is continuously growing.
Recognizing an eco-friendly restaurant: Our tips
Check the menu
The first way to identify a sustainable restaurant is to look at the food list
Where do the products come from and how long is the menu. An eco-friendly restaurant will always promote seasonal, healthy and sustainably grown produce.
Well raised meats, locally grown vegetables, sustainably fished seafood, should be honored on the list.
Some chefs choose to be 100% organic sourcing produce for the restaurant only from certified producers.
Remember about your carbon food-print: organic produce from the other side of the world is not necessarily more earth-friendly than the local food grown sustainably.
Others choose to be 100% local. Often referred to as locavore or farm-to-table restaurants.
They limit their supplies to the region they are located. Some push the philosophy to a radius of about twenty kilometres, others restrict themselves to the country’s borders.
Is it possible to eat local in Paris?
While in Paris, there are still only a handful of urban farms, the Ile de France region is a significant agricultural territory in the country.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not only mushrooms that grow in Paris.
Depending on the season, you can enjoy asparagus from Argenteuil, cabbage from Pontoise, or Chevrier from Arpajon in Paris, Brie from Meaux or Melun, Brillat Savarin, strawberries, cherries from Montmorency, and have a sip of cider from Brie, or a craft beer brewed with local malt.
Eco-friendly practices that go beyond the plate
Eco-friendly restaurants think beyond the menu and implement a wide range of environmental, economic and social initiatives.
In Paris, the sustainable practices commonly found among restaurant owners are:
– The use of green cleaning products
– Reduction of organic and food waste
– Composting on-site or in partnership with specialized companies
– Giving unsold food and produce to those in need directly or through solidarity fridges
– Offering alternatives to single-use plastic
Some Parisian restaurants have chosen to show their commitment through an ecolabel.
The most common certifications you will find in France and Paris for sustainable restaurants are:
– The Green Key Label: the first eco-label dedicated to sustainable tourism in the world
– The European Ecolabel
– The Eco Table Label: 100% French and 100% devoted to restaurants
– Anti Gaspi: a French certification that recognizes those engaged in reducing food waste.