How to eat green, clean and lean when dining in Paris
There’s no doubt holidays are one of the best ways to spend your down time, however many of us tend to overindulge while we’re away and unfortunately pay for it when we get home! The words ‘fine dining’ and ‘detox’ may seem at odds, however the City of Light begs to differ.
Traditionally known as the land of iconic dishes like steak tartare and coq au vin, Paris is following a much healthier food trend that is sweeping many of the city’s top restaurants. Where being served a vegetarian meal once meant being served up a wilted fetta salad or a bit-on-the-simple-side omelette, the French capital is undergoing a revolution of sorts. Innovative French chefs including Thierry Marx of Mandarin Oriental Paris are now embracing cleaner, leaner, healthier menus.
The capital’s wantonly calorific dining scene is seeing a resurgence in detox dining, to the point where the city even has its very own ‘Veggietown’ (a collection of vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants) in the uber-cool 10th arrondissement.
Not only is the movement far better for waistlines, wallets and the planet, it also appeals to the growing number of ‘flexitarians’ – those who favour vegetarian food even if they don’t entirely avoid meat. However, that doesn’t mean flavour or quality is being compromised either … this is Paris after all! Here is the pick of the Mandarin Oriental Paris’ top 5 detox dining restaurants.
L’Honoré at Mandarin Oriental Paris
Famous for his playful experiments with molecular and Asian cuisine, chef Thierry Marx (who also oversees the hotel’s Camélia restaurant as well as the two-Michelin-starred Sur Mesure), has revelled in the challenge of creating a 100% vegan lunch menu for new restaurant, L’Honoré . For those not in the know, a vegan menu excludes not only meat dishes (ie. is vegetarian), but eggs and dairy as well.
With a detox menu featuring such items as lentil salads, vege burgers, and divinely flavoursome green vegetable curries, here you’ll also find very-of-the-moment poké bowls filled to the brim with fresh produce and island-inspired seasonings.
Nanashi,Rue du Paradis
On Rue du Paradis in the heart of Paris’ aptly named Veggietown, you’ll find a health conscious Japanese-style canteen by the name of Nanashi. Serving up delicious detox food like meat, fish and vegetarian bento boxes served with wild rice and quinoa, this establishment mixes it up daily with other ingredients including seared tofu steaks and ricotta-stuffed zucchini.
With two Paris-central locations (the other is on the Rue Charlot in Le Marais) serving up bentos boxes exclusively for lunch, patrons can still enjoy quality detox cuisine at night with a selection of Japanese-style tapas plates on offer.
Le Tricycle, Rue du Paradis
With its humble beginnings as a gourmet foodie tricycle popping up at events around town, Le Tricycle has metamorphosized into a bona fide Veggietown restaurant, offering a variety of Afro-Caribbean dishes, along with other globally influenced treats.
It may sound sacrilegious to scoff a vegan hot dog whilst in France, however these are seriously to die for. With clever-sounding names like Nate Dog and Snoop Chien (that’s the word for ‘dog’ if your French is a little rusty), these beechwood-smoked delights are served on a crunchy baguette surrounded by a bed of fresh salad. Not a ‘dog’ fan? If you’re after a more traditional detox dining experience, opt for one of their delicious vegan bento bowls.
With its consistently mushrooming number of designer boutiques, Le Marais has become one of Paris’ most vogue-ish locations and it’s not surprising that many of its local eating establishments have also embraced the healthy eating movement with gusto. If you’re dining out while detoxing, consider a meal at Season, a fresh-food haven whose emphasis is on premium seasonal products.
Created by an English chef who is also a naturopath, this venue is worth a visit from morning (where you can grab an acai bowl, veggie bagel or cold-press juice on the run) to night, when the menu amps up a little to include pizzas and generous vegetarian bo buns.
Wild and the Moon, Rue Charlot
Ethical, organic, vegan and seasonal … what more could you want on a detox menu? This gorgeous Brooklyn loft-style eatery is the Parisian branch of Wild and the Moon, a ‘lifestyle movement’ created by a tribe of chefs, food lovers, nutritionists and naturopaths.
If that all sounds a bit nutritionally snobby, then let your tastebuds do the talking as they sing to the tune of such uber-good-for-you nibblies like vege crackers, organic salads and artfully spiced kale chips. Thirsty? Try one of their cold-pressed juices – they’re wonderfully sugar/additive/GMO/gluten/soy and dairy free!
Ready to tempt your detox-loving taste buds in Paris? Orbit World Travel can carefully fine-tune your holiday needs with advice on a variety of accommodation, and captivating tours so you can truly experience the heart and soul of the City of Light.
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