Can you find vegetarian street food options in France?

Charcuterie board for two with variety of cheese and meats, celebration appetizer

Introduction: Vegetarianism in France

France is famous for its rich and varied cuisine, but it is also widely known for its meat-based dishes such as steak-frites and coq au vin. This has led to many people assuming that vegetarianism is not prevalent in the country. However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in vegetarianism in France, and this has resulted in more vegetarian options being offered in restaurants and food shops.

The Rise of Vegetarianism in France

Vegetarianism has been on the rise in France, especially amongst younger generations who are more conscious of their health and the environment. According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive in 2018, 5% of French people identify as vegetarians, while 7% consider themselves flexitarians (people who eat meat occasionally). This growing trend has resulted in a surge of vegetarian restaurants and cafes in major cities such as Paris and Lyon.

Vegetarian Street Food Options in France

Finding vegetarian street food options in France used to be a challenge, but this is changing as more people opt for plant-based diets. Street food vendors are beginning to offer vegetarian options alongside their traditional meat-based dishes. Falafel is a popular street food option in France, and many vendors offer vegetarian versions made with chickpeas or fava beans. Other options include crepes filled with vegetables, cheese, or eggs, or galettes (buckwheat crepes) filled with mushrooms, cheese, and other vegetarian ingredients.

Artisanal Markets and Vegetarian Street Food

Artisanal markets are a great place to find vegetarian street food in France. These markets are becoming increasingly popular, and they offer a range of vegetarian and vegan options. Vendors sell everything from vegan burgers and falafel to sushi and vegan croissants. These markets are also an excellent way to support local, independent businesses and sample a variety of delicious vegetarian street food options.

Popular Vegetarian Street Food Options in France

Aside from falafel and crepes, there are many other popular vegetarian street food options in France. Socca is a thin chickpea pancake, which originated from Nice and is often served with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper. Tarte flambée is an Alsatian dish that is similar to pizza, but it is made with a thin, crispy crust and topped with cheese, onions, and crème fraiche. Vegan versions are available in some places. Another popular street food option is the croque-monsieur, which is a toasted sandwich made with ham and cheese. Vegetarian versions can be found with cheese and vegetables or mushrooms.

Conclusion: Finding Vegetarian Street Food in France

While France may not be known for its vegetarian options, finding vegetarian street food is becoming increasingly accessible. From falafel to crepes, to socca and tarte flambée, there are plenty of options available for vegetarians and vegans. Artisanal markets are a great place to sample local, independent businesses’ vegetarian street food and support sustainable practices. As the trend towards vegetarianism continues to rise, it is likely that more vegetarian street food options will become available in France.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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