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Old Aug 30th 2017, 12:43 pm   #1
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Default Vegetarians in France

I am quite shocked at the status of vegetarians in France with regard to restaurants.

I have phoned 3 local eateries in the last couple of days asking if I can book a family meal including my D-I-L who is a recent "convert" Each one has accepted the booking at first, but as soon as I mention a vegetarian they are suddenly closed or complete. One said "We always have fish on the menu".

Fortunately our most frequented eatery - name on application- has come up trumps.

I have no problem coping with such demands but does any restaurant worth it's salt, even in France, really not understand, or in fact wish to understand the concept?

Has anyone out there had similar experiances?
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 2:45 pm   #2
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

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Originally Posted by grannybunz View Post
Has anyone out there had similar experiances?

Yes, so often that we rarely eat out with our two vegetarian daughters when they come visiting. At best they choose meatless salad, pizza or pasta, or simply ask for a plate of vegetables, and make up with their tofu, etc.. at the other meal of the day. This is only possible in a brasserie-type restaurant with a varied menu, and not for a special meal.
Outside of Paris, the concept of veggie, and even less so, vegan? Connais pas!
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 3:48 pm   #3
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

Not just vegetarian.
I have problems with beef and therefore avoid it.
Twice we have been invited to dinner at different friends who know I don't eat beef - only to be presented with veal. (Stupid me - veal isn't beef )
Non beef eaters are not well catered for in some restaurants also.
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 3:51 pm   #4
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

How many vegetarians are there in France ?

How many vegetarians in France visit restaurants ?
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 3:54 pm   #5
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

Ever come across a vegetarian restaurant with an option for carnivores?
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 4:13 pm   #6
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

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Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
How many vegetarians are there in France ?

How many vegetarians in France visit restaurants ?
You know where Google is......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatrick View Post
Ever come across a vegetarian restaurant with an option for carnivores?
An over reliance on meat is just an inability of a chef to think creatively about ingredients at hand.
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Last edited by Chatter Static; Aug 30th 2017 at 4:17 pm.
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 4:21 pm   #7
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

We have recently decided to cut back on meat consumption and have cut it back loads, in France consuming less meat saves you a small fortune.
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Old Aug 30th 2017, 7:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

I was naughty this afternoon and rang one restaurant which said they were fully booked this afternoon and simply asked if I could book a tabe fr the same date and time - no problem. When I asked why they had said this morning there was deadly silence and the phone was put down. Trip Advisor here I come !!
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 12:20 am   #9
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

I once had some guests - she had coeliac disease so no gluten at all, he was a full whack vegetarian. I didn't even bother taking them out for meals in Toulouse.
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 3:13 am   #10
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

Wow I left France in 1989. There were just a few vegetarian eateries back then. I see nothing has changed in nearly 30 years??!!
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 8:53 am   #11
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

Mixed feelings about this.

I've been variously vegan and veggie for most of my life. I accepted my decision wasn't going to be easy on me.

I've lived in various countries over 40 years and I don't expect them to change their values or culture to accommodate my 'strange' eating preferences. My view has always been - my choice, knew it would be tricky sometimes, just get on with it.

The UK is great for vegans/veggies, France is apparently not. It's not France's fault...
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 9:24 am   #12
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

The point I think I am trying to make is that chefs at any half decent restaurant are professionals and are supposed to be creative. Also here in Provence, traditionally very little meat was eaten except on high days and holidays. Inland where we are there was only fresh water fish and by and large that was the preserve of the monasic communtities and the aristcracy. So many regional specialities are vegetarain in nature.

A lot of local restaurants claim to serve regional food and traditional dishes., so what's so difficult? I have fed D-I-L and the rest of the family for a couple of weeks have still got a few trad recipes up my sleeve which I could serve to them all.

If I was 20 years younger I might be tempted to open a restuarant myself.
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Old Aug 31st 2017, 10:06 am   #13
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

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Originally Posted by grannybunz View Post

If I was 20 years younger I might be tempted to open a restuarant myself.
Gan on granny but divn't ferget the stottie cakes.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 12:17 pm   #14
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

I agree that it is difficult to find vegetarian or vegan restaurants in France - but if one is prepared to travel, then they certainly do exist. It is also worth asking well in advance at a restaurant if they would be willing to cook something vegetarian. Even in our small village, I asked the owner two days ahead if he could do a vegetarian quiche for four people (when my son and granddaughter visited) - and he was happy to oblige (at no extra cost to the ordinary menu). Just phoning a few hours in advance is probably not good enough for most "ordinary" restaurants.

The group BioCoop are mostly organic food shops, but quite a few have vegan/vegetarian restaurants attached to them - for example at Rennes.

If you Google "restaurants vegetariens", you will be surprised what there is about! For vegans, if you Google "Vegoresto" you will find a list by departments (admittedly not a lot, but it may help some folks who live near them).

By the way, my wife and I are near-vegans (we do eat eggs from our neighbours, where the chickens are the most free-range you will ever find, LOL!)

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Old Sep 10th 2017, 2:46 pm   #15
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Default Re: Vegetarians in France

I have tried all that and absolutely no joy. I am not vegetarian but just want to cater for friends and relatives who are.

I always do ring well ahead to notify restaurants of any special dietary requirements and would do anyway because i think it is only polite so to do.

What really shocked we was the reaction of some well used local establishments who, once vegetarian was mentions, just refused to consider serving us

I do really care about food provenance though. Grow our own veg and have our own hens. Regional. sustainable and seasonal are my requirements. That doesn't seem to be a problem in these parts.

Last edited by grannybunz; Sep 10th 2017 at 2:48 pm.
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