A Votre Santé: The Healthy, Sustainable Parisian Food Scene

Where to eat (eco-friendly) in the City of Light.

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Ah, French cuisine—croissants, creamy sauces, rich desserts. We all love them, but if you find yourself craving wholesome, lighter meals with fresh organic produce on your next Parisian visit, take heart. Paris now has a strong health food scene that sacrifices nothing in flavor.

Le Jardin des Pates, a tiny, bustling pasta restaurant, serves fabulous unique dishes—all of them organic, or biologique in French. Sensitive to wheat? The vege­tarian seigle (rye) or sarrasin (buckwheat) pasta with exotic mushrooms, tofu, and vegetables in soy sauce are scrumptious. One can dine well, including bottled water and dessert, for about $18—but be warned that, as in most French restaurants, smoking is permitted.

A non-smoking alternative, La Petite Legume is a delightfully quirky café (four small tables inside and two outside) that serves organic fruits and vegetables, juices, soy milk, smoked wild salmon, and organic wines. And you won’t find any ashtrays at Le Grenier de Notre Dame, a charming macrobiotic cafe with high stools around small tables and a spiral staircase leading to the bright upstairs dining room.

For those who are cooking in Paris, or just shopping for picnic fare, Naturalia is a well-stocked Parisian chain of health food markets that carries herbs, fresh produce, naturally raised meats and dairy products, packaged foods, and breads—almost all organically grown.