So you are off to Paris and want to know where you can eat with food allergies?
I’ll be honest, France and a sunflower seed allergy is really tricky. Besides butter, sunflower oil is one their go to fats to cook with, oh and watch out because peanut oil is also quite present. Basically oil is a problem, which is why I mostly stick to Italian (#oliveoilforthewin). I know Italian food in Paris, quelle horreur!
That isn’t to say I haven’t had my share of fab French meals. You can check out my past eating in Paris with food allergy posts about Fancy French Restaurants, Interesting Italian Joints, and fun food-related activities to do. However, I haven’t been back to some of the restaurants in those posts so can’t 100% recommend them. But…
Where I’ve eaten in Paris
Below is a list of places I’ve had more than one successful meal. The criteria I used to put this list together is simple:
- I have dined there successfully more than once;
- The waitstaff take the time to discuss my allergies;
- I feel comfortable they know everything that goes into their food.
Lastly, I have also included some grocery stores that I have shopped at multiple times.
Disclaimer: I speak French. AND If you go to one of them make sure to talk about your allergies, I can’t promise they will be able to accommodate your allergens.
Eating in Paris with food allergies: French Food
Restaurant Le Poulbot
I ate here the first time I visited Paris in 2003 and have been back too many times to count! They use a lot of dairy and their kitchen is super tiny. Last time I was there they had no peanuts in sight. My go to has always been the niçoise salad.
This place is so fancy! Love love love it, you feel like a French movie star. All I have to say is try the hot chocolate and the onion tarte tatin.
Try the hot chocolate! And then balance its richness with a salad lol. What is important to note about Angelina is that the hot chocolate sold in bottles, the hot chocolate sold at the restaurant and the one at the cafes are not all manufactured at the same place so ask about them. They all seem to know about cross contact with nuts.
Eating in Paris with food allergies: Italian Food
L’Enoteca was one of the first restaurants I went to in Paris back in 2007 when I was a vegetarian. It is also the setting for one of the legendary Kwong Hing stories; we think it’s hilarious even to this day. It goes like this, I was a vegetarian and ordered veggie soup thinking this was a safe choice and vegetarian, naturally. When the soup came, it looked like there was some meat-like substance floating in it. I asked the waiter if there was meat in the soup. His answer was priceless: “It’s vegetable soup with a little pork for flavour”. It’s vegetarian with just a little pork for flavour you know! Oh man, we thought that was hilarious because he insisted it was vegetarian. Not funny if it is an allergen, but it worked out in the end. And “just a little pork for flavour!” is now a family saying when there is an alien ingredient in something (like an allergen).
That story may not be too comforting when it comes to their ability in disclosing all ingredients, but they are great with food allergies. The food is a refined Italian that seems to be heavily influenced by the beauty of French food, especially in presentation. Below is a picture of the scallops and pea mousse my mom had. I had fish but was too hungry to snap a pic.
Ok, so they use sunflower oil, but they have always been able to make me something. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten here; it is one of my Paris staples…even if it is Italian.
Grocery stores in Paris
The free-from section in a lot of grocery stores is growing! Every time I go back they get a little bigger.
This is my go to grocery store. I have even found a safe baguette here before (can’t remember the brand).
A health food and organic market that I love because they carry brands I know are safe and we have in Berlin.
Your run of the mill grocery store.
Fromagerie Laurent Dubois Bastille
Because if you are going to France, you need to go to a cheese shop (unless you are allergic to dairy).
Quick wrap about eating in Paris with food allergies
Fine dining is a blast, but sometimes it can be a bit intimidating with all the waiters and protocol. I believe good food doesn’t always need glitz and glam. And sometimes the best thing you can do in Paris is grab a baguette, some butter, a bottle of wine, and plop yourself along the Seine for a view you can’t find anywhere else!
Kortney is your typical atopic triad! She manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!