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Paris Gluten Free - 38 Places to Eat as a Coeliac

Gluten free in Paris

by Jane Thompson of glutenfreejoy.com.au

The City of Lights is absolutely my most favourite place to visit in the whole wide world. It is true that I have only been there twice. But I really did become the cliché and simply fell head over heels in love with Paris from the first moment I had my first French 'conversation' with a real life French person in Paris (the taxi driver who UNDERSTOOD my first attempt at Bonjour Monsieur! Je parleunpeu le francais. Parlezvousenglais?) and my first coffee at an outdoor café under the branching limbs of the trees of the Jardin du Luxemburg as it rained their autumn leaves down upon us. Perfection.

My first visit was in 2008 and my second in 2012, and I am very excited that I am getting to return this year in September. In honour of this new trip I have, as every good coeliac must, been doing bucketloads of research into the gluten free options now available, and I am happy to say that while some of the changes over that time to now have not been so great, such as the increased military presence and annoying hawkers on the steps of every iconic landmark, thankfully the gluten free scene has improved substantially for the better.

In 2008 I was a reasonably newly diagnosed coeliac. I was not great at avoiding cross contamination, and my reactions were not significant if it occurred. This was lucky as the awareness in Paris of GF back then was very, very poor. Ihad to be content with just looking at all of the beautifully crafted and displayed cakes in the patisserie windows that we walked past every single day, eating just cheese while my husband had his with crusty baguettes for our after tour café snack, and eating muesli bars and fruit and crisps as my take-with snacks for each day. Dinners out were navigated with my trusty GF travel cards, usually resulting in quite boring meals, with a lot of the gluten offending items just removed from my dish. It was a form of torture.

Four years later GF nirvana had arrived on the scene in the shape of a 100% GF café called Helmut Newcake. The owner and chef was a coeliac herself, and her frustration at the lack of GF options in Paris had inspired her to open her own. Oh my word. This was a game changer. I dragged my husband out to her café on the Metro within minutes of arriving in Paris (her first store was out in the 10tharrondissment), and was instantly in foodie heaven. EVERY cake in her gorgeous window display was GF. I could choose from them all! I was almost comatosed by choice - not something us coeliacs have the luxury of very often! So I bought 5. I ate 2 rightthere at one of the cute cafe tables, and took the other 3 back to our hotel mini bar fridge to be enjoyed throughout the rest of our 3 day stay. We would buy takeaway coffees and sit in the Jardin du Tuilleries near our hotel to people watch and be Parisians just for an hour or two.

And of course, there was Laduree...macaron perfection. Macarons how they were meant to be enjoyed, gluten free and delivered in the most gorgeous packaging that somehow just does take the whole foodie experience to the next level.

Gluten free in Paris

Many of the restaurants now had a much better awareness of gluten free also, so finding some who could cater well was now not too difficult. One of my favourite experiences was eating at CaféMarle. They had several items already gluten free straight from their menu, and were happy to adapt many of the other mains. Hiding in one of the covered walkways of the Lourve, it has views across the courtyard and of the central glass pyramid. I had read in a guide book that sitting there at sunset would provide a magic moment as the colours of the setting sun danced on the glass panes. It did.

So now to 2018. So many new players in the GF crowd in Paris. I am so excited for my next trip and have meticulously planned our itinerary so that I can incorporate as many of the new GF eateries into our days as possible. As I have not yet eaten at them, I will just list them for you below and you can see for yourself which might be close enough to visit on your next trip and try for yourself. The majority are in the Marais and Opera district...so I would definitely recommend staying closer to that part of town. It truly does make an adventure into a new culture that much more special when you can engage yourself fully in the local cuisine. With these new establishments coeliacs too can now eat a baguette, snack on a croissant and savour gorgeous tartlets and crème patisseries that delight the senses. Thank you Paris for coming on board with gluten free dining.

I have listed just the cafes and restaurants that specialize in gluten free cuisine. There are of course many restaurants in Paris that will now cater well for GF upon request. I recommend that you do some further research to find some close to your hotel, as most of the establishments listed below cater for brunch/lunch, but very few for a late dinner. They have been grouped according to their proximity to each other (districts/arrondissments). Be aware of their particular hours and days of operation to avoid wonderful planning and anticipation that goes unrewarded because they are not open for your planned visit. Many close on Sundays and Mondays.

Tuilleries/Opera Districts:

Helmut Newcake (9th) bakery & café. Open 11am-6pm.Closed Sun & Mon

Foucade Paris (1st) cakes, café. Open 11am-7.30pm. Closed Sunday & Monday.

Noglu (2nd) bakery & restaurant. Open 11am-6pm. Closed Sunday.

Café Marlette (9th - 2 stores) not 100% GF.Cakes, soups/salads + GF products. Open 7 days 8.30/9.30am-7pm.

3Bio (9th) vegan, organic. Open 12noon-3pm. Closed Saturday & Sunday

42 Degres (9th) vegan, meals, cakes. Open 12noon-3pm/7-10.30pm.

La Maison du Sans Gluten (10th /Opera outskirts) supermarket/bakery products (breads, croissants, pasta). Open 10am-7.30pm. Closed Sundays.

Onyriza (10th Opera outskirts) fruit tarts, pastries, cakes, café meals. Open 10.30am-7/7.30pm. Closed Sunday & Monday.

Nous (9th&10th - 3 stores) restaurant. Open 7 days 12 noon-3pm/7-10.30pm

Marais District:

Chambelland Bakery (11th) breads, pastries, café. Open 9am-8pm. Closed Monday

Thank You, My Deer (11th) bakery, café, waffles. Open 8.30/10.30am-3/5pm. Closed Monday.

Café Pinson (3rd& 10th - 2 stores) vegan. Open 7 days 9am-10pm

Chez Alain MiamMiam (3rd) buckwheat galettes specialty. Open 9am-3pm. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

BigloveCaffe (3rd) pizza, lunch/dinner. Open 12-2.30pm/7-10.30pm. Open 7 days.

La Guingenetted'Angele(11th)café, lunch. Open 11am-3.30pm. Closed Sat-Mon

Breizh Café (3rd) crepes, buckwheat galettes, breton specialty, delicatessen. Open 7 days 11.30am-10pm. Reservations a must 3 weeks in advance.

Wild & the Moon (3rd) snacks, salads, vegan. Open 8am-10pm everyday.

Bears &Racoons (11th) sandwiches, cakes, grocery store. Open 11am-3.30pm / 6.30-9.30pm. Closed Sunday.

Eat Gluten Free (4th) bakery, pasta, cakes, organic products. Open 11am-1pm / 3-8pm. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

Yummy & Guilt Free (4th) waffles (sweet &savoury), cakes, sorbet. Open 7 days 10/11am-8pm

Left Bank District:

Noglu (7th) bakery & restaurant. Open 11am-6pm. Closed Sundays.

Shakespear& Company Cafe (5th) café (not 100%GF). Open 7 days 9.30am-7/8pm)

Breizh Café (6th) crepes, buckwheat galettes, breton specialty, delicatessen. Open 7 days 11.30am-10pm. Reservations a must 3 weeks in advance.

Loulou Friendly Diner (5th) (not 100% GF). Open 7 days 8am-10.30pm

GluFree (6th) Café, pastries. Open 12noon-4pm. Closed Saturday & Sunday

Champs-Elysee District:

Biosphere Café (8th)creperie, pastries. Bookings recommended. Open 12-6pm (Sat 12-10pm, Sun 11.30-3pm).

Multiple locations:

Laduree (1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th) macarons (not all options)
Grom(2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th) gelatto
Pierre Herme (1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th) macarons (not all options)
Naturalia, Bio c'Bon&Pimclo Health Supermarket chains (throughout Paris)

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Wherever you're going, remember to take a free gluten free restaurant card with you.

I hope that this celiac travel story has helped you. You can help other celiacs travel more safely by telling me about getting gluten free food in your area - remember where you live is a destination too! Send me a report and I'll let thousands of celiacs know.

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