Paris: Healthy Spots and Juice Shops
“Healthy” and “juice shop” may not be the first things that come to your mind when you think of the Paris food scene (probably more like bread, butter, cheese, wine…). But not even the stubborn French food industry has escaped from the health craze that has swept through the US. Several good and very cute places have popped up across the city with a few focused specifically on gluten-free goods or vegan fare. While the standard American diet certainly isn’t low-cal or low-fat, it is generally less rich than French cuisine, so being able to grab a juice or acai bowl for lunch to give your palette/stomach a break is a welcome option, in my opinion.
And also, you know, you gotta balance out all the overeating and wine drinking so that you don’t come home 15 pounds heavier…
Some of these places are more grab and go in style and therefore not as easy to have dishes altered to fit your specific dietary needs. With that said, I’ve been able to find at least one juice and one salad/snack at each that works for me which is a pretty good indicator for other people. The few that are sit-down were willing to change dishes where possible, you just have to ask!
I love this little restaurant in pretty much every way: the iced matcha is the best I’ve found in Paris; the salads are perfectly dressed and large enough to make a full meal out of; the pastries, though I can’t eat them, look ridiculous; it’s close to a lot of my favorite shops, and it’s perfectly decorated. If you didn’t know any better you might think this place is in Southern California…until you remember it fills all floors of a tiny, super old Parisian building with details that you just don’t find in the US. If I ever open a casual restaurant, it will look like this place.
Around lunchtime it can get pretty busy but I’ve never run across an issue finding seating. You order at the counter on the ground floor, get a number and they bring your food to you once it’s ready, let’s say a 10-15 minute wait. When you’re finished, you bring your number back to the counter and pay.
The fare is veggie heavy with a mix of salads, sandwiches and some plates like risotto or salmon. There are nuts in a lot of the dishes but they can be left off if requested. To complement your meal you can get a freshly made juice, coffee, matcha or even wine (just one glass is still healthy, right?). While I’ve never been for breakfast, they seem to have an awesome menu with more substantial items than your typical French breakfast. It’s probably worth trying out.
(Not to be confused with another restaurant chain named Marcel, same pronunciation, which is surprisingly American in the sporting-event-grub kind of way.)
Judy, cantine qualitarienne
Judy is a full blown restaurant with a tiny little coffee bar if you must have something to go. Thankfully, they take reservations, which I highly recommend, because they seem to always be packed. It’s easy to figure out why: the Aussie inspired menu is on point, the airy and bright decor is inviting, and the location is hot.
We stopped in for lunch on our last trip, unplanned, but were still seated within 15 minutes. I had an almond milk matcha and an açaí bowl, Scott had some sort of noddle dish that would have killed me (and a glass of wine, naturally). The food was all amazing. My only disappointment: I REALLY wanted one of their juices and a slice of the vegan banana bread but they were all out! Ugh, I was so SAD. Advice for next time: go early.
The thing that was really wonderful was their attention to my allergies. There were a few dishes I was considering but couldn’t be altered or would have to be altered in such a way that wouldn’t have made them worth eating. They offered me other options and took their time even though they were getting completely slammed.
The motto of this little shop in the 2nd is “eat smart.” It’s more along the lines of what we think of as a juice shop in the US with freshly made juices, smoothies and some prepared salads and food items. The menu changes seasonally and focuses on providing nutritional value based on different types of sports activity: bodybuilding (heavy protein), cardio (higher carbs), and detox (low cal).
When we were there they had just added an acai bowl, one of my favorite snacks, to the menu. If I walk by somewhere that serves acai I must have it, even if I’m not hungry. So we stopped in to indulge my acai needs and check the place out. The staff was really friendly and helpful and the food all looked delicious. It’s definitely a place I’d go back to grab a quick snack.
Located in the heart of the city, close to the Ritz, Le Meurice and luxury shopping, Maisie is probably the most fashionable juice shop in town, literally and figuratively. They have several cold-pressed juices, breakfast, lunch and snack items all available for take-away or to eat in their sunny cafe.
A lot of the items contain nuts or nut milk of some sort so you have to make sure you are carefully reading the ingredients for everything. We stopped by the morning they reopened after summer holidays and luckily had the place all to ourselves. I ordered a juice and a slice of vegan banana bread. The juice was perfect but the vegan banana bread left a lot to be desired. That said, since it’s so close to the hotels we always stay at, it’s definitely a top place on my list for juice. Next time we’ll go later in the day and try some of their lunch options. (Their instagram looks so good!)
Wild & the Moon
Yet another place I love…partially because it’s a great spot to grab a drink and hang out, partially because they have an owl as a logo. Yep, I’m that easily won over. We accidentally came upon this place a few years ago as we were walking through the neighborhood to another coffee shop. Scott pointed out the owl which then lead me to pose for a photo and go inside (obviously). Some things happen for a reason.
The menu here is really interesting and varied. There are cold-pressed juices, smoothies, coffee drinks, salads, pastries, salads, bowls, desserts, and it’s all plant-based and gluten free. If you’re allergic to tree nuts, this is not the place for you, sadly. I always get their matcha latte which is made with spirulina and their homemade almond milk because it is so, so good (some of the staff make it better than others, just like any coffee shop). I’ve also tried a few juices and the acai bowl which were all excellent. The vibe is very Brooklyn (I think yelp says it is “hipster” HAHAHA) with communal tables and lots of greenery.
This is also one of the rare few places where I’ve seen people working on laptops during the day. (Working at a cafe is still not a widely acceptable thing in Paris unless it is a specific coworking cafe.) I think they have WiFi but I used my phone as a hotspot when I was there last.
Great news for those in the NYC area: they are opening a location in the city soon so you can try out all their delicious creations without having to head to Europe (or Dubai, where their second location is). I can’t wait for it!
Holybelly is an all-day breakfast joint in Canal Saint-Martin heavy on the American/Canadian vibes with lots of pancakes and egg dishes. Many things can be made gluten-free but not dairy- or egg-free.
I met a girlfriend here for lunch before walking around the neighborhood to do some shopping (there are a lot of good outlet stores in Canal Saint-Martin) and sight-seeing. Since we were both avoiding most of the menu, we got their vegan chia pudding with fresh fruit which was shockingly amazing. I don’t know what they did to this chia pudding but it was so much creamier and tastier than any I’ve ever had before. If you can eat the rest of the menu, everyone I know says it is the best breakfast in the city. Because of that there is usually a line out the door (no reservations!) but it does move pretty quickly.
Juicerie is another US style juice shop serving cold-pressed juices and small snacks like acai bowls and healthy pastries and lunch options like soups, salads and sandwiches. Everything is freshly made from seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers. The shop is located on a quiet little side street close to the Palais Garnier, and therefore both Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores (always got shopping on my mind…).
Because we had enjoyed a particularly large, rich meal the night before, both Scott and I couldn’t handle much more than a juice for breakfast. I went for a beet forward option and he went with citrusy turmeric juice. Both were really good and the perfect, lite way to start the day.
We’ve been to a few other juice shops and healthy spots around the city worth looking into on your next trip. I either don’t have photos or the photos are outdated, so I’ll just list them below.
- Juice It – which may now be called JuiceLab
- Juice Lab – I’ve been to the one in Cannes, but not any of the Paris locations. Excellent acai bowl!
- Love Juice Bar
- Bob’s Juice Bar
- Maison Bon
- Season – they now serve my favorite brand of matcha, Panatea!
- La Petit Flottes – great spot for takeaway and little gifts
If you have other healthy spots you like in Paris, let us know in the comments!