Finally sitting down to write a post about my experience eating gluten free in Paris. My trip to Europe with my sister was a dream come true. Travel is such a passion of mine, and it's grown even more since returning home. But travel is also difficult when it comes to planning and unexpected hiccups.
The hardest part of travel for any celiac isn't the luggage weight limits or jet lag; it's trying to find safe food in countries where you don't speak the native language. The key for Andrea and I to be able to enjoy our vacation and have as stress-free of a time as possible, was being prepared.
I made a paper guide we could carry around with us, since we had very little phone data. It ended up being super helpful to see where things were in reference to all the things we wanted to visit:
We weren't able to make it to all the places I found, but here are the ones we did make it to, with a few thoughts on our experiences:
This place is on my top list of restaurants in the entire world. I'm not over exaggerating. It's amazing. It's located on a little street that cars couldn't even think of driving down, Passage des Panoramas. It's two floors, open late at night, and super cute decor. It also has the best gluten-free bread I've ever eaten. Also not over exaggerating. I cried a little. And the desserts were particularly fantastic. It was 100% amazing. I can't wait to go back!
Thank you, my deer
Great coffee and pastries! They don't have full meals all day, just until about 3:30pm, so beware of that when planning. I had the double chocolate chip cookie and really good iced tea. Their sandwich bread isn't as good as No Glu's but it's a definite second. Completely safe, 100% gluten-free place.
Helmut Newcake is a gluten-free restaurant that's a bit farther away from the touristy areas of the city. The pastries are GORGEOUS and really good. The food itself isn't great, but the pastries completely make up for it. And it's really cool to explore a different part of the city. Definitely worth the trek!
This place has so many options for both pastries and full meal options. If you have to be more careful about items aside from gluten, you may want to have an idea of those things in French, as the chef who was there when we visited spoke very little English, but was incredibly helpful with making sure we were safe to eat what we wanted. I had my first ever tarte at Chambelland, and it was fantastic!
Exki is a great little grab and go chain with lots of locations around the city. Everything is clearly labeled and it's reasonably priced. We only stopped in once but it was super convenient!
Cafe Angelina was suggested to us by one of our French friends, and it did not disappoint. We went to the location inside the Palace at Versailles, which was a perfect relaxing break from a busy day of walking. The staff was very careful and adjusted things as needed. The food was fantastic and the tea was equally delicious. Definitely a wonderful experience.
This is where we spent our last dinner in Paris. The bill was ENORMOUS, but the food was great and you're definitely paying for the view. They are very careful and the staff communicates well to ensure safety of those with allergies. Spending our last perfect hours of Parisian sunset light by the Louvre drinking fantastic wine, was the perfect way to end our trip.
Saved the best for last: Ladurée. This is my all time favorite place in Paris. We visited multiple times and spent far too much money on macaroons. But it was always delicious. They use a very simple recipe to create a perfect classic macaroon, and the lack of fake things used makes them absolutely amazing. They also have an adorable ice cream cart outside that sells pre-packed cups with 1/2 of a macaroon on the top in a matching flavor. There's a bit of debate online as to whether or not they're really gluten-free. But they definitely contain no direct gluten-containing ingredients, and neither Andrea or I had any issues with them. And believe me, we ate enough we would have if they weren't safe. That being said, always trust your gut (no pun intended), and only eat what you're comfortable with.
Along with a lot of research, it's really helpful if you know at least a few words of French for those times when you desperately need some food, and there's nothing you researched nearby (it will happen, whether or not you believe me.) It's also helpful to have a card you can give to your server when there's a language barrier, so they can acuratly deliver your needs to the kitchen. Here's a link to the free ones we used--they have a bunch of languages and a free, no-data-needed app!
I hope this information can help even one gluten-free wanderluster out there. Stay adventurous and eat safe!