This is what I learned about eating tasty, healthy food on the road in Paris and Prague. Below are 10 restaurants and a few markets to keep you well fed.
A couple of notes before I dive in: The focus of this post is vegetarian food. I'm trying to avoid hormones of all kind, meaning I'm eating only organic animal products, so eating vegetarian and vegan is an easy solution. I'm also trying to avoid as many toxins as possible, since I already got my fill of them with chemo, so I eat organic whenever I can. Therefore many of the restaurants listed here are vegetarian and organic, and all of them are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.
All the restaurants and stores mentioned here can be found in the central part of Paris and Prague. I haven't listed addresses and opening times for the stores and restaurants, because both of those pieces of information might change (which is what we found to be the case). I hope this blog post can be a good starting point, but definitely check the web for the most current information. Two great resources we used were Happy Cow, a vegetarian and vegan online restaurant guide, and a helpful ebook from the Vegan Paris blog.
Tip: In Europe, "bio" means "organic."
Le Pain Quotidien
A chain of organic cafe-style restaurants in Paris. Not vegetarian, but lots of vegan-friendly dishes. We went to the location in the Marais. I ate a couple of their fabulous salads, but they have good hot food, too. As the name suggests, they've got lots of good bread. It's a proper bakery, too, so you can buy food at the counter to take away. Organic croissants, anyone?
Bob's Kitchen and Bob's Juice Bar
Green juice and green smoothies! If you miss your Vitamix, this is the place to go. The Kitchen location also has great hot meals. The restaurant is a bit hard to spot, with only a tiny sign, so here's a picture of what it looks like.
Organic breakfast and lunch. We went here twice for brunch, eating omelettes, oatmeal, granola, and excellent coffee. Like Bob's, this place is a bit tough to spot, since it doesn't have a sign.
Pousse Pousse "Sprout Sprout"
Lots of raw food at this organic vegan restaurant. Right now it's in a tiny restaurant, but the owner said they're looking to expand into a bigger space. This was the most expensive place we went to, but it was definitely worth it. They have a few daily options rather than a long menu, and they've got green cocktails in addition to food.
Les Cinq Saveurs D'Anada
Vegetarian food plus fish in the Left Bank.
Organic health food that's both a store and a small restaurant. Lots of raw food options.
A good place to stop by for a quick, inexpensive vegetarian bite. Vegetarian falafel joint near the Sorbonne in the Left Bank.
Organic Food Markets
Naturalia is the biggest organic food market chain, and we stumbled upon several of them just walking around. I also came across two organic markets we hadn't read about: A Touch of Bio and Boutique Bio.
Country Life - Restaurant and Market
Organic vegetarian store and restaurant chain. One of the locations is conveniently located right off Old Town Square in the center of the touristy part of the city. The restaurant is a cafeteria where you get a tray and serve yourself, and your food is weighed to determine how much you pay. It's casual, but the decor is very cool. We ate lunches here most days, and would explore new places for dinner. The cabbage salad was a favorite of mine. The entrance to the store is shown in the photo I took below, and you walk through the covered walkway to get to the restaurant entrance.
Lehka Hlava "Clear Head"
Vegetarian food in a really cute restaurant. It's praised in the Rick Steve's guidebook, so it can be crowded and they recommend reservations. We lucked into getting a table at dinner without reservations because we got there early one evening before a walk along the nearby Vltava River.
Dhaba Beas Indian Cafe
Vegetarian Indian food in a casual cafeteria atmosphere. Like Country Life, you get your own food and they weigh it to determine how much you pay. Really inexpensive, and it was crowded but we always found a seat.
I hope you have a great time eating fantastic food if you visit these cities!