I’m back from the land of the meat, cheese, and cigarillo and wow, am I hungry. My hunch, that I later ignored, was in fact correct: Paris is not so gluten-free. No matter, my friends! In spite of 9 days filled with longing, a pregnancy scare, getting kicked out of a market, one broken foot*, and having a hand in losing my husband’s iPhone within 12 hours of his arrival, Paris was awesome. Why? Because Paris is awesome. Everyone knows this. I’m not sure why we’re even discussing it.
Even though every place on my gluten-free “must go” list was on vacation (Helmut Newcake opens up again today, FYI you lucky gluten-free Parisians), I still ferreted out some places for you to grab a meal that won’t make you sick. Two, in fact! Three if you’re counting the one buckwheat crepe I found in all of Paris. Let’s count it!
Why yes that is a gluten-free crepe in that photo above. After taking the sage advice of a lovely commenter here, I headed to West Country Girl where I was promised crepes I could eat. I even did that thing where I check to see if they are on vacation, and when they will return. Sadly, I was there one day before they returned (dang inaccurate list) and was leaving the following day. Phhhpt. I turned away, walking slowly and bam — ran right into a creperie that also served buckwheat. Voila! Une galette! The Creperie St. Ambroise, in the area surrounding St. Ambroise, served up my first and last gluten-free crepe in Paris while also acting like it was no big deal. Those guys were pros.
It turns out that the elusive buckwheat crepe shows up only in certain neighborhoods. Which is why my never-ending harassment of crepe places around Montmartre and all the major tourist attractions always ended in tears. Mostly mine. The neighborhood around Montparnasse is the secret hiding place for buckwheat crepes. So go there, and totally avoid the Champs Elysees. Also, because you’ll get your iPhone stolen.
Onward! My most best favorite meal had to have come from the lovely chicken joint where I say “Gluten,” they say, “Non way!” Le Coq Rico does everything well, using simple ingredients. Which is, of course, the best way to eat gluten-free. The less messed with the better. Check out these roasted vegetables with chives.
While this stop was out of exhaustion I was shocked to find gluten-free friendliness right under my nose. Also right under my nose? Apparently La Maison Rose was also the subject of a Maurice Utrillo painting, in addition to being a gluten-free find. You be the judge as to which is most impressive.
While enjoying my meat salad, the lady of the maison explained that more and more people are asking them about gluten-free options and she’s seen “these little cards” a lot as well. Mine was hidden in my purse, so I acted like I had no idea what she was talking about. Look at this wonderousness –
Le Coq Rico and La Maison Rose were the only two places I ate in Paris where someone working there actually knew what I was talking about immediately without me going through the whole spiel –with or without my little card — so I felt incredibly safe dining. Of course I had other amazing meals, I was in Paris after all. But I always ate them and hoped for the best. These joints in Montmartre? Put them on your gluten-free list. Now. Do it. I’ll wait.
*this may not be true