Self-catering, especially for vegans, is a very popular way to travel in France. Not only does it provide for a much cheaper meal than eating out in an expensive French restaurant, but picnicking often comes with gorgeous views and fascinating people-watching.
And let's be honest: more often than not, the vegan options at French restaurants -- if indeed they have any! -- are not that great. They're more likely to be boring salads, tomato sauce pasta or pizza-with-no-cheese. You're not going to starve, but neither will any of this get you excited for your next meal.
The idea, when traveling, is often to be able to sample the local cuisine, and this is where self-catering can help. We're not exactly talking about making a soufflé here, but it's entirely possible to try local products and dishes, including perhaps some of the best plant-based cheese on the planet!
The good news here is that France just happens to have quite a decent number of 100% vegan grocery stores, and even more non-vegan stores are choosing to stock vegan products. The list grows every day.
So pack some utensils, napkins and plates, find a cute town square or a spot on a Mediterranean beach, and head over to one of the following grocery stores ("épicerie", in French), to stock up for that perfect self-catered French meal!
The State Of Vegan Food in France Today
On a recent visit to France, we went to a local hypermarket in Bayeux and we were blown away at just how many vegan options there were: vegan meats, deli slices and even a few brands of cheese. If you don't know Bayeux, it's a small touristy town in the north of France, so definitely not vegan-central. The fact that the supermarket here had any vegan products at all was a definite eye-opener and proof that France is definitely trending the right way.
Tips for Shopping at Vegan Stores When Traveling
We recommend you get a small cool bag (see picture below) and a couple of ice bricks and stock up in one of the bigger cities when you arrive. You're more likely to find a good selection of vegan items here. You'll be aiming to get the necessary ingredients for sandwiches, a wonderful picnics or perhaps a nice vegan spread at your gites or Airbnb. Even if there is not one close to your cute French village you are staying in, with a little bit of planning you can have sandwich avec du jambon et du fromage vegan style.
If you're out and about for the day, whether sightseeing in town or hiking around the countryside, assembling your lunch before you go makes it a lot easier.
Cheeses like vegan camembert can actually get very stinky (just like their dairy counterparts) in just a couple of days, even with efforts to keep them cool. So eat those ones quickly.
Below you'll find a list of ALL the vegan grocery stores in France as well as shops where you can stock up on shampoo, soaps and all the items you will need for traveling in France. France has amazing products and we wholeheartedly recommend you try and support these incredible shops who are really helping to make veganism more accessible in what is still a very proud meat-eating culture.
You will see that they are categorized into the different regions of France, so scroll down to the region you are visiting and take note!
- Central Paris
- Northern France (Lille)
- Normandy & Brittany (Rouen, Brest, Rennes)
- La Loire (Nantes)
- Southwestern France (Bordeaux, Toulouse, Dordogne, Bayonne)
- Alsace (Strasbourg, Mulhouse)
- French Alps (Annecy, Buis-les-Baronnies)
- Provence (Marseille, Nice)
If we have missed one or another one pops up, please let us know below in the comments! We want to keep this article as current as possible.
One of the first 100% vegan grocery store in France.. if not THE first! This shop has a huge selection of awesome products, including many you may never have seen before. Their website is a great place to visit and start jotting down a shopping list.
Vegan retail shop offering plant-based milk, mock meats, vegan cheese, ice-cream, ready-to-eat food, snacks, vegan beer and champagne.
This is a chain of grocery stores that you'll spot all over Paris, and while most stock a generous selection of vegan items, they also have 4 100% vegan stores! Click on the links below to find one near your location:
- 39/41 rue Richer 75009 Paris - this is their biggest store, in the 9th arrondissement
- 149 rue de Rome 75017 Paris - in the northwest of central Paris
- 39 rue Merlin 75011 Paris - near the Père Lachaise Cemetery
- 43 avenue de Paris 94300 Vincennes - on the east-side of central Paris
Only open a couple of years, this has a range of cheese, cosmetics, soaps and even ice-creams. It's on the edge of central Paris so not as central as some of the other listings on here, but still worth a visit if you happen to on the way to/from La Défense.
Vegan concept store in central Paris. It has a café attached.
The first vegan cheese shop in France. As well as artisanal gourmet vegan cheeses, they also have many non-dairy products. Their products are for sale in many grocery stores around Paris and beyond, but here you can get them straight from the source, and even ask for a tasting before you buy!
This folks make amazing super trendy bags. Reducing the negative impact on the environment and not using animals skins is the main value that drives their business. They've innovated with new materials, including cork from Portugal that is less harmful to the planet. Recently, they discovered how to make apple leather! How cool is that!
Open since 2015, this beautiful store has all the cosmetics and beauty products you will ever need.
Shop selling vegan zero waste products like shampoo bars, toothpaste and shampoo.
Vegan boutique opened Dec 2017 specializing in vegan, sustainable, and responsible fashion. Sells clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Boutique selling zero waste toiletries and feminine hygiene products.
NORTHERN FRANCE (Haut De France)
100% vegan store in the city center of Amiens. Sells food, cosmetics, fashion items and accessories.
This vegan grocery in Lille has all your favorite vegan products for picnics and self-catering.
NORMANDY & BRITTANY
Located in Rouen, this Vegan concept store sells produce, clothing and chilled products.
This little vegan grocery store in the heart of Brittany has a good range meat and dairy free substitutes. It's located in the coastal town of Brest.
Adorable vegan concept store in the heart of Rennes.
Small vegan shop in Nantes, offering house-made vegan spreads and desserts, as well as a small selection of other vegan products.
Buy all your vegan groceries, as well as toiletries, at this cute place in Nantes.
A 100% vegan grocery store in Bordeaux.
First fully vegan grocery of Toulouse.
An all-vegan boutique in Bayonne that sells cosmetics, care products, accessories, and various products for the house.
Vegan store in the ground of a camping ground! Only open during the camping season. Located around 1.5hrs southwest from Bordeaux, about 7km from the beaches of the Atlantic coast.
First full vegan grocery store in the city of Strasbourg.
A full vegan grocery store on the outskirts of the town of Mulhouse. This store was immensely helpful to us when we ran our tours to Alsace.
Vegan retail shop in beautiful Annecy selling a variety of products and holds workshops. Find plant-based milk, mock meats, vegan cheese, snacks, tea, and cosmetics.
An all-vegan, all-organic, village bulk grocery store. Located near Provence, in Buis-les-Baronnies.
An all-vegan & ethical concept store selling footwear, apparel, bags, cosmetics, groceries. Also has a coffee shop area with delicious smoothies and croissants. Located in Marseille.
Fully vegan health food store, drug store, tea salon and massage room. Products include faux meats, veggie cheese, cosmetics, fresh produce and more. Located in Nice.