Vegan Eating in France & Disneyland

As I spent last week in Paris, I wanted to do a bit of a series of blog posts on everything we got up to during our trip and one of the biggest challenges we faced was food. James and I decided to go completely vegan and change our lifestyle to be better, healthier and kinder to both the animals and the environment earlier this year and our trip to Paris was the first with our new diets. Being completely honest, neither of us did much research into eating vegan in France and we really should have because there are a few things to look out for.

For starters, the French don't see fish as meat so they will often label a fish dish as vegetarian. We both said to each other if it came to it then we would eat as vegetarians and not stress too much about the dairy if we really couldn't find somewhere suitable, so this was good to know since we were willing to consume a little bit of dairy but under no circumstances were we eating any kind of meat. So this was something to look out for in terms of even getting a vegetarian meal that could have been vegan friendly too, just not labelled. Luckily we did manage to eat completely vegan for the entire trip which I'm so relieved about; I'll admit on the first night I had a bit of an anxiety attack and was angry at myself for not researching into it before choosing Paris to visit. It's also considered very rude to ask a French restaurant to alter a dish even slightly so the pressure was on to find somewhere to eat without offending the country as well.

As we were in Paris to explore the city itself and weren't spending a great deal of time in Disneyland, we were able to do some research on the first night in the hotel and we circled on the map a little vegan cafe called Cloud Cakes near the Chatelet des Halles station and also in the same area were two vegan 'fast food' restaurants by the same business, Hank Pizza and Hank Burger. I say 'fast food' because it really was quick and was set out like a fast food place, but the food was awesome, healthy and the staff were super friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic about vegan food. We went to Cloud Cakes for lunch for three days in a row, enjoying their soya based pumpkin spiced lattes, vegan croissants and epic salad bowls and soups. After a mooch around the shops, we ventured off to find the Hank restaurants for dinner, first trying the pizza place and the next day returning to try the burger place. The restaurants were different buildings but on the same road so very easy to find. Their menu's were varied and the prices were incredibly reasonable, as were the portions! As I don't eat much we were able to box up my leftovers so we could take it back to the hotel with us for a snack later on.




Throughout the day and up until lunchtime, we had bags of crisps which we'd put into our suitcase, our Voss bottles of water and fruit bars. These were just about enough but we're so glad we decided to fill out suitcases with snacks otherwise we'd have really struggled. Before I was a vegan, I would usually put some chocolate croissants or something similar into my bag from the continental breakfasts at the hotel but more on that side of things in just a sec. Taking snacks with you if you're a vegan is really important and we took packs of biscuits, green tea for the hotel room, some chocolate, crisps, nuts and fruit bars. Not the healthiest of foods but finding non-perishable items can be a little tricky. The first night we went to the all you can eat restaurant in the hotel for ease; it was €30 a person mind you so we didn't do it again, but I sneaked a couple of bananas back to the room from the pudding section to put in my bag for the following day. The all you can eat buffet consisted of a bit of veg, a tonne of meat, a fruit bowl and a huge selection of cakes which we couldn't eat so we really weren't able to get our money's worth of food.



The gorgeous sweet treats from Cloud Cakes in Paris

As for the continental breakfast at the hotel, before vegan life I was a huge lover of chocolate croissants and cereals. This time however, we were limited to toast on the first day as I didn't spot the soya milk until the next morning. Finding the soya milk meant that the following day I could make us a coffee and also try out some of the cereals. I had a fruit salad too one morning and to be honest it was a bit pathetic looking and it was a shame there wasn't a bowl of fruit to sneak away as that would have been ideal. For the toast, luckily they did a 100% vegetable based 'butter' and a couple of jams. On the last two days, we worked out that from the selection of veg available at breakfast like beetroot, sweetcorn, cucumber and olives, we could make ourselves baguette sandwiches to wrap up on the sly and pop into my bag so we totally did this and were amused to see other hotel users were also doing the same.




Now time for a brutal, honest truth around eating vegan at Disneyland. It's virtually impossible. The Disney village has a handful of restaurants but after scouring the menus, non of these had a vegan option. On the second night, we settled for Annette's Diner and had the veggie burger which aside from the small ball of mozzarella on a stick holding the burger together, appeared to be suitable for us to eat so we just left the mozzarella ball on the side of our plates. Literally all of the Disney food places have a basic salad available but the problem with this is you're not getting what you need out of a meal so you start to feel quite ill. It's pretty much just leaves, perhaps some grated carrot and that's it. There is of course popcorn and crisps available from various points throughout the park but again, you won't last long just eating this before you start to feel run down and sick. The Agrabah Cafe in Adventure Land is meant to have a couple of vegan options, again it's an all you can eat place at €32 a head so pretty bloody extortionate, but we got turned away at around 4pm and they told us they were closed. Luckily we were only in the Disney parks on our last day and we took our DIY sandwiches from the breakfast buffets with us.

Mooching around Paris itself, we did stumble across one of those little healthcare, mini supermarket type shops which was 100% vegan so we went inside and got chatting to the owner who was a Chinese lady but spoke great English. We grabbed a Vego chocolate bar each which I've been dying to try for ages and these are so delicious! Being quite big too, we ended up sharing the two bars as a snack for the following two days so they lasted us well considering they are just chocolate bars.

In all honesty, it's not like we went hungry but we were both ridiculously glad to get home to our own kitchen and eat a decent variety of food. I can't imagine ever returning to Disneyland now as a vegan and staying in one of their hotels because even just one day of being on the rides and wondering around nackering yourself out and not having the correct fuel to live off makes you feel so poorly and you end up not really enjoying yourself as much. Apparently even the fries and vegetables cooked on the Disney premises contain meat stock so it can be really difficult to know for sure what you're eating and it made even picking a vegetarian option very confusing. But, we managed the entire trip on a vegan diet despite it being painfully difficult at times. It's just a shame places as big as Disney don't offer more of a variety of food...don't even get me started on the prices of their meals!

Have you ever been away somewhere and had trouble finding somewhere for your dietary requirements? I'd love to know how you tackled it!

Thanks for reading,



1 comment

  1. I had no idea that they cosidered fish as not a meat in Paris - that must have been so gutting! I'm glad you did manage to eat vegan in the end though!

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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