You can’t go to Paris without indulging in the world- renowned French cuisine. But all those baguettes, croissants, pastries, and bread seems like a nightmare for anyone that is Celiac or gluten free. The truth is that Paris is one of the best cities in Europe for being gluten free, if you know the right places to go.
Many of my readers might not know this, but I have actually been traveling the world gluten free for over 6 YEARS now. At first it was extremely difficult. I had slip ups all the time, and had stomach aches and sinus problems for days after. But through experience traveling around Europe, it’s gotten a lot easier to mitigate.
The absolute worst thing about being gluten free while traveling is feeling like you’re a burden to others AND feeling like you’re missing out on the experiencing the destination’s food. I definitely experienced this the first time I went to France.
When I studied for the summer in Nice, I had such a hard time finding items at restaurants, and gluten free alternatives in the store. I got snubbed by a lot of waiters and definitely think everyone in my program was annoyed of me at some point. I lost 15 pounds during this month from all the walking and not getting enough carbs!
It’s not just that I’m more travel-savvy nowadays. The world of gluten free awareness has changed completely in France and Europe as a whole since then. You can find gluten free alternatives in most grocery stores and most restaurants have at least a vague idea what you’re talking about.
Paris may have a reputation for snobby waiters and overpriced food. But, you can quote me on this, Paris is a gluten free paradise! I’ve never traveled anywhere where I found so many gluten free alternatives at restaurants and stores. For pizza, croissants, baguettes, macaroons, eclaires, bread, and many other different types of cuisine, being gluten free in Paris is super easy!
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Gluten Free Paris: Know Before You Go
Before heading off to Paris, there’s a few things you should know as a gluten free traveler. Even though there’s tons of options throughout Paris, it’s still a huge city. There’s nothing worse than getting hangry and not having anything to eat nearby.
If you check out my weekend in Paris 3-day itinerary, you can get a rough idea of where you’ll be headed, then incorporate the restaurants and cafes that I mention below.
I should also note that I tried to include as many Celiac friendly places within this guide as possible. If you cannot risk any cross contamination without getting sick, it might be best to skip a couple of these places that I mention below.
While in France, you should know that gluten free is “sans gluten”. You could say:
- “J’ai une allergie au gluten” (I have a gluten allergy)
- “Je voudrais sans gluten” (I would like without gluten)
- “Avez-vous quelque chose sans gluten” (Do you have anything without gluten?)
Many restaurants will be able to accommodate your needs, as salads, meat dishes, and cheese will naturally be gluten free. Most of the sweets and pastries will be made with gluten, but there are a few exceptions.
Pizza is to Italy as macarons are to France. Macarons are a meringue pastry made with almond flour and egg whites in a variety of flavors. Naturally, macarons should be gluten free, but many are not.
While wandering throughout Paris you can ask the vendors if they are gluten free or not. The popular Laduree make all of their macarons 100% gluten free.
While crepes may seem like a huge no-no for a gluten free diet, authentic French crepes are made with buckwheat flour. Many of the cheap street food stands will not have buckwheat crepes, but do keep your eyes peeled for signs that say anything “buckwheat crepes”. Of course you’ll want to be extra careful if you are very sensitive to any cross contamination (I am not), but it is still worth knowing.
Gluten free eats in Paris
Helmut Newcake Bakery
Location: 2 locations in 8th Arr.
Celiac Friendly: Yes
Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. , closed on Monday
Best for: Sweets, croissants, quick lunch
First up on our list is Helmut Newcakes, a gluten free bakery with two locations in the 8th district. Each shop is decorated with minimal decor, with the option to take things for takeaway OR sit to enjoy a pastry. The croissants here are to die for. Same with the eclairs and all of their pastries, so you can definitely bring along your gluten-ful friends.
They do off lunch for around 6 to 12 euros everyday, which is a cheaper alternative than dining at a restaurant for gluten free foods. You can find these shops close to the Louvre, about 10 and 15 minutes walking.
Location: 2nd and 8th arrondissement
Celiac Friendly: Yes
Hours: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. weekdays
Best for: Asian fusion rice dishes
I am so sad I didn’t get a chance to make it to this place while during my recent weekend in Paris. Rice Trotters is an entirely gluten free restaurant dedicated to serving a variety of Asian rice dishes, even desserts. The restaurant chain focuses on healthy and quick food options, which is why they also offer a variety of vegan options as well. This is an ideal place for lunch, though I believe it does get crowded around the working lunch hours.
Loulou’s Friendly Diner
Location: 5th arrondissement
Celiac friendly: Best to ask.
Hours: 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Best for: Brunch, diner food with healthy twist
Sometimes I find my mind wandering off into space thinking about the delicious meal I had here. Steps away from the (recovering) Notre Dame, Le Loulou is actually an Australian restaurant with all the charm of an outdoor, French cafe. They offer a variety of gluten free salads, sandwiches, pancakes, and desserts here.
By far one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had, you can’t go wrong with the club sandwich with chicken and avocado on gluten free bread with a side of green juice. Although the restaurant isn’t 100% gluten free, they are extremely friendly and probably would be willing to accommodate for you.
Yummy and Guiltfree
Location: 2nd, 4th and 12th arrondissement
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Best for: Waffles, fast food
This is the place you want to go when you can’t decide WHAT type of cuisine to have. Yummy & Guiltfree combines waffles with all sorts of sweet and savory toppings. You can even try smoked salmon or chicken pad thai on top of a waffle. Otherwise, you can get a chocolate waffle on a stick to go. Being from Minneapolis, these food combinations remind me something you’d see at the State Fair!
Y&GF has three separate locations throughout the city: one in temple, not far from the Notre Dame, another in Montmarte, and another at the Lyon train station. As an added bonus, all of the products are lactose free as well!
Locations: All over Paris
Celiac-friendly: Yes, but do tell them you are.
Hours: Usually 10:30 a.m. to midnight
Best for: Gelato and gelato-filled macaroons.
If you’ve done a bit of traveling around Europe (or major cities in the U.S.), you’ve probably already seen an Amorino Shop. I actually used to live next to one of these chains in Chicago, and since then I’ve been hooked. Not only is the gelato AND macaroons to die for, they are 100% gluten free. Also, did I mention that the macaroons are filled with gelato?!
Make sure to tell them if you are Celiac and they will use a separate scooper for the gelato. There are two types of gelato that aren’t gluten free, and you have to request to have a gluten free cone. It is convenient to have this place as an option throughout Paris!
Location: 2nd and the 7th arrondissement
Hours: 8:30- 7 p.m.
Best for: Baguettes, cakes, breakfast
Noglu definitely takes the GF cake for cutest gluten free cafe in Paris. From the “keep the gluten away” down to the “Noglu” baguette wrap, they’ve done a great job as marketing themselves as heaven to Celiacs. You can find sweets and carbs along with other healthier dishes like salads and a variety of breakfast options.
Noglu even has a cookbook you can purchase in stores AND holds workshops for cooking gluten free macaroons, pastries, and other French dishes.
La Belle Vie Sans Gluten
Location: 7th Arrondissement
Best for: Bread, pastries, sandwiches
If you find yourself wandering around near the Eiffel Tower on a Saturday craving a gluten free pastry, head over to La Belle Vie Sans Gluten. This is quite possibly the most popular gluten free bakery in central Paris, and they supply many of their breads to hotels and vendors within the area.
This place is only open on Saturdays, so make sure to plan ahead when visiting. It would be best to get here before the afternoon when many of the items sell out! Check out their Instagram to see some fan favorites.
Tasca Gluten-free and Organic (7th Arr.)
Location: 15th arrondissement
Celiac friendly: Best to ask
Hours: 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Best for: Pizza, dinner, Italian food
Steps away from the Eiffel Tower and Champs des Mars, this little Italian Bistro would be ideal for a quiet, romantic dinner in Paris. Tasca offers incredible gluten free pizza and pasta, and of course salads. The entire restaurant organic, so you can trust that all of the ingredients are extremely fresh and locally sourced.
Though the place isn’t entirely gluten free, they are very friendly and seem to be accommodating for those sensitive to cross-contamination.
Little Nonna Gluten Free Paris (17th Arr.)
Location: 17th arrondissement
Hours: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Best for: Everything Italian and gluten free
Quite possible the best option for gluten free pizza and pasta is Little Nonna. From the name, down to the decor, and ingredients, this pizzeria serves up authentic Italian.
Today Tomorrow Vegan Shop (11th Arr.)
Location: 11th Arrondissement
Celiac-Friendly: Best to ask
Hours: 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., closed on Mondays
Best for: Vegan cakes, brunch, rice bowls
This vegan concept shop may be outside of central Paris, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Today Tomorrow carries apparel, plant-based foods, and even has a little cafe with many gluten free AND vegan treats. It’s definitely a hipster hangout and a cool place to meet young people.
I recommend going to see the light show of Van Gogh at L’Atelier Des Luminere Museum, then grabbing a piece of carrot cake here after!
Boulangerie Chambelland Paris (11th Arr)
Location: 11th Arrondissement
Best for: Bread, sandwiches, cakes
Around the corner in the 11th district is one of the most popular bakeries in Paris. Featured in Lonely Planet, Chambelland sources buckwheat and rice flour from its own mill in the South of France. You can rest assured that everything is gluten free here!
The atmosphere is more of an upscale cafe than a bakery, decorated with their own stacks of flour. Stop by for their famous baguettes, sandwiches, chocolate cookies, or cakes!
Location: 2nd, 4th, 6th arrondissement
Hours: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Best for: Gelato with gluten free cones
If you can’t tell by now, I’m a big fan of gelato, all flavors. Grom‘s gelato shop gets double bonus points for being sustainable AND completely gluten free. Yes, Grom is a European gelato chain that sources it’s ingredients sustainably and offers everything from the cone to the cookie on top completely gluten free.
Also, Grom is making moves to cut down on waste with all of their spoons, napkins, and cups being compostable! Definitely recommend heading over to the Luxembourg gardens and grabbing some icee cream after.