If there’s one symbol that best represents French culinary culture in its delicious simplicity, it would have to be the baguette. Golden and chewy on the outside, white and fluffy on the inside, it’s a critical (and delicious) component to almost every French meal—unless, of course, you’re gluten intolerant. Thankfully, Paris has risen, doughlike, to the occasion, boasting restaurants, cafés and entire aisles in the supermarchés dedicated to all things edible for the gluten-free masses. Want to have your wheat-free cake and eat it, too? This gluten-free guide to Paris restaurants and more is here to help.
16, passage des Panoramas, in the 2nd Arrondissement. 01 40 26 41 24.
Lunch: Mon–Fri, noon–3 p.m.; brunch: Sat, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; salon de thé, Tues–Fri, 3 p.m.–6:30 p.m.; dinner: Thurs–Sat, 7:30–11 p.m.
When it opened in September 2012, Noglu sent the Parisian dining scene atwitter. A chic bistro serving food that looks good, tastes great and even resembles “normal” French cuisine? Mais, oui! The mastermind behind the eatery, Frédérique Jules, is herself gluten intolerant and wanted to create an inclusive space where people with food allergies could fully enjoy this most important of all French traditions. Noglu is open for lunch every day except Sunday and serves dinner three nights a week, giving diners multiple opportunities to dig into giant steaks, seafood dishes and burgers before diving into creative, mouthwatering desserts.
Thank You, My Deer
112, rue Saint-Maur, in the 10th Arrondissement. 01 71 93 16 24.
Tues–Fri, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sat–Sun, noon–6 p.m.
Jana and Sonia, two 20-something Slovakians who met at business school in Paris back in 2006, filled a neighborhood niche when they launched Thank You, My Deer this past April. Bright and cheerful, the tiny gluten-free café in the trendy Oberkampf neighborhood serves supercharged coffee, muffins, cakes, and hearty sandwiches. The menu is currently undergoing a shift toward an unexpected gluten-free goodie: waffles! Tuck into sweet and savory options stuffed with everything from dried fruit to smoked salmon. Miam.
20, rue de la Pierre Levée, in the 11th Arrondissement. 01 48 05 13 00.
Mon–Fri, noon–3:30 and 7 p.m.–11 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Vegetarians with food allergies adore this earthy, light-filled restaurant near canal Saint-Martin. Big communal tables, all-you-can-drink herb tea and a roaming cat give the place a home-away-from home vibe, but it’s the wholesome food that keeps people coming back for more. Seitan stew with quinoa, rich lasagnas, couscous and tofu, and giant meze platters are just some of the tempting offerings. For a stuff-your-face feast, make a reservation for the 25 euro Sunday brunch buffet. Fat pants are recommended.
36, rue Bichat, in the 10th Arrondissement. 09 82 59 00 39.
Wed–Sat, noon–8 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
No wheat-free guide to Paris would be complete without a nod to the mavericks at Helmut Newcake who brought the Paris sans gluten dining scene to life when they opened in 2011. Besides gorgeous pastries and viennoiseries, this clean, modern salon de thé offers a bounteous Sunday brunch—think, pancakes, eggs and tarts—and daily lunch options that range from sandwiches to pizza. This is also a good place to stock up on gluten-free baking mixes, pastas and other packaged treats to make at home.
Bio Sphère Café
47, rue de Laborde, in the 8th Arrondissement. 01 42 93 45 58.
Tues–Thurs, noon–6 p.m.; Fri–Sat, noon–10:30 p.m.
Quiche, baguette sandwiches and savory tarts are the cornerstones of every French café’s lunch menu, and that’s no different at Bio Sphère—except that everything on offer at this modern eatery is gluten free and organic, including the beer. Fresh-pressed juices are another house specialty, and they almost help balance out any overindulging that might occur after viewing the pâtisserie case, where tartes au citron meringuée, mille-feuilles and religieuses call out like sirens. For the crafty and culinarily inclined, Bio Sphère even offers macaron-making classes on Saturdays.