Voy Alimento, Vegan Cuisine in Paris

by phyllisflick on October 10, 2011

My eating habits might strike you as strange. On most days of the week I try to eat vegetarian but then will cross town to buy something like this.  Luckily, I see nothing hypocritical about a person who advocates a healthy diet but still likes to eat a good burger now and then. After reading books like Eating AnimalsThe China Study, and Food Matters, I find myself eating more and more vegetarian. And while I’m not planning to give up meat altogether anytime soon–I like it too much–I do try to eat as little as possible and often find myself craving healthy foods.

One of my favorite places to go when I feel the need to detox is Voy Alimento, a tiny cantine/shop just off the Canal Saint Martin which specializes in unusual medicinal herbs and plants from Latin America. In addition to selling things like raw chocolate, cat’s claw, guarana, maca and purple corn, they serve a vegan, organic lunch menu Tuesday-Sunday.  I’m not sure I buy into the therapeutic claims of many of their products, but the food is as delicious as it is unusual.  I’d have no problem switching to a vegan diet if it all tasted this good.

You’ll sit on recycled barrels and share a communal table in the airy dining room which shares its space with the shop. Get the menu and you’ll start off with a small plate with tastes of raw coco beans, dried aguagmanto-a deliciously tart fruit native to Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, and assorted biscuits made with algae, curcuma or sesame.  For drinks you can choose from  the Purple Power which is made with purple corn; the Blue Comme Toi, made with Klamath, a bleu green algae; or the Xocolatl, an Aztec drink made with chocolate, urucum, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.  The menu also includes a detox, vitaité, or energizing vegetable soup all enhanced with aztec super-foods and spices.

The main course is a copious plate of vegetables and grains, which on my last visit included quinoa with spirulina, crisp salad greens with shavings of leek and carrots, a delicious potato salad with carrots and zucchini, tofu marinated with a light citrus dressing and Fougatta, a spiced cake, which was a little too dense and dry to my taste. Everything  else was fresh, with clean interesting flavors. The desserts are vegan as well and made from ingredients like raw chocolate, acai berries or purple corn.  Stevia leaves, agave and yacon syrup are used to sweeten. Even my carnivorous French guy was impressed and bought out half the shop.

The shop’s staff couldn’t be more friendly and, when they have the time, enthusiastically explain each unusual ingredient and its health benefits. The clientele is an interesting mix of fashionable, yet health-conscious, locals and a few vegan tourists who most likely read about it on Happy Cow.   If you can’t get to the shop, you can buy their products at both of the organic markets (Batignolles on Saturdays, Raspail on Sundays)  or online.  And if you don’t want to take my word that vegan cooking can be delicious, know that Alain Ducasse agrees and included Voy Alimento in his beautiful book J’aime Paris.

Voy Alimento
23, rue des Vinaigriers
Paris, France, 75010
Telephone: +33 (0)1 42 01 03 44

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Samantha October 11, 2011 at 14:27

Oh Phyllis you are a god-send! This looks so up my alley I can’t even stand it! I lived in Paris twice before and never ever found anything like this. I am so happy! Friday at lunch I am there with bells on!
Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!
XO
Sam

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phyllisflick October 11, 2011 at 23:38

My pleasure Sam :) Please let me know what you think! Make sure to explore some of the other shops on rue des Vinaigriers. There is an amazing plant shop next door ( http://lagalerievegetale.com/ ) and a very cool pinata shop a few doors down- http://bit.ly/nAQ21x. Bob’s juice bar is not far either on Rue Lucien Sampaix.

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Samantha October 18, 2011 at 09:11

Oh my goodness Phyllis it was amazing! I never tasted so many different foods in my life and I love that! I must say the aloe vera was a little strange! Not the taste but the texture.

I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful reccomendation. It was a delight to go out and not be worried or dissapointed with the chioces!
It’s so hard to find good veggie food in France and this was above my expectations!

And yes we did shop around a little after, I love that area of Paris!

XO
Sam

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JR Moreau October 12, 2011 at 03:25

Love this idea. I just started eating vegetarian/vegan mostly during the week w/ an occasional meal with meat on the weekends… it’s mainly for health and environmental reasons. I don’t have a huge moral problem with eating well-cared for animals occasionally, but the draw of veganism and vegetarianism is really the for my waistline and carbon footprint. So glad there are places in Paris that serve this kind of grub! I’ll also need to know where the best Steak Frites are located too, because you never know when the urge may strike :-)

Great post!

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phyllisflick October 13, 2011 at 21:08

Merci, I agree! When you are informed about what eating lot of meat means- whether it’s health or environmental reasons- it’s hard to eat it every day. And like you, I also do it for my waist line. People who see me eat, wonder how I stay thin. One reason is that I eat very healthy for most meals so that I can then splurge on anything I want when I go out.

And for your Steak Frites craving, I would go to Le Severo (which had one of the best steaks I’ve had in Paris), Bistro Paul Bert or even Relais de l’Entrecote, which has a few locations and serves nothing else but steak frites

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Adrian October 12, 2011 at 09:32

Love this place, been going for years

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Margaret October 12, 2011 at 22:22

I’ve been eating your way for years: the occasional meat meal in between many meatless ones. It is easy to lose your “meat tooth”. So many cultures provide us with brilliant food based on vegetables and grains that one could travel the world on your dinner plate without every getting bored. I don’t think you can say this of a diet heavy in meat.

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phyllisflick October 13, 2011 at 21:09

I completely agree and often love the vegetable dishes on my plate the most. The only tough part about eating vegetarian is that it takes time and work to cut up all of the vegetables and herbs. With a pork chop, you can just throw it in the sauté pan and voila you have a pretty tasty dinner in no time. But for me the health benefits are too important not to do it.

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Lindsey November 13, 2011 at 22:30

Must try!

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parisbreakfast February 8, 2012 at 20:17

Looks terrific!
will try next visit absolutement
Big Merci

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Robyn Minogue November 25, 2012 at 23:09

This place was awful – overpriced, the slowest and most inept service – we asked three times for some water, the food was average but overpriced and i found I was hungry soon after, portions were small, food tepid, we were served our main before our starter, the ‘milkshake’ was juice with rice milk dribble into it, the desert was inedible, and to top it off we were short changed. I would highly encourage people to miss this off their list of places to eat, visit or recommend – save yourself the trouble/money and avoid – best bit was the hand soap in the toilet.

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