Feb 2nd, 2018, 09:45 AM

Don't Let Them Eat Cake!

By Jacqueline Wegwerth
Image Credit: Jackie Wegwerth
The eleventh arrondissement is offering a solution to the shortage of dining options for gluten-free eaters in Paris.

Baguettes, croissants, eclairs. Gluten is ingrained (pun intended) in the French culture. Our stereotypical image of the Parisian would be incomplete without a baguette peeking out of a grocery bag. This prevalence of gluten in French diet complicates dining plans for the Celiac traveler. Restaurants are beginning to offer more gluten-free options, but pose the risk of cross-contamination.  The eleventh arrondissement is already known for its variety of hip and trendy restaurants around Rue de Charonne, and is strengthening its reputation as the food hub of the city through the opening of many dedicated gluten-free kitchens. This said, it may be the exception to the hostile gluten environment Paris offers, as it has more cafes, bakeries and restaurants dedicated to offering a menu completely void of gluten than the rest of the city. 

Thank you, My Deer
112 Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris

Image Credit: Jackie Wegwerth

Just five minutes on foot from the Parmentier metro stop, Thank You, My Deer offers gluten-free eaters the opportunity to sit down and enjoy morning pastries or afternoon sandwiches without having to modify the meal to fit their diet. Sitting inside the quaint establishment, you're engulfed by the scent of coffee brewing and cookies warming. For once, the gluten-free eater is able to give into the tempting aroma and taste the foods giving off the attractive scent. The carrot cake dissolves in your mouth and changes any previously held beliefs that gluten-free bread and desserts are dry, fail to stay in one piece, and are generally unenjoyable to eat. The combination of delectable treats and cozy atmosphere makes Thank You, My Deer a must visit place for anyone, regardless of diet. 

Chambelland Bakery
14 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris

Image Credit: Jackie Wegwerth

A mere 500 meters from Thank You, My Dear, or a three-minute walk in the opposite direction when departing the Parmentier metro, Chambelland shines as a heaven for the gluten-free crowd. Chambelland expands on Thank You, My Deer's list of snacks and treats to include a gluten-free version of almost every French favorite. There are tartlets, choux pastries, macaroons, and plenty of other foods to cure your sweet tooth. They also offer a variety of freshly baked bread. The first reaction to a bite into one of their pastries is panic because it's easy to believe that something this good has to contain gluten. After being reassured that the entire bakery only makes gluten-free goods, the panic dissolves into blissful delight and you start to wonder why it took you so long to discover this eatery. 

Bears & Raccoons
21 Rue Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris

Image Credit: Jackie Wegwerth

Bears & Raccoons rounds out the variety of gluten-free delights offered in the eleventh. A hip sandwich shop, Bears & Raccoons perfects taste both in interior design and sandwich preparation. The modern minimalist design invites people in from the street and the welcoming workers make them want to stay. As a small shop, returning customers quickly become regulars and benefit from having their sandwiches prepared as soon as the cook sees them opening the door. The sandwich goes unrivaled by any other in the city, and the reason for this is likely for the bread. One bite into a sandwich from the shop and the gluten-free eater will no longer mind leaving Paris without having tried a baguette, because as far as we're concerned, this is good enough for us.