Eating gluten free in Paris may bring you to tears – literally
Knowing we would be out and about all day, I ordered as much as I could carry around comfortably, and vowed I would be back to try each and everything I didn’t have space to take with me.
So here I am, in the back of an Uber in France, gently picking up one of the airy, round pastries. The next thing that happened surprised everyone. Mostly, myself.
I took a bite, and as the texture of the dough filled my mouth, I immediately burst into TEARS. Uncontrollable, ain’t-looking-pretty-for-anyone sobs. My sister, who was in the seat next to me, was immediately concerned, curious, and confused. “What’s wrong?!” She asked, and even I wasn’t immediately sure.
In an instant I was brought back to a time when I didn’t need to worry that every bite I took might lead to excruciating pain or a reaction in my body that would cause damage for months afterwards. That I didn’t need to ask a million questions before placing an order, or see a waiter rolling their eyes as they explained my Celiac’s to the chef. A time, when I trusted my body to do what was best for me, and not attack the very organs that are working to keep me alive. Back when I didn’t need to go hungry at a party or feel excluded as everyone raged about how amazing the “cake” is.
In that moment, I was just “normal” in the best way possible. Food could take its proper place in life as simple form of nourishment and not this type of time-consuming obsession.
Quick tips when eating gluten free in Paris
It was, and still is the best gluten free experience I’ve had since being diagnosed with Celiac’s 8 years ago. I did everything I wanted to without issues in Paris this year. Had a wine and cheese picnic under the Eiffel Tower with an rosemary focaccia bread that put my sister’s baguette to shame, ate dessert with the best of them, and had a “food tour” of France that I had always wanted to experience.
Thankfully, my mother and sister, indulged and hiked the extra mile to go to each gluten free bakery to help me indulge. Now, back at home, and upping the spin classes to work all that off, I couldn’t be happier.
#1 – Go to the bakery first
Pick up a couple of focaccia breads to carry around with you.You never know when you’ll have an impromptu cheese and charcuterie plate.
#2 – Plan your routes
Each of the bakeries, are near big tourist attractions, set out a plan and each one is easy to get to.
#3 – Bring something for the trip home
Grab something to eat on the plane with you. It beats their gluten free options.
Places that are gluten free in Paris
Paris has proven to be the most gluten free city I’ve traveled to. Here are some of my favorite spots.
Chambelland Boulangerie – ALL GLUTEN FREE. Breads, pastries, tarts, puff pastries. (Cross contamination v unlikely)
Little Breizh – Gluten Free Crepes (sweet and savory options – they may use the same space for both. Use caution)
Helmut Newcake – Meringues, Eclairs, opera cakes, mini caprese sandwiches (another fully gluten free bakery. Perfect place to get your eclaire fix)
Have you loved foods that are gluten free in Paris?
Share your own tips in the comments below!
Carly Oates works in the fitness industry in Los Angeles. After being diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease 8 years ago, she has become a pro at navigating the gluten-free lifestyle. She mentors others transitioning after diagnosis and brings a heightened and holistic awareness to the challenges of changing your diet. You can follow her adventures on instagram @heycarlyoates.