Where is a vegan supposed to eat out in Paris? This is a question I’m seeking to answer in a series of restaurant reviews that will hopefully act as a resource for visitors and residents looking for suitable vegan restaurants.
My first stop is SOL Semilla, a 100% vegan and super food restaurant with a South-American theme located in the 10th arrondissement.
After the 30km race this past weekend, I had not been really eating properly (lots of rice cakes). Not only do I feel like eating everything in site, I am also super sore and feel like that’s permission to eat junk food/everything in sight. I decided that SOL Semilla would be a great step to getting back on the nutritionally-sound wagon. In the morning I went for a 5-mile run and was feeling pretty hungry (as usual) come lunchtime.
I also thought some super foods full of antioxidants could potentially help with the soreness. Enough about me though, let’s talk about the restaurant!
It is located near several metro stations, so bonus points for location.
When I arrived I wasn’t really sure if I should just sit down somewhere or what to do as all the tables were taken. One of the staff told me to seat myself and I sat at a large wooden table at the opposite end from a couple. The chairs are made of wooden barrels (points for sustainability), which is not as uncomfortable as it might sound. At the same time, you probably would not want to bring a first date or business partner here.
The lunch starts off with a small, but lovely appetizer.
While the interior decor may not be super classy, the food was delicious! I ordered a “petite assiette du jour,” or small “plate of the day,” which was a mix of vegetables, salad, rice and potatoes. One of the vegetable dishes was called a “sauté de cacao,” honestly I have no idea what was in it (besides cacao of course), but it was delicious.
I have to admit that I was still a bit hungry (should have gone with the large plate) and really wanted to try one of their warm drinks before heading back out into the cold. I chose the Purple Power, mainly because I was super excited it would be purple, but also because it had a mix of purple maize, ginger, apple and cinnamon. While I didn’t know much about purple maize, the last three ingredients I knew I loved.
After some waiting the waitress brought it to my table, steaming and purple… a visual dream come true.
Overall it was a great eating experience. I think the atmosphere could be brightened (the windows were steamy and the whole place a bit dark) and improved with some quiet music. I should mention that there is a small shop located within the restaurant (you can also order online) where customers can purchase some super foods (like cacao beans & spirulina). The prices are pretty much on par with Parisian dining…
Assiette du jour: €11.00
Purple power drink: €4.50
3.5/5 — The food is great, but the portions are a bit small and the atmosphere somewhat dark & boring.
*Reader question*: On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being super duper important), how important is the atmosphere of a restaurant to you?