Cloudcakes (Paris, France)

Sign outside with menu options at Cloudcakes
Sign outside with the breakfast menu

This small bakery is fully vegan! It is open during the week for the whole day, and on Sunday for brunch. We went on a Saturday morning, lured by the promise of vegan croissants! And our hotel was nearby, which may or may not have been a coincidence. We actually arrived a bit before it opened, because I misread the opening times. That turned out to be a good thing since the place filled up quickly. By the time we left there was a queue and no more spots to sit.

Muffins at Cloudcakes
Cute little muffins!

Unfortunately Cloudcakes was out of vegan croissants the day we visited. No biggie, there were enough great breakfast dishes left. We got pancakes and chocolate- banana toast. The food was very good, and filling. The perfect start to day full of museum visits and walking!

Pancakes with vegan whipped cream, fruits and caramel at Cloudcakes
Pancakes with vegan whipped cream, fruits, almond shavings and caramel
Peanutbutter-banana toast at Cloudcakes
Chocolate-banana toast

We both had a big coffee as well, they use soy milk by default for milky coffees & teas but I believe there’s other milk alternatives available as well.

Delicious soy cappuccino at Cloudcakes
Delicious soy cappuccino

They also do take-away for both the food and the coffee. We got some muffins for later. They unfortunately got damaged in transport, so no photos (we had a red velvet and a tiramisu cupcake, which can be seen below) The taste was still sublime!

We returned on Sunday for lunch, but there was actually no lunch, just brunch. Since we were a bit late there was not much food left. Also there was also no space to sit so we got some muffins for takeaway. Unfortunate but understandable, the place is very popular.

Cakes and muffins at Cloudcakes
Cakes and muffins

Type of place: bakery, take-out
Completely vegan: yes
Vegan desserts: yes
Website (French) : https://www.cloudcakes.fr/

Vietnam in Paris (Paris, France)

Table setting at Vietnam in Paris
I can eat with chopsticks, but I am sure my technique is lacking!

As the name already suggests, Vietnam in Paris is a small Vietnamese restaurant in Paris, more specifically in the 2nd arrondissement. I was in Paris for the weekend with my mom, and we stayed in a hotel nearby. I had read about Vietnam in Paris before, so I was interested to check it out and my mom kindly agreed to join 🙂

Sign with "100% vegan" in Vitetnam in Paris

This restaurant is relatively small, and the interior is very nicely decorated, with beautiful art on the walls. The (fully vegan) menu is simple and small, there are 5 starters, 5 main courses and 6 desserts. I prefer a small menu, it reduces the stress of choosing, which is something most vegans are not used to since there are usually only a few options if they go out for dinner! Also, in a smaller place like this with 1 cook,  1 person can most likely not cook many dishes very well (yes I have watched a lot of restaurant shows…)

Vegan nems at Vietnam in Paris
Nems!

We arrived quite early for Parisian standards, which was good because we didn’t make a reservation and the restaurant filled up completely! There was one very large group though, which took up over half the seats available, so I am not sure if the restaurant is full every day. I won’t be surprised if it was, the food is delicious!

Vegan Vietnamese crepes at Vietnam in Paris
Vietnamese crepes

The service started relatively fast, even though we were not asked for drinks. We started with the nems and crepes. I felt the sizes were a bit off; the crepes were quite a bit smaller than the nems. Both tasted very good. After we got the “plat du jour”  and a curry. The main course arrived quite fast after the starter.

Curry with tofu and rice at Vietnam in Paris
Curry with tofu and rice
Plat du jour at Vietnam in Paris
Plat du jour, or today’s special; tofu, rice and vegetables

Unfortunately after this the service started to slow down. We weren’t offered a second drink and had to wait very long before we could order dessert (most likely due to the large group) Since several desserts looked good I wanted to try the “thé gourmand” which is a tea and 3 small samplers of dessert but they were all out. Instead I opted for a taro pudding.

Taro pudding at Vietnam in Paris
Taro pudding!

Overall the experience was very pleasant, the food was very good, and the prices very reasonable. It was unfortunate that the service was lacking a bit,  it was most likely due to the large group. I guess it would have been better if they would close the restaurant completely when a group that large would enter, but I don’t think that it is something that would occur that often that it would be a deterrent.

Type of place: Vietnamese restaurant
Completely vegan: yes
Vegan desserts: yes

Website (French) : https://www.facebook.com/vip.saveursduvietnam

Farini (Venice, Italy)

In Venice and just want to grab a coffee or a quick lunch? Go to Farini!  Farini is a chain of ‘fast-food’ bakeries with locations both in Venice and Milan. They offer pizza, salads, focaccias, other types of breads and sweet pastries. Additionally they serve drinks, and they have soy milk as well if you want to get a soy cappuccino. It was possible to sit in the bakery itself, but it was very crowded so we decided on take-away when we visited.

Menu at Farini Venice
Menu at Farini

We went there specifically for the focaccia, and there was a nice selection of vegan and non-vegan ones. While traditionally focaccias have vegan dough, I did ask the server to be sure, because experience has taught me that sometimes the most basic and innocent food items might hide dairy or eggs in them. The bakers were nearby, in fact you can see them make your food, and they assured me that the focaccia dough contains no animal products. There were several vegan options and we choose one with onions and one with olives. They were quickly heated and cut (with scissors!) into smaller pieces.

Focaccias in a display at Farini
Focaccias!

Both focaccias we tried were very nice, a bit salty though, but that might just be due to the olives. For me personally it was not off-putting. If I lived nearby I would probably be a frequent visitor of Farini 🙂

Type of place: Bakery/Take-out
Completely vegan: no
Website (Italian): http://farini.com/

Le pain quotidien (Geneva, Switzerland)

Terrace outside of le Pain Quotidien in Geneva
Outside of le Pain Quotidien in Geneva

 

A few weeks ago we were out and about in Geneva, looking for a place to eat a small lunch. I knew that le Pain Quotidien has several vegan options, I like bread, so I wanted to check it out! I was under the impression that le Pain Quotidien is pretty common in Switzerland, but that was actually not the case. But it turned out that we were close to the Geneva LPQ somehow, so that was a nice coincidence.

Le Pain Quotidien (“the daily bread”) is an international chain restaurant of Belgian origin. In Switzerland you can find them in Geneva, Lausanne and Zürich.  LPQ consists of an actual bakery, where you can buy your baguettes and breads, and a place where you can sit and have a coffee with breakfast, brunch (not vegan) or lunch. They serve pastries, salads, sandwiches and ‘plates’. For drinks there is coffee (no soy milk, at least not in the Geneva location), tea, juices, and a variety of other cold drinks.

Their menu card clearly notes the vegetarian and vegan options, which is very nice. There are quite some options actually, which all looked nice, so this review is the result of 2 visits. Else I couldn’t have eaten all of it 🙂

Guacamole "snack" at LPQ in Geneva
Guacamole with bread

The first time it was very warm inside, so we sat outside on the terrace. It was very windy outside, but the temperature was still comfortable enough. There were several jams on the table (fig, rhubarb and strawberry) which seemed vegan. We ordered the daily juice (orange, apple and blueberry) with two small dishes: hummus and guacamole with several breads.

Hummus with bread at LPQ in Geneva
Hummus with bread

The hummus and guac were good, but they could have supplied a bit more bread as the ratio topping-to-bread was a off.  The menu offers two vegan desserts:  a fruit salad and a chia pudding. We shared the chia pudding, which has a nice creamy consistency, which was topped with fresh fruits. It was not overtly sweet, which I personally prefer.

Chia pudding dessert with fresh strawberries at LPQ in Geneva
Chia pudding dessert with fresh strawberries

The second time we went in more hungry. This time we sat inside, where it was less warm but the coffee machine broke so they had no warm drinks. Oh well, these things happen. We got an ice tea and lemonade to go with the food. We tried a hummus and grilled veggies sandwich and a quinoa plate. The sandwich is nice, and quite big. The quinoa plate is loaded! It comes with carrots, quinoa, gaucamole, two types of hummus and several delicious slices of bread with nuts.

Sandwich with grilled veggies at LPQ in Geneva
Sandwich with grilled veggies

The price of LPQ is a bit higher than many other bakeries, but not all bakeries offer so many (clearly-marked) vegan options nor the possibility to sit down. Overall the atmosphere is very relaxed.

Quinoa plate at LPQ in Geneva
Quinoa plate, on the left there is the quinoa (red) with the red and standard hummus and guacamole underneath
Type of place: bakery
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes

Website (English, French, German)* : http://www.lepainquotidien.ch

* The menu is different in different countries

Camoma Veggie Take Away & Pizzeria L’Angelo (Venice, Italy)

For a while I doubted if I should make this post since I want to have a positive tone on this blog. But I also want to write about less than ideal experiences. Honesty is important. And sometimes things are just disappointing, and that is okay.

Still I want to leave a positive note in there, so today a double review. Let’s get the bad out of the way before we get to the good.

Boat, channel and houses in Venice
Sunny day in Venice

Like many vegetarians&vegans I use the site Happycow.net to get an idea about the vegan options when visiting a new city/country. I never plan to -only- visit vegan places. But if I visit a new city that I might not visit again soon, and there is a great vegan place, I don’t want to miss out on it!
Also, it is good to have a bit of a feel how “present” veganism in a city. Say there are 2 bistro’s with vegan options, and nothing else. Then I know I might need to prepare a bit harder. In my opinion there are vegan options almost everywhere, but preparation is key to having a good time.

Image of vegan sandwiches and drinks at Camoma Veggie Take Away
Vegan sandwiches and drinks at Camoma Veggie Take Away

Camoma was listed as a vegan place, though the reviews already stated it was in fact not purely vegan. Still, the reports of vegan lasagna and vegan tiramisu made me curious! So I went there and it was just, not good. The person working there directly told us that only the sandwiches were vegan. And they were just very disappointing. It was standard white bread, no crust, with filling. Sure it was ~okay~ but not exciting. There were four variations of this breads and they all tasted kind of similar. At first I thought we were at the wrong place, but no. This was really it.
There was no lasagna, no tiramisu or any other pastry. No coffee. The woman working there seemed upset with us visiting. (We could sit there, by the way, it it is not just a take-out) I hope someone can chime in, maybe they had a bad day and there was no stock? It is just not a place I’d recommend as there are so many more great places. Vegan and non-vegan.

Type of place: Vegetarian take-out
Completely vegan: no
Website (Italian): https://www.facebook.com/camomaveggievenezia/

Image of display with vegan sandwich with "rice cheese" at pizzaria l'Angelo
Vegan sandwich with “rice cheese” at pizzeria l’Angelo

Anyway, let’s turn the bad into a good. When walking around a bit dissatisfied by those sad sandwiches, we bumped into a small take-out place which had a whole row of vegan sandwiches! They were labelled vegan, and they had “fake cheese” and “fake meat’. It was very nice, and quite a surprise! While many vegans are aware of the existence of vegan cheese, I almost never saw it used in products outside of vegan-only places.

Menu board at pizzeria l'Angelo showing several vegan pizzas
Menu with several vegan pizza options!

Choosing was hard, there was actually more available than I initially noticed. Apart from the sandwiches there are also several types of vegan pizza available. And all for a good price!

Vegan and non-vegan sandwiches in the display at pizzeria l'Angelo
Vegan and non-vegan sandwiches on display

Type of place: Pizza & Panini takeout
Completely vegan: no
Website (Italian): https://www.facebook.com/Pizzeria-LAngelo-158009690894595/

Hotel Malibran (Venice, Italy)

Venice is full of cute little spots and terraces where you can sit and soak up the sun (when available) with a nice drink or some food. While looking for a nice place to grab lunch we found a small square with three restaurants. We decided on the Hotel Malibran, as a glance on the menu card revealed several vegan options: a starter, 2 pasta variations and a pizza Marinara (tomato sauce with oregano and garlic).

The view from the terrace at Hotel Malibran
The view from the terrace

While Italian cuisine might not look like it in the form we mostly see it outside of Italy (cheese!), it is generally quite vegan friendly. Almost every Italian restaurant will offer at least one dish which is vegan or can be made vegan by leaving out the Parmesan. That dish is either pasta with tomato sauce, or pasta with garlic-oil sauce. As I had mentioned in my post on the Pizza Leggera , if the pizza is made from scratch it can often easily be made vegan. Unless the pizza is heavily cheese-based this is generally a good option.

Starter at Hotel Malibran consisting of several grilled vegetables
Grilled vegetables: eggplant, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, courgette and potato.

After we sat down at Malibran, we got some breads and a drink. Since it was lunch time and we needed to keep some stomach space for all the other delicious food available, we shared the vegan starter, which was grilled vegetables. Interestingly there was a potato among the vegetables. Haven’t seen that before!

Pasta with tomato sauce at Hotel Malibran
Pasta with tomato sauce

For our main course we wanted to try a pasta and a pizza. You know, to get a well-rounded review. For the pasta we choose the spaghetti with tomato sauce. For the pizza we decided to get adventurous. Sure, there is a vegan pizza, but let’s up the ante a bit. The vegetarian pizza Vegetariana has grilled veggies and mozzarella, so we asked for that one without mozzarella. Interestingly, the grilled veggies were the same as those of the starter (yes, also the carrot and the potato). Well, you cannot blame them for being efficient. It was very tasty. Now I do not know if they put some additional veggies to make up for the lack of mozzarella, but overall it was just good stuff.

Vegan pizza with grilled vegetables at hotel Malibran
Vegan pizza with grilled vegetables

Dessert-wise we were less lucky. There was lemon ice on the menu, but after verifying our waiter told us it did have milk. Fortunately they did have soy milk so I got a nice soy cappuccino to finish off.

Soy cappuccino at hotel Malibran
The older couple sitting next to us was very confused by me trying to make the perfect image of the cappuccino 🙂

Type of place: Restaurant, Hotel
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: no
Website (Italian, French, English, German) : http://www.hotelmalibran.com/restaurant.html

Klara’s Kitchen (Zürich, Switzerland)

 

For work reasons I was in Zürich, a city that I really like. It is quite far from where I live, but it is worth the journey.

I had heard from my colleagues that there is a bakery very close to where we would meet that had vegan cakes and quinoa bowls. Last time I was nearby it was unfortunately closed and we got pasta instead (how unfortunate ;)) but today it was open! The bakery is very small, but there are a lot of options. Everything is either vegan or vegetarian.

Vegan wraps on offer at Klara's kitchen
Vegan wraps

They offer a warm dish, salads, wraps, soups, chia pudding, birchers, salads, coffee, tea, cakes, smoothies. I tried a dish of the daily menu: älplermagronen with vegan cheese. The älplermagronen is a traditional Swiss dish of potatoes, pasta and apple sauce with cheese and butter. Other dishes on the daily menu were a quinoa bowl with cashew cream and spinach soup.

I also got a sweet potato brownie and a piece of chocolate cake for research.  I liked that these were not overtly sweet.

Milk alternatives in the window of Klara's kitchen in Zurich
Klara’s kitchen
The Kitchen is only open during weekdays.
Type of place: Bakery /Take out
Completely vegan: no

Website ( German) : https://www.klaraskitchen.ch/