5 Best Vegetarian Spots Paris

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Vegans and vegetarians traveling to Paris rejoice!

Heading to Paris soon and looking for the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city? I’ve got you covered! Check out my top 5 spots from my most recent visit!

1) Wild and The Moon – This new Paris hotspot located in the 3e arrondissement reminds me a lot of places like Café Grattitude or The Butcher’s Daughter in California. This juice bar, to-go counter and dine-in vegan restaurant is without a doubt one of the best in the city. Unlike their American counterparts, they’ve added a French twist to some of the dishes they serve adding different ingredients and serving things like a raw tarte. They’ve got a great selection of organic cold-ressed juices and milks, homemade salads, soups, crackers and snacks as well as desserts. Their hot drinks are also incredibly tasty. The perfect spot to eat clean, plant-based pure meal.

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2) Season – This farm to table group of restaurants and to-go spots combines fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to make delicious tartines, bowls and salads that are perfect for a breakfast, brunch or lunch. Their restaurant located in the 3e arrondissement in Paris is always packed at lunch time so make sure you arrived before 1pm if you don’t want to have to wait in line.

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3) Café Pinson – Also located in the 3e arrondissement in Paris, this restaurant serves healthy and organic meals that change on the daily. Their small carte of appetizers, mains and deserts features delicious seasonal ingredients that combined together with beautiful sauces and accompaniments create comforting dishes good food for the soul. The beautiful and cozy decor makes it a perfect date-night spot.

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4) Hank Vegan Burger – This small vegan burger joint located in Le Marais, one of the most sought after neighborhoods of Paris, serves up cheap but finger-licking-good burgers for 8 Euros. Their 4 different burgers are all equally tasty. You can add potato wedges or coleslaw and make it a combo with or without homemade dessert. It’s a great place to have a quick lunch or dinner.

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5) Ten Belles – You’ll find this cute coffee shop nestled on a side street right by the Canal St-Martin in the 10e arrondissement in Paris. Though not everything they offer is vegetarian, they have a great selection of focaccia and bun sandwiches, salads as well as soups that are vegetarian. Their homemade cookies, breads and treats are also incredibly yummy.

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5 Questions With: Pierre-Antoine De Myttenaere of SPRINGSIOUX

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Springsioux is a Paris-based brand and concept store. I first heard of them through Offner a few years ago. What started off as a small brand of t-shirts by founder Pierre-Antoine De Myttenaere, has evolved into so much more. Over the past couple of years, Pierre-Antoine developed the brand with his girlfriend and business partner Alisa Gusakova. Today the Springsioux line includes silver jewelry, high end fur and leather pieces designed in collaboration with Parisian designer Quentin Veron, ponchos and t-shirts designed in collaboration with Parisian tattoo artist Eddie Czaicki, etc. Last summer, they inaugurated their concept store in Le Marais, the coolest neighborhood in Paris. Since then, they’ve had countless artists, models and celebrities come to their shop. Nikki Sixx, Bradley Soileau, Sarah Barthel from Phantogram and Miss Kittin, are just some of the people that have been spotted wearing Springsioux. They’ve also organized a ton of events at their shop for Paris Fashion Week, the launch of their special collections, etc. Pierre-Antoine and his team are currently working on a collaboration with a famous French DJ that will be out soon. They’ll also be launching a coffee corner inside their Le Marais shop, which might also include their very own blend of coffee inspired by South America. I’m excited to present to you all today, my 5 Questions With Pierre-Antoine De Myttenaere of Springsioux:

1) Can you talk to us about about the idea behind Springsioux? Your mission?

I created Springsioux at the time when I was in a new wave band in Paris. The goal was to link music and fashion together. Then, I went on tour in Russia and Alisa (tour manager/girlfriend) joined Springsioux to help develop a silver jewelry line based on the Native American culture. We want Springsioux to be more than a brand, it’s a spirit, it brings together people from different backgrounds to create something strong and different from mainstream trends. That is where our motto “alive in the darkness” comes from. We don’t present collections every season, we prefer to create something when the time is right, depending on our inspiration but mostly on the people we meet. That’s why we love to do collaborations with other designers or artists!

2) Where do you draw inspiration for your Springsioux designs?

It’s a mix between traditional cultures (Native American, Mexican…) because there is something mystical in them and we try our best to make their heritage last by creating the most authentic designs, and also rock n roll subcultures. For me, the best example of rock subcultures and fashion are Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood with the Sex Pistols because they found the right balance. 

3) Who are your style icons?

The 80’s have a huge influence on us and I would definitely say… Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe), Grace Jones but I think the most important thing is attitude. Our “Springsioux man” can wear a skirt and still look masculine and mysterious and our “Springsioux woman” is strong and provocative.

4) What has been some of the most memorable moments thus far with Springsioux?

We went through several ups and down but some moments are forever engraved in our minds like when I received a phone call from a friend telling me that he saw Nikki Sixx wearing one of our rings during a festival… and also when we had pizzas and beers with all our friends on the floor of our empty store in Paris just after signing the lease!

5) For those who don’t know, you used to be in a band and you’re a big music fan. What are some of your current favorite artists?

Recently I discovered Black Atlass and I have to admit that the guy is just incredibly talented. I also love Phantogram and Coldcave, but when it comes to live music, I’m more into the louder stuff! One of my latest musical crushes is: The Balconies that I discovered on this blog. I think people just need to see them live, they will understand that I’m not exaggerating or falsely promoting them. These guys really give everything they’ve got on stage, from the first of seconds of their set, you feel like you’ve been slapped in the face!

Merci Pierre-Antoine!

France, je t’aime! pt 2

When traveling to France, the two things most people have in mind are: shopping and eating! Here were some of my favorite places to shop and stuff my face in Paris, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes and Bretagne from my recent trip to France!

Cool shops

Obviously France is like the shopping mecca of the world, so these are some of my recent favs:

Springsioux, Paris – the raddest up and coming rock n’ roll Parisian brand. They’ve got badass jewelry, tees and accessories and also carry some incredibly unique pieces from young designers from across Europe. They have a dreamy shop in Le Marais and hold events at least once a week, which usually either includes champagne or Caesars! WHERE: 4e arrondissement.

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The Kooples, Paris – you may have heard of this shop before. @Offner first introduced me to the brand last year. They have such beautiful pieces. I love the entire concept behind the store… Now if only I had more money!! WHERE: There are shops located pretty much in every arrondissements in Paris and shops also in Lyon.

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Les Galeries Lafayette, Paris – a classic if you’re in Paris. Basically, it’s like an enormous Holt Renfrew that carries the most high end brands and that is always beautifully decorated all year round! WHERE: 9e arrondissement

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American Retro, Paris – a super rad shop that carries edgy fashion pieces that are usually very colorful. They’re trendy with a twist. WHERE: There are a few different shops in Paris.

Auchan, Lyon – you won’t really find any clothes there but it’s my favorite spot to buy groceries!! They have such a HUGE selection of fresh products, cheese, vegetarian options, cookies, etc. Each time I go to the store, I want to buy everything! Think of a Costco with lot’s more fresh products and selection and a lot cheaper!! @Offner even found a friend there!! WHERE: everywhere in France!

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Where to eat

Let’s be honest, France has probably the most amazing food EVERYWHERE, so here are just some of places I liked on this past trip:

Tata Burger, Paris – they’ve got the biggest burger made to look like a penis! Yup! The food and atmosphere is pretty wild and super fun! WHERE: 4e arrondissement

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LA Favorite, Paris – very trendy and beautiful looking bistro in the 4e arrondissement. They had the best vin chaud! Yummy salads and desserts! WHERE: 4e arrondissement

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Casa San Pablo, Paris – a Spanish tapas restaurant that’s incredibly cheap and super yummy! Loved the traditional decor. WHERE: located in the 4e arrondissement, right by the Place Sainte-Catherine.

L’épicerie, Lyon – My favorite spot for lunch or for the “goûter”, they’ve got the best tartines and homemade desserts. Yum, I can almost still taste it in my mouth! WHERE: Bellecour, on the presqu’île.

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Pique-Nique en ville, Lyon – A super small and quaint restaurant that serves a great “formule midi”, otherwise known as an appetizer, main and dessert at a fixed price, which is very common throughout France. Absolutely loved their pasta and wine selection. WHERE: Presqu’île

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Abel, Lyon – one of the oldest bistros in the city that was founded in 1928. The place is also called a “bouchon Lyonnais”, which is a place where they serve traditional Lyonnais food, including the Quenelle, etc. WHERE: Presqu’île

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Le Cellier, Les 2 Alpes – For the best “montagnard” food, ie. the food of the mountains, the specialty in that area. They serve an amazing tartiflette, raclette, gratin de crozets, fondue, grilled meats, etc! I love their traditional ski chalet type decorations!

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Crêperie, Bretagne – While you’re in the region, you’ll want to order a freshly made sweet crêpe or even a savoury crêpe otherwise known as a “galette de sarrasin” usually filled with veggies, cheese and or meat, accompanied by a “bolée de cidre“. You’ll also want to order a “Flan Breton” or “Far Breton” to get an authentic dessert. They are so delicious and buttery! WHERE: There are crêperies located in every small town in Bretagne and are all equally tasty.

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Paul – a chain of patisseries that serve all sorts of yummy goodness! They’re now even located at rest areas on the highway and in train stations, they’re like the tim hortons of France but without all the chemicals and crap in their food. They serve salads, sandwiches, quiche, desserts, yummy drinks, etc. WHERE: Anywhere in France

Any patisserie or boulangerie in the area you will be staying will serve you amazing fresh bread, pastries and cakes. The perfect and cheapest place to have breakfast in the morning!

Also, I highly recommend getting cheese from the weekly market or some of the amazing local shops that always feature cheese made from the region. You can get great quality cheese for very cheap and encourage local producers.

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If you like macarons (for some reason, I just can’t get into them!), you’ll want to stop by Pierre Hermé, the best macarons in Paris! WHERE: Several locations across the city.

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*NOTE*: If you’re a vegetarian like me, I hope you like cheese, bread, pastries and salad because as I’m sure you know, a lot of the French cuisine revolves around meat. So you’ll need to find substitutes to meat for your meals. Even when you ask for a vegetarian salad or sandwich, from experience, they have the reflex of offering you fish or seafood. That said, you can survive! I’ve never eaten so much and so well in my life as I have in France!

Well there you have it! Hope this travel post was insightful! Let me know if you have any food or shopping recommendations for my next trip to France!

Writing this blog makes me miss France even more!! Can’t wait to return!

France, je t’aime! pt 1

This blog post was long overdue! I can’t believe that Offner and I have been back from Friday for almost two months now. It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for this three week long adventure.

My trip was a little different this year. Since we had more time, we decided to explore more places than we had last December. On the itinerary: Paris, Bretagne, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes & St-Etienne. Here’s a little resume of our amazing adventure as well as tips for any of you going to France soon!

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Getting there

Because we were able to book our flights almost four months in advance we were able to find a super cheap deal with Orbitz for multi-destination trip with Air France. I really enjoy using Orbitz as a search engine when booking flights as they always have good selection for Europe, you can easily compare prices with other airlines and they’re booking is hassle-free, no hidden fee bullshit! We flew from Toronto -> Paris direct and on the way home we did Lyon -> Paris -> Montreal (It’s impossible to get a direct flight from Lyon to Toronto/Montreal). I was really excited to fly with Air France again since I hadn’t flown with them since I was a kid. I know the airline has made great strides in improving the quality of their service in the last couple of years, especially since that unfortunate crash in 2009. I was able to organize everything before my flight easily on their website. I was able to chose our seats, my vegetarian meal as well as get our boarding passes all sorted out before even arriving at the airport. The in-flight service was top notch! I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of my vegetarian meal as well as Offner’s fish selection. I appreciated the fact they gave us quality wine and champagne as well a balanced meal. Air France also had a great selection of movies and entertainment options available that made the 7hr overnight flight a lot more bearable. Leg room was decent, the only negative comment I’d have was that the seats were really hard, they could have been a little more cushiony.

Traveling while in France

We opted for different modes of transportation to get to the different areas we were traveling to. We took the TGV from Paris to get to Rennes, where we spent two days with my family. I highly recommend using this mode of transportation for quick, painless travels across the country. I had booked the tickets online in November and they were 29 Euros per person for the one-way. They also have complimentary wifi on the train and at the train station while you wait. Instead of taking us 4hrs to get to Rennes by car, it choped the travel time in half.

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One thing you need to remember is that if you’re renting a car, most places will be closed on Sundays, so since we were arriving on a Sunday in Rennes, we had to find a car at the airport. It was a 20 Euro cab ride from the train station to the airport in Rennes and the car rental place only opened at 1:30pm (more like 1:45pm France time :p) and was open for 4hrs. That said, we had tried to get a car through a website where individuals rent their personal vehicles (a cheaper option and worth looking into!) but unfortunately that fell through.

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We then flew from Rennes to Lyon. It was a 1hr flight. Though Rennes doesn’t have a very big airport, they have a few flights every day going to different areas in France and even to other countries in Europe. We took Air France’s regional jet HOP!, not only was the flight cheaper than the TGV but it also reduced our traveling time from 8hrs to 1hr. It was really a no-brainer for us.

While we were in Lyon and Paris, we also used the subway system a lot. It is super efficient and cheap. Also, you can use Uber taxi in Paris if you’re looking to get somewhere rather quickly but be prepared to dish out quite a lot of cash for cabs in Paris!

Where to stay

Offner and I are really lucky because we get to stay with family and friends while we’re in France. That said, we didn’t want to spend the entire three weeks crashing on people’s couches so we opted for our favorite type lodging: Airbnb. We spent one night in a Campanile, which is a big chain of environmentally friendly hotels that you can find across France. They’re a cheap alternative if you’re on a budget and hotels are more your thing. Though we could have stayed in a handful of different hotels, we opted to stay at cute little lofts/apartments in the neighbourhoods that we really liked. In Paris, we opted for Le Marais and in Lyon, La Croix Rousse. Both are safe and beautiful areas with lot’s to do and amazing food to eat!

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Some must-see spots from my trip

Paris

Le pont des amoureux

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Le Marais

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La Place des Vosges

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Le Louvre

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L’Île St-Louis

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Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower (duh!), les Champs Élysées, Place, Sainte-Catherine, etc.

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Lyon

Vieux Lyon

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Place Bellecour

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L’Opéra de Lyon

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Place des Terreaux, presqu’île de Lyon, Croix Rousse, Confluences, etc.

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La Bretagne – I may have a little bias towards this region of France because it’s where my mom’s family is from but it’s a beautiful small region that has much to offer. If you’re going to make the trek up there, I recommend you visit the following places: Dinard, Dinan and St-Malo. All three historic towns with beautiful scenery. While you’re there, you gotta eat “galette de sarrasin” the best salty crêpes on the planet as well as a bowl of traditional cider and my favorite dessert: le flan Breton! Also, if you like butter, you’re in for a treat! They put butter on EVERYTHING! Make sure you bring an umbrella with you, as it tends to drizzle (they call it “crachat breton”) quite a bit there.

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Les 2 Alpes – everything about this ski village and station is amazing! Unlike most Intrawest or big ski stations, Les 2 Alpes has kept the old school small village feel. It’s not too loud and too touristy. Though there are people that ski there from all over Europe, the people it attracts are a little older or families. That said, there are really cool bars in the small town, local wine and cheese producers, markets, a small cinema, amazing restaurants and all the ski equipment your heart desires! The daily lift ticket is 42 Euros and includes insurance in case you get hurt or something happens, which is incredibly cheap for such a huge resort as compared to lift tickets here.  Recommendation: Stay an extra day to go hiking in the mountains beside the village, it’s breathtaking. Also, you can ski at Les 2 Alpes almost all-year-round. In the summer, you can ski on top of the glacier and then go golfing or swimming in the nearby lake. Sounds dreamy!

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Stay tuned for Pt 2 of my France travel blog featuring some of my favorite places to eat and shop in France. Coming soon!!

 

 

The Shaman #DailyOutfit

While I was in Paris last month, I spent a lot of time with the guys at Springsioux. It was so nice to finally visit their rad concept store and also attend some of their events, which had the best bloody mary and champagne by the way!

Happy to now be representing the brand even more with my new Shaman pendant and Shaman ring.

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Springsioux Shaman pendant (get it here)

Springsioux Shaman ring (get it here)

Zara Zip Back Dress (get it here)

Sophie Deschamps Grey string bracelet with flower charm (similar one here)

H&M black knit tights 

Forever 21 Bleached demin vest

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

Steve Madden brown suede boots

 

Tropical Flowers & Shark Tooth #DailyOutfit

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Hope your day is off to a great start! Can’t believe that it was our season finale last night! The first BRBR season has really been an incredible journey! I feel so lucky to have been a part of such a fantastic project! Thank you to everyone who watched us, supported us and came out to our events! Thanks to all the labels, managers and artists who took part in the show! Merci! Your support means the world to us! Really excited for season 2, which will be starting at the end of the summer. In the meantime, we’ll be travelling across the country to shoot new interviews, performances and new special series with artists. Stay tuned for a brand new website also coming later in the summer!

If you missed last night’s season finale, you can watch it below. It features my favorite interview of the season: Metric + interviews with The Luyas, Dance Laury Dance, Hugo Mudie + our most watched performance of the season: Obey The Brave. A big thank you to the Four Seasons hotel for letting us film in the beautiful new pool! What a memorable evening!

I found out this morning that one of my favorite brands from Paris – Springsioux have just announced the opening of their first store in Le Marais this summer! In case you aren’t familiar with Springsioux, they’re a great brand/tribe from Paris that design jewellery, clothing and accessories with special collaborations from Quentin Veron and Eddie Czaicki. Make sure you keep an eye out for their concept store, opening soon!

Springsioux Concept Store

For today’s outfit, I decided to wear my new tropical flower pants that I bought this weekend at Forever 21. I also got a lovely gift in the mail while I was away in Ottawa. The talented Elizabeth from OIA Jules, sent me one of her latest creations: the gold shark tooth pendant! I LOVE IT!! It’s the perfect mix between badass and glam!

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Forever 21 Aloha Flower Ankle Pants (get them here)

OIA Jules Giant Gold Dipped Shark Tooth Pendant (get it here)

H&M jersey top with sewn-in turn-ups (get it here)

Forever 21 etched Geo cuff set (get it here)

Biko Third Eye bracelet (get it here)

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

Stella & Dot gold renegade cluster bracelet (get it here)

Steve Madden red wedge wood sandals (similar ones here)