Want a little penis with your panini?

Paris boulangerie
LeGay Choc is a fun boulangerie in the Marais district. It’s probably best known for its window filled with penis shaped bread and chocolate. But this place is more than phallic treats, it also has a nice selection of vegetarian goodies.

LeGay Choc also features a nice selection of tartines, sandwiches, and quiches. I was in there a few weeks ago getting some croissants for breakfast and was surprised by the selection. I’d say they were filled with good taste, but lets just say the food tasted good 🙂

There are lots of vegetarian options in the Marais. Keep LeGay Choc in mind when looking for a simple, fun lunch idea. It’s also the best place to get a sourdough zizi for the next dinner party.

LeGay Choc
17 rue des Archives (4°)
45 rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie (4°)
33 rue  Rambuteau (4°)
Metro: Rambuteau, St. Paul
01 48 87 56 88
Wheelchair Friendly: Entrance and bakery are tight and can be crowded.
  • Overall: 4/5
  • Value: 4/5
  • Location: 4/5
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 3.5/5
  • Vegan Options: 2.5/5
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Boulangerie Gana – A traditional, organic bakery

Boulangerie GanaI recently when on a self-guided tour of famous boulangeries and patissiers in Paris. Most of these were located in the heart of the city. Boulangerie Gana was the only place I needed to travel away from the inner circle for. And it is worth the trip.

I’ve been to many boulangeries in Paris, but none struck me like Gana. It’s a powerful mixture of friendly service, busy bakers, and a stunning array of bread, pizzas, and pastry on display. The food is not decorated, spotlighted, gilded, or placed on a feather cushion.

This is solid, traditional food that makes you salivate as soon as the smell hits your nose.

Gana has been celebrated for their traditional bread making. You won’t find frozen dough delivered in the middle of the night at this bakery. This is French bread the way should be. I dare you to make it back to your home without biting a corner off of the bread. The crust is crisp and the interior is light and chewy.

Vegetarian and Vegan food

Gana is a boulangerie. It’s not a cafe or restaurant. It serves fantastic bread and desserts. They also have some amazing looking pizzas and tartines to snack on. Boulangerie GanaHowever, you won’t find a huge assortment of vegetarian or vegan lunch items. I’m sure they have sandwiches available during the week, but I didn’t see any on my Saturday trip.

This restaurant is featured in Vivre bio Ă  Paris.

Boulangerie Gana
226, rue des Pyrénées (20°)
01 43 58 42 62

  • Overall: 5/5
  • Location: 4/5
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Service: 5/5
  • Vegetarian Friendly: 4/5
  • M.E.F. Friendly: 5/5

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Le Pain Quotidien – Marais bistro and bakery

I first saw this restaurant on a cold rainy Sunday. The place was packed and people were waiting under umbrellas for a chance to sit down. Luckily tonight it was slow and I have throughly enjoyed the peaceful evening.

Le Pain Quotidien sits in the heart of the Marais. It triangulates BHV, the grand department store and Quetzal, a popular old gay bar. There’s a steady stream of pedestrians with a soft cacophony of voices and laughter.

Le Pain Quotidien’s attention to details makes this small boulangerie/bistro a real winner. Everything is presented beautifully and with careful attention. I sat outside in the patio where I was provided not only a space heater, but also a small blanket for my lap.

The tables and chairs are simple, yet comfortable. Which explains much of this restaurant’s charm. I especially appreciated individual grinders for sea salt and black pepper, not to mention a nice bottle of olive oil on every table.

The menu is rather short, it features a variety of tartines, salads, and casseroles. Much of it is either meat or cheese based, but there are a few salads for the vegans. There’s also a selection of pastries inside and a small store of organic items.

I recently visited a vegetarian restaurant that featured great food but disappointing bread. Le Pain Quotidien took this organic, whole wheat, daily bread to a whole new level. It was soft, flavorful, and served as not only the foundation for the tartine, but a critical part of its texture and flavor.
Dinner at Le Pain Quotidien in the Marais
I ordered the Tartine with chevre, pears, and honey. It was served with a nice salad and melon. I followed this with a pot of mint tea. The flavors were clean and distinct.

My only criticism is the service. While it was very friendly, the staff ignored the few of us in the outdoor patio. I didn’t mind too much, as i enjoyed the opportunity to relax and catch up on writing cards and working on the computer. Bring a book or a friend to fill the time before appearances.

Le Pain Quotidien is a wonderful addition to my list of restaurants. I will certainly return in the future.

Note: This is a chain of restaurants in Europe. This review is specific to the Marais restaurant and may not reflect on all of them. The branch in the London train station certainly doesn’t have the same atmosphere or food quality. However, it does feature some nice muffins and coffee/tea.

Le Pain Quotidien
18-20, rue des Archives (4°)
01 44 54 03 07
Hotel de Ville
Boulangerie, Bistro
website: LePainQuotidien.com
  • Overall: 5/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Vegetarian Friendly: 5/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 4/5
  • M.E.F. Friendly: 5/5

Boulangerie Kayser – 5th arr.

Erik Kayser’s boulangeries are known around the city for their rustic, flavorful breads. You’ll find a wide variety of hearty breads and flaky, golden croissants. Maison Kayser, on rue Monge is the main store. However, you can find a Kayser bakery in almost ever arrindissement.

When I think of Kayser, big, golden, rustic, classic bread comes to mind. I would go elsewhere for the delicate macarons or mille-feuille, like Pierre Herme.

Kayser is a top-class boulangerie. Their salad and vegetarian sandwich options are ok. Visit Kayser for bread, you can find a cheese sandwich on amazing bread, a great pastry, but don’t expect a huge variety in vegetarian choices.

Maison Kayser
14, rue Monge (5°)
01 44 07 17 81
Censier-Daubenton or Les Gobelins
  • Overall: 4.5/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Taste: unrated
  • Vegetarian Friendly: 4/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 3/5

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Words to Look For: Tartine

There are many words on French menus that can be confusing. I’m speaking from experience. I missed out on some great mushroom dishes because I didn’t recognize the word champignon. So, the “Words to Look For” posts will give you an idea of what is safe, and “Words to avoid” are the harmless sounding dishes filled with friendly animals.


Tartines are slices of bread. In the morning you may get a tartine with butter and jam. It’s usually half of a baguette that has been further sliced lengthwise. Salads with tartines usually have a selection of melted cheeses on them. Either way, they are very tasty and a great thing to eat if you are not vegan. Of course, you could always get a tartine with hummus.