You may remember two summers ago when I took it upon myself to find the best vegan pizza available in the greater Boston area (if not, here’s a link). From that arduous but also delicious process, I learned two things: 1) there’s some damn good pizza out there but nothing will ever beat ‘pizza a la my Dad’ and 2) the best way to really get comfy with a city is to explore its pizza joints.
I was already hella comfortable with Boston and its surrounding urbs, having lived there for the greater part of my twenty two years of life (exceptions made for institutions of higher education and that’s about it), but when I moved to France last September there was no way I wasn’t going to follow up my earlier research. In part because I wanted to get to know Paris on the truly profound level of having a favorite pizza place, but mostly because I’m convinced living without pizza is intolerable and ultimately irreconcilable with the human condition.
And so here it is: The Best Pizza Places in Paris, in the order in which I discovered them.
- The Best By the Slice: Hank Pizza
18 rue des Gravilliers, Paris, France, 75003
In my opinion, Hank is the best when it comes to set price meal formulas. An individual slice of pizza comes in at 5 euros, but two slices of pizza, a drink, and a dessert or salad comes in at a very attractive 13 euros. Want the dessert and the salad? It will only set you back 15. And the desserts are certainly hard to resist- like everything else in the restaurant they’re completely vegan.
A few exciting new additions to Hank’s offerings include the Pepe Roni (with vegan pizza and oregano) as well as a gluten free crust option. My personal favorite is Le Costaud, with grilled squash, eggplant, and artichoke.
Located in the very happening Marais neighborhood, Hank is a bit of a Parisian hipster hangout. If you want to blend with the locals, make sure you pronounce the name as ‘honk’ like a goose- or really ‘hawnque’ if you want to go the whole nine authentic yards. What does it mean? It’s an acronym for ‘Have a nice kindness’!
- The Best Hole in the Wall: Veg’Art
123 rue Oberkampf, Paris, France, 75011
I’m not going to pretend I’m completely impartial- Veg’Art is my favorite of Paris’s pizza places and the only thing convincing me to betray it’s ‘best-kept secret’ status is the fear that it may ever close due to lack of patronage. It’s easy to miss even if you’re looking hard (both at shop signs and google maps) and the interior is limited to only six seats. The pizza also takes a little while to come.
So why is it my favorite? The toppings are extremely generous, the prices are eminently reasonable, the menu options are extensive, and my gluten free friends will be excited to hear that they’ll be at least as well taken care of here as at Hank. Apart from the classics, they also offer some very creative pizzas, both on the permanent menu (the Indienne and the Mexicaine come to mind) and on a seasonally rotating basis (the recent Autumn pizza included chestnuts and tofu as toppings!).
On my most recent visit I got the Valentina, a pizza topped with vegan cheese, pistou, and roquette/rocket/arugula. It was like a pizza with a salad on top, and also kind of like paradise.
If you’re not feeling like pizza, they also sell salads, a vegan burger, a vegetable tart, and samosas.
One warning- the complete vegan-ness of this restaurant is attended by some aggressive animal welfare decor and stickers. Apparently it’s been toned down a lot in recent years, but be cognizant if you’re planning on making your visit in mixed dietary company. Still, one of the friends I took here still hasn’t figured out that his pizza was vegan, so I guess it can’t have been as overt as I felt?
- The Best Personalized Pizza: Happiz Sablons
23 rue des Sablons (at Place de Mexico), Paris, France, 75116
Happiz is a vegetarian pizza place with a a fun conceit, which is that you get to tick off your pizza desires on a white board-type menu with a dry erase marker. In short, it’s the answer to every picky pizza eater’s dreams. Though it’s not strictly vegan, vegan cheese and meat stand-ins are definitely on the menu, and you can specify a gluten free crust.
Happiz has a very upbeat and sunshine-y vibe- in fact, it’s name is perfectly apropos. Not only was there an adorable family with many young children there for a celebratory meal when I visited, but the restaurant is owned by some of the nicest food service people (Parisian or otherwise) whom I have ever encountered. Bonus: you order at a counter built and painted to look like a yellow truck. Great place for kids young and old.
Of course, the risk of the personalized pizza is drowning you crust and base in mountains of toppings, and I have to say it’s a trap I all too willingly fell into, which made for a slightly messy eating experience as my slices succumbed to the weight of my merguez, squash, and eggplant.
There’s a beautiful park nearby, the Place Trocadero, and you can see the Eiffel tower just across the Seine.
- The Best Upscale Pizza: Janine Loves Sunday
49 rue Montmartre, Paris, France, 75002
While my preferences generally run toward the most casual of restaurant settings, I make an exception every once in a while for a particularly promising place. This bar qualified in part because of the exciting pizza options, but also because I wanted to scope out the prospect of a vegan banana split (affirmative!).
Pizza is only one of the things on Janine’s extensive menu (please refer to the banana split). There’s also kebab, pad thai, risotto, burgers, and a whole host of attractive desserts.
So far as I know, there is no gluten-free pizza option at the brasserie, but there is a beautiful outdoor seating area (covered in the event of rain). Not a big help if you have celiac disease, but lovely nonetheless.
Some bonuses? Because it’s a bar, the hours are also very forgiving for any late night eaters. It’s also pretty close to the shopping and metro hub, Chatelet-Les Halles.
- The Best Turkish Pizza: Bulldog Vegan
83 rue de Rochechouart, Paris, France, 75009
So here is where the secrets come out. I originally wrote this post perhaps a year ago, never posted it, and am now adding this place as a last (but not least) addition before I hit ‘publish’. In a way I’m glad the busy-ness of school made me wait. This joint was established in 2019- just this year- and was perhaps no more than a glimmer in someone’s eye when I wrote the beginning of this post. Bulldog Vegan offers burgers and fries, Turkish pizza, sandwiches, and calzones. While Turkish pizza isn’t what many of us Westerners will feel qualifies as pizza (it’s kind of like a burrito with lentil spread and salad filling), I HIGHLY recommend the pide with no reservations. The best way to describe pide is as a more emotionally vulnerable calzone. Or a calzone undergoing open heart surgery. Really google images might be your best bet here. But whatever it is and however best to describe it, what truly matters is that it is delicious and there is some in my fridge right at this moment. Bulldog Vegan also serves traditional pizza, but given the scarcity of vegan Turkish cuisine, why not go for a pide followed by a delicious serving of vegan baklava?
I hope I’ll be writing a bit more often, as I’ve very much missed it. My tone is a bit off at the moment because I’ve been writing a term paper for a few hours, but that will wear off. If you’re concerned that any of the above information has become outdated since I originally wrote it, have no fear. I have continued to eat pizza and my opinions still stand.
Much love and much pizza,