Paris is fantastic. Paris is, well, it’s Paris. I’ve been lucky to visit the French capital on three different occasions over the years but all of this was before I was on a strict gluten free diet. France is a country filled with amazing breads and pastries but all of these are gluten, gluten, gluten. What do you eat in Paris as a celiac?
Last weekend my mum and her husband, John, travelled to Paris for a long weekend. Paris is one of their favourite cities and they visit pretty often. Neither of them are celiac or gluten free but on their travels they always have an eye out for stores selling gluten free goodies or menus with gluten free options. They hadn’t come across anything celiac friendly in Paris, until Helmut Newcake.
Helmut Newcake is France’s first 100% gluten free bakery, yip you heard right, not just the first in Paris but in the whole of France. France are pretty late to the gluten free party but we are so very glad that they showed up! I know I wasn’t the only gluten free-er who was very excited to hear about this place and I’m so happy that my mum had the chance to check it out and report back.
Thanks to my mum and John for this report. I wish I could have joined you for a slice of gluten free cheesecake and thank you so much for resisting the urge to get in about the amazing looking cakes until you took some fantastic pics of them!
Helmut Newcake is a deli patisserie in a little unknown area on the outskirts of Paris. It is the first gluten free patisserie in France, but nothing makes it stand out as being different. Perhaps this is the secret to it’s success. It’s situated at 36 Rue Bichat (in the Saint Martin area of the city), a small street close to none of the major attractions you imagine when you think of Paris, but still within walking distance of a few of the city’s hidden gems. The patisserie is easily reached from the centre of Paris by the Metro. From Châtelet, one of the Metro’s major hubs, simply hop on line 11 to Mairie des Lilas and get off at Goncourt, it’s nearest Metro station.
Once there you will be surprised at what they have to offer. There is a great selection from plat du jour to pastries, hot chocolate to lemon cheesecake. Everything is 100% gluten free. As well as cakes the bakery also sells a small selection of gluten free products such as pastas, breakfast cereals and flours, most of which are British gluten free products. The presentation, taste and quality of the food is excellent. They also offer brunch with a good selection to choose from.
As you can see from the mouthwatering photos, the cakes look just as you would imagine cakes in a French bakery to look, scrumdiddlyumptious! The menu offers six or seven different cakes to choose from and you would never be able to tell them apart from gluten filled pastries and cakes. My mum had an apricot and pistachio tart whilst John had the lemon cheesecake. I wish I could have been there to try them because from what I hear they were extremely tasty and they didn’t fall apart the way some gluten free cakes have a habit of doing. The next time my gluten free travels take me to Paris, Helmut Newcake will be my first stop.
Opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 12pm-9pm and Sunday, 10am to 6pm.
If you’re in Paris and looking to buy gluten free products to prepare yourself a safe meal, Naturalia stocks a variety of gluten free products. Naturalia is a chain of stores specialising in organic and natural products which can be found in the Paris region. They currently have 62 stores where they offer gluten free products such as bread, pasta, crackers, rice cakes and quinoa.