Gluten Free Paris, France

More gluten free goodies!

YES! These are all gluten free!

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!

Lemon cheesecake

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.

My lovely mum

Cake and hot drinks on a chilly afternoon

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.

 

Apricot and pistachio tart

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Comments

  • I’m drooling all over my keyboard. :-) This place looks fantastic. I was in Paris a few years ago and went to a 100% gluten-free restaurant called Des Si et Des Mets. Unfortunately it has closed now. It must be so hard for Celiacs in France because there really aren’t many options. At least there’s now somewhere to get pastries!

  • Doesn’t it just!! How interesting that Paris used to have a 100% gluten free restaurant. I wonder why it closed down..lack of business? France definitely needs to get more options for celiacs but I agree, for now there is somewhere fantastic for us to eat pastries!

  • This looks so delicious. I cannot wait to go to Paris to try all of these delicious things!

  • Agh I am going to France towards the end of this year – sooo excited to go to this place!!

  • A friend has tried it out and said it was fantastic. Can’t wait to go

  • WOW!!! This place looks amazing. Thank you for the heads up

  • I’m a new follower of your blog. I LOVE it!! My husband recently brought me a few treats from Helmut Newcake. Just after we learned of the new bakery, he had to go for work but I couldn’t go with him. So, he stopped on his way back with some colleagues. They all tried a few things and couldn’t believe they were gluten free. The staff at Helmut Newcake was very helpful too. They helped my wonderful husband pick out the things that would last the train ride back. Everything he brought back was delicious! I can’t wait to visit myself.

  • Great blog!

    I’m surprised to see Des Si et Des Mets has closed. We ate there twice in five days in April, 2011. The food was outstanding and they were very busy.

    I’ll be sure to check out Helmut Newcake the next time we’re in Paris.

  • I’m trying not cry right now since this is the third recommendation for Helmut Newcake I’ve read. I’m in Paris, and they are on vacation!!!! Honestly, I’m a bit devastated. Luckily there is still cheese and gelato. ;)

    Awesome site!

  • oh no!! How dare they leave! teehee.

    I hope you’re finding other gluten free goodies in the city!
    I LOVE gelato! Enjoy :D

  • Anyone got any other recommendations for eating GF in Paris? Visiting this weekend, first time since I was diagnosed and dreading not being able to eat all my favourite things! Looks like Helmut Newcake might save the day…

  • Helmut Newcake did not disappoint! Every bit as delicious as these pictures look. There is also a new gf restaurant in Paris called “Noglu” – didn’t get to check it out this time, but hope to sometime in the future.

  • I was on honeymoon in rural south west France at the end of 2011 and found it difficult to source GF food – apart from the most amazing GF Pain au Chocolat’s and Croissants – they seemed to be in all the large chain supermarkets and are vaccum packed to they last (well have the potential to last if you don’t devour them!). So “unfortunately” i just “had” to eat these pastries for most of the trip!

  • Hi, I am a recently diagnosed celiac, living between Milan and Paris and travelling extensively for work reasons.
    I dare say that Milan is one of the most amazingly celiac-friendly places in the world. Celiacs is extremely common in Italy, in most restaurants they will be able to provide options with no gluten-grains (grilled meat or fish, veggies, risotto), some go as far as having gluten-free pasta and pizza (Osteria dei Cinque Sensi, Le Specialità, Be Bop, Capo Verde – all in Milan check them up in the net). Any supermarket will have gluten-free bread and snacks.
    Paris is an entirely different story. Gluten-free is considered to be a fashion, like vegan, Dukan-diet, macrobiotic food. You can only imagine the mishaps.
    Helmut is a real exception, the owner is a celiac so you can fully trust them.
    Macarons from Pierre Hermé are also safe – except the apricot-pistachio flavor.
    Chocolates from Regis are gluten-free, but there is some risk of cross-contamination as they are prepared in the same kitchen handling also flour.
    Be cautious with any other establishment advertising “gluten-free” meals and stick to the basics, food which is hard to contaminate (oysters and seafood platter if you like it, sashimi, steak – avoid the “frites”).
    If you are not extremely sensitive to cross-contamination, you can try “galette” at Breizh Café (100% buckwheat), but there is risk of cross-contamination as they also serve crepes (wheat).
    Naturalia have fresh gluten-free bread, however, there is risk of cross-contamination as the loaves are not sealed and kept in the vicinity of normal bread.
    They also have packed bread from Schar.
    If you do not have budget issues…. you can have a dinner at Shangri-la (or stay there). L’Abeille is Michein starred and deliciously gluten-free. Thanks to Mr Pierre Labbé the chef.

  • Thanks for sharing, Claudia! This is fantastic information and advice for gluten-free folks heading to Paris! :)

    It’s interesting you mention that in Paris gluten free is considered to be a fashion. I had never considered it would be seen this way in Paris but at the same time I am not surprised.

  • Hi, my name is Claudia, I live between Brescia (Italy) and Paris for work reasons (not the same Claudia as above even if we are pretty in the same situation…). I was recently tested with a negative result, but if I eat gluten I feel soooo bad for at least a couple of days so I’m currently avoiding gluten and feeling better.
    Therefore I tested Noglu – pretty good -better to make a reservation, the place is small- Helmut Newcake – absolutely awesome! I love this gay and his cakes, it is really worth the trip to find him but inform yourself because he has special opening times – Breitz Cafè – great galette – also here better to make a reservation if you go at noon.
    Some Monoprix (not all of them) sell a lot of Schaar products, which are quite good.
    Unfortunately I really do not like the Naturalia gluten free bread, compared to the delicious glutenfree bread you can find in Italy the Naturalia one is terrible.
    In a few weeks I will go to Porto…I’m open for suggestions where to eat or buy bread…

  • Hopefully someone out there will be able to help me. I am coeliac and fructose
    It is a bit of a problem but I am managing quite well considering. We are off to Paris, Nice and Lyon next year May and even though knowing Paris and Nice quite well and having lived there, does the bakery Helmut Newcake sell products without sugar as well? I was only diagnosed last year with coeliac, fructose, a few years ago. The fructose problem is worse than coeliac as so many things contain some sort of sugar and fodmaps. Does anyone out there know of any stores in Lyon and Nice? I really would appreciate any help given. Thank you. Rea

  • In Lyon, try Paraallerg for a big selection of GF products. http://www.parallerg.com/

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