Oatmeal was one of the only things I could eat for breakfast back in the dark days when delicious gluten free food was objet petit a. Quick, filling, easy to make and transport, it was also super boring, like that guy in high school you date for a long time because you don't know there's better stuff out there- a Dean from Gilmore Girls, if you will. It's no wonder, then, that when I saw friends' heaping bowls from Oatmeal Paris on Instagram, it instantly conjured up memories of singing Tik Tok and Party in the USA while driving to school in my friend Lauren's Hummer.
They quickly assured me this wasn't anything like the livestock feed Quaker puts in packets and markets as heart healthy, however. The beautiful and super nice owner, Reale, serves up 100% vegan food, including sweet and savory oatmeals and giant turmeric, matcha, beet, or pumpkin spice lattes replete with pumpkin marshmallows. Brownies and banana bread accompany tomato kale burgers and maca smoothies. If you're celiac, she always has gluten free oats, and the best selection of books (like The New Jim Crow) to read in the soothing, minimalist space all day. The restaurant itself is so serene, it reminds me of a Kim Ki Chang painting sprung to life.
To me, the best is the vegan Nutella oatmeal although I heard the spicy zucchini, tomato, and arugula bowl is incredible. My friend Natasha even suggested a speculoos latte once, and she added it to the menu :) Oatmeal Paris is one of those sleek, refined vegan restaurants that turns the stereotype of yoga instructors snorting pink salt on its head- and it's not expensive. You get a lot of food for a reasonable price, which isn't typical of the Left Bank I think.
We spent about four hours sitting there, talking to Reale, taking photos, and stuffing ourselves like the campers in Heavyweights after they tricked Tony into falling into that pit. There's a nice communal table for socializing, but if you need some peace and quiet, little nooks in the corner where you can relax and unwind. It's also completely zero waste friendly- non-disposable flatware, bowls, and plates, plus lots of toppings in mason jars on the counters. Oatmeal is the kind of place normally found only in London, and it's so welcome here- brasseries are nice and all, but somedays, a basket of fries and a nicoise salad won't cut it. Sometimes you just want to curl up in a corner in the sun and enjoy a nice piping hot bowl of gluten free cereal with your besties.
11bis Rue Vauquelin
Open Monday 12-6PM, Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday 10:30-6PM