One of Frances best features is the food it offers around every corner. A butter croissant and a café to start your day of learning French in France in a beautiful old building sounds like a dreamy scene from a movie. Surrounded by the romance of the French language and the smells of passing a patisserie or a boulangerie after a productive day at your French immersion school is enough to make your mouth water! If you are like me and you are vegan, vegetarian or have any food restrictions that you are worried will render you unable to indulge in the rich alimentary side of French culture while you are here studying French in France like everyone else, worry not!
During your French language stay here in the lovely city of Montpellier I can assure you that you will have way more options then you could have thought. Where I am from in Canada, the city of Toronto, is very large and expansive so when you I compared it to Montpellier which is much smaller, I was nervous that I would not be able to find what I needed like I am used to. Toronto has so many options for whatever your diet restrictions or preferences are, so of course I was a little nervous coming to live in France with its reputation for delicious dairy cheeses, meats, pastries and fish. I thought I would be missing out daily on all these delicious things I would be tempted by but not be able to eat, but luckily, thanks to google and the amazing city of Montpellier, I learned that Montpellier has a plethora of vegetarian/vegan option offering restaurants.
The other thing I was worried about because of my habitual grocery shopping at bio only stores I was worried it would be hard to find the stores like I have at home that have all these particular milks, and products I always buy at home. But alas Montpellier, my saviour, also has bio stores all around the city and it is not hard to find one close to the centre or close to the school. If you do a quick search on google for vegan or vegetarian restaurants in Montpellier there are so many that all have great reviews for example, amazon coffee shop &co has many vegetarian and vegan options! Another great restaurant is Jardino, where as well as vegetarian and vegan they also have gluten free options. So, if you and your friends want to go out to eat, do not worry you will not be the only one at the table not eating because there is not options! You can be the one to suggest one of many restaurants to be found in Montpellier.
Now I know, eating out at restaurants all the time can get expensive and time consuming but shopping and cooking here in Montpellier is also not as hard as you think it would be if you do not eat animal products or have a food allergy. No matter what the restriction you have is you will find everything you need in a normal grocery store, or the bio stores they have here! One of my favourite places to buy bio grocery’s here in Montpellier is Naturalia, the one I go to is located just down the street from the ILA French language school, about maximum three minutes’ walk. They have all fresh bio fruits and vegetables and also many vegan and vegetarian option for meals you can make in the microwave or on the stove if you are like me when I arrived here and did not have a proper kitchen.
As you can see, it actually is possible to be vegan/vegetarian during your French learning or French immersion stay here in France! And it is not as hard as you had thought! Montpellier has such a culture for food and a diversity in restaurants you will definitely find something for you while you are here learning French. I myself vegetarian have really enjoyed my French immersion stay here with no complaints, and I can say learning French in France alongside a delicious plate of fruits and veggies is the way to go!