Paris has a growing number of specialty cafes that focus on something specific, such as organic, vegetarian, local, dairy free, or gluten free food. Cafe Pinson is an organic cafe that is also wheat/gluten free and dairy free. Their menu is also largely vegetarian.I wandered into the location in the 10th arrondissement today with my family after exploring the Canal Saint Martin on a sunny holiday Monday. We were actually looking for another cafe that ended up being closed for the day, and landed at Cafe Pinson instead. It turned out to be a great find.
The cafe is bigger than many specialty cafes in Paris, with comfy seating and enough room to fit a full house without it feeling cramped. We were able to find a table for four that was a bit out of the way. Despite the cafe seeming to be a magnet for a fairly young and hip crowd, the staff was very friendly toward our two young kids, and another couple came in with a young child not longer after we did.
The menu is fairly simple, but with a nice variety of flavours. A few appetizers, three mains, and a selection of desserts. They also offer fresh pressed juices, coffee and tea, gluten free beer, and wine. The tables are all set with a carafe of water. Everything on the menu was vegetarian, and there is the choice to order individual items, or to choose a starter and main or a main and dessert for a fixed price.
What We Ate
I ordered the lentil soup with coconut milk for myself and for my two year old. My husband and six year old both ordered the vegetable carpaccio, which was a salad of thinly sliced vegetables in an olive oil dressing. My husband also ordered a main of vegetable patties, sauteed mushrooms, sun dried tomato dip, and mixed greens. The soup was pureed, and the coconut milk made it quite filling. My two year old even liked it. The vegetable carpaccio was bright and cheerful, and with the exception of the raw onions, my six year old ate it without complaint. The main was so good my husband ended up sharing with the kids.
For dessert the kids had the chocolate cake, and I ordered a cafe gourmand. A cafe gourmand is essentially an espresso coffee served with a trio of mini desserts. I had a madeleine, a small serving of pear crumble, and a vegan bar made with sesame seeds and dates. It was all delicious.
The prices were pretty much on par with other organic/specialty cafes we've been to. For two soups, two carpaccios, a main, two desserts, and a cafe gourmand we paid about 55 Euros. It was enough to hold all of us over until dinner.
You won't find any meat-centric items here, and the serving sizes are modest. I would recommend this cafe for a light lunch, for some fresh juice, or for a coffee and dessert stop after exploring the city. The quality of the food was very high, the presentation was beautiful, and everything was flavourful and delicious.
They have three locations in Paris: one in the 3rd, one in the 10th, and one in the 16th.