Allergy-friendly Study Abroad Guide: Paris, France

Vivian is currently studying abroad in Paris, France while managing peanuts, tree nuts, milk, shellfish, and kiwi allergies. She is currently a junior at Iowa State University, where she’s majoring in Marketing. You can find her on Spokin @viviancrabbe and on Instagram  @vivian.crabbee.

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Tell us about you!

Where are you studying abroad?
Paris, France

How did you choose your study abroad location?
Studying abroad in Paris has always been a life long dream of mine.

Do you speak the local language and had you been out of the country before studying abroad? 
No, I do not speak the local language but I had been out of the country before!

Did you plan anything ahead of time?

I bought the Equal Eats allergy cards and went through recommendations and reviews on the Spokin app.

What are your best tips for studying abroad with food allergies?

Make sure your program is aware of your allergies. I recommend getting an allergy card, as it comes in handy often. Do not let the fear of a language barrier stop you, every place I have visited in Europe has always understood me and my allergies. Getting the Equal Eats app and buying the online version of the card was also very helpful because you can change the language, which was a big help when I went to visit other countries.

Did you have any concerns about traveling with food allergies?

I was worried I would not have many options or be judged by the waiters for all my allergies. Looking at the guides in the Spokin app helped me realize how many other people have food allergies and have travelled all around. Getting the Equal Eats cards also helped me feel more comfortable having such easy access to it on my phone and being able to change the language.

What airline did you fly? Did you eat the plane food or have any special accommodations?

I flew Delta. I did not eat the plane food because I completely forgot to request a special meal when booking. Brought some of my own snacks though such as pretzels, Oreos and Pringle’s.

Where did you live and how were meals handled?

I stayed in an apartment, cooked my own food, and ate out a good amount.

What are your 3 favorite places to eat at in Paris?

Land & Monkeys
I have never been more excited for something than I was after finding dairy-free pastry options. Coming to Paris to study abroad it was my goal to find as many dairy-free alternatives to known Paris foods as I can. Of course, a croissant and pain au chocolat is a Paris staple. They had so many options; dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan options. They have their full allergen list on their website so I checked it out beforehand to get an idea of what I could eat because they do use nuts in their products. I also got a cinnamon roll, which was okay but probably wouldn’t get it again. Going to miss this place when I have to leave.

La Café la Mairie
I think about this salad constantly it is so good. I came upon this cafe when I was at a flea market and I am so glad I found it. I unfortunately have not been back so I can’t recall the name of the salad but I do remember it being amazing and the staff was good about my allergies. They even put my dressing on the side just as an extra caution, even though it was safe for me. Will be going back ASAP.

Chez Francis
This restaurant has an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower along with amazing food. I ended up going for a burger with no cheese but it had an amazing sauce that elevated the taste so much. Amazing food and an amazing view. A must visit.

If there’s a food your study abroad location is known for that you were able to have safely, what was it and where did you try it?

Pain au Chocolat from Land & Monkeys!

For anyone with a sweet tooth, any spots for sweet finds?

Land & Monkeys, Scoop dessert, and Amorino

What other places have you visited so far?

Dublin, Nice, Prague, Milan, Venice, Vienna, and Switzerland. My favorite places to eat were: Garden Cafè in Nice, VENUE in Prague, and Milano in Dublin!

Besides the food, were there any fun experiences or favorite things you did?

Ceine River Cruise, Moulin Rouge, Montmartre, Dior gallery, Flea Markets, and Musee D’orsay

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