While coming across some vegetarian offerings in the grocery stores of the larger French cities isn’t too difficult, finding options elsewhere has been a surprising challenge. Countless times I’ve asked restaurant employees and boulangerie staff if any of their food items, besides baked goods, are vegetarian, only to be answered, “non!”
We managed to get by fairly well by cooking most of our meals at the AirBnB and doing a lot of grocery shopping instead of eating out. This was fortunate as the town we stayed in was a small tourist town and we were there in the off season so many of the restaurants were not open at all.
However, towards the end of our time in France, we ended up driving about 500 km in a rental car across the country back to Paris (the full story involves a hospitalization and a lot of rearranged plans) and saw much of the same thing at the places we stopped along the way. Meat seems to be a staple of the French diet (outside of the larger cities), even more so than it is for the small Wisconsin town that we call home. I guess progress can be slow no matter where you are!