France's Fête des Lumières Is a Light Festival Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen
The team behind Verjus opened a new restaurant this year, and it serves up a playful yet gourmet take on Sunday brunch. Buckwheat waffles with foie gras are available, alongside more classic pancakes and maple syrup. Try the fired potatoes covered in cheddar and paprika, or their signature fried chicken. Keeping with the American tradition (the owners are from the US, after all), their bloody mary features a kick of horseradish and marinated peppers. Ina Garten love going there, so it’s a no brainer.
In the 400-year-old Marché des Enfants Rouges, this little corner bistro serves up a generous portion of eggs, potatoes, cheese, charcuterie, and a white chocolate croissant among other items in its 20 euro brunch menu. They have a huge selection of organic jams (banana, rhubarb, orange, etc.) that circulate among the tables to load on bits of baguette from the nearby Tout Autour du Pain bakery, a neighborhood institution. The only problem is getting a table, but otherwise it’s a perfect example of a Frenchified brunch.
This has been a Left Bank institution for brunch featuring, of course, all things egg. Fried or scrambled, you can add basically whatever you want to them, from truffles and mint to bacon and salmon. Get as creative as desired, but get a reservation first. Few people just show up for brunch. The French plan their Saturday evenings around Sunday’s brunch -- or at least it seems that way.
Coffee is the star here, but the food is anything but lackluster. Evolving menus feature all sorts of eggs, meats, cakes, and other typical brunch items. Tucked away not far from the Rodin Museum, it’s located far from the specialty-coffee-soaked Right Bank, but aficionados will still make the trip for some of the best cold brew and lattes in the city. They take their coffee seriously, and you should, too.
Canal St Martin
The hardcore patient brunch fans will happily queue up at this Canal Saint Martin hotspot for their coffee drinks, pancakes, and general Instagramability. They’re no fools. Eggs with sides like roasted goat cheese or homemade sausage patties pair perfectly with a cup of their black filter coffee or chai latte. Or go all-out and get a bloody mary and do it up right -- these guys get it. Soldier through your morning and get here early since reservations are simply not happening.
A diner in Paris? Don’t judge. Who else is going to do an American brunch better than, well, Americans? There are now three locations in Paris, a pretty good sign that they’re doing something right. The brunch menu has egg dishes like the New Mexican omelet with salsa and cheddar, because no French cheese can do what cheddar does. Go for the stack of pancakes with the eggs and the bottomless cup of coffee to round off the meal. It’s simple, it’s delicious, it’s excessive -- it’s American.
It’s hard to imagine a vegetarian place making the list, because a brunch without bacon seems like no brunch at all. Still, locals swear by Soya. It might have something to do with the fact that the brunch is served buffet-style, with plenty of choices among their fresh veggie and grain options, as well as a variety of desserts. It’s certainly a much healthier alternative to some of the other options available. But seriously, no bacon?
This tiny spot not far from Place de la République is unassuming, but offers a simple brunch menu that makes it worth the trek. The choice between prix fixes like Le Fatty and Le Healthy isn’t easy. One has a cheddar and bacon egg sandwich with a pancake, the other has pastrami or salmon and soft-boiled eggs. Then there’s the Paperben with eggs Benedict and mizuna for something a bit different. It’s not high-end brunching, but it’s relaxed, the servers are chill, and the coffee is eminently drinkable. For a French attempt at recreating an American brunch, it’s kind of adorable.
Yes, a restaurant dedicated to the mighty eggs Benedict. This is what Paris needed. Apparently the locals agree because this Marais restaurant seems to be busy all weekend long. Traditional eggs Benedict appear alongside a Nordic version, an Italian version, and a black truffle version for those seeing to get a little crazy. Order some mac and cheese or fries on the side to ensure a sufficient dose of cholesterol.
Place de Clichy
Another popular no-reservation spot for coffee also has French and English cooks that whip up a hearty brunch on the weekends. The menu changes with the seasons, but count on variations of eggs, pancakes, and scones. Le Bal doubles as a sort of cultural institute, so you can count brunch as your intellectual activity for the week. The location, hidden away just beyond the hustle and bustle of Montmartre, means that waits shouldn’t be too long.
1. Ellsworth34, Rue de Richelieu, Paris
2. L'Estaminet des Enfants Rouges39 rue de Bretagne, Paris
3. Eggs & Co.11 rue Bernard Palissy, Paris
4. Coutume Café47 rue de Babylone, Paris
5. Holybelly19 rue Lucien Sampaix, Paris
6. Breakfast in America4 rue Malher, Paris
7. Soya20 rue de la Pierre Levée, Paris
8. Paperboy137 rue Amelot, Paris
9. Benedict19 rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, Paris
10. La Bal Café6 Impasse de la Défense, Paris
Aprés Louvre, get your brunch on at this sweet cafe and wine bar, known for its fried chicken and Belgian waffles.
With a focus on organic produce and seasonal ingredients, the menu changes daily at this petit bistrot inside the Enfants Rouges marketplace.
Nothing says “brunch” more than a plate of eggs, and as the name would have you believe, that’s the specialty at this Saint-Germain breakfast/brunch spot.
In the heart of the 7th arrondissement, Coutume Café is far from the traditional Parisian cafe. For one, it sources its speciality coffee from all over the world. Its drip coffee, espresso, and cold brews are popular with the expat set, and it also serves sweet and savory breakfast and lunch dishes. It has a modern, industrial decor that looks more Portland than Paris.
Located in the 10th, this innovative eatery by the Canal is perfect for a classic breakfast. Dive into their pancakes and eggs, or stop in when it's less busy and slowly sip some of the finest coffee drinks in the city.
Homesick for the old US of A? Slide into a booth at this American-style diner modeled off the historic roadside attractions of Route 66 and dig into a scrumptious pancake breakfast. This is also the place to go for an authentic American burger. You'll want to try Chile Con Carne Burger or the So Cal, made with avocado, Swiss cheese, and mushrooms. Top it off with a big-ass milkshake like a good American should and hide your regret as you step back outside onto the chic Parisian streets.
This organic and vegetarian friendly spot offers a rotating salad bar and killer brunch deal-- 25 Euros for buffet access and unlimited pressed juice.
This minimalist cafe on the rue Amelot serves up colorful plates of fresh fruits and veggies, in addition to cold-pressed juices and tasty to-go sandwiches. Get there early to beat the brunch rush!
This Parisian bistro has the answer to all your breakfast questions. Their signature dishes are, of course, eggs Benedict (they have seven different kinds), but if eggs aren't your fancy, they also have pancakes and a number of other popular morning breakfasts.