Ah Paris, a must on a tour of France. We’ll never tire of its elegant boulevards, enviable assortment of galleries and museums, brasseries where you can sit all day nursing a bottle of wine, and its croissants. Well, actually, maybe it’s just us, but after the seventh straight day of eating a traditional butter croissant or pain au chocolat or even a baguette for breakfast, we can get a hankering for something a bit different. If you’re after something a little more nourishing, or simply something that doesn’t make your skinny jeans tremble in fear, we’ve eaten our way through some of the best breakfasts in the City of Light, and found seven worth braving the metro for.
Opened by an ex-fashion PR, this whitewashed nook in the 1st Arrondissement bills itself as ‘The House of Breakfast’, and boy does it deliver. This popular breakfast and brunch spot isn’t what you’d call traditionally French; the founder is Bavarian, so on the menu you might find Bavarian-style pancakes sitting alongside poached eggs on roti with smoked fish. They do very drinkable coffee (a surprising rarity in Paris), and a roaring trade in cakes, muffins and tarts. Pop across the road afterwards to where the cafe’s namesake deli sells condiments, goods from the patisserie, gourmet muesli and coffee beans. Be sure to make a reservation – this place is popular, and you might end up spending a solid 45 minutes waiting for a table in zero-degree temperatures like one hungry writer (ahem).
Sure, eating New York-style food in Paris is akin to sacrilege, but we’ll let it slide. Ideal for vegetarians and vegans, Bob’s Kitchen started out as a juice bar in cool neighbourhood Canal Saint-Martin. There’s now a cafe in Le Marais that serves bagels and pancakes for breakfast, and Bob’s Bake Shop, an American-style diner and bakery. If you’re over the other side of the Seine, head to the Shakespeare and Company cafe, which also dishes up Bob’s hand-rolled bagels alongside really excellent filter coffee. You can eat your breakfast looking across to the Notre Dame cathedral, the perfect start to a perfect Parisian day.
When a cafe claims it serves a Melbourne-style breakfast, we’re going to be there. Right near Bob’s Juice Shop in Canal Saint-Martin, this cafe is popular with locals and expats alike. Start off with a barista-brewed coffee, Aussie-style (whole milk only, thank you very much), and then get started on the eggs done poached, fried or scrambled with any two sides (we’re talking haloumi, hash browns, bacon and baked beans). Or, if you’re in clean eating mode, you could give the black rice porridge a whirl. The staff are super friendly, and the space is packed with greenery and cookbooks. Double thumbs up.
4. Wild & The Moon
Any place that sells itself as dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and, well, healthy, wouldn’t usually be on our list of restaurants to go to for a good time. But Wild & The Moon somehow manages to make good food, even without all of the ingredients we normally associate with deliciousness. There’s chia pudding, matcha lattes, fresh-pressed juices, avocado toast and acai bowls. Basically the opposite of a croissant is what we’re saying…
Balance out all that health food with a decidedly unhealthy breakfast at Frenchie to Go. If you knocked back a few too many bottles of Burgundy last night, their bacon sandwich will sort you out (throw on cheddar for good measure). Their eggs Benedict will fill any gaping hunger hole, and while a bacon scone might not be a thing you have ever considered, we reckon you should get one into you quick smart because it is definitely a combination that should figure into all our lives more often. Head too sore to get out of bed? They also deliver. You’re welcome.
6. Eggs & Co
Surprise! Eggs & Co doesn’t serve eggs! We jest, of course – they do eggs every which way, and they are all eggscellent (sorry). Want an omelette? Done. Eggs royale? No worries. Scrambled? Oui. In pancakes? You got it, dude. Don’t even like eggs? You could get an egg-shaped lolly! You get the picture. They do eggs, they do them well, and there’s coffee. What more could you want?
Oversleeping can happen to the best of us. Lucky Twinkie is right there in the 2nd Arrondissement to feed you fruit salad, juice, crumpets, baked beans and croissants, if you’re not tired of them yet, all the live-long day (except Mondays). Their British and American breakfasts are the perfect beginning to a long day of sightseeing or more eating. We can’t speak to whether they actually serve Twinkies, but they’re not a breakfast food anyways…
Want to taste the best Europe has to offer? Check out range of food-themed tours.