Although I could live off the €1 pain au raisins from the local boulangerie, sometimes a gal needs brunch. Brunch in Paris is generally pretty expensive (according to my source it can be around €20 a plate) but, luckily for the financially challenged, there are places that are slightly more reasonable. Here are a few that I tried.
74 Rue des Gravilliers
Bob’s Kitchen is one of those places which are very easy to stride past without a second glance. Once you get to Rue des Gravilliers, keep an eye out for a tiny sign and a huge coffee machine in the window – the only clue to the deliciousness that lurks within.
Inside, it’s pretty tiny, with scrubbed down tables, whitewashed walls, exposed lightbulbs and trendy staff.
The menu is written on a blackboard that stretches across the room; although there isn’t much choice, everything they serve manages to be healthy, filling and (most importantly) very tasty.
For breakfast/brunch, they serve a range of bagels, smoothies, granola and (the holy grail of brunch menus) pancakes served with fruit and maple syrup.
A must-visit for the gluten intolerant amongst you – they can whip up gluten free pancakes that taste just as amazing as the normal ones (no, seriously).
Not a morning person? They also serve lunch and dinner. Try the veggie stew – I’ve heard it’s amazing.
24 Rue des Abbesses
Coquelicot (meaning ‘poppy’ in French) is the most traditional of the breakfast places I tried. With a bakery in the front and a restaurant behind, the vibe is more farmhouse than arthouse. They are well aware that this comforting rusticity is their key selling point – their website declares that their core values are ‘tradition and authenticity’.And clearly it’s working.
This Montmartre hotspot is always busy; on weekends, you have to fight for a seat at one of the poppy-covered tables.
The focus is on traditional, delicious and reasonably priced French staples – freshly baked pastries, a range of omelettes, quiches and soups, tartiflette and cheeses. They have a couple of set menus for brunch which cost the standard €20, but include a range of dishes such as eggs, smoked salmon, potato, hamburgers, vanilla compote and fruit salad, as well as freshly squeezed juice and tea/coffee.
However, they also have cheaper set menus; my favourite includes a bowl of tea/coffee/hot chocolate with fresh brioche, followed by a egg and soldiers.
Conveniently located in Montmartre, this is the perfect place for a pick-me-up before you brave the steps up to Sacré-Coeur.
27 Rue Pierre Fontaine
I have a soft spot for Le Dépanneur. It provided me with food me in a time of dire need.
We made the classic mistake of forgetting to book a table for Sunday brunch after a night out, instead deciding to ‘wing it’. We then spent a good half an hour wandering around, attempting to find a restaurant that could squeeze us in and getting increasingly grumpy, before, finally, we found the twinkling lights of Le Dépanneur.
Although they were able to seat us straight away, the place was by no means empty (always reassuring).
As in Bob’s Kitchen, the brunch menu is short but has something for everyone. Plus, the portions are huge – a big point in their favour.
We tried the waffles with bacon and berries, and the oeufs au plat, which is the closest thing to a gourmet Full English you’ll find in Paris – fried eggs with bacon, tomato, handmade sausage (which was particularly delicious) and toasted brioche.
They serve food all day and have an exciting-looking drinks menu. In the summer, try and grab a table outside in the sunshine to sip on a cocktail and people watch.
When we left, we spotted the secret to the free table space – there’s a second Dépanneur restaurant just across the street.