Breakfast is tough in Paris. Le sigh. They’ve got their boulangeries down pat, with a wealth of choices at the break of dawn…and I’m definitely not saying I don’t adore those, but what about sit in breakfast places, with savory or sweet? Somewhere that doesn’t just care about being cool that is just open early with yummy food for a quick pop in before work? After breakfasts out in the states over Christmas break, I realized how much Paris is lacking something in that area. Perhaps my American needs are too much for the Parisians. No but really. There are honestly only a handful of places where you can dine in get something other than a croissant before work in this town! Not to mention that ironically the new stuff opening is all in one area (cough, 11th) so unless you live or work in the 11th, it’s not worth the trek for that pre-work treat and espresso outing. I don’t want a 24euro too-huge-to-finish-brunch. I just want eggs or a breakfast burrito!
One thing that is nice though, is that there is always room at Ladurée. I’m not one who splurges often on things like macaroons (although, I do adore them!), but a simple breakfast at Ladurée is always cozy and spot on: 2 fried eggs, delicious tea, or french toast if you’re feeing crazy… (Just to be clear, don’t worry, their fried eggs don’t cost as much as their pastries). Plus, I’ve always been a fan of the boho chic and vintage atmosphere of Ladurée, topped with its pastel paneled teacups and silver teapots. Darling Hana met me at the Ladurée on the Champs for a breakfast one chilly morning. It was the perfect setting for a girly catch up. There’s always that perfect table for two if you’re going on a weekday before work.
If anyone knows anything about the coming of age of Parisian breakfast, do fill me in. Until then, excuse the quick rant, I’ll stick to my handful of spots that I know for sure has eggs or a yummy treat and that won’t be packed with people with beards in the AM with a huge wait. Still waiting on a legit bagel place.
I had known about Bob’s Juice Bar and Bob’s Kitchen from when I first arrived in Paris. It was sort of staple of something I knew was American. I will admit I never went often as whenever I randomly passed it or planned to go, it was always closed for some reason. Bref. When Bob’s Bake Shop opened, this was a whole new ball game in my book. Expats in Paris sure know how exciting it is when Thanksgiving rolls around because many shops sell their pies for Turkey Day celebrations. I for one was just excited to be able to get pie all the time.
Aside from the pie thing, I was also excited about it being somewhere NOT in the 11th. All of my favorite things I find group in one area. It’s not a BAD thing it’s just something I’ve noticed. I like when peeps get risky and open outside of the trendy spots of the time – cough – the Canal Saint Martin or Oberkampf area. Bob’s chose to open up north in one of my favorite places to stroll since my Lamarck Caulaincourt days, by the Marx Dormoy metro stop. North of my Indian cantine Chettinadu, the Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute is up against the tracks of Gare de l’Est, sandwiched between those also of Gare du Nord. It’s one of those randomly modern areas that is sort of becoming a new sort of trendy thanks to some snazzy restaurants and a youth hostel, but is definitely like a small pocket of trendy in a rather unique part of Paris that is the La Chapelle quartier. Bob’s Bake Shop graces us with its presence here.
A diner in the true sense of the term, Bob’s Bake Shop offers quality food without giving too much of a shit about the overdone awesomeness of the interior. So many places look the same these days. What I love about Bob’s is that it is what it is, and it is wonderful. No subway tiles and wood finishings and inconvenient table arrangements, like in so many other restaurant or cafés popping up around the city. It is spacious, comfy and feels just right – is that my inner American? Table booths line up the window, and the cafeteria-like set up displays everything they’ve got to offer: homemade bagels, cakes, pies, cookies, salads…. the works.
Stop in for a coffee or juice and a treat, or for a sane lunch with a delicious lemonade with a pal (like I did, with my homegirl Ylenia). We went with a open faced bagel sandwich with hummus and pickled veggies on top. Long story short: friendly staff and delicious food. An authentic American spot in the city. I will admit though, I am secretly awaiting some banana cream pie.
Bob’s Bake Shop
Halle Pajol – 12 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 75018
Métro: Marx Dormoy (12)
Tél: 09 84 46 25 26
Breakfast out is one of my favorite things. In Paris if it’s the weekend, no matter what time your breakfast out happens, it’s a brunch, apparently. Lauren, Carin and I chose to have some grub at Holybelly, as I had never had bfast grub there – only coffee or afternoon tea.
I usually am not the type of person to wait in line for a new trendy place as all the cool peeps in Paris are at the same places every Saturday and Sunday at noon, but I was pleasantly surprised and how quick the time went by, and I must say Holybelly is an exception. Our 20 minute wait was the perfect opp to head to the other side of the canal to grab an espresso to go at one Paris’s renowned specialty coffee shops, Ten Belles.
We had wandered back just in time to sit down. I must say, restaurants with menus that aren’t fixed for a weekend brunch really is a luxury in Paris. The fixed menu brunches are often so overpriced and I can never even finish them (not to mention many places pile on pastries which are the cheapest thing possible, ugh). Holybelley’s simple and somewhat american style “eggs any style and 2 sides” really hit home for me (€11,50). I was in a savory breakfast paradise, with quality food and friendly service. Carin’s pancakes were photogenic as hell, and just as tasty as they were adorable. Topped with a flat white with quality Belleville Brûlerie beans, we found ourselves in heaven.
They’ve got a little something extra going on in that café, I tell ya… everyone is always so friendly, and with the changing menu you’re always in for a surprise each time you pop in. If you follow Holybelly on social media, you’ll know that the duo that runs the place, Nico + Sarah, communicate not only about the latest HB happenings, but also support other spots on the block and culinary adventures. By having shared their story – and continuing to do so – their café is really a staple of the neighborhood.
Thanks, Holybelly, for being so awesome.
My first time at Holybelly was for a Pinterest party, discover the photos here.
Read more lovely things about Holybelly.
19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
Ivy Chang featured me on her Inside Kitchen Project series a few months ago. When she asked I knew exactly what I wanted to make: my mom’s French toast that I grew up eating.
It’s insanely simple and quick, but so delicious. I have memories of running up the stairs like a crazy person and plopping myself on the high metal stools we had in our kitchen, in pajamas, with a ginormous glass of OJ, as soon as my mom yelled down to tell us breakfast was ready. I always stacked 2 slices of French toast, covered them with maple syrup and cut them in a grid of 9 squares. Why you ask? I have no idea. But hey, it’s funny to think about. This recipe always hits home for me, it’s quick and hearty and brings back so many memories of breakfast at home in the Rockies with the family.
– 8-10 slices of your favorite sandwich bread
– 2/3 cups milk
– 4 eggs
– 2 tablespoons cinnamon
– A smidgen of vanilla extract
– Maple syrup (optional)
– Berries & bananas (optional)
1. Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl.
2. Melt a bit of butter in your skillet.
3. Soak your bread slice in the egg mixture, both sides.
4. Place that bad boy on your skillet and leave until golden on both sides.
5. Serve with maple syrup, berries and banana slice to taste, with a big glass of juice or a cuppa Jo.
Discover more Inside Kitchen posts over on Ivy’s blog.
A real hearty and savory breakfast in Paris is hard to find. Mostly because this is usually associated with brunch (aka overpriced fixed menus that are only served on weekends). Breakfast is an important meal of the day, and sometimes a tartine with jam or yogurt just won’t cut it.
Luckily, Frenchie To Go opens early on weekdays, so a savory breakfast is possible BEFORE work… How great is that? They’ve got a bacon sandwich, which has quite a bit of bacon, I’m not going to lie, but you can add cheddar and an egg if you’d like for a couple of bucks and it becomes the perfectly complete breakfast sandwich. Plus, Frenchie To Go, a hotspot near Sentier that is packed during lunch, is never packed before work (at least when I’ve been), it’s basically perfection. The only downside about going in the morning is not being able to get one of their beers, as they’ve got quite a fine list! Other breakfast options: homemade granola, bacon scones, pastries.
With a little cuppa and one of these bad boys, we started our day with a bang. The donuts sure were tempting.
9, rue du Nil, 75002
Métro: Sentier (3)