What’s the best place to have breakfast in Paris?
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2 votes by Scott S. and Oleg Ukhabin

It's really pretty easy.   You need to be outside of your hotel's breakfast room.   Next, you should be at an outdoor cafe, with seating on the street.    To ensure that you are not choking on car fumes, you also need to be in a semi-pedestrian zone.  (Or at least a place with very wide sidewalks.)


Sure, there are some of these cafes in the Latin Quarter but why not splurge and just go where the upper crust go?  You may be lucky enough to get the "full Parisian waiter" treatment---smirk---and for sure you will have a little heart attack when you get the bill (count on $30 for great coffee and the basket of croissants).  


I'm talking of the Deux Magots  (which nicely translates to "2 maggots", not, btw, a reflection of the sanitary conditions in the kitchen but, rather, an ethnic slur about foreigners!)   It's in the St Germain district.    


Great people watching, but--warning-- lots of tourists too.  


For a slightly less touristy feel, go right next door to the Cafe de Flore.   I once sat next to a fully frou-frou fashion designer (complete with little dog) there.  My friend told me he was Paco Rabanne, and then told me how Paco really believed he was reincarnated from, among other things, an ancient Egyptian hooker.    Doesn't get much odder than that!!


Both of these places have great cafe, croissants, and people watching.  Plus, both are steeped in history.   Why NOT go here?  :-)

Apr 19, 2011 12-05-05
1 vote by Hilary Stockton

Head to the 15th arrondissement and stroll down Rue Pasteur until you spot the sign for Des Gateaux et du Pain (Some Cakes and Bread). For anyone who plans to spend at least one morning devouring as many croissants as humanly possible, there is simply no better option. This is the best place for warm buttery goodness, with the croissants often stuffed with strawberry jam or drizzled with Nutella. This boulangerie/patesserie is run by Claire Damon, whose reputation precedes her in the world of French foodies. It's a delightful yet unpretentious spot where the focus is on making the absolute finest French carbs imaginable, and in a city packed with places that have mastered or redefined the art of the pastry, this place really does stand out. Bonus points for the fact it's in a neighborhood less visited, meaning the opportunity for people-watching sans hordes of tourists.


Apr 20, 2011 12-05-05

I just got back from Paris and was in pastry heaven!  I think any boulangerie you find will be amazing--I just have a recommendation if you haven't already to try the pain au raisin--they put some sort of custard between the layers so it stays perfectly moist.  Also, bring some ziploc bags so you can bring some home with you ;)

Apr 19, 2011 12-05-05

How about croissants and macarons at Laduree on the Champs Elysee?   To me, that is perfection on a Sunday morning! 

Apr 19, 2011 12-05-05

Seraphin on Rue Mabillon #5, just before the church in a small covered market and mall or B.I.A. (Breakfast in America) in the Latin Quarter, not too far from Notre Dame, there is also one in the Jewish Quarter.

Apr 20, 2011 12-05-05

You can have great croissaints, brioches or other kinds  of breads (especially the ones with olives) at any "PAUL" café of boulangerie, usually it's a small café but sometimes they have bigger lunchrooms. There are plenty of it in Paris. Keep in mind that the French don't have a big breakfast spread or something. For them breakfast is a fast  croissant/brioche and a espresso, so not to fancy with larger dishes. At "Lenôtre", the croissants and pâtisserie are also delicious but they are more expensive (they also cater AF First class).

Apr 20, 2011 12-05-05

You should go to Au Levain du Marais. They have several shops around Paris (in Le Marais area or in Montmartre too).

Be sure to get a Croissant au Beurre (made with butter) and not a Croissant Ordinaire (made with margarine).

If you are in Le Marais area, you can walk to place des Vosges on a sunny morning and enjoy your croissant there sipping a morning coffe.

If in Montmartre, you can then climb to Le Sacré Coeur to get an overview of Paris.

Apr 20, 2011 12-05-05

I would not suggest a Paul bakery - it's a chain that you can find as far away as London (for example, right outside liverpool street station). Instead i'd go with a place like Le Pick Clops which is on 6, Rue Vieille du Temple by Le Marais. The majority of people who dine there are young, hip and local, although it's getting a bit more touristy and the area in general develops heavy foot traffic.

...that being said it develops heavy foot traffic for a good reason - it's gorgeous and totally quaint. between shops (tea shops, clothing boutiques, international designers, bakeries) as well as a taste of jew-ness (it was the original jewish ghetto in paris, so there are still a bunch of kosher delis and falafel peddlers) it's my favorite place to wander.

I'd start at Le Pick Clops for a substantive breeakfast, put away the guidebook and do what you do best: wander until you find a boulangerie...then have a second take-out breakfast of croissant and pain au chocolat...then sit down for a coffee on one of the sidewalk cafes.

I'd also suggest wandering to Place des Vosges (i think someone else mentioned this); it's a very beautiful square surrounding a small park. you'll inevitably find some live jazz among the antique shops and boutiques. I'd avoid the cafe's in the square itself, rather go one block north on Rue de Beam where there is a super cute tea house / cafe (tea is a very parisian thing to do). 

If you're in the mood to do some shopping or to just check out what's up in mens fashion, the BHV Homme store (a 5-story temple to what's current in men's fashion) is a couple blocks away on 36, rue de la Verrerie.

Overall, get off the left bank. It's stuffy. the 4th, bastille, the canal de la vilette, montmartre ... so much more interesting stuff to see off the beaten path.

Apr 21, 2011 12-05-05

For the best breakfast in Paris, assuming it's a nice day, I'd recommend swinging by Pierre Herme (their patisserie at 72 rue Bonaparte) for almond croissants (croissant aux amandes) and pain du chocolat. If you have a sweet tooth, it's also worth picking up some pastries for later, such as their Caramel Mille Feuille and their macarons, especially their caramel, Chuao (chocolate macaron with chocolate-black currant filling) and Mogador (passion fruit macaron with chocolate filling). Then wander down rue Bonaparte to the Jardin du Luxembourg, and picnic in the beautiful gardens while enjoying the fountains and people watching.

May 1, 2011 12-05-05

The French make great breakfast pastries and I am so addicted to them. Even if your hotel has complimentary breakfast, skip that and try to eat out for breakfast at least once. I’m an on-the go-person so I just find the nearest patisserie or boulangerie, get in line and grab whatever pastry grabs my fancy. And then I eat while I walk. Most breakfast places in Paris are like this. If you want to sit down, go to a bar or a cafe, but these tend to open later, at around 8-9 am. If I want to sit down, I take it back to my room where I can leisurely eat while drinking my hot chocolate.

I always ask for what’s freshly made but chances are they all are. I admit to having a particular weakness for pain au chocolat.

With almost 20 locations around Paris, chances are you will encounter an Eric Kayser boulangerie. They make good artisan breads, cakes and tarts. For a chain, quality is high at all of the branches, but I do try to go to the flagship store at 14 rue Monge. 

Going to Laduree is always an experience. They have croissants so flaky you just know that there is an insane amount of butter in them. I don’t care if most people don’t consider macarons as proper breakfast food; I do, if it comes from Laduree. I’m addicted to them, and this has to be on of the best places to have breakfast in Paris! The St. Honore, choux pastry with almond custard and whip cream is also a must try!


May 2, 2011 12-05-05

kayser is a bit more expensive than mom and pop shops but very good. tarte framboise = my fav at any spot.

May 10, 2011 12-05-05

Deux Magots. As someone mentioned earlier, great croissants and coffee, plus a lot of history and great people watching. Not to mention the best cup of hot chocolate I have ever had anywhere in the world.

May 11, 2011 12-05-05

ulysses in rue cler.

May 13, 2011 12-05-05

In your hotel room ... BUT with a twist ... ignore the room service and go to Fauchon - that mesmorising and iconic store of all things good. If it's breakfast for two perhaps...a half-bottle of champagne - rose, a crusty and warm baguette, some truffle pate or terrine, some astounding brie or camembert, freshly baked macaroons and madeleines to finish. AMAZING... bring it back and surprise your partner for a breakfast you both will never forget! And if you're by yourself, you've just got yourself an afternoon tea worth blogging about!

May 14, 2011 12-05-05

If you are looking for a classic French breakfast, in a grand hotel, nothing will compare to the Hotel Plaza Athenee. The decor and ambiance is stylish and romantic, with a classic French feel. The pastries are made by the world pastry champion Christophe Michalak, who is famous for making some of the best sugar tart and delectable cakes in the world. The restaurant also offers fresh fruit and authentic cheese and yogurt. But be warned this breakfast does come at a cost and is quite expensive, this would be quite a splurge, not an everyday breakfast.

If you are looking for a more casual place to eat where you can people watch, I would recommend Cafe Beaubourg, they offer awesome pastries and a great selection of teas and coffee. The location is the best part of  this classic French cafe, as it is next to the all pedestrian plaza of the Centre Pompidou, where you can enjoy your breakfast and enjoy the sites all at the same time.

If you are anywhere near the 1st arrondissement you can stop in at any one of the creperies they have on almost every street corner. You can choose from a wide variety of fillings and they will make your crepe in front of you. A personal favorite is the simple, classic crepe with lemon and sugar. Most places will charge you about 3 and a half euros. These are the kind of places Paris is famous for, wonderful food freshly made from a few ingredients.

Another great place to eat a fabulous breakfast in Paris is the Cafe Mouffetard, where they make their own pastries and have a brioche to die for. This cafe is located on rue Mouffetard, down by the market, which makes it easy to f ind and a great place to start the day. This place also has a great cafe au lait, it is something of a local treasure.

May 27, 2011 12-05-05