The meandering streets of Paris’ Le Marais hold a wealth of cultures and treasures. Each stone unturned provides a places to stop and savor this melting pot of history and tradition. Whether staying in Le Marais or heading to the neighborhood for a visit, a brunch in one of our ten recommendations should definitely be on the agenda.
Situated just behind the metallic structure of the Georges Pompidou Centre on the Beaubourg side of the Marais, Who’s is open every night of the week for cocktails and dinner. At the weekend, clad in colourful pyjamas, the staff gets up early to welcome clients to eat as much as they want at a jovial brunch. The spread caters for all tastes and diets, ranging from cold meats, eggs and bacon to spaghetti accompanied by the chef’s choice of sauces. Dessert-wise, don’t miss the pancakes made to order, great doughnuts or, for the health-conscious, fruit salad. A fine feast before or after a taste of modern art at the Pompidou Centre.
Set in a 17th century paved courtyard with a beautiful terrace, The Studio offers a unique escape from traffic and the general hustle and bustle of the busy Marais. Peace is barely disturbed by the sound of flamenco dancers clicking their feet on wooden floors of the popular dance school, or by theatergoers purchasing tickets for an evening performance at the Café de la Gare, both sharing the same courtyard. A Tex-Mex restaurant by night and day, The Studio serves breakfast all week except Mondays, and an exciting brunch with a Mexican twist at the weekend. Look out for fried eggs on tortillas with guacamole and scrumptious bagels filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese – you’ll soon be dancing around the Marais.
Visitors to the Marais will be delighted to see that the famous Belgian bakery has opened a branch just a stone’s throw from the Hôtel de Ville, Paris’s main City hall. As its name suggests, Le Pain Quotidien (read ‘daily bread’) is open for breakfast and brunch every day. In its true signature style of homeliness and conviviality, clients enjoy Le Pain Quotidien’s healthy fare around long communal tables. Open sandwiches are prepared using the bakery’s organic wholemeal bread made with natural yeast, and are garnished with nourishing ingredients including tahini or avocado. Soups, salads and quiches are in abundance and there is no need to feel guilty about taking a dessert – some of the recipes include chia seeds, the rising star of super foods.
A New York style kosher delicatessen, Schwartz’s is specially designed for big appetites. Meat and vegetarian burgers, pastrami, toasted bagels and eggs galore all come in copious portions served with hash brown, chunky chips or a healthy salad. There is no scrimping when it comes to the sweet options either, with full cream cheesecake or apple strudel and custard among the biggest hits. Decor wise, Schwartz’s has a real New York feel with its diner layout and red and white checked vinyl table covers.
What could be more sophisticated than sampling a cup of the most delicious hot chocolate or savoring freshly scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on the famous Place des Vosges! The Carette Vosges is one of two traditional patisseries in Paris, the original one of which was opened on the Place Trocadéro in 1927 by Jean and Madeleine Carette. The couple valued good service, a friendly atmosphere and tasty food – a tradition that certainly lives on in the roaring twenties-style establishment on the Place des Vosges. Among the toasted sandwiches and quiches, look out for the Carette’s comforting warm milk, flavored with cinnamon, vanilla or almonds.
For those in search of a different type of brunch, Le 404 is the ideal address. Located in a 16th century building, this Maghreb restaurant with its oriental decor is one of eight venues across London, Paris, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut opened by Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz and offers a full menu of traditional North African food. In keeping with tradition, the 404’s weekend brunch comprises sweet couscous with raisins and almonds, Moroccan hamburgers and briouats (North African pasties) followed by Berber pancakes with honey.
There is always a lot of hustle and bustle in the Café Charlot, a popular hang-out for Parisians after a stroll around the famous 16th century market, Les Enfants Rouges. Sunday morning is no exception, when the cafe serves brunch either inside the establishment (that used to be a bakery) or outside on the sunny terrace. Served on a tray, Café Charlot’s brunch is a set menu comprising a healthy balance of freshly squeezed orange juice, pain perdu, scrambled eggs, fruit salad and the beloved fromage blanc.
With its vintage furnishing, bookshelves full of memorabilia, a collection of velveteen covered chairs and a vintage Peugeot 404 parked outside, Pamela Popo could almost be a museum from the seventies. The restaurant takes its name from a song by Serge Gainsbourg, which tells of a Soho striptease artist. Served on Sundays only, Pamela Popo’s brunch menu opens with freshly pressed orange juice, but the staff are not shy of proposing a Bloody Mary or a house blend of vodka, cranberry juice and mint for a Sunday morning boost. Food-wise, there is a wide choice of eggs for starters followed by bagels with a variety of fillings such as tuna and avocado or smoked ham with mozzarella and tomato, and to feel really full on a lazy Sunday, carrot cake and pain perdu (egg bread with a French touch) are among the generous desserts.
Located in the heart of Le Marais, Le Dôme du Marais offers a refined setting for a Sunday brunch with its magnificent glass dome designed by Gustav Eiffel offering a view of the Parisian skies. Its winter garden makes it an ideal place to enjoy a fine quality classic brunch or a selection of organic meat burgers and salads prepared with the freshest ingredients. Look out for the Dôme’s freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices or one of Alain Milliat’s natural nectars to add some extra zest to your Sunday morning.
A haven for book worms, Le Café Livres is a veritable library comprising some 13,000 books to read inside or to take away in exchange for a volume of your own. This is a perfect place to enjoy breakfast on the sunny terrace facing the 62 meter high Tour Saint Jacques. On Sundays and bank holidays Le Café Livres serves a “three-chapter” brunch, serving many typical breakfast foods, lunchtime savories and a final course of delicious sweets. A real page-turner for an idle Sunday.