While we agree with the Académie française that ‘On “brunche” où ce weekend?’ is one of the more brutal franglais expressions you’ll hear on the streets of the French capital—its restaurants, cafés, and hotels have finessed the late breakfast of eggs, coffee, and cocktails in a way that only Parisians know how. For the best in town, head to one of these ten recommended spots.
A cozy vegetarian café by the Canal Saint-Martin, Le Poutch has a relaxed, retro vibe, with wicker-framed mirrors, Formica chairs, and filament bulbs. Brunch on Sundays gets going at 10:30am and the full menu at €19 (US$20) comprises a seasonal frittata of broccoli, butternut squash, and cheddar, served with roasted potatoes and salad, sweet scones or a bowl of homemade granola, a hot or iced drink, and fruit juice. During the week, you can order from the breakfast menu until noon and wash it down with one of the juices of the day—like the apple, beetroot, lemon and ginger concoction.
Eggs & Co., unsurprisingly, is all about eggs and the innumerable delicious things that can be done with them. The restaurant and craft coffee shop in Saint-Germain-des-Prés is open every day from 10am to 6pm and serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch with continuous service, a quality remarkably hard to come by in Paris, where meal times are typically inflexible. As you’d expect from this specialty restaurant, everything on the menu is poached, fried, scrambled, or beaten, cooked, and folded to ‘eggy’ perfection and the theme extends to the décor, right down to the egg-shaped salt cellars.
The €19 (US$20) Saturday brunch from 11am to 4pm at La Cocotte Dépote on the trendy rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin offers some of the best value for money in Paris. The meal starts with a sweet selection of bread, buns, and pancakes with jam, butter, honey, and a variety of other spreads and then moves on to a savory course of cheeses, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or grilled bacon, and a cinnamon-flavored butternut mash. The fresh, seasonal, and regionally-produced ingredients are sourced from a local market and the dishes are prepared with care by the chef, Marion Cassier.
Overlooking the Parc de Belleville and much of the Paris skyline, Moncoeur Belleville is a neighborhood hot spot, famed for its Sunday brunches. The meal consists of the usual fare—sweet and savory cakes, bread and butter with home-made jams, scrambled eggs, bacon and potato waffles, coffee, a cocktail or two—and between October and April you can sit back and enjoy the afternoon jazz sessions while you digest. The restaurant has also become an increasingly popular choice for dinner since Etienne Daviau, formerly of the Michelin-starred Le Bristol and Senderens, took over the kitchen in October 2015, so you might just want to stick around all day.
Coquelicot is a popular local bakery where you can brunch any day of the week. During the week, the €18.45 (US$19.70) menu gets you a hot drink, smoked salmon on toast, an organic, free-range soft-boiled egg with soldiers, fried potatoes, a yogurt from the Beillevaire dairy, a fruit salad, a homemade madeleine, and a large glass of freshly pressed orange juice. Pas mal! At the weekend, when you’ll have to make a reservation, the €20.60 (US$22) brunch comes with scrambled eggs and chives, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, a mini hamburger (made with beef from a butcher just a few doors down) and chips, camembert, and a vanilla and apple compote. Brunch can be enjoyed inside or on the sunny terrace.
As the name suggests, Breakfast in America does the most important meal of the day better than almost anywhere in Paris. The pancakes and French toast served with 100% maple syrup shipped in from Canada, come recommended by the diner’s founder, Craig Carlson, as do their selection of omelettes, garlicky home fries, and hamburgers, particularly the Super BIA. While some brunch deals in the capital will leave your belt feeling a little bit slacker than you’d like, the portions here are always generous, though this is still an alternative, high-quality version of fast food.
Some of the highlights of the daily breakfasts and famous weekend brunches at La Cuisine at the 5-star Royal Monceau hotel include chef Hans Zahner’s Royal Booster chia seed smoothies, gluten-free bread by Eric Kayser, and a magnificent cheese board served with dried fruits and honey. On Sundays, the menu ventures into Lebanese mezze, sushi, oysters and seafood platters, and throughout the weekend Pierre Hermé provides his signature macarons, pancakes, waffles and other irresistible sweet pleasures. The Saturday brunch from 12:30pm to 3:30pm is €89 (US$95) per person and the Royal Brunch on Sundays, which starts half an hour earlier, is €126 (US$134) a head.
Le First has one of the most peaceful inside patios in Paris, where brunch is held every Sunday from 12:15pm to 3pm. Organic fruit juices are squeezed on the spot and super foods take pride of place on the menu. You can also head to the seaweed bar for a portion of iodine-rich salicornia and wakame. The XXL madeleine from the Pâtisserie des Rêves may not qualify as healthy but it does do wonders for the soul. The classic brunch costs €75 (US$80) and you can add €10 (US$11) for a glass of champagne. You can also ‘sprunch’ for €170 (US$181), which includes a 50-minute treatment at the Six Senses Spa.
There is always a lot of hustle and bustle in the Café Charlot, a popular hangout in the Marais just across from the 16th-century Marché des Enfants Rouges. Served on a tray, Sunday brunch is a set menu featuring a healthy balance of freshly squeezed orange juice, pain perdu (French toast), scrambled eggs, fruit salad, and the beloved fromage blanc. On any day of the week, the organic egg dishes—omelets, eggs Benedict, poached eggs, or eggs with smoked salmon—make for a great late breakfast. The assortment of ice creams and sorbets from La Maison Berthillon also finish off any meal nicely.
What could be more pleasant than savoring a Sunday brunch whilst cruising on the river Seine? Paris en Scène is essentially a sightseeing boat offering views of some of the city’s most famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre-Dame. From 12:30pm to 2:45pm, you can enjoy one of three brunch menus, priced at €39 (US$42) and including savory dishes like foie gras, salmon, and cheese and sweets like pastries, crumbles, and tarts. For an extra €10 (US$11) you get a half bottle of champagne and for €78.50 (US$84) that half bottle is upgraded to a Maison De Venoge Extra Brut.