Rich in culture, history, fashion, music and art, Paris is undeniably a special city. Add in its mouth-watering food and how could it not rank in (at least) your top 3 cities in the world? After studying abroad for five weeks in this magical place, I’ve come to not only celebrate, but fully appreciate the Parisian food scene.
Brunch in Paris goes beyond the stereotypical espresso shot and croissant breakfast and expands into flavors from around the world, although always spun with a French flair. So, do yourself a favor, and the next time you find yourself in the city of lights, cross a few of these hotspots off your list. (You and your Instagram followers can thank us later.)
Café Oberkampf, evidently situated right by the trendy Oberkampf Street, is a tiny café (seriously only 4 tables and bar seating!) with big flavors. What sets this picturesque café apart from all the others, you may ask? The answer is simply how fresh everything tastes. The tiny kitchen is right next to the dining area, so if you’re not too busy devouring your food, you can watch all the ingredients being prepared a mere 5 feet away from your table.
You really can’t go wrong with the food here since it truly is as tasty as it looks, but I suggest the piping hot shakshuka (a traditional Israeli dish consisting of poached eggs and tomato sauce) with feta cheese. Also, don’t skip out on the warm and indulgent banana bread with a heaping portion of melted butter on top. Nothing tastes quite as good as clogging your arteries.
Walk into Holybelly pretty much any day, any hour, and it’ll be packed—and for good reason! The food is so good it could make a Trump supporter and a Hillary supporter temporarily forget their political differences. You will never be disappointed by Holybelly’s Melbourne Café-inspired menu, which gets a fresh makeover each month. Although it’s hard to pick just a few of the star dishes, the “Sweet Stack” pancakes and slow-cooked tomato definitely stand out. One last thing: don’t forget to order a drink to accompany your amazing meal—the London Fog is the best I’ve ever had.
Ob-La-Di is another tiny café with a similar vibe to Café Oberkampf. Although it’s known for its avocado toast with pomegranate seeds, the other menu items are not to be missed (especially the “almost too pretty to eat” pastries). Behind the bar at Ob-La-Di, you’ll find the cutest Australian barista who is not only passionate, but knowledgeable about coffee beans, brews and tastes. The only problem I had here was that my food got cold by the time I was done taking pictures of it!
Since Ellsworth is known for its small but shareable plates, it’s “tapas-style brunch” is great for those who want to try it all. Parisians (and adventurous tourists) love the foie gras waffle, while Americans typically prefer their waffles with Ellsworth’s side of crunchy fried chicken. To make the most of your brunch here, you definitely can’t skip the fresh and spicy Bloody Mary.
#SpoonTip: Make sure to get a reservation. Ellsworth is one of the hottest spots in the 1st Arrondissement for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Unlike so many other small and exclusive brunch spots in Paris, Marcel has a surprising three locations. This doesn’t mean it’ll be very easy to get into, though, as it’s visually appealing and tasty food draws crowds in for brunch every Saturday and Sunday. The “MMMMM…” section of the menu will have you saying just that after a few bites. The French Toast with caramelized bananas and a toffee sauce made out of the famous “beurre salé” (salty butter straight from Brittany) is seriously to die for.
If you’re trying to be healthy (which, honestly, you should stop doing while you’re in Paris because authentic French sweets are too good to pass up), Marcel also has a great collection of salads. I’d recommend the colorful Falafel salad that comes with the flavorful fixings of avocado, pomegranate seeds, carrots, cucumbers, chickpeas and tahini dressing.
Found in the trendy Marais du Nord, Season has some of the most beautiful plating of all the brunches in Paris. Think of its food as your basic Californian avocado toast with a sophisticated French twist. Extremely vegetarian and gluten-free friendly, there is something on the menu for everyone. If you’re missing a nice, healthy açai bowl (decently rare to find in Paris), Season’s matcha bowl will easily curb the craving. While the food is well thought out in flavor and appearance, big eaters beware: some of the portion sizes (like the ricotta tartine) can be very small.
#SpoonTip: Season can get very busy on the weekends, but if you can go to brunch on a weekday, there will be virtually no wait.
There’s only one accurate way to describe Angelina: decadent (well, and a bit expensive). There’s no doubt that after dining in one of Angelina’s beautifully decorated tea rooms, you’ll feel like royalty (and maybe a bit heavier, too). All of the pastries are classic, authentic and oozing with sugary goodness. The real star of the show, however, is Angelina’s world famous hot chocolate. Europe is known for its rich hot chocolate (nothing compared to our “watered down” American version), but Angelina certainly takes the cake since I’m pretty sure their version is purely melted chocolate in a pot topped with fresh whipped cream.
If the Eiffel Tour, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe haven’t convinced you to buy your ticket to Paris, these brunches will surely do the trick.