Best places to get a traditional French breakfast in Paris
When you think about Paris and what makes it so special, you probably first imagine the endless amount of delicious food options. At least for me, that is the first thing that drew me into this city. Warm, soft baguettes, fresh orange juice, flakey croissants, strong expresso…there is honestly nothing as satisfying as a traditional French breakfast!
I remember when my sister was visiting me a couple of months ago. Her favorite part about Paris (besides falling in love with beautiful strangers on the metro) is the classic breakfast I just described. On her last day of the visit, we accidentally slept in a bit late. Once we ventured out to get our breakfast fix, most places were no longer serving breakfast since it was past 11! You can imagine the horror on both of our faces as we scoured the streets in Saint Germain looking for a petit-dejuner. My sister almost cried…”I really needed a last French breakfast before I leave!” she said in hysterics. I knew how serious the situation was. This is breakfast we are talking about. Finally, our prayers were answered when we walked past the waiter at La Bar du Marche on rue de Bucci.
He saw our faces in distress and offered us the beautiful words we wanted to hear all morning “bien sûr, nous servons petit dejuner!” (of course we’re serving breakfast!) We sat down and enjoyed the breakfast we’d been craving, and it was just as delicious as we’d hoped!
So what makes a typical French breakfast so special?
Depending on where you’re from, you might be used to a pretty heavy breakfast. Pancakes, waffles, cereal, oatmeal, you won’t see any of these in a French breakfast if done correctly. Believe it or not, you won’t usually see French toast either! A typical French breakfast is actually quite light. Usually, it consists of a pastry, some bread (with a side of butter and jam), a glass of juice, and coffee. A traditional French breakfast may also come with an egg prepared to your preference, such as hard-boiled or scrambled.
I always recommend ordering the set breakfast–petit déjeuner formule. This usually comes with a choice of croissant (plain or chocolate) or tartine (mini-baguette with jam and butter). Along with that you’ll have a hot beverage of your choice and a fresh squeezed juice (Orange or grapefruit usually). I always go for a café creme or café au lait!
Of course, Paris has thousands of cafés to choose from and it’s nearly impossible to mess up a French breakfast. Here are my top picks that I’ve visited and brought my friends to when they visit.
This is actually a pretty famous bistro among Parisians. The good thing about Carette is that it has a few locations, however I suggest going to the one at Trocadero. This way, you can eat your breakfast right in front of the Eiffel Tower. It’s quite a surreal experience for visitors. Be prepared to pay quite a bit due to location. You’ll get a hot drink, orange juice, croissant, and bread with jam and butter for around 20 euros.
Address: 4 place du Trocadero, 75016
Nearest transport: Trocadero (6, 9)
Hours: Open every day, 8 a.m.-midnight
In the heart of the 16th arrondissement lies Victor Hugo, an affluent area with a variety of shops and restaurants. If you want to see a more residential part of Paris with less tourists, this is a great spot! Bechu is one of my favorite bakeries in Paris! The pastries are fresh, high quality, and won’t hurt the wallet. The best part is the French breakfast, obviously! For 13 euros, you can get a tartine (mini baguette) with butter and jam, a mini pastry (you have to try their chocolate croissants), a hot beverage of your choice, and a juice of your choice. If that’s not enough, they have excellent quiche and omelettes made to your liking. Another delicacy not to miss is their hot chocolate, which is served piping hot with whipped cream. I know this might sound crazy, but I prefer it to the Ladurée and Angelina hot chocolate!
Address: 118 avenue Victor Hugo, 75016
Nearest transport: Victor Hugo (2) or Rue de la Pompe (9)
Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 8:30pm. (Closed on Mondays)
Just past Bechu on avenue Victor Hugo, you’ll find Place Victor Hugo, a famous round about with surrounding cafes. One day I was looking for a French breakfast with my friend who was visiting from New York, and we walked all around the neighborhood frantically looking for a set breakfast to indulge in. We walked past Romeo, thinking it looked cute, but no way would an Italian restaurant offer a French breakfast! We were wrong! Romeo, does in fact offer a really tasty breakfast, but be prepared to pay a high price of 18 euros. They offer you a pretty hefty breakfast: hot beverage, juice of your choice, baguette with jam and butter or croissant, and eggs (scrambled, fried, or omelette)!
Address: 6 Place Victor Hugo, 75116
Nearest transport: Victor Hugo (2)
Hours: Open every day from 7am to 11pm
La Bar Du Marché
La Bar du Marché on Rue Bucci had to make the list. This was the place that saved my sister and I’s almost failed breakfast quest on her last day in Paris. Not only is the French breakfast pretty reasonably priced (9 euros for the set of hot drink, juice, and pastry), they were nice enough to go pick up more warm fresh croissants for us when they realized they ran out. Most places wouldn’t do that!
Address: 5 Rue de Seine, 75006
Nearest transport: Saint Germain de Pres (4), Mabillon (10), or Odeon (4,10)
Hours: 10am to 11:45pm
Café de deux Moulins
Are you a movie fan? Have breakfast with Amélie Poulain during your visit. Served until noon, this breakfast is a hungry person’s jackpot! For 12 euros, here’s what you’ll get in your French breakfast: a hot beverage, fresh orange juice, bread with butter, plain croissant or chocolate croissant, and fried eggs or an omelette. Not to mention, you can grab a picturesque bite in on of Paris’s most charming neighborhoods.
Address: 15 Rue Lepic, 75018
Nearest transport: Blanche (2)
Hours: Every day from 7am to 2am
If you managed to try every place on this list, check out our other recommendations for breakfast in Paris!