109 Rue Vieille du Temple,
Phone: +33 1 42 72 13 77
You can’t go to Paris and not eat crepes. Quelle sacrilege! After all, crepes are one of France’s most beloved street foods, and one of the world’s greatest hangover remedies. (Well, it’s true.) These savory and sweet, wafer- thin pancakes are sold on nearly every corner. Though I prefer to eat them sitting at a table with a bowl of cider (that’s the traditional way to serve it). While there’s no shortage of Creperies in Paris, two of the best happen to be in the Marais: Creperie Suzette, and my all-time favorite, Breizh Cafe.
Owner and Brittany born Bertrand Larcher first opened back in 2007 and it’s been packed ever since. Don’t take my word for it: Just check out the crowds spilling out onto the sidewalk on the stylish Rue Vieille du Temple in hopes of a table. My advice is to call ahead and reserve a table for lunch and dinner a day or two in advance as most people don’t seem to know they take reservations! (Keep in mind, they’re closed on Mondays.)
The bi-level space itself is small and sweet, trimmed in pale wood walls and tables. This isn’t the kind of restaurant you linger for hours, so be prepared to order, eat and give your table up so someone else can snag your seat. Breizh Cafe specializes in Brittany’s traditional, savory galettes, made from organic buckwheat flour as well as their sweet dessert crepes made with white flour. I highly recommend ordering a savory and sweet, so you can sample both. The galettes here are nutty and earthy, the perfect canvas for first-rate ingredients, like onions confited in cider, smoked herring, creme fraiche, yogurt, just-laid farm eggs and asparagus. Check the chalkboard specials before you order and definitely try the Galette with a sunny side up Egg, Chorizo, and a to-die-for, raw Gruyere Cheese that I wanted to smuggle back to the states in my suitcase. There’s Galettes stuffed with everything from ham to mushrooms, potato and even herring roe, all of them soul-satisfying.
What to drink with that? Cider, of course. Breizh Cafe boasts over twenty kinds of Cider, some of them sparkling, plus several seasonal ciders, which they serve in all different sizes, so you can sample a few at once. Or, if you’re game, order the Lait Ribot, a bowl of rich, thick buttermilk. And for dessert, try the white flour Crepes, delicate pancakes, topped with caramel and bananas, butter, ice cream, chocolate sauce or a dreamy whipped cream so light I thought I worried it might float away. If you want to go truly traditional, order one with nothing more than a little butter and sugar.
Major bonus points that Breizh Cafe’s open on Sundays as so little is in Paris!