One of my very favorite things to do when I visit Paris is to wake up early and take a slow walk to a favorite or new breakfast spot. I tuck into an outdoor table, order my petit déjeuner and settle in for people watching and soaking up all the magical sights and sounds of the city.
The pastime of petit déjeuner in Paris is a lovely one and you’ll find on most cafe menus the classic combo of your choice of croissant (regular/chocolate), a coffee and an orange juice. It’s just a lovely way to start your day the moment that croissant pops down with a bit of beurre and confiture and your hot coffee and your deliciously sweet and tart (often fresh pressed) jus d’orange.
Not all cafes are equal and generally I avoid those around the biggest tourist spots and on traffic circles or squares as sometimes the service and food is just not as good but when you’re in a pinch, I do appreciate that pretty much anywhere you can get a seat to watch the city life go by.
The Best Breakfast Spots in Paris:
Cafe Marlette: This is a delightful bright + airy breakfast spot with a robust menu. There are several locations in the city.
Cafe Oberkampf: This spot is a bit out of the way for most tourists but it is worth it for the banana bread alone. I dream of the banana bread! But the rest of the menu is also so delicious and this place just feels like a warm hug when you walk in. It’s located in an arrondissement that’s become one of my personal favorites.
Cafe de Flore: While a hot spot for tourists, it remains a Parisian institution and I adore having breakfast outside here whenever I’m in Paris. It never gets old!
Trieze Au Jardin: If you’re looking for a more American style breakfast, look no further as this spot is owned by a Southerner turned Parisian. The place was so popular that they grew out of their initial location and now they reside near the famed Jardin des Luxembourg.
Coutume Cafe: If you find yourself in need of some good coffee and a light breakfast with in the 7th, head to this lovely coffee shop with plenty of seating.
Bread & Roses: Several locations and always filled with more Parisians than tourists you can get a solid, reliable breakfast here.
Le Bonaparte: My feet take me here nearly every trip to Paris. It’s on a lovely square in Saint Germaine primed for people watching and it also happens to be so photogenic.
Les Deux Magots: Another storied Parisian cafe with loads of history. It’s just down the block from Cafe de Flore.
Claus Paris: This is a nice spot for a casual breakfast or lunch. On the weekends they serve a popular larger brunch with prix-fixe options. Claus has several locations.
Cafe Charlot: This charming corner cafe on a wonderful street in the Marais is a favorite of mine for lunch but it is equally as wonderful for breakfast.
And of course, just as wonderful as sitting at a cafe for a petit déjeuner, is also the ability to pop into any boulangerie and get a fresh or warm pastry first thing in the morning.
A few favorites of mine include the pain au chocolat from Maison D’Isabelle, the croissants (or any pastry really) from Du Pain et Des Idees or Boulangerie Utopie and the cinnamon buns from Circus Bakery (also happens to be on a particularly charming street). I have even more favorite bakeries but they’ll be saved for my Paris, Perfected clients!