Eating brunch in Paris is no longer a novelty. Discover ten great places where you can eat Parisian spins on pancakes and waffles before you visit the Louvre or ascend the Eiffel Tower. Some Paris brunch spots serve flaky croissants and specialty coffee too!
Gone are the days when every single morning in Paris started with a croissant and a cup of coffee. Parisians have joined the international brunch wave. Or as they say in France – le brunch.
Eating brunch in Paris may seem counterintuitive considering all of the boulangeries that sell croissants and other freshly baked pastries. However, in recent years, the brunch concept has wiggled its way into the city’s dining landscape.
In fact, It’s now difficult to miss chalkboard signs advertising waffles and avocado toast while walking in any Parisian arrondissement.
Where to Eat Brunch In Paris
We first noticed brunch being a thing in Paris in 2019. Immediately intrigued, we joined the burgeoning brunch bandwagon a few times that year. Fast forward to the present and brunch in Paris is now impossible to miss. And, since we’re talking about one of the world’s most gastronomic cities, brunch in Paris is also impossible to resist.
Our personal quest to find the best Paris brunch spots has taken us to classic restaurants and trendy cafés in arrondissements on both sides of the Seine. Some of our favorites specialize in global brunch fare while others stay true to their French roots. A few even serve specialty coffee.
These are our our picks for the best places to eat brunch in Paris:
1. Bontemps – Sunday Brunch In A Secret Urban Garden
Brunch at Bontemps isn’t expensive but little touches make the meal feel special yet relaxed – perfect for spending a leisurely afternoon in Paris. These touches which include antique china, an ivy lined courtyard and wrought iron garden chairs attract a mostly local clientele.
This Parisian brunch experience starts when you step through an archway into a gorgeous art-nouveau courtyard. For those who arrive in town on a Sunday, this urban garden is a perfect first stop in the city of light and may even provide a temporary cure for jet lag.
Bontemps’ outdoor space is great but the croissants in its bread basket are even better. Although these croissants don’t have thousands of layers or fancy fillings as seems to the current trend, they’re wonderfully executed with a crunchy caramel brown layered exterior that opens to an airy yet even web of pastry. While great croissants are easy to find in Paris, Bontemps’ version is one of our favorites.
Beyond its bread baskets, Bontemps’ brunch menu features a range of courses that include scrambled eggs with jambon blanc, stewed lamb over toast with poached eggs and mini bellota ham sandwiches. While none of those dishes was remarkable during our meal, we absolutely loved the immersive communal experience.
It’s no surprise that both seatings seatings fill up each Sunday. Then again, it’s possible that some people come more for the cafe’s wonderful pastries and desserts than for the experience.
Typically, we share desserts in Paris. This wasn’t the case at Bontemps since our brunch for two came with two sweet treats. Not eating one simply was not an option.
While our favorite was a simple plate of vanilla bean flecked Chantilly served with seasonal strawberries and a textbook madeleine, we liked the lemony Tarte Marguerite enough to eat every bite. Afterwards, we couldn’t resist peering at the pastry case filled with even more temptations.
Book your Sunday brunch in Paris as soon as you know your schedule. Current brunch times are 11:45 and 1:45.
Bontemps is located at 57 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France.
2. Mokonuts – Global Brunch In The 11th Arrondissement
Moko Hirayama and Omar Koreitem brought years of culinary experience to the table (or in this case, a dozen or so tables) when they opened Mokonuts. The multi-national power couple incorporated Middle Eastern and Asian influences into the Mokonuts menu and the result is pure Paris.
Mokonuts epitomizes the food scene in modern Paris. Neither expensive nor fancy, the tiny cafe/bakery serves an international menu filled with eclectic ingredients which are as local as they are exotic.
Mokonuts is so popular that advance lunch reservations are an absolute must. However, spontaneous diners can show up for brunch on a whim since morning diners are served on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fitting into the spontaneous category, we visited Mokonuts early and were easily able to find a table in the sparsely decorated dining room. Finding a spot to stash our luggage was more challenging. As noted above, the Mokonuts space is tiny.
During this Paris brunch, we shared a tomato tartine slathered with tangy labné and a sourdough waffle topped with eggs, chorizo and spinach. Since both dishes were savory, we ended our meal with an ooey-gooey cookie fresh out of the oven.
We chatted with Hirayama as we descended into a za’atar-induced state of bliss. Impressively, the talented, multi-tasking chef found time to discuss travel and mid-life career changes while baking cookies in Mokonuts’ open kitchen.
3. Holy Belly – Hipster Brunch In The 10th Arrondissement
It’s not hyperbole to call Holybelly an OG Paris brunch spot. The hipster hangout opened in 2013, well before Paris joined the global brunch wave, and temporarily spawned a second location on the same block. Though that second location is now closed, the original space stays busy all day every day with a menu that features three of our favorite things – brunch dishes, desserts and specialty coffee.
During our brunch time visit, it didn’t take long for us to recognize that Holybelly serves some of the best pancakes we’ve eaten outside of America. Daryl is convinced the cafe stole the recipe from his former (now closed) favorite brunch spot in Philadelphia. However, to be clear, Holybelly doesn’t just serve one kind of pancake.
Pancake purists can opt for a stack of plain pancakes served with “good butter” and organic maple syrup. And, while that simple stack is surely good, we went a different route by ordering two different stacks – one savory and one sweet
Holybelly calls its savory stack a star and we don’t disagree. Topped with fried eggs, bacon, bacon salt, bourbon butter and maple butter, it’s a veritable party on the plate. And, while some people add sautéed mushrooms in a feeble attempt to make the dish healthy, we added homemade hot sauce instead.
Holybelly’s sweet stack may not achieve star status but it’s still popular thanks to toppings that include seasonal fruit, roasted hazelnuts, whipped cream and organic maple syrup. And, in case you’re wondering, we didn’t add any hot sauce to this stack.
Both locals and tourists queue to eat brunch at Holybelly every day of the week. But food isn’t the only thing worth waiting in line for at Holybelly…
While Holybelly doesn’t roast its own beans, it sources coffee from quality roasters like the local Brulerie Belleville and Denmark’s April Coffee Roasters. During our visit, we drank excellent flat whites crafted with Ethiopian beans sourced from the iconic Berlin coffee roaster The Barn. Next time, we’ll probably order at least one of the cafe’s signature epsresso tonics.
4. Sunday in Soho – Classic Paris Brunch Spot In the 2nd Arrondissement
Whether you (or we) like it or not, there’s a growing market for cafes like this all over Europe. However, unlike in other cities, Paris’ dedicated culinarians totally get it.
We spotted the restaurant’s delectable looking cinnamon rolls the minute we walked through the door. The cinnamon spiraled beauties, generously topped with a creamy glaze, looked more like something from a Denver diner than a Paris cafe. We immediately ordered one, later learning that it’s the cafe’s signature pastry.
Discover more great cinnamon buns around the world.
We then focused on menu items like avocado toast, Greek yogurt and the kind of pancakes that should be a model for any European restaurant attempting to serve an American style brunch in Europe. You guessed it – we ordered pancakes too.
A typical American would think that pancakes are a no brainer but they would be wrong. We’ve tasted all conglomerations of European brunch pancake disasters from pancakes with the syrup inside (gasp) to red velvet pancakes (blechh!!). Sunday in Soho’s owners, Isabelle Cote and Alieu Terry, spent a decade in the states and have attempted to bring the kind of brunch experience they enjoyed when they lived in NYC.
Sunday in Soho’s pancakes are as good as any American pancakes we’ve eaten in Europe and better than most. They’re golden brown, buttery and fluffy. And they’re served properly – with a bottle of maple syrup on the side and with a pretty arrangement of sliced apples, bananas, strawberries and blueberries on top. A piped dollop of chantilly accompanies the hot stack since this is Paris after all.
Sunday in Soho also serves solid sandwiches like its ‘southern belle’ fried chicken sandwich that’s topped with a sunny side up egg on a brioche roll. There’s also a full service bakery where we couldn’t help but notice red velvet confections among the baked items on display. We’re pleased to report that they were in the bakery area where they belong.
Upgrade your brunch to include unlimited mimosas if you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply because you can.
Sunday in Soho is located at 7 Rue Saint-Marc, 75002 Paris, France.
5. Echo – California Cuisine In The 2nd Arrondissement
Our initial impetus for visiting Echo was to drink specialty coffee near our near our 2nd arrondissement hotel. However, after chatting with friendly staff and perusing Echo’s menu, our return to the sun-drenched space was inevitable.
Originally opened by Mailea Weger, a chef with California roots, Echo serves big salads, smash burgers and smoothies. It’s the kind of American food we take for granted when we’re in the states and what we crave when we’re in Europe.
Knowing that we were traveling to Burgundy for a barge cruise in mere hours after our Echo brunch, we ordered enough food to fuel us through the day. Tamarind iced tea and a chocolate chip cookie completed our midday meal.
The carrot salsa roja chilaquiles with a mishmash of ingredients like queso fresco, pickled chilis, fennel and carrot coleslaw was a highlight of our meal. We were equally satisfied by a turkey sandwich flavored with preserved lemons, honey, mayonnaise, apple butter and pickled dijon.
Don’t skip Echo if you have dietary limitations. Keeping with its California theme, Echo’s menu includes Gluten Free and Dairy Free dishes.
Echo is located at 95 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris, France.
6. Buvette Gastrotéque – Wine Bar And Brunch In The 9th Arrondissement
With a name that translates to gastro refreshment bar, Buvette Gastrotéque operates as a Parisian wine bar at night. During our initial evening visit, we sipped wine and nibbled on bone marrow at an intimate table in the back.
But a wine bar is just one aspect of Buvette Gastrotéque. Considering that the original Buvette is located in New York City, a city where brunch is a weekly event, it’s no surprise that brunch the other aspect.
Our second visit was an entirely different experience. Well-lit and bustling with ex-pats, it was more about dishes like the restaurant’s signature waffle sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese, ideal for those looking to post their meal on Instagram.
We enjoyed our Buvette Gastrotéque brunch and recommend the spot if you’re staying in the Pigalle neighborhood whether you’re an Instagram influencer or not. We also recommend arriving early since the popular spot doesn’t take brunch reservations.
7. Café Mericourt – Brunch And Coffee In Oberkampf
More than a simple coffee shop, Cafe Méricourt’s menu features a variety of dishes including shakshuka and green eggs with feta. More importantly (at least to us), this spacious Paris cafe serves specialty coffee sourced from a rotating array of guest roasters plus tea from Kodama.
We returned to Café Méricourt a few years after our initial brunch and found the Oberkampf cafe to be even more popular that it was during our first visit. Accordingly, you’ll want to snag an early morning reservation if you go for brunch on the weekend. Otherwise, be prepared to wait for a table.
Ramp up your brunch with wine, cider or craft beer. Better yet, ramp it all the way up with a bloody mericourt or merimosa cocktail.
Café Méricourt is located at 22 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris, France.
8. Le Train Bleu – Famous Paris Restaurant Inside The Gare de Lyon
Le Train Bleu is an epic restaurant that has to be seen to be believed. Travelers with an urge to splurge could and should plan to eat a proper meal here. The rest of us can live the dream while eating brunch instead.
To be clear, Le Train Bleu doesn’t technically serve brunch. However, it’s still worth starting the day at the famous Paris restaurant located inside the Gare de Lyon train station.
Le Train Bleu, originally built for the 1900 Paris Exposition along with the Gare de Lyon, transports diners to the Belle Epoque with its intricate relief sculptures, humanist paintings and mirrors that enhance the ‘wow’ effect. Just passing through the ornate art-nouveau room is a thrill. Eating at the iconic restaurant is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We can’t give the same kudos to our breakfast since our omelette was cooked with a surprising degree of brown. (We were taught that the French don’t brown their omelettes, which is how we prepare omelettes at home.) That being said, the exquisite experience of dining at Le Train Bleu outweighed any disappointment we may have experienced with the food.
Another option is to pre-game your train ride with bread service and coffee at Le Train Bleu. At the time of our visit, bread service that included fruit confiture and Normandy butter was priced at 7.50€. As always, prices are subject to change at any time.
Le Train Bleu is located at Place Louis-Armand, 75012 Paris, France.
9. Benoit Castel – Patisserie, Boulangerie and Brunch
You might not think about brunch when you think about Benoît Castel.
The acclaimed pastry chef started baking when he was a child in Brittany. After moving to Paris, he helmed the pastry laboratory at La Grande Épicerie for eight years starting in 2004. He later opened a bakery called Liberté (now a chain with multiple Paris locations) and currently operates a small pâtisserie near Place de la République plus two cafes in the 20th arrondissement.
Brunch at Castel’s Menilmontant cafe is a grand all-you-can-eat weekend affair that features his famous pastries and baguettes as well as quiche, pizza, roast chicken, salads, cheese and more. With two seatings on Saturdays and Sundays only, reservations are a must for those who want to experience this opulent Paris brunch buffet.
His Sorbier cafe offers a more casual brunch experience five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday. It’s a great option for those who want a plated meal featuring dishes like pancakes, french toast and porridge.
We went even more casual by ordering ‘Le Breakfast’ which featured a miniature baguette, a pain au raisins, butter, jam, coffee and orange juice. It should go without saying that we ordered a pastry for dessert.
Choosing just one pastry was a challenge. Flipping a coin, we chose a Pavlova which turned out to be a delightful bauble featuring meringue dollops, tart lemon curd and white chocolate bits. It was a good choice.
Another Benoît Castel option is to order brunch. You’ll get pancakes, yogurt, fruit compote, granola and fresh juice whether you pick up the brunch or have it delivered.
Benoît Castel has multiple Paris locations. We visited the cafe located at 11 Rue Sorbier, 75020 Paris, France.
10. La Fontaine – Belleville Breakfast Spot
La Fontaine looks like a typical Paris cafe with its retro decor featuring floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls, a grand zinc horseshoe bar and textured rattan chairs. It’s the kind of cafe you’d expect to see in a movie but, as it turns out, La Fontaine is located in Paris’s edgy Belleville neighborhood.
We first discovered the cafe in 2019 when it was owned by David Flynn and Thomas Lehoux, the duo behind the Parisian roaster Brûlerie de Belleville. Back then, the cafe, which was called La Fontaine de Belleville, had a robust specialty coffee program and an eclectic food menu.
Today, the cafe is called La Fontaine and its coffee program is more basic. Food has taken a more leading role, especially on Sundays when its ‘inevitable’ brunch is all the rage.
The cafe serves breakfast items like pastries, fruit salad, tartines and hard boiled eggs on the other six days of the week. While La Fontaine isn’t destination dining, it’s a fine morning spot if your’e staying in or near Belleville.
Breakfast service starts early if you’re looking for a quick bite before a full day of Paris food tripping.
La Fontaine is located at 31-33 Rue Juliette Dodu, 75010 Paris, France.
Additional Brunch Spots In Paris
Finding brunch in Paris is no longer a challenge. Here are some additional spots where you can eat in your quest for pancakes and waffles:
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Brunch has become popular a popular meal every day in Paris but especially during the weekend.
Typical brunches in Paris run the gamut from American brunch classics like pancakes and waffles to dishes more typically eaten in France.
Brunch is available every day of the week in Paris. Weekends tend to be busier which could be a good or bad thing based on your brunch goals and sightseeing plans.
Most Parisians pair brunch with coffee, tea or cocktails.
No. Expect to spend approximately 20€ when you eat brunch in Paris though some brunch spots are more expensive. Ordering a cocktail or two will increase this approximate amount.
No. Tipping is optional in France.
About The Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.
Original Publication Date: August 20, 2023