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Brunch in Paris


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I heard that Sunday brunches are becoming more popular now in Paris. We'll be there for a Sunday in Jan. Any somptuous or interesting Sunday brunch suggestions from recent visitors? I am guessing they'll be hotels mostly.

Thanks.

"I hate people who are not serious about their meals." Oscar Wilde

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It's been my experience that a top hotel breakfast buffet is the equivalent of a brunch any day of the week. There's often a lavish array of breads, pastries, cakes, ham, patés, and other cold cuts, cheese, yogurt, cereal, eggs, sausages, juices, coffee, tea, etc.

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We had "brunch" several years ago at the Meridian Hotel and listened to Claude Bolling's jazz band -- arrived about 11am and stayed for at least 4 hours. The food was excellent and the music outstanding, truly a memorable experience. Get your concierge to see if something like that is available during your stay in Paris -- it definitely was on a Sunday.

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When I was in Paris in September, I had a fantastic dinner at Le Pre Catelan in the Bois de Bologne. I understand that they do a pretty extavegant Sunday brunch there as well, I think Patricia Wells talks about it in her book. Frankly, I can't imagine a better setting for an elegant brunch.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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  • 1 year later...

I don't remember seeing any threads about favorite spots for brunch in Paris, so I thought I'd start one.

A friend and I made plans for brunch this weekend and decided on the Pause Café on rue Charonne because I heard they had a pretty good brunch. Unfortunately, I have to say it wasn't all that great. The service was dreadful (pleasant enough, but only two servers who were completely overwhelmed and let us sit for an eternity), and the food mediocre at best, plus it wasn't all that cheap. It's a shame really, because it's a great cafe, especially in the summer when you can sit out on the terrace.

Does anyone have any spots they can recommend?

Edited by Felice (log)

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I just recently read elsewhere that the Café Jacquemart-André serves Sunday brunch. No idea how the food is, but it certainly would be a nice setting.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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It will be interesting for me to see how many places are serving brunch in France. I don't see brunch as a French thing. Maybe it was a minor trend that started a decade or so ago. But the concept doesn't fit the way we eat. Almost nothing for breakfast, a simple lunch and a big, late dinner. After being married to a Korean-American woman for 8 years, I find myself still negotiating when dinner time will be. I want to start at 8:00- 8:30 sometimes later, she wants to start around 7:00.

Anyway, I can't imagine that the places serving brunch would offer a big spread comparable to what I've seen in America.

So where and what for brunch in Paris? :biggrin:

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Actually, brunch has become really popular in Paris and many places serve it on Sundays. The food is almost always the same with slight variations. Often you will get: a small bit of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, some sort of salad that varies from place to place, and maybe sausage. Juice, coffee and pastries are normally included and the prices are around 18- 20€. I've actually been to several, but never thought any place was that great. I like Coffee Parisien in the 6th for the eggs Benedict though.

And when I went to Alcazar a ten-minute massage was included in the price….

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Indeed brunch is popular now in Paris, especially in certain areas. There's a good concentration of brunch places in the 11e (Charonne, Oberkampf, canal Saint-Martin) and in the Marais (3e, 4e). It fits the nightlife scene and the crowd of late risers on weekends.

I have good memories of the brunch at Café Charbon (rue Oberkampf, wonderful setting) and au 404 (Momo's Parisian restaurant, opened before he became big in London). There are many more.

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Actually, brunch has become really popular in Paris and many places serve it on Sundays.  The food is almost always the same with slight variations.  Often you will get:  a small bit of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, some sort of salad that varies from place to place, and maybe sausage.  Juice, coffee and pastries are normally included and the prices are around 18- 20€.  I've actually been to several, but never thought any place was that great.  I like Coffee Parisien in the 6th for the eggs Benedict though.

And when I went to Alcazar a ten-minute massage was included in the price….

As usual, I take the curmudgeonly position; I hate brunch and when making reservations for Sunday lunch always ask if there is only a brunch menu or they serve other things too. Once we ate at L'Appart in the 8th on Sunday (it's a dead ringer imitiation of those restos on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that were so popular in the 1960's and '70's, with books all around in a "homey" atmosphere) and we had the regular menu (very disappointing) and if I had been in the US I might have been tempted by the brunch, it did look good, all French customers eating all American food; bizarre, bizarre. Excuse me for being contentious, but why go to or live in Paris to eat American? It's a bit like the puzzling popularity of the American restaurants at the US Embassy, when their French resto is so much better and authentic.

Finally, there was a "brunch" Dossier in Figaroscope a while back but I'm unable to find it.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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if I had been in the US I might have been tempted by the brunch, it did look good, all French customers eating all American food; bizarre, bizarre.  Excuse me for being contentious, but why go to or live in Paris to eat American?  It's a bit like the puzzling popularity of the American restaurants at the US Embassy, when their French resto is so much better and authentic.

I understand your point entirely and certainly would have agreed before moving to France. However, I haven't been back to the US for a few years, so I definitely crave things from home every now and then.

I have a friend who works at the Embassy and she says that some people actually do their food shopping at a base in Germany that has all sorts of US products--Butterball turkies, Kraft cheese, etc--that I will agree is VERY bizarre.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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To sort of echo what has been already stated, brunch on sundays is almost becoming a parisian institution amongst certain circles, to the point that it has even become part of the parisan lingo "aller bruncher". I remember seeing the first brunch menus appear in the early 90s in Paris. I do not know if it is as popular or even exists "en province" though.

As Ptipois pointed out, there are a number of spots in the Marais district that offer pretty good brunches, one particularly that is located not too far from "L'as du Falafel" on Rue des Rosiers. It's name escapes me though..

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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all French customers eating all American food; bizarre, bizarre.  Excuse me for being contentious, but why go to or live in Paris to eat American? 

Not quite American food everywhere, some places have developed a more "frenchified" version of brunch by offering all sorts of petits pains with butter and jam, viennoiseries, charcuteries, saumon fumé, yogurt, cereals or fresh fruits. Although it remains American in concept, i would say that in some Parisian cafés or salons de thé, brunch is developing its own French identity. :smile:

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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I know it's been in the mode for quite some time as I mentioned. I said about a decade, could be longer. I hate brunch. Too much food at the wrong hour for me. I suppose you find what you're looking for, my wife and I don't recall it being as common in France as it is in Los Angeles for instance. (There's a thread in the California forum regarding finding a place on a Saturday or Sunday that doesn't serve brunch and here we're looking for places that do)

Not quite American food everywhere, some places have developed a more "frenchified" version of brunch by offering all sorts of petits pains with butter and jam, viennoiseries, charcuteries, saumon fumé, yogurt, cereals or fresh fruits. Although it remains American in concept, i would say that in some Parisian cafés or salons de thé, brunch is developing its own French identity.

Sounds a bit like what you might get a hotel as part of a breakfast spread in France. I don't recall all the details of exactly what is served but it's along those lines. I saw pastries, butter, confiture, ham, fruit, yoghurt, etc...

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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We stopped in at the Hotel Lutece last Saturday and there was a lovely, fancy brunch in the offing for Sunday. Pricey and extensive, I think it was 39 euros but not sure.

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Sounds a bit like what you might get a hotel as part of a breakfast spread in France. I don't recall all the details of exactly what is served but it's along those lines. I saw pastries, butter, confiture, ham, fruit, yoghurt, etc...

That's right, a sort of hotel style "ptit dej" at noon instead of 8am. :raz:

Do you know if brunch is common outside of Paris or is it a Parisian thing?

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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I have heard excellent reports about the Sunday brunch at Les Ambassadeurs and intend on trying it while we are in Paris this Spring. A quality Sunday brunch in a beautiful setting has always held a certain sybaritic charm for me. I love lazily strolling by the carving stations, selecting from a large selection of delectable pastries, and being served champagne in Baccarat flutes. I think the opulence of the Crillon dining room would be an ideal setting for this type of experience. But then again I am an unrepentant bourgeois glutton.

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To sort of echo what has been already stated, brunch on sundays is almost becoming a parisian institution amongst certain circles, to the point that it has even become part of the parisan lingo "aller bruncher".  I remember seeing the first brunch menus appear in the early 90s in Paris.  I do not know if it is as popular or even exists "en province" though. 

As Ptipois pointed out, there are a number of spots in the Marais district that offer pretty good brunches, one particularly that is located not too far from "L'as du Falafel" on Rue des Rosiers. It's name escapes me though..

Indeed. If you go to cityvox.com and do a search for brunch in Paris, you will get more than 300 results! Perhaps this is the place in the Marais to which you were referring? Le Loir dans la Théière 3, Rue des Rosiers

Try reading Tony Bourdain's description of your typical brunch in American restaurants and you may never eat one again! In fact, the last time I went to brunch, there was the ubiquitous hollandaise, the soggy bacon, etc.

What I love about Europe are the long, lazy Sunday lunches!

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Sounds a bit like what you might get a hotel as part of a breakfast spread in France. I don't recall all the details of exactly what is served but it's along those lines. I saw pastries, butter, confiture, ham, fruit, yoghurt, etc...

That's right, a sort of hotel style "ptit dej" at noon instead of 8am. :raz:

Do you know if brunch is common outside of Paris or is it a Parisian thing?

I have no idea. I just never looked for it. It can probably be found in more cosmolitan or touristy areas. Probably not in the Beaujolais. It doesn't fit the way we typically consume food throughout the day. I've been known to start hitting the wine on weekends before noon, but never a huge plate of food. :raz:

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Le Loir dans la Théière 3, Rue des Rosiers

Not sure but that may be the one

What I love about Europe are the long, lazy Sunday lunches!

Yes, a good example of Parisian "joie de vivre", a loooong brunch "en terrasse" under the first rays of warm sunshine in May. How I miss it so much..

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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A friend of mine (French, parents from Martinique) was coming over around dinner time to pick something up. My wife insisted he stay for dinner to which he replied, "I don't have the time, I only have 2 1/2 hours." Because the last time he was over we didn't move from the table for over 4 hours. Course after course, drinking wine, talking...

a loooong brunch "en terrasse"

Non, non looooooooong LUNCH. :raz: We had an afternoon grill after soccer with the French team I play on, on a Saturday. Another 4-5 hours at the table! It started at 1:00 and even at 6:00 the host was asking me stay for one more glass.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I don't like brunch in the US, and we have some "good" ones where I live. Talk about an invitation to eat too much. I'm not about to search them out in Paris during my trips of a week or two there when there are so many places and so little time. To each his own though. :cool:

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I work at Les Ambassadeurs. Not usually during brunch - but I will be this Sunday - filling in for someone. It is by all accounts excellent. It's a lavish buffet spread - including including the eggs, etc. - but also pata negra jamon. We also serve just about every flavour of Christine Ferber confitures. I'll get the precise menu this weekend.

I have heard excellent reports about the Sunday brunch at Les Ambassadeurs and intend on trying it while we are in Paris this Spring. A quality Sunday brunch in a beautiful setting has always held a certain sybaritic charm for me. I love lazily strolling by the carving stations, selecting from a large selection of delectable pastries, and being served champagne in Baccarat flutes. I think the opulence of the Crillon dining room would be an ideal setting for this type of experience. But then again I am an unrepentant bourgeois glutton.

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