No trip to Paris feels complete to me without a stop at Breizh Cafe, an authentic Bretagne-style creperie in the Marais. I made sure to point Amy toward it’s glowing windows and overflowing plates, and a little something sparkling, naturally. Here’s why it should be on your to-do list, too. ~Maggie
Maggie’s first recommendation for Paris? She didn’t hesitate, not even a second, before insisting I try a crepe and a glass of champagne at Breizh Cafe. It was an excellent idea (though I had cider instead of champagne), and one of the more memorable dining experiences I’ve had in the City of Light.
The restaurant was buzzing when I arrived on a week day night, but that’s to be expected – there is rarely a slow moment. Breizh Cafe resides in the rare class of Parisian restaurants that are open for service all day, and their careful, authentic Brittany approach to crepes and lovely service have made the restaurant quite popular, with locals and visitors alike. Add to that more than reasonable prices (I ordered three courses and a drink, and still struggled to spend more than 25 euros) and filling food, and you can understand why a reservation is a must. Call the day before (in the morning, which is when they take reservations), and you should have no issue.
At Breizh Cafe crepes are irrevocably the star. The American crepe is a sweet, sugary thing, rolled up into a log and dusted with sugar. French crepes are another beast entirely, and can refer to both a) a dessert wheat-flour crepe, smeared with delicious fillings and often topped with a healthy dose of Chantilly creme, as well as b) a savory main course buckwheat flour crepe called a galette, which has it’s roots in the Bretagne, or Brittany, region of France, also known as Breizh in the local language of Breton.
My dining partner in crime and I were immediately captivated by the savory specialty galettes. From the Provencale, a galette filled with egg, regional cheese, confit onion, ham, and anchovies, to a vegetarian option filled with freshly sauteed vegetables, to the daily specials written out on a posted blackboard, the question is not what to choose, but how to choose just one. For the purist, there is always the classic Jambon et Fromage, or ham and cheese.
Luckily, anything you order will be delicious, as the base of each galette – the buttery buckwheat crepe – has been perfected. We settled on a Provencale and a Jambon et Fromage, both of which came on enormous plates, still hot from the crepe griddle.
The buckwheat flour has a flavor all it’s own, earthy and nutty, and is not rolled, but folded into a square, the filling ingredients peeking through as though nestled within an envelope. It pairs well with everything – goat cheese, lardons (french bacon), wilted spinach… I did my best to eat slowly and savor each bite, but it was a struggle. Paired with a bowl of Brittany cider and a side salad, it was more than enough food, yet we both cleaned our plates. And that was before dessert!
The dessert crepe menu will satisfy any sweet tooth, with options as elaborate and extensive as the main course. There are the simpler ones with a single filling, but skipping the house whipped cream and a healthy scoop of ice cream would frankly, be a bit of a crime.
We shared one with chocolate and cream, and another filled with a homemade apple compote. The dessert crepes are just as large as main course galettes (and can be made with buckwheat flour for the gluten-free!), so come ravenously hungry if you’re able. You won’t want to leave anything behind.
I can see now why Breizh Cafe has a special place in Maggie’s heart – because it has one in mine, too! For a relaxed meal enjoying several courses of a French specialty that won’t break the bank, this restaurant takes top marks. For more information and reservations, visit their website.
Breizh Cafe is located in the Marais, on 111 rue vieille du Temple.
Photos taken by Amy Feiereisel and appear courtesy of Breizh Cafe.
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