The dining room at Claus
The dining room at Claus

Café de Flore

A whirl of art deco fittings, bow-tie service, outstanding omelettes and really good pains au chocolat, this is the breakfast you want to remember having on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. It was here that Sartre wrote his famous line: “Man is condemned to be free.” You’ll still glimpse the odd notebook – though the café is now a magnet for everyone from literary tourists to fashion industry power brokers.

172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, +33 1 45 48 55 26,

Café Crème

“Brunch” for me should not mean anything more complicated than “late breakfast”. But in Paris the rules are less than clear. Sometimes you will be given only lunch foods – served over multiple courses. At artfully battered Café Crème, these courses are impeccable. It’s all of the breakfasts and none of the decisions. You get pastries, then a Parisian fry-up (includes a green salad) followed by a pancake finale.

4 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003 Paris, +33 1 42 72 04 06


Set up by a German expat, Claus bills itself as an épicerie du petit-déjeuner, a “breakfast grocery”. The shop, which sells artisan mueslis and homemade jams, is serene to the point of feeling a bit like the chapel in a sci-fi novel about a breakfast-worshipping civilisation. In the dining room, the scrambled eggs are celestially creamy and the coffee is, for Paris, unusually decent.

14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris, +33 1 42 33 55 10,

Eggs & Co

One of the greatest French gifts to egg-based cooking is oeufs en cocotte: eggs baked in ramekins, with cream and tasty morsels. Eggs & Co does them brilliantly, and it also does good things with scrambled, fried, boiled, omelettes, eggs Florentine and so on. It’s packed at the weekends, so reserve or go on a weekday.

11 Rue Bernard Palissy, 75006 Paris, +33 1 45 44 02 52,

La Pâtisserie by Cyril Lignac

Some of Paris’s most superior breakfasts are assembled at a corner patisserie. Cyril Lignac is a Michelin-starred chef and the stellar viennoiserie here is courtesy of pastry chef Benoit Couvrand. You’d be a fool not to order his version of the Breton pastry, kouign amann; there is also a range of éclairs to test your willpower. Lignac’s restaurant, Le Chardenoux, is a few steps away.

24 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris, +33 1 43 72 74 88,

Seb Emina is co-author of ‘The Breakfast Bible’ (Bloomsbury)

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