Live Like a Local: Breakfast and Brunch in Paris

Opened in 2013, Hollybelly has become a neighborhood institution in a short period of time.

Most Parisians either have a light breakfast of a croissant or tartine with butter and jam along with coffee or no breakfast at all. In fact omelets are ordered at lunchtime or even for a light dinner.

In recent years a spate of new cafes in Paris have opened serving American style breakfast and weekend brunch catering to Parisian hipsters and Millennials.

Here are some of our top picks.

Breakfast in America

When American expat Craig Carlson moved to Paris, one of the things he missed most about the U.S. was his American breakfast. Not able to survive on just croissants first thing in the morning, he decided the only way to fill his hearty breakfast craving was to open his own American style diner in 2003.

Fast forward to 2017, Breakfast in America is a runaway success with three locations, the Latin Quarter, the Marais and the Grand Boulevards area with waits up to 45 minutes on the weekend. Pancakes with toppings of bacon, blueberries, chocolate chips and bananas, French toast, breakfast burrito, cheese, western, mushroom and Swiss omelets and New York City bagel and lox are just some of the enticing dishes. Besides serving breakfast all day, Breakfast in America also offers a full hamburger menu, including chicken, veggie and fish burgers, along with Bacon Cheese, Chili con Carne, and classic beef burgers.

The interiors of the restaurants have the feel of American diners with red vinyl booths and bar stools, toasters on the tables and plastic ketchup and mustard dispensers.

Craig Carlson wrote a bestselling book in 2016, Pancakes in Paris, about the trials and tribulations he went through to open his first Breakfast in America.

B.I.A. 1

17 rue des Ecoles, 75005

B.I.A. 2

4 rue Mahler, 75004

B.I.A. 3

41 rue des Jeuneurs, 75002


Opening in 2013 in the trendy Canal Saint Martin area, Hollybelly has become a neighborhood institution in a short period of time. The owners of Hollybelly, expats Sarah and Nicolas, have a simple philosophy about their café, which has paid off handsomely, judging by the crowds: Good food, good coffee and good service in a consistent fashion.

Known for their all day breakfast menu, the menu changes monthly, supporting seasonal availability of ingredients. Last month some of the specialties included black rice porridge, pancakes topped with eggs served with home made butter and maple syrup, and artisanal bread from Du Pain et Des Idées. Eggs any style are served with house made home fries, baked beans, or sausage. A cup of java is supreme at Hollybelly and serious coffee aficionados are treated to beans from the Belleville Brulerie.

Menus are in English and the staff also speaks English, a plus for visitors who don’t speak French.

19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010


A more formal setting for breakfast is Laduree, the famed macaron house.

The original Laduree bakery was opened in 1862 by Louis Ernest Ladurée. His wife came up with the idea of a day time salon for women to meet freely, since women were not allowed to go out in public unescorted during the early 1900s. The first tearoom of Paris was born in 1930 with beautiful Italian style hand-painted ceiling frescoes, plush carpeting and velvet chairs. Laduree’s grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, invented a new style macaron, by taking two macaron shells and putting a ganache filling inside, thus inventing the super popular modern day delicacy.

Today the elegant tearoom serves a full breakfast including eggs with caviar and soft-boiled eggs with Scottish smoked salmon, avocado and toast. On the weekends Laduree offers a superb brunch of a breadbasket with homemade butter and jams, French toast, granola and yogurt, fried eggs, a selection of cheeses and fruit salad with two macarons.

18 Rue Royale, 75008