Paris isn’t just about the Crossaints
When asked, “what do you look for in a country?” (in terms of determining factors of WHY i’d like that country), I couldn’t put my finger on it.
It would just be the feeling i’d get as people interacted with me, or how safe i’d feel on the streets, and how the infrastructure was maintained that would make or break a city for me.
So FIRST OFF, let me clarify that FOOD, whilst important, is just a minor determinant to me. While I seem to be posting a ton of food, I only seek out instagrammable cafés when i’m with a bunch of other people. Left to my own devices i’d do easy takeaways or cook at home.
That being said, i LOVE spending time with people over a good cuppa in beautiful locations. Why not hit a few cafés while I do?
We stayed in a little apartment by My Maison in the 2nd Arrondisment along Rue St. Denis. And just our luck that most of these cafés were located within a 10-15minute walking distance of our apartment!
Okay, well not this one. Hardware Société is located near the Sacré Coeur, and our stopover when we went over to sightsee.
With another branch in Melbourne, it is no wonder the Australian-inspired menu is homey and almost familiar.
Hardware Société was quite possibly our FAVOURITE brunch place. While the walk up the hill was pretty long, it was totally worth it.
The service was top notch, with a friendly server attending to all the customers despite the never-ending flow of patrons.
Even with a small kitchen crew, the menu section was sufficiently extensive without being overwhelming. Also, did I mention the cheesecake? It was TO DIE FOR. With a thick speculoos crust as the base, its already won my heart 😍
📍The Hardware Société Paris, 10 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris, France
This café seems to be Turkish/Middle-Eastern inspired, with its decor and menu selection. What’s not to love about foods with eggs and cheese everywhereeeee~
We had the shakshuka with crumbled feta and mushroom topped with a burrata. The other dish was a typical breakfast with halloumi and avocado.
The shakshuka was well-seasoned and the feta cheese gave it a good bite. The burrata however, was under seasoned and didn’t do justice to the bed of mushrooms below.
Oh, we had a cookie too. Buttery with a soft-chewy center, the matcha/sesame combi was on point.
I would go back for the ambience and the COOKIE but overall the food was simply instagrammable. Either that or they just had a bad day with the ingredients.
📍5 Pailles, 79 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris, France
Found around our area as well, this cafe has a seemingly small store front, but we were led to their basement where there were more seats and where we could take shelter from the rain.
The interior of the basement was decorated like a cave with a large table down the center and bar stools against the wall.
There were practically 4 things on their menu for food: croissants, a breakfast sandwich, granola, and avocado toast (you can check their instagram out for these items).
They had one of the best crossaints we’ve had during the trip and had to stop ourselves from ordering a second.
I LOVED the avocado toast which sported crumbled feta and almond flakes atop. The avocado was well-seasoned with just enough acid, and the bread never got soggy even with that much on top.
And hey, the coffee was really good too.
📍Matamata Coffee, 58 Rue d'Argout, 75002 Paris, France
Brunch on the last day and we took a shot at the famous Holybelly Café. They had two restaurants within a stone‘s throw of one another so this was really a shot in the dark.
The place opened at 9am and we sauntered in after a short wait at 10am. By the time we left the streets were teaming with people waiting to get in.
Again another Melbourne-inspired café (the Aussies must be proud), with friendly staff and great food.
We went for two items off their special menu, a Beef Chilli Con Carne on Basmati Rice and Pumpkin Spice Pancakes. Plus a Black Rice Porridge off the breakfast menu which was reminiscent of Pulut Hitam in the Singapore context.
We ordered both the filtered coffee and the Americano. Both were really good. The filtered coffee wasn’t too strong and could probably be steeped a little longer and slower — maybe deliberate? Considering that it was served in a much larger mug than the stronger Americano.
After our Belgian Pancake stack in Brussels’ Cremé (post coming soon!) we expected a stickier consistency on our Pumpkin Pancakes but these were well-done. Just moist enough with each individual pancake holding a distinct fragrance without being too sweet. Order any pancake off their menu and I’m sure that you will love it.
📍Holybelly 5, 5 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris, France
A surprise find at the end of our trip always gets us. This cafe had amazing baguette toasts (surprise surprise with a name like that? they better be serving good baguettes), and the BEST QUICHE EVER.
Encased within a buttery pastry was a custardy pool of egg, cheese, mushrooms, onion, and bacon.
I would love to recreate this if I could. Just not in the near future as I need to cleanse myself from the amazing pastries from this trip.
The food came within a Mexican Lemonade that was a real eye-opener (literally). Mint and lime were blended into a soda that made for a great pick-me-up.
I didn’t have their coffee here because it was too late in the day so I can’t comment! The eggs at the opposite table looked really yum tho.
📍Baguett's Café, 33 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris, France
The last few times visiting Paris I missed out on these cafés, perhaps because the café culture was not so prominent, plus the fact that I didn’t do the research.
Those times we ended up hopping into random Boulangeries along the way, with hit-or-miss breads and overly-sweet French Pastries. I didn’t have great expectations about French food and didn’t get the hype brought home by our friends.
This time, with the research and the power to curate the itinerary, I was able to discover these places with little misses on the cafés.
While I will probably not come back to this country, not for a LOOOONG while, I will
say that the food did not disappoint this time. And France has reclaimed its spot (in my heart) as one of the countries were gastronomy is king.