On a rainy day in Paris, there’s little else as satisfying as a savory crêpe served up in a warm little cafe. There are many crêperies in Paris, but as long as you’re so close to Brittany, their place of origin, you might as well seek out the real item. Breizh Cafe brings the hearty country cuisine of Brittany to the Marais with dozens of types of crêpes, sweet and savory, and a variety of hard cider.
We arrived for a late lunch at quarter to three, but the place was still packed. Breizh Cafe has gotten a lot of press and is listed in a number of guidebooks, but don’t be put off by the menus in English and Japanese. Surprisingly, their crêpes are also big in Japan, where Breizh Cafe has another outpost. The staff is equally international, with French managers, Japanese chefs and a British waiter all at work on that particular day. The unifying factor for everyone here seems to be the love of crêpes.
We opted for a galette complèt (no, not that complèt), filled with smoked ham, raw gruyere and scrambled eggs. The scrambled eggs were a novelty for me – I never thought of them as crêpe filling – but they did a nice job of rounding out the edges of the lacy, light galette. French smoked ham is the Gallic cousin of our Virginia ham – salty as countrified prosciutto, with more of a satisfying chew to it. The creaminess of the gruyere contrasted nicely with the nuttiness of the buckwheat galette, crisped at the edges, which are traditionally folded into a square with an opening at the center to showcase the crepe’s contents.
Breizh Cafe also has an extensive list of hard cider, most of them bottled, with a two ciders on tap. The dry cider on tap arrived in a traditional ceramic bolée that kept it refreshingly cold, the perfect crisp fall accompaniment to the galette.
Service is courteous and fast, and the whole place exudes a friendly vibe. By the time I extracted myself from the small table by the window and headed back outside into the rain, the day did not seem so dreary after all.
109 rue Vieille du Temple
01 42 72 13 77