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Mar 23, 2009 05:06 PM

Best Crepes in Paris

I'm not being critical, well I suppose I am, but I'm getting reading about l'Ami Jean-related posts boredom syndrome.

I feel there was a time when Chowhound was mainly concerned with more humble fair - Chinatown vendors of a riff on the steamed dumpling, or slavic street peddlers of variations on the meat or vegetable, or meat AND vegetable, encased in pastry concept.

Anyway, in these cash-strapped times, I propose to get back to the spirit of Chowhound's founding-fathers with this economic downturn friendly question: Where do you get the best street crepe in Paris? Not your posh pre credit-crunch sit-down creperie crepe. I mean an on your uppers, everything's going to ruins crepe that can you buy, and eat, in the street. Savoury. Sweet.

I recommend a guy who has a stand outside of a café the south side of the rue de la Verrerie, I think between rue des archives, and rue du temple (sorry I can't be more precise, but if it helps he has a beard...and wears jeans...). He does a very good cheese and mushroom number, where he uses good gruyère, freshly sliced mushrooms as opposed to the habitual canned ones, and a ton of freshly ground pepper. Costs 3 euros 50.

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  1. One l use is just off corner of Sebastipol and St Germaine, right next to Internet cafe. Make every one fresh and are least expensive l have seen. At lunch always a long line from the Sorbonne students, but othertimes no worries.

    1. I look for crepes being freshly made; not reheated from a stack. Then I look for fresh lemons. Nowadays most vendors use bottled lemon juice. Waste of a crepe; as far as I'm concerned. I figure if the vendor cares enough to use fresh lemons; I'll risk a couple of Euro on the product.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RandyB

        RandyB - I'm new to art of Crepes, excuses my ignorance. What to do fresh lemons have to to with Crepes? Thanks in advance for you wisdom.

        1. re: BigFatTom

          I would say Randy looks to them as a sign of quality. If the vendor bothers to serve a slice of fresh lemon with the crepe rather than industrial /bottled lemon it probably indicates quality in other areas. And of course fresh lemon tastes far better than bottled.

          PS: you add some sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice on a sweet crepe.

      2. I go to school near montparnasse, and i have two favorite places on the boulevard.
        For sweet crepes, I go to a little stand between Rue de Rennes and Rue de Vaugirard, north side of the blvd. It has a brown awning that says "crepes" and "paninis" and is just to the right of a place called something like Pasta PaPaPa. Each crepe is made fresh with generous amounts of toppings (nutella is my favorite, 3 euro). No water to thin down the batter; this is an intense crepe.
        For salée, I go to a place on the south side of the blvd just east of Boulevard Raspail; it's a yellow stand that has a lot of paninis, and you can sit down too, but I usually just get my crepe and go. Like the other, each one is fresh made with a generous amount of filling. Average prices; I think egg and cheese is 3 euro 70.
        Best part? The owners of these stands are really nice; both of them remembered me the second time I went and they're really friendly and talkative.

        6 Replies
        1. re: riot grrrl

          Do you mean the cafe/crepe stand that is at bd Raspail and rue Huysmans? I go there too but I have NEVER known them to make crepes from the batter. Another quibble I have is that they use the same crepe for salée and sucrée, so that the salée crepes are slightly too sweet.

          I would love to try your other sweet crepe stand -- is it on bd Raspail?

          1. re: Cookingthebooks

            Both of the stands are on Boulevard Montparnasse. The one I go to for savory crepes (it must not be the same one you're thinking of; I watch the guy make them fresh each time and though I haven't had a sweet crepe he uses the slightly darker, buckwheat galette batter for crepes salées) is on Montparnasse between Rue Vavin and Rue Peguy (but on the other side of the street). The sweet crepe stand is on Montparnasse between Rue de Rennes and Rue de Vaugirard. Let me know if you try them!

            1. re: riot grrrl

              So the savory crepe is really on Montparnasse between Delambre and Galerie des Parnassiens?

              1. re: souphie

                yes! thanks! i'm very bad at giving directions, especially when using googlemaps late at night.

                1. re: riot grrrl

                  is it actually at the right hand entry of the passage? If so, I tried it yesterday and it was reasonably good -- they do indeed make the buckwheat crepe directly from dough, and the nice touch is that the cheese they put in it intentionally runs over the crepe to the stove, so that you end up with part real crispy cheese on the edge of your crepe. They also had cute little wieners, pre-grilled. Since we were two, we also tried the pizza-pasta place across the street and it was decent too.

                  1. re: souphie

                    that is indeed the place! i'm glad you enjoyed it. i've had my fair share of really really bad crepes since getting here - you really never know how it's going to go.

        2. I have two favorite crepe spots in Paris -- One is next to the famous Le Comptoir (I think it's called La Creperie de la Comptoir), right around the corner from the Odeon metro. Everything is fresh there, they use different batters for galettes/crepes, and their ham & cheese at 4EUR is incredibly filling and generous. I eat there once a week.
          A little closer to the Place St. Michel, on Rue St. Andre des Arts, there are two crepe restaurants (sit-down) that also have take-away windows. They also make the crepes fresh there, with two different batters and really great toppings. I am partial to gruyere and walnuts. Also cheap and filling.

          ps -- The sweet crepes are great at both of these spots too.

          1. Le Figaro rated the Breizh Café in the 3rd Arr. as having the best galettes (savory crêpes) in its test of galettes complètes. While I generally prefer crêpes as a quick, standup snack, the one I had here with ham, Gruyere cheese, egg, and organic flour was very good.

            Full article and ratings (in French):