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Dec 3, 2009 10:58 AM

Breakfast Near the Place des Vosges?

My husband, our 8 yr. old son and I will be in Paris for Christmas week, staying in an apartment on the north side of the Place des Vosges. My husband can't face food in the morning, but my son and I will want hot chocolate and coffee, respectively, and a croisssant or similar breakfast pastry in the mornings. I know staying in is an option, but I'd like my son and I to go out, at least some mornings.

The latest report seems to be that Au Levain du Marais has very recently changed hands, the croissants are still good, but the bread isn't any more. OK, we can pick up croissants there. Is it a place we can also sit and eat and get coffee etc, or is it purely a place to buy something and go? If we can sit and eat, how's the coffee and the hot chocolate? If that won't work, is it true that I can buy a pastry from there and sit in a cafe, buy the drinks, eat the croissant we've brought in and be behaving acceptably? (Who knew breakfast was so complicated?) And is there any place a short walk from the Levain locations on Rue de Turenne or Blvd. Beaumarchais where you'd recommend the coffee?

And where do you suggest for bread in the neighborhood, if I can't count on Levain any more?

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  1. Stayed at the Hotel de la Place des Vosges a few years back and had my morning coffee and croissant or tartine buerre at a place called L'Arsenal on the corner of Rue de Birague and Rue St. Antoine. Loved seeing delivery guys come in for their morning beers. Cafe Hugo, on the place may also be open for breakfast. I expect with a little poking around you'll find many options. There was briefly a wonderful Gerard Mulot outpost around the corner... now gone.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Gman

      The Mulot at Tournelles and Pas de la Mule is gone ?!?! Donnerwetter!!

      Well then, I second café Hugo. The croissants at the bakery that is on rue Saint Paul @Tournelles were also very convincing for me. Never understood the appeal of Levain du Marais.

      If you feel like walking, you can go to Des Idées et du Pain, interesting bread, especially in the morning when it's warm and sit at a terrace by the canal. While in the République area, stop at Génin for chocolate and coffee or tea, 133 rue de Turenne.

      1. re: souphie

        I like Café Crème, Rue de Birague, right off Place des Vosges. It's but a simple café, but I like it. I usually have but a coffee and a tartine.
        Also a fun place for a pre-dinner drink or whatever. Very reasonable prices for lunch.

        1. re: souphie

          Second the Génin recommendation. It's a really lovely spot for coffee and tea. The vanilla mille-feuilles and eclairs were delicious, and do not leave without some of his caramels. They more than lived up to the praise they receive here, and I regret I did not bring home more.

        2. re: Gman

          another possibility

          Ma Bourgogne
          19 place des Vosges
          75004 Paris
          Phone : 01 42 78 44 64
          Open every day from 8 AM to 1.30AM

          1. re: Gman

            I just went by -- Gérard Mulot at the corner of Pas de la Mule and Tournelles is alive and well. This is my best recommendation for croissants, pastry, etc. in the immediate neighborhood. More so than Levain du Marais.

            1. re: souphie

              Wow! Thanks Souphie! Glad to know... wonder why it's not on their website??? Only lists the locations in the 6th and the 13th.

              1. re: Gman

                This one is actually a franchise, whereas the two others are actually property of Mr. Mulot.

          2. The Parisians don't do American-style breakfasts. But just about any cafe should do you fine, you can get croissants or a tartine (buttered baguette) at the cafe, or it is even an accepted practice to stop at a boulangerie for a great pastry and bring it to the cafe to have with your Grand Creme.

            It's really not complicated at all, just try to adjust to another culture.

            1. Dalloyau at 5, blvd Beaumarchais. Lovely pastries and good croissants & pains au chocolat (perhaps a little more buttery than some like).

              They have a tea room upstairs where you can eat and look out over the place de la Bastille.

              2 Replies
              1. re: RandyB

                Can you also get egg dishes at any of the above-mentioned places, and if so, until about what time? We usually have breakfast very late, say between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

                1. re: OneMoreBite

                  You can't get egg at Dalloyau/Mulot, etc; they are pastry shops/bakeries.
                  Breakfast is seldom served after 11:30, at which time many cafés start setting up the tables for lunch.
                  Usually egg is not part of the French breakfast. You can get an omelette or oeufs sur le plat in any café.