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Oct 31, 2013 06:14 PM

Can you help me find a cafe in Paris (near Sacré-Cœur) with a very vague description? Could be Café Francoeur?????

In February 2012, my (now husband) and I went to Paris for a holiday (and got engaged!) and are heading back on our honeymoon next month.

When we first arrived, entirely jet lagged from a flight from Australia, we walked from Gare du Nord to Sacré-Cœur.

We were entirely disoriented, freezing and starving, and decided to go somewhere for breakfast (it was around 9am) before visiting the Sacré-Cœur (a combination of the fact we were hungry, cold and a little bit lost!).

I believe there was a few different places around, not many though. we went to a place which was quite full with locals, and had a bar with a lot of bottles so was clearly open until evening. It wasn't modern; from memory it looked a bit like a pub in our opinion as opposed to a cafe - the outside was perhaps dark green?? I remember there was a place that looked a bit nicer but had no customers so we went here instead.

We were served by a younger French girl who would have been probably studying, who had good English and was very proficient; she carried a tray with a coin jar so you could pay at your table. We had the petit déjeuner.

The hot chocolate was incredible and we thought every hot chocolate after would be the same! It was the very thick style, served in a jug so you got a good mug or two each. It was delicious! The croissant and juice were also very good, the juice freshly squeezed. We had petit déjeuner most days at various places and nothing compared to the hot chocolate we had here.

As I previously mentioned we were very disorientated. I'm thinking there must have been wifi as we managed to locate where we were on the map, we had walked the long way around Sacré-Cœur from Gare du Nord and were basically at the further side, haha!

To get to Sacré-Cœur we only had to walk up the street we were on maybe 50m and there was two sets of stairs. once at the top of the second set, we went through a small pedestrian street where there were a few tourist oriented shops selling souveniers and I think a cafe that wasn't open but was serving Vin Chaud out the front in a big cauldron or similar. I believe at the end of this street we were at the Sacré-Cœur, not the front but either the side of the back.

Would anyone have any idea where this cafe was or what it is called??? Are there sets of stairs like I have explained all the way around? I think this is probably my best bet for finding it. I have tried using street view on google maps but as we were so disoriented I have no idea where we were - I can remember when we did see at the time where we were, we were shocked as we clearly walked the longest way there!

To avoid any confusion, the steps we walked up were not the main tourist steps - we saw one french man walking his dog down them, but no tourists or buskers at all around.

If you could help us in any way it would be greatly appreciated. It was one of the most memorable moments of our trip, just because we were so so cold (we left a hot Australian summer), tired, jetlagged and hungry, and it was so warm and delicious. We still always talk about that cafe and the breakfast. I would love to surprise my husband and take him back there on his birthday when we are in Paris next month.

Many thanks in advance!

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  1. Could it have been Au Relais (48 rue Lamarck, 75018)??? I can't find enough photos and all the reviews are for lunch/dinner but it somewhat seems to fit the bill? I believe it was on a corner as well??

    1 Reply
    1. re: keedm002

      I think more likely it was Café Francoeur below?

    2. Café Francoeur (129 Rue Caulaincourt
      75018)??? This is the place... I think??

      Does anyone know if the do breakfast or has anyone had a hot chocolate here before that can vouch that it was the same place?

      The problem is - it was probably no where near as good as we remember!

      2 Replies
      1. re: keedm002

        I don't think it is café Francoeur, and I have lived at various times on the west, east and south side of it. There are no long staircase near it.
        Sounds more like upper rue Lamarck, near L'Eté en Pente Douce, which is at the junction of two long staircases, and is also nearer the souvenir geegaw hell, I mean street.
        Could it even have been Au clocher de montmartre ?
        Do you remember if there were other cafés nearby, or on the same street ?
        Indeed you can retrace your step and especially focus on the section between the Rues Caulaincourt/Lamark insection, then walk up rue Lamarck.
        And this time, do check out the much more charming and much less tourist riffraffy part of Montmartre, around the metro Abbesses, west of the hideous Sacré Coeur. The area is a mix of hipness (think Amélie) and timeless Bohemia (think Picasso, Van Dongenn Foujita…).

        1. re: Parigi

          Ah, but around the corner from Cafe Francoeur is rue du Mont Cenis, which has two sets of staircases.

          To the OP, did you check out the photos on their Facebook page? Or how about street view on Google Maps? Seriously, I would think you'd recognize it if that was it. I believe they serve breakfast and are open until 2am.

      2. I live quite nearby, thought I knew all the eateries in the area but cannot visualize where you went.
        Since you will not need a reservation, why not retrace your steps, maybe from a bit closer such as Barbes-Rochchouart.
        And yes, I suspect it will not live up to the precious memory, but so what?

        1. There are quite a few places where there are two sets of stairs going up Montmartre - was there much if a break between these two sets of stairs?

          What did the interior look like? The floor? The bar? Any paintings? Other decor?

          Were you truly north of Montmartre, or were you on the Gare du Nord side (east)? Either could look like the 'back' of Sacre Couer.

          1. Thank you all so much! We will most definitely have to have a look and explore the area anyway!

            I managed to find some photos of the internal of Café Francoeur Steve, and we are fairly sure that is the place!! The immediate area also looks vaguely familiar, although trying to track our path from there doesn't so I am confused!

            Oh well, thank you all for your assistance!

            Parigi, we will be sure to check out the area around metro Abbesses this time! We unfortunately didn't have a chance to get to see that more charming part of Montmartre!