Cafe Louise - a delicious early breakfast or brunch in the 6’th on St. Germain.
Part 4 of the Christmas in Paris trip report… At this rate I won’t finish before next Christmas.
So to remove the suspense:
Favorite meal of the entire trip, hands-down - Piroutte in the 1st
Most delicious budget meal - La Bastide d’Opio in the 6’th http://www.bistrot-opio.com/.
I read about Pirouette on John Talbot’s blog http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/ and Paris by Mouth http://parisbymouth.com/. I believe the La Bastide d’Opio came from here on Chowhound, maybe via Souphie?)
But this post is mostly about a place I completely enjoyed that I have not seen mentioned here on Chowhound or elsewhere.
From their website:
Sunday to Wednesday: 7:00 to 2:00, Thursday to Saturday: 7:00 to 5:00
155 Boulevard Saint Germain, 75006 Paris
Tel. 01 42 22 88 98
Disclaimer: When traveling it’s always a good idea to call to double-check open / close times and any other expectations you might have, since things can change at whim despite what is written on signage or websites.
Before reading more here and on TripAdvisor, I had this romantic notion of breakfast in Paris consisting of an assortment of light fluffy freshly baked quiches with a side arugula salad served by adorable yet stern waiters.
Then, I read that quiche would be difficult to find for a breakfast meal in Paris. Moreover, that early morning breakfast with eggs were not too common outside of a hotel breakfast (yawn).
However, for the 3-4 days when we had morning / late morning train trips, the itinerary left no time for lunch, I knew we’d need want a substantial breakfast EARLY morning 7am-9am-ish since our next real meal would be dinner. Substantial to me means eggs. Eggs stick to my ribs. If I have substantial breakfast with eggs early morning I can go without eating till 4:00pm. But I also wanted to find something special or at least different since this was our annual vacation. Not just what I always make at home (yogurt, granola, nuts, fruit). And something more interesting than hotel breakfast.
We stayed at the Hotel Au Manoir St. Germain des Pres in the 6’th mainly because of excellent Tripadvisor advice received that it was both a great location in the 6’th PLUS an ideal location for being immediately near multiple means of transportation: A taxi stand right in front of the hotel + buses + subway. We used them all depending on whatever would be fastest. It’s also right around the corner from a big Monoprix. Look for the big red apostrophe sign.
( I would recommend staying at Au Manoir to anyone as long as you bring your own travel router. Apparently the owner did not choose right with whoever installed their Wifi. Its sloggy slow. Worse, they transmit this obnoxiously loud video game advertisement as part of the initial challenge screen. However, unlike many hotels, Au Manoir still has WIRED ethernet ports. So you simply plug in a tiny travel router like the one I travel with:
into the WIRED port. Then you have your own fast private hotel room WiFi network going in 1 minute. This makes planning the next day take 10 minutes vs 30 minutes including annoying time-outs when you’re dead tired at night.)
However, another key attribute of Hotel Au Manoir is that it is within 2 blocks of not one, not two, but THREE sources of early-morning (key being early morning) quiche and breakfast with eggs. The most delicious one I tried was Cafe Louise for breakfast and weekend brunch, located just 2 doors away from the hotel. With your back towards Café Flore, what you would see in this order on St. Germain after Emporio Armani Café is: Brasserie Lipp, Hotel Au Manoir, a jewelry store, Café Louise.
Had to try Café Flore just for the history of it. Their quiche definitely was NOT just made. It seemed re-heated and texture was too dense / hard.
Les Deux Magot
Quiche was also available early morning at Les Deux Magots but I didn’t try it, because by the time I saw it on the menu, I had already enjoyed to Café Louise quiche and staff.
I discovered Café Louise unintentionally one eeeeearly morning at 6am-ish when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I decided to wander around St. Germain. I didn’t get very far. The door was open, chairs still mostly up, but I saw people going in and getting espresso which sounded like a fine idea.
What I enjoyed about Café Louise:
- Very pleasant interior for morning. Light Yellow – black/brown – white interior, natural stone, perfect to encourage waking up.
- Cute and exceptionally nice servers.
- Good / very good coffee and espresso
- Delicious croissants and pastries
And the 2 biggies:
- Starting at 7am delicious hot fluffy quiche. Suggestion: Always call to double-check things,but 2 for 2 times, starting at 7am
- A diverse Sunday brunch, including THE best oven roasted chicken drumsticks I have ever tasted in my life.
The goat cheese & ham quiche at Café Louise during the week was especially delicious; tasted like it was just made. Well thought out flavor balance and crust. Sunday’s salmon quiche was a little strong on the smoked salmon taste for my liking.
At Café Louise when I arrived the first time at 6:30am-ish it was completely empty except for people getting espresso to go. At 7:15am-ish a couple families showed up for breakfast, as well as several people having a business breakfast. Sunday brunch requires reservations.
Having a tried Café Louise a few times I am a little confused by your fulsome praise. Obviously there's very little choice at 7:30am in Paris and, given the huge volume of tourists staying in Saint Germain des Prés, a breakfast that can compete with hotel versions is a good business model. While I appreciate the availability (especially early morning when almost every other café has almost no one in the kitchen), I wouldn't say that the quality of the nosh served at Café Louise is anything more than adequate. And you really started to lose me when you waxed rapturously about brunch ... I can think of half a dozen other places in the 6th that are decidedly better (including some that are cheaper): Eggs&Co, Un Dimanche à Paris, Ralph's (whose courtyard is paradise in summer)), Colorova, Cafe Cassette, Le Bel Ami, etc. And if quiche is your thing, a short walk to Bread & Roses on rue Madame/ rue Fleurus would have given you a more special experience than, for Paris, the more ordinary ones served at Café Louise.
If I post other reviews, I'll carefully edit out all effusive comments, if I really enjoyed a restaurant that has not been mentioned by the regular contributors on this forum.
I wanted to try Eggs & Co, but they are not open till too late in the morning. The point of needing to eat breakfast at all was for the train days when traditional lunch between 12-2pm was NOT possible.
Oddly - when I go back and read your reply to the note where I originally asked about early morning breakfast near Cafe Flore, you said
re: Eggs & Co
" I've never had just breakfast there because the hours just don't work for me..."
but you did like the brunch.
Also, you said,
"Le Flore has a very good but expensive breakfast menu that will appeal to Anglo-Saxons."
Maybe our tastes are different. Though this doesn't confuse me. Different tastes just happen! I did not enjoy what I ordered for early morning breakfast at Cafe Le Flore at all. It seemed way overpriced for what I got, and tasted like it was not freshly made. However, the historical aspect of the cafe was enjoyable.
=== To repeat:
My focus was finding an EARLY MORNING BREAKFAST place, preferably more interesting than a hotel breakfast, near my hotel.
From my original question last November:
"We'll need several early morning breakfasts during our December trip to Paris.
"early" = 6am - 9am
Hotel location is across from Cafe de Flore in the 6'th arr."
My opinion is that the weekday quiche at Cafe Louise was definitely delicious, hot, and fluffy. Many times more delicious than what's available at Cafe Flore.
Whereas their Sunday brunch quiche I didn't enjoy as much - more dense and too much salmon for my taste as I stated above.
Do the other places you mention serve early morning breakfasts?
Folks, we removed a bunch of posts here that were discussing the discussion instead of discussing food. We'd ask that members please not tell other members how they should or shouldn't post. Rate chow -- not chowhounds.
Some of the replies were pretty lengthy and did touch a bit on food-related issues, so if anyone would like a copy of their post back to edit and repost, please email us at email@example.com and we can send it to you.