Listen up! For those of you who are willing to travel for your brunch fix, I recently spent a long weekend exploring Lisbon and the Portuguese coast and tasted some of the best and freshest food along the way. Portugal is a beautiful country boasting fresh fruit, vegetables, and world-class seafood.
A favorite meal was our brunch at Uva do Monte along the Portuguese beaches near Comporta. The reconverted farm is lovely and offers quiet rooms to rent for travelers driving along the coast. The brunch laid out for guests is a simple but generous buffet table of smoked salmon, creamy local cheeses, avocado, fresh tomato with olive oil and herbs,soft-boiled eggs, regional ham and sausage, and a large variety of fruit, bread, and confiture.
Enjoyed at the wooden tables outside under a bright Portuguese sun, this simple late-morning meal is the perfect way to begin a day along the sea. I’m already thinking about my next trip to this hidden gem along the coast.
Uva do Monte – Blueberry Farm
Herdade da CostaTerra,
Lugar das Fontaínhas, RIC 67
What you get: a choice of fruits and vegetables in a tall freshly-pressed juice (carrot and orange is a sure winner) + a generous bread basket with house made peanut butter and nutella + your pick of brunch plates depending on hunger levels (Le Fatty for starving people or men in general, Le Healthy for people who like granola, etc.)
A café tucked into a quiet street just south of Republique, Paperboy brings the American brunch ambiance. The large open windows are lined with boxes of fresh produce, and the wood and white tile accents inside contribute to a bright and sunny Sunday ambiance. Featuring a large selection of brunch options, Paperboy nails all the favorites. A large bowl of granola and fromage blanc pairs with the traditional French soft-boiled eggs; avocado toast with fresh fruit and salad; a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich with baked beans and pancakes; Eggs Benedict with salmon or bacon. Paperboy is a crowd pleaser.
We came on a Saturday to celebrate a friend’s final days in Paris and were seated next to a table of hungover Parisian moms downing fruit juices and coffee. The service was typical of Paris, but the food was delicious and portions generous. All brunch options come with a hot drink (I’m told the hot chocolate is good as well!), juice, and so much bread. A great value for 24€.
137 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris
01 43 38 12 13
Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
What you get: Lebanese breakfast spread with different kinds of hummus + tabouli + the creamiest natural yogurt with olives + warm pita and falafel + kibbeh + endless coffee and pulpy fresh fruit juice + the most amazing knafeh for dessert
Brunch at Liza is like being invited to your Lebanese neighbors’ apartment for a birthday party. Although there’s no smiling grandmother filling your plate with seconds and thirds, you’ll probably be doing that on your own. Just a short walk from Paris’ Palais Royal is an exotic little gold and white dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in soft light on a Sunday morning. Opened by Liza Asseily over ten years ago, the restaurant enabled the Beirut-born socialite to bring Lebanon to Paris. An outpost of the restaurant is located in the Galeries Lafayette and Liza has recently opened another venture in a former palace in Beirut.
The open sweet and savory brunch buffet at Liza is generous and everything is so delicious that you’ll want to sample a bit of each dish. Start your meal moderately with a small plate of fresh tabouli or fattoush and a few savory tarts, and then embrace the free-for-all where you fight your best friend for the last steaming kibbeh meatball.
Finish off any remaining yogurt or hummus with warm pita and then return for a plate of sweets. The dessert spread features bite-sized honey and nut pastries as well as fresh fruit, pudding and confiture covered in a nest of shredded phyllo, and knafeh. This last mind-blowing dessert is a slice of buttery phyllo crust covering a stretchy warm cheese similar to mozzarella. The cake is then drizzled with a rose and orange blossom syrup. Don’t miss out.
14 Rue de la Banque, 75002 Paris
01 55 35 00 66
Sunday brunch from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m for 31€
It’s about 9 p.m. and I’m still full from this morning’s beautiful brunch at Hôtel Amour. The weekend has been one long celebration of 15 great years with Le Fooding guide to Paris’ best bistronomic restaurants. The influential guide organized a fun-filled three-day birthday bash starting Friday night with great music and streetfood at La Rotonde Stalingrad and continuing Saturday evening with delicious small plates from some of the world’s best restaurants, served up among the antique furniture stands at the Saint-Ouen flea markets. For me, the weekend culminated with Sunday brunch at Paris’ oldest love hotel in Pigalle.
What we got: creative dishes by Menilmontant’s Marc Bretillot + freshly-baked madeleines from London’s St. John Bread & Wine + no-limit Nespresso coffee
Brunch began at 3 p.m. with fresh mint lemonade and a hearty chocolate, nut, and raisin bread served with yuzu butter, much appreciated at our table. Next came a canteen-style tray with soft-boiled egg, olive bread, ham, salad, and chocolate ganache. A pretty dish of warm madeleines and endless self-serve Nespresso allongés rounded out the meal. We lingered two hours under the green ivy at Hôtel Amour’s charming courtyard terrace.
While this was a one-time event, the hotel restaurant serves their own brunch menu on Sundays and I wouldn’t mind passing another warm weekend afternoon on Paris’ greenest terrace.
8 Rue Navarin, 75009 Paris
01 48 78 31 80
Open everyday from 8 a.m. to midnight; brunch on Sundays
What you get: “Brunch Time!” Includes bread basket and confiture (including raisin and hazelnut bread) + freshly pressed OJ + endless coffee that you can refill yourself + HUGE plate with soup, salad, ham, cheese, a soft-boiled egg, and hopefully a spinach soufflé + wait there’s also dessert!
Possibly my new favorite brunch in Paris. On a quiet street just off of Canal St. Martin sits La Chambre aux Oiseaux, a beautiful, bright little café filled to bursting with tables and armchairs. Packed on weekends, your best bet is to make a reservation if you’re brunching with friends.
Or you can (like me) stumble upon this by accident and try your luck with the tables outside. These are filled on a first come first serve basis. Come early, look hungry, stare at people on the terrace until they get uncomfortable enough to pay and leave. The cozy bench to the right of the door provides the perfect place to tuck into an enormous brunch plate and read the morning away.
A little suggestion: just before a solo brunch, stop just across the Canal at design bookstore Artazart for some independent artsy magazines to flip through while enjoying your orange juice.
La Chambre aux Oiseaux
48 Rue Bichat, 75010 Paris
01 40 18 98 49
Open Wednesday-Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Brunch for 23€ on weekends.
What you get: many bloody marys with fresh dill and red peppercorns + peanut and salted caramel pancakes + eggs Benedict and eggs Florentine
A stylized coffee shop meets café canteen meets restaurant with apero and cocktails. Lockwood is a little of everything, a little dark inside, and a little undecided as to its raison d’être. Still, it’s a fun place to hang out.
Sunday brunch features the expected pancakes, eggs and toast, optional bacon, granola and yogurt, fresh fruit. We were a little disappointed with stale toast, Bisquik pancakes, and floppy bacon. But the pancakes were doused in caramel and the bloody marys pretty and original.
A quiet atmosphere practically next door to Frenchie To Go and just north of Paris’ hopping rue Montorgueil. We’ve got high hopes for some unique additions to the brunch menu in the coming months.
73 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris
01 77 32 97 21
Open Monday-Saturday 8am-2am; Sunday brunch 10am-4pm.
What you get: Crazy fresh avocado toast with poached egg, radishes, and feta + pretty pancakes with fruit and honey + glowing red freshly squeezed orange juice + cake and ice cream + surprises from Taku + flower arrangements
Inaugurating the new year with a brand new restaurant, chef Taku Sekine (Clown Bar, Saturne, and Fish) and barmen Amaury Guyot (Sherry Butt and Prescription Cocktail Club) partnered to launch Dersou with wild success. Awarded Best New Opening of the Year by Omnivore just two months after their opening, the team shows no signs of slowing down.
Taku Sekine has his fingers in a lot of pies. After Dersou’s nightly small plates and cocktail-pairing menu came lunch and finally a formidable Sunday brunch. I have a friend who stopped twice in one day for lunch and dinner, because the food is just that good.
The new brunch menu doesn’t disappoint. The flavors are strong and seasonal, incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables. Lots of herbs, lots of bright colors. The menu has been evolving over the past few weeks but it seems like the light fruit pancakes (the polar opposite to Holybelly’s rich bourbon butter and bacon stack) and variations of thick toast with poached eggs are here to stay. We’re hoping for Taku to go wild with some Asian-inspired brunch additions in the coming weeks.
As always, the atmosphere at Dersou is calm and friendly. A great place to chill on a Sunday morning before wandering north of Bastille to catch the last few hours of one of Paris’ largest outdoor markets.
21 rue Saint Nicolas, 75012 Paris
09 81 01 12 73
Tuesday through Saturday dinner 7:30pm-12:30pm; Saturday lunch 12pm-3:30pm; Sunday brunch 12pm-4pm