Nobody can enjoy a trip to Paris without visiting some of the French capital’s world-famous restaurants. Indeed, for many lovers of gay paris and food lovers, eating out is one of their primary reasons for visiting! Ask most people about French gastronomy, though, and they will probably mention hearty fare washed down with plenty of red wine.
There’s nothing wrong with an intimate dinner in a traditional brasserie or a leisurely lunch in a neighbourhood café, of course, but we don’t think that’s any reason to neglect the most important meal of the day: breakfast!
One of the finest breakfasts in Paris is to be had at Café Angelina, a few minutes’ walk up the rue de Rivoli from the Marais and opposite the Tuileries gardens. First opened in 1903, this tearoom soon become a Parisian institution and is loved by anybody with a sweet tooth. Named after its Austrian owner, Antoine Rumpelmayer’s stepdaughter Angelina, the café is now synonymous with its two best-known specialities: traditional hot chocolate and ‘Mont Blanc’ cakes. Some fans make a pilgrimage for these alone!
The hot chocolate you can taste here, made the old-fashioned way with melted dark chocolate and served with whipped cream, will make you wonder why you ever put up with powdered hot chocolate before. If that isn’t sweet enough for you, then you can try a ‘Mont Blanc’. This pastry, which was invented at Angelina’s, is a mixture of meringue, very light cream and chestnut icing, and it’s so popular that the team sell over 600 of them on busy days!
The luxurious interior is all part of the fun: just because you’re having breakfast doesn’t mean you don’t deserve comfortable furniture, elegant chandeliers on the ceiling and beautiful friezes on the walls. Like the recipes for the house specials, the décor has only undergone a few minor changes over the years.
Angelina’s is open for breakfast everyday, offering that famous hot chocolate alongside French favourites like croissants, pains aux chocolats and warm, fresh bread with orange juice, eggs and fresh fruit salad. If you’ve still got room for more—or want to pick up a gift—then most of the treats are also available to take away. When you’re done, why not walk it all off with a stroll around the Tuileries gardens opposite?
What: Café Angelina tearoom
Where: 226, rue de Rivoli, métro Tuileries but also at other locations in Paris, including at the Louvre and Versailles
When: everyday from 7:30 am to 7 pm (from 8:30 am at weekends)