This may be my favourite category. I love going for breakfast and feel like I'm winning when I can squeeze an amazing meal into a busy day. These spots are casual, don't take reservations and have the potential to be the surprising highlight of a day out. From leisurely breakfasts to quick, delicious eats on the go, each is in a fantastic location so if you decide to make your meal the main event, you'll have plenty of exploring to do afterwards!
14. James Bun is a great Vietnamese pit stop when you need to eat and run or take away. Best of all, quality remains and the vibe is fun. They call themselves a canteen with street food but they also serve refreshing cocktails, mocktails and beers. They serve all the classic Vietnamese dishes and a twist on spring rolls which they make with ‘la vache qui rit’ cheese. At first I questioned this combo but it’s actually pretty tasty. And don’t be afraid to ask for extras here - you’ll pay a bit more for the side of shrimp on your bo-bun but you won’t regret it! This spot can get busy at meal times so be prepared to wait for a table inside or try and snag a seat on the small terrace. Fun fact: James Bun uses biodegradable straws, which is nice.
15. Dosanko Larmen When you’re in the Opéra area, it’s a given that you should go for Japanese, but where? It all looks so good! If you opt for ramen over sushi, Dosanko Larmen is my absolute favourite. It comes down to the broth, which you can see stewing in the front window. The noodles are also a win, cooked slightly al dente. Your bowl of goodness is guaranteed to be rich and flavourful and the kind staff give you the option to add extras if you’d like - veggies, a soft boiled egg or extra pork cooked to perfection. This is an affordable delicious meal that will keep you going till your next meal.
16. Honor Coffee This sweet café is literally a hidden gem. They are “Paris’s first and only independent outdoor coffee shop” and they pride themselves on good coffee - which can be surprisingly hard to find in Paris - with the exception of restaurants listed. Honor is the perfect spot to take a break from your [window] shopping on St. Honoré. And if you’re feeling peckish, there is a full soup, sandwich, and pastry menu. Honor prides itself on seasonal, simple food made with love, and you will feel the love.
17. Miznon An Israeli pita joint in the heart of the Marais, has a bit of a market vibe: beautiful, fresh produce lines the walls and the place is bustling - if not a bit chaotic - in a fun way. And they make some of the finest wraps in Paris. To start, the Israeli pita is not your average pita; it’s a thicker, fluffier bread with a distinct flavour. From there you can stuff your pita with veggies, fish, chicken or beef and fresh herbs. The veggies at Miznon take the main stage with vegetarian chickpea salad with egg or vegan options like the ratatouille. Sides include roasted cauliflower with tahini, roasted broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes. Finding a seat may be tough so opt to take yours to go. Note: Miznon averages about 10 euros per meal and is likely the best value for nutritious, delicious food in the city.
18. Holybelly Café has a somewhat of a cult following with its over 25k Instagram followers. This extremely popular brunch joint in the 10th does not take reservations and is consistently lined up before it opens, even on a rainy long weekend. Thankfully they’ve just opened a brand new location with 100 seats and air conditioning (very rare in Paris!) and the same delicious eats. The menu changes monthly based on locally sourced fresh ingredients. You can find a wide selection from flapjacks, Canadian back bacon with baked beans to quinoa risotto, veal or trout. Beverages are also varied: 8 styles of coffee; tea - also available iced; beer and cocktails; and soft drinks. HB aims to please and takes pride in its good food, good coffee and good service. Their hashtag says it all: #ItsGoodBecauseWeCare Note: Make sure to show up with your whole crew. HB will not seat you until all members of your party are present.
19. Zia Paris is a newish spot in the 7th not far from the Eiffel Tower but far enough away from the tourist traps. With about 10 tables, it’s a small and cozy spot focused on market-driven, light and fresh food. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and have recently started serving dinner. Zia also prides itself on good coffee, serving up a Nitro cold brew. Owned by Justin Kent, an American chef formerly at L’Arpege and Verjus, the service is hands on and you can expect him to come and say hello to see how your meal is going. Note: Zia also does fresh picnics to go! Each picnic for 2 includes your quintessential French fare: quiche, baguette, charcuterie, cheese, pastry and a bottle of wine. Order online and take your meal to the Champs de Mars or Invalides.
20. Season in the 3rd is a hip spot with a bit of a boho/fashionista vibe. But not to worry, it isn’t pretentious, the food is excellent and the service is friendly. They serve breakfast and lunch from morning till late and are open 7 days a week. No reservations. The menu is fresh with some unique options like matcha pancakes, acai bowls and more traditional offerings like smoked salmon salad or burgers. If you feel like something with a bit more spice, Season has options including naan sandwich, burritos, shakshuka and falafel. Staff is friendly and you’ll have lots to do in the Marais or up by Canal St. Martin after your meal. Note: If you’re on the go, check out Season Takeaway or Season Market.