One of the best, and best value meals, in Paris are crêpes. Fortunately, they’re everywhere, in restaurants, cafés, and even on the streets. If you’re looking for street crêpes, you’ll find many clustered in the area around the Montparnasse train station. (The area around rue de Montparnasse and Boulevard Edgar Quinet are where most of the crêperies are.) Since the trains departing and arriving from that station go to Brittany, immigrants set up shop there once upon a time. In an area crowded with crêperies, the one that stands out is Josselin. It’s noisy, bustling, and lots of fun.
But no matter where I go, I’m a fan of the classic complète, a buckwheat galette (crêpe) enclosing a fine slice of jambon de Paris, grated Gruyère cheese, and a softly-fried egg resting in the middle waiting to be broken to moisten the whole thing. I like my galettes crisp at the edges, with the earthy taste of real, freshly ground buckwheat. Alongside, there’s nothing better than cider, such as Val de Rance, brut, of course, which is the driest of the fermented apple ciders. For dessert I usually get just a simple galette smeared with salted butter and a drizzle of honey, warmed by the galette.
One bit of advice; a regular crêpe made with white flour is called a crêpe, and one made with buckwheat flour is called a galette, but sometimes crêpe au blé noir. Some menus list both, so you can choose between them. Desserts are usually served on regular flour crêpes, but you can ask for buckwheat ones, which is uncommon, but I do it all the time and there’s never a problem.
Here are some favorite places to indulge. Several are popular, so be sure to call and reserve if you can. Note that Josselin doesn’t accept credit cards, and if you wish to go to Breizh Café or Little Breizh, you should reserve in advance.
Favorite Addresses for Great Crêpes in Paris
109, rue Vieille du Temple (3rd)
Tél: 01 42 72 13 77
1, rue de l’Odéon (6th)
Tél: 01 42 49 34 73
58, rue de La Fontaine du Roi (11th)
Tél: 09 52 29 78 79
11, rue Grégoire de Tours (6th)
Tél: 01 43 54 60 74
La Crêperie du Josselin
67, rue du Montparnasse (14th)
Tél: 01 43 20 93 50
15, rue de l’Échiqier (10th)
Tél: 01 42 46 01 41
99, rue des Dames (17th)
Tél: 09 86 53 44 00