If there’s something better than grabbing a crêpe and a coffee on a Paris morning, someone should set it up by the Louvre so everyone can try it.
Crêpes are basically thin pancakes. They share similar ingredients and preparation, but have different followings. Pancakes aren’t seen outside breakfast, while crêpes are good for any meal any time of day.
Put another way, a crêpe has the combined talents of a pizza crust and a soft shell tortilla. You can cover them with toppings like a pizza, or stuff them with ingredients like a tortilla.
There are a million ways to serve a crêpe, and Paris uses all of them. At breakfast you can find crêpes covered with fruit, or stuffed with ham, eggs, and cheese like an omelette. Nutella with bananas is a popular topping combo as well. Towards dinnertime, things get more advanced. You’ll find oyster crêpes, salmon and spinach crêpes, and more. You get the picture – you can make a crêpe with anything.
The crêpe world is divided into two categories:
Sweet Crêpe: This is the type you are likely to find at breakfast and dessert. They are made with wheat flour and are typically sweetened up a bit. Sweet crêpes are known as “crêpes sucrées” in French. These are the ones usually piled with fruit, chocolate, sugar, or other sweet stuff.
Savory Crêpe: You’ll find this type of crêpe serving as the basis for larger meals. These are made with buckwheat flour, and are therefore gluten-free. These are known by a couple of different names in France: sometimes they are called the “savory galette” and other times known as “crêpes salées”.
On your walk to the Louvre or Notre Dame Cathedral, you’ll likely pass several crêperies. A crêperie is similar to a coffee shop or coffee stand, with each one developing its own type and taste of crêpe. You won’t find a big crêpe chain restaurant like “Crêpe King” or something. Paris in general does not receive chain stores all that well. Just check the sign-in book at area Starbucks. Parisians would like Starbucks to leave, and would attempt to kick out a crêpe chain just the same.
You don’t have to walk very far in Paris to find a place serving crêpes. There are thousands of places that serve them, and plenty of them are vying for the “Best in Paris” title. We will highlight one of them here:
Just around the block from the Saint-Philippe-du-Roule Metro stop in the Champs-Elysees neighborhood is “Le Chalet du 8ême”. Le Chalet is set up convincingly as an Alpine-style ski chalet, and really takes you away from Paris for a moment. Le Chalet specializes in savory crêpes, although sweet crêpes are available, too. The menu has dozens if not hundreds of choices. Most anyone will find something that meets their hunger here.
Le Chalet is a popular place for Parisians, and at the same time visitors are welcomed with open arms. The menu is in French, but the staff will be happy to translate to English if needed. You can also order ahead and get food to go. Reservations are also available.
A meal at Le Chalet will cost around 16€ ($20 U.S.), before any alcoholic beverages, that is.
Le Chalet du 8ême
8 rue du Commandant Riviere
75008 Paris, France (Champs-Elysees)
33 1 45 61 18 10