If Café de Flore is synonymous for the croque monsieur, then BREIZH Café is renowned for the galette. The history of the Breton institution begins in Japan, not France. After opening the country’s first crêperie - Le Bretagne - in the Kagurazaka neighborhood of Tokyo, then two more in Yokohama and Kawasaki, the word BREIZH was the international marker point for an excellent crêpe. In 2006 the name finally came to Paris with the Marais opening steadfastly popular with locals and die-hard Japanese fans. Starting the now popular wave of no-reservations, BREIZH Marais is famed for its snaking queue*, well before opening.
More chains arrived, including Saint-Malo and Cancale in France, and a cider bar in Japan, proving that BREIZH Café hasn’t lost it’s touch. Now, BREIZH Cafe Odéon arrives, can it replicate the success of the Marais outpost? Do we need another crêperie in Paris?
Well, yes, when they’re done this well. Top quality trimmings like succulent ham inside the classic fried egg and Shiitake mushrooms; decadent langoustines paired with spinach, leeks and Comte cheese; or a rich blend of ham, truffle and cauliflower purée. Some come in a typical galette, others in a new Breizh roll - which is, as you might fathom, a rolled galette, chopped up into morsels.
There’s a nod to Japan in the form of the Breizh Tsukemono made with fermented vegetables, and a crêpe Suzette flambéed in Yuzu and matcha ice cream for dessert.
And if you’re not into crêpes (not 100% sure why you’d be there though) there are other Breton offerings like oysters from Cancale, a smoked fish platter, pork belly with a buckwheat honey and ginger sauce, and a section of Breton cheese including Maison Bordier.
When you’re already stuffed is the ideal moment to think about ordering your crêpe for dessert. There’s the traditional Bordier butter with the option to add sugar, yuzu, or more salted butter (yes, they Bretons really love their butter). Caramel au beurre salé however you want it, rhum soaked, with ginger, or alone, with a ball of vanilla.
If you’ve got the room, super-size it. Banana or apple compote with salted caramel, ice cream, and whipped cream. Chocolate smothered with salted ginger caramel and vanilla ice cream. There’s also a delicious buckwheat ice cream.
BREIZH's tagline is 'Le Crêpe Autrement' which rougly translates as 'crêpes done differently'. They are done differently indeed, as subtle and refined as they are pure comfort fodder. And BREIZH still seems to be the best.
*An instant perk of BRIEZH Odéon is that you can book all day, every day, but walk-ins are welcomed.