Thomas Lehoux and David Flynn have updated the concept of an old-style Parisian café, just by keeping the decor and changing the offering. No more crap beer, bitter coffee or subpar sandwiches – these are ethical, artisanal products at their best. This is proof that we shouldn’t always grumble about the independents, even they are a little more expensive.
With immense care, the founders of the Brûlerie de Belleville restored this twenties bistro – preserving its imposing mirrors, gorgeous ceiling and paintings. The tables are new and hand-painted, the rattan chairs come from the famed Maison Gatti. As for the drinks, there are craft beers from the surrounding area; Deck & Donohue in Montreuil, Outland in Fontenay-sous-Bois and of course, coffee from the Brûlerie itself.
But the highlight is its sunny terrace, which dominates the crossroads between the rue la Grange aux Belles and Juliette Dodu. The gentle atmosphere of the area shines through at this little haven – making it the perfect place to enjoy a book and breakfast before work. French toast for the foodies (at €9, it’s a bit on the pricey side), toast (a more wallet-friendly €3.50), or even a simple boiled egg with mayonnaise (€1.50). All that washed down with a €3 filter coffee. Be warned though - this sort of quality may mean you can’t ever go back to that weak brasserie allongé. Warm and obliging, the team at the Fontaine de Belleville don’t waste any time in making you feel at home. Without doubt, we’ll be back as soon as possible.