I was in Paris for a few days towards the end of November. The night before I went, as per, I waged a duel between the desire to sleep and the worry that if I did, I might not hear my alarm pinging, in the small hours, and as a result miss my flight. While I was tossing and turning I was running through a mental list of things to do and places to see when I got to Paris: wondering which museum to visit and musing over the more mundane question of where to have breakfast.
I drifted into dreamland before I decided on a breakfast spot. Breakfast, you see, is my favourite meal to eat out. Breakfast in a Parisian hotel is usually expensive and a good local café is often a better bet. However, I decided, this time, to eschew the local café, on my only full day in Paris, and instead wandered across the Seine for breakfast at the ultra-chic Café Marly.
The Café Marly is super easy to find, just make your way to the Pei pyramid in the inner courtyard of the Louvre and you are right beside it.
The Café Marly is run by the Costes brothers – Gilbert and Thierry. They own and run an inordinate amount of Parisian cafés and these are normally easy to identify, there is a better than average chance that if you walk past a café that’s stylish decorated and looks as cool as an ice-cube that it is a Costes establishment.
I don’t know if they ever serve breakfast outside on the terrace, which is the desired spot to be seated at the Café Marly, they certainly haven’t anytime I’ve been there before nine but by lunchtime the terrace is in full swing. So, I had my breakfast indoors in one of the beautiful high-celinged sumptuously decorated Napoleon III rooms. Minimalistic it isn’t, unless of course you are a member of the Maire Antoinette school of decor, but it’s all terribly tasteful and it has peerless views with the front windows overlooking the Louvre’s Cour Napoleon and the rear ones looking directly into a Louvre sculpture gallery.
Breakfast is €18, not admittedly cheap but such a lot is included: coffee, freshly squeezed juice, a plate of midi-sized breakfast patisseries, and a large piece pain grillé (toasted baguette). Enough to keep you going way past lunch hour.
I have had lunch on the Café Marly’s terrace a couple of times on previous visits to Paris and sitting there and watching the world go by is a quintessentially Parisian experience. The service may at times be snail’s paced and the food may lack culinary fireworks but the food and service are entirely secondary to the to-die-for location. If you are in Paris the Café Marly is well worth checking out.
23 responses to “Breakfast in Paris: Le Café Marly”
Your intro put a big smile on my face, oh I am quite familiar with the worries about missing a flight and hence missing the good sleep … 🙂
I’d love to go Paris first thing in the morning and enjoy a good breakfast there, that’d be the best treat of all after this nigh shift. Lovely inviting and inspiring post with just the right photomix!
Enjoy your weekend.
Thank you so much Dina and I am sorry for the late reply. I am glad I am not alone when it comes to worrying about missing a flight. 😉
I hope that the night shifts are now over and that you have recovered from them and caught up on your sleep.
Lovely cafe, sounds like a wonderful place to eat and people watch. The terrace sounds like the place to be.
It’s a great spot the view from the terrace of the surrounding breathtaking buildings is so wonderful and the whole world seems to walking slowly around the courtyard while snapping images and drinking in the architectural beauty of the place.
I see you got to spend some time in your beloved Paris. Good for you! 🙂
I agree on everything you wrote: the Café being very sophisticated (maybe a little too modern?), the location being superb and breakfast being the best meal of the day. As to the service, I keep noticing that some countries of the fashionable Europe (including mine) do not shine especially in comparison with the US. I guess, we shine in different things. 😉
Have a great w/e, B.
Thanks so much Francesa, I so pleased to get Paris as it’s quite a while since I was last there.
You are so right different countries shine at different things and I suppose no one person or no one country can be good at everything.
Thanks for your good wishes for the weekend, I enjoyed it and I am sorry for the delayed reply.
We tried going there last time we were in Paris and we were directed to a crappy table in the sun by a very rude waiter, despite there being lots of better tables available so we left.
I know that there are a lot of online reviews complaining of at best indifferent or at worst rude service at the Cafe Marly. I tried not to be swayed by them when I was writing this post and to be fair on the half dozen times that I have been to the Cafe Marly the service has been a little slow but ok-ish. And in fact on this visit it was good – ish.
Oh my! What a location. Even the cat knows how good it is.
Yes, and what a lucky cat he or she is. 😉
oh I do miss Paris so much… thank you for a zest of wanderlust that gets particularly bad during winter months 😉
I hope you get back to see the Paris you miss so much, very soon … 😉
thank you 🙂 so do I. but there are SO. MANY. PLACES. *sigh*
What gorgeous views from the window! And what a delicious breakfast too – but any meal is Paris is wonderful… 🙂
The view from the windows is pretty amazing. The breakfast is good and with so much food included I didn’t feel hungry for hours. 😉
I shall definitely check it out when I’m fortunate enough to be in Paris again – looks divine. Lovely narrative & pics.
Thanks Suzanne for the compliment. And I hope you like the Cafe Marly when you get there. 😉
What a fantastic location! My parents are traveling to Paris this spring and I am definitely passing this along to them so they can make sure to add it to their itinerary.
Hello Heather – I hope your parents have a great time in Paris and that they enjoy the Cafe Marly. Views on it are mixed and some people have written unfavourably about it on Trip Advisor – however I am a fan and will continue to go back there.
What a nice Parisian escapade, dear B, and beautiful post and photographs of the Cafe’ Marly! I tell you, if I lived in Paris I would probably be over 200 pounds: just the look for that freshly toasted baguette and that pain au chocolat… hmmmmmm… Evil stuff! 😉
Who was the kitty cat in the photo? 🙂
Absolutely agreed on the slow service at most continental European establishments, especially compared to their North American counterparts.
Great post! 🙂
All the best,
Thanks so much Stefano. I don’t know how the Parisians stay so slim surrounded by so many calorific culinary temptations!
Pain au Chocolat – evil? Absolument non! 😉
The cat seemed to be part of the fixtures and fittings, when I arrived he or she was seated comfortably on one of the chairs and none of the wait staff batted an eyelid as they passed by. As I was leaving the cat was seated in the window looking out as if admiring the beautiful buildings.
It’s a number of years since I was last in North America but I do remember that service was always excellent in restaurants and cafes.
Thanks again Stefano.
All the best B 😉
I enjoyed reading your post and the comments too. Annie
Thank you Annie.