When the Australian café-inspired restaurant Holybelly opened in the 10th arrondissement, it revolutionized morning meals in Paris. The all-day breakfast menu, which combined classic eggs and sides with more refined seasonal mains, was the first of its kind in a city where breakfasts are continental and Anglo-inspired dining often fail to inspire.
Three years later and people still line up at Holybelly’s doors before opening, waiting to taste the new monthly menu, come back for their favorite permanent menu classics, or enjoy the special weekend menu. Despite the restaurant’s rampant success and the undeniable demand for the a solid breakfast joint in Paris, Holybelly remains an anomaly in the bacon-and-eggs breakfast scene. At least, until recently.
Hardware Société, a Parisian outpost of its Franco-Australian founders original Melbourne location, is the most exciting thing to happen to Parisian breakfast since Holybelly and Eggs Benedict. Located on one of the most hidden-in-plain-view streets in Paris, rue Lamarck just east of the Sacré Coeur, Hardware Société remains a hidden gem. There are no lines (for the moment, at least) to get a table at this airy restaurant that offers views of what locals affectionately call “the other side of Montmartre”. And there’s no concept behind the restaurant other than serving great food to Parisians who happen to be hungry at breakfast time.
Lunch is also an option, of course. As is a decadent tea time with specialty teas and a selection of classic French viennoiseries, such as croissants and pain au chocolat, as well as beautiful cakes and pastries. You could go to Hardware Société for all of the above, but I heartily suggest you start your exploration of their seasonal menu with the house specialty, the 64-degree egg.
Few among us have the time or patience to pull off a 64-degree egg – which is an egg cooked in 64°C water for 45 minutes – so it would be a shame to not take advantage of someone else making us one. The 64-degree egg stands out in Hardware Société’s Eggs Benedict, of which there are two options: Ham Hock (18€) and Lobster (20€). You can also have your eggs fried, as in the delicious Pork Belly and Fried Eggs served with potato and bacon hash (16.50€), or baked in a seemingly bottomless ramekin along with varying accompaniments, like smoked broccoli, spinach, and pine-nuts or chorizo sausage, potato, manchego cheese, and toasted almonds (both 14.50€).
While it’s a shame that Hardware Société doesn’t serve filter coffee, it does excel at strong espresso-based drinks and also serves up some of the best homemade iced tea (5€) in the city. Their house-made chai tea latte (4.50€), it should be noted, is a guaranteed mood changer on a cold and windy day.
You can confidently add Hardware Société to the slowly expanding list of places to heal your hangover, take a morning meeting, or scratch an itch for a hearty and expat-luring morning meal. Welcome to the Paris Breakfast Club, Hardware Société. It was worth the three-year wait to have you on board!
Hardware Société –10 rue Lamarck, 75018. Métro: Château Rouge. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 51 69 03. Mon, Wed-Fri 9am-4:30pm, Sat & Sun 9:30am-4:30pm.
- For more great spots around Montmartre, check out Susan Hutchinson’s recent roundup of the area.
- Still content with just fresh (organic) bread for your petit-déjeuner? Here is our guide on where to source the best options in Paris.
- Breakfast in Paris has traditionally been a non-event. Read about David Lebovitz’s amusing experiences with Cold Toast.