Restaurant Reviews

La Chandeleur: The Best Crêpes in Paris

by Ali Postma

La chandeleur, or candlemas, is a Christian holiday celebrated on February 2 that commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem. The French word chandeleur evokes the chandelles (candles) that were symbolically lit that day, Jesus being recognized as the “light of the world.” 

Decades ago, French churches would distribute candles that had been blessed by the priest to parishioners for processions des lumières (processions of lights). Afterwards, families would return home and continue with an evening vigil around a large dish of crêpes. Their golden color and round shape recall the solar disk, and thus light, evoking the imminent return of spring after the dark and cold winter.

The festival is not without its superstitions. For example, if farmers didn’t make candlemas crêpes, it was believed that they would have a bad harvest the following year.

These days if you’re not religious, la chandeleur is simply crêpe day – a great excuse to eat a delicious crêpe! So without further ado, here are my favorite places to celebrate la chandeleur in Paris:

Left: a caramel crepe on a wooden table at BREIZH Cafe. Right: the terrasse of BREIZH Cafe in Paris.
Top and above: BREIZH Café

BREIZH Café

Did you know that “Breizh” is the Breton word for Bretagne (or Brittany), where crêpes are a traditional dish? Easily one of the most popular crêpe restaurants in Paris, serving both sweet and savory, you can’t go wrong by celebrating la chandeleur at BREIZH. Their stone-milled wheat and buckwheat flours are certified organic (buckwheat is also gluten-free). They also have a cellar of more than 60 cidres from Bretagne and beyond. 

Left: the terrasse of BREIZH Cafe in Paris: Right: a chorizo and egg crepe on a wooden table at BREIZH Cafe.
BREIZH Café

Au P’tit Grec

This crêperie has Greek owners, hence the name. Au P’tit Grec has been making sweet and savory crêpes since 1981 on rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter. But the huge savory ones are their claim to fame. My personal favorite is the savoyard, filled with raclette cheese, potatoes, ham, and salad. Due to their huge popularity (there’s often a line down the street), they have opened a second address, also in the 5th arrondissement.

Left: a mixing bowl on a kitchen bench with a whisk, flour and eggs to make crepes. Right: a man making crepes at a creperie in Paris.
Monika Grabkowska / Travis Grossen

Chez Alain Miam Miam

Another restaurant you can expect a long line at is Chez Alain Miam Miam. I love their massive sandwiches, but they also make equally large savory crêpes, as well as sweet, using organic flour. The owner, Alain, is a real character, often shouting out “miam miam” (French for “yum yum”) at random intervals. They have a restaurant in the 3rd arrondissement as well as a stand at the nearby Marché des Enfants Rouges.

Left: the exterior facade of Chez Alain Miam Miam in Paris, with someone about to walk in. Right: crepes suzette (crepes with oranges) on white plates.
Chez Alain Miam Miam – @drxchloe / Monika Grabkowska

La Crêperie Mon Ami

Get your chandeleur crêpe from what must be the smallest crêperie in Paris, located at the end of rue des Abbesses. This hole-in-the-wall was my local crêperie when I lived in Montmartre. I’m half Dutch, so my go-to was the sweet speculoos crêpe, but you can get savory too (though they’re much simpler than the above addresses!)

Left: a savoury crepe from Chez Alain Miam Miam being held up in front of Parisian buildings in a park. Right: the sign for Chez Alain Miam Miam at Marché des Enfants Rouges.
Chez Alain Miam Miam – @on_ah / @lazypunkkid

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Written By

Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at university and worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she loves French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Addicted to pain au chocolat, Ali is fulfilling her dream of living in Paris. View Ali Postma's Website

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