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 5 favorite places for crêpes in Paris.
1. 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 eating at BREIZH Café. Their stone-milled wheat and organic buckwheat flour (also gluten-free) are part of what makes this such a good crêperie. They also have a cellar with a wide range of options when it comes to cidres from Bretagne and beyond. It’s a great place whether your taste buds are craving savory crêpes or sweet ones.
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. It’s one of the best places for crêpes in town. Due to their huge popularity (there’s often a line down the street), they have opened a second address, also in the 5th arrondissement.
68 Rue Mouffetard, 75005, Paris
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 crêpes with savory ingredients as well as sweet ones, using organic eggs and 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.
26 Rue Charlot, 75003, Paris
Get your chandeleur crêpe from what must be the smallest crêperie in Paris, located at the end of rue des Abbesses. La Crêperie Mon Ami 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!)
7 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018 Paris
5. Crêperie Little Breizh
There is normally a queue of food lovers at this popular choice so try to avoid peak hours. Little Breizh Crêperie fills up fast and with good reason! If you’re wandering around looking for an excellent place offering affordable food in St. Germain, this is the perfect location. If you’re looking for a good deal, for less than 15 euros the menu allows you one savory and sweet crêpe plus apple juice or a bowl of cider. There are a ton of crêperies all over Paris, but this is one of our favorite places for salty crêpes with goat cheese, or sweet treats like their signature apple caramel crêpes with vanilla ice cream.
11 Rue Grégoire de Tours, 75006 Paris
French Crêpes – Frequently Asked Questions
Although many of our picks are in other areas of the French capital there is an area a stone’s throw from the Montparnasse train station known as “Little Brittany” where you can also find delicious crepes. Here you’ll find a number of old school crêperies around Odessa Street where you can eat on a budget. It’s a great bet if you are in the area and want to pick up a light bite that won’t break the bank.
The crêpe au sucre, served with melted butter and a sprinkling of granulated sugar is the nation’s favorite crêpe filling. Other common ingredients people also love include fillings like jam, salted butter caramel and Nutella. Savory galettes are also popular.
The Crêpe Suzette. You can’t beat the theater of the Crêpe Suzette which is served with a sauce made of sugar, orange juice, butter and Grand Marnier, prepared in full view of diners.
Brittany and especially, Saint-Malo.
You can get them for as little as 5 euros from a crepe stand.
- Learn about another French tradition that took place in January, fête des rois.
- Find out what to do in Paris in February.
- Want to understand about other cultural traditions in France? Read about some French rules to live by.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.