On my infamous trip to Paris when I was abandoned at Valentine’s Day, I had visited Angelina Paris because my friend HAD to try the famous hot chocolate as it was on the list of must do Paris activities she had printed from CNN and had to check each box. At the time, 1994, I was only a few years out of college, living at home with my parents and not eating at fancy places like this so spending what was then a lot of money for a croquet monsieur (ham/cheese sandwich) and a glass of Coca Cola seemed ridiculous.
So fast forward to Mom’s luxury trip to Paris & London. Our hotel, Hotel Therese, welcomed us with Angelina chocolate bars and I had flashbacks to the good parts of that doomed trip, namely the lovely Parisian experience of a cafe lunch. Yes, it’s high on the tourist scale but most of Paris will be full of tourists so get over that. The prices are high (it’s a tourist attraction in my opinion) but it’s an experience that I think you should try at least once. It’s been an institution in Paris since 1903! Think of all the people who have enjoyed this tea room and indulged in the pastries and chocolate (each unique works of art).
While Mom really enjoyed cereal and coffee each day in the hotel, I was dying to escape to a French café or patisserie for breakfast. Knowing that cereal wouldn’t be on the menu, I had to take a chance that Mom might eat eggs for breakfast on our last day in Paris as I explained “this is a classic Paris experience”. I chose breakfast at Angelina because I knew it wouldn’t be crowded (you can reserve a table on OpenTable) at 8 a.m., since they open at 7:30 a.m.
The Takeaway Treats at Angelina Paris
When we entered I immediately noticed the pastries that I wanted to consume en masse – they were gorgeous works of art and I wondered how I missed those on this trip. Oh right, Mom – she has no sweet tooth at all so we passed most of the patisseries this trip. The small area has colorful macarons, delectable social media worthy #foodporn French pastries and a wall of chocolate options (bars, tins and bags of treats) as well as Angelina specialities.
The Angelina Paris Breakfast
There is a smaller upstairs dining room but as it wasn’t crowded this Friday morning, we were greeted and shown to a table for two in the main dining room. Mom commented “this is a small table” and I laughed and said it was perfect café type size with a small side table to hold the larger items. Looking around the walls and ceiling had décor that seemed to evoke an era gone by and that’s part of the charm. You can imagine the elegant past of this famous room with its Belle Époque architecture and details.
I had already looked online at the breakfast options and prices so I wasn’t surprised, Mom was a bit taken aback but this was a lady who was ok with her €15 cereal/coffee combo and €8 diet coke so really should she have been surprised?
I ordered the Angelina breakfast (€29.50) with is a good mix of bread & pastries (croissant, pain au chocolate, raisin and baguette), coffee, orange juice, hot breakfast (eggs) – it’s cheaper to go with this instead of ala carte each item. Mom ordered the ala carte Angelina croissant (€14) with ham since she was drinking my coffee (I don’t drink coffee) and sharing the pastries.
Of course, I inhaled the tray of carbs and told mom of the joys of French butter – she smothered her baguette with butter and understood quickly asking “can we take the butter with us?” I said “there won’t be any left to take but we can take the jams and honey jars with us”. Happily full of French carbs, my eggs arrived simply plated while mom’s ham and egg croissant stole the show. We were both surprised to see that it was a croissant sandwich stuffed with scrambled eggs and ham – she loved it!
The Angelina Paris Dining Room Conversation
The room was a mix of French people, Asian & American tourists. The American ladies were seated at the table across from us (Yes, I was eavesdropping but frankly it was hard not to as the ladies were a bit loud arguing over what to do for the day and what to order). At one point, one lady got up and stormed out leaving her friend alone. Of course, knowing that scenario all too well, I leaned over to chat and tell her that she could mix/match the menu like Mom and I did to save money and not waste food. She quickly shared that this was her dream trip with her mom who sadly passed a few years prior so she was with her friend.
While she was content to wander the streets of Paris to take in the sights, sounds and smells, her friend didn’t want to go to Versailles alone (this was a classic case of conflicting travel styles and why you need to quiz your friends). When she went to find her friend outside thinking she was smoking to calm down, she returned to tell us that her friend left her without a text, call or email. But the Southern Lady from Atlanta wasn’t about to let this get to her – she ordered her Angelina breakfast and wanted to enjoy this historic taste of Paris that was on her list (she thought it was too early for the famous hot chocolate, I said I didn’t think so – it’s chocolate after all!).
As we wished her a great stay in Paris, we again walked past the pastry counter and I vowed to return after our boat cruise to pick up treats for our Eurostar journey to London (alas, all good plans – traffic on the Seine prevented me from coming back in time).
Parisian Breakfast at Angelina Paris
Mom enjoyed this little slice of Paris – she loved her breakfast sandwich and was engrossed in all the drama of the American ladies next to us (classic café culture of the stories all around you). I told her that’s what happens when you travel – you enjoy good food, meet interesting people, share stories and if you are lucky indulge in chocolate!
Angelina Paris is priced on par with many hotel breakfasts and in that case, I’d say leave the hotel buffet behind and splurge on a taste of historic Paris, on pretty patisserie and luxury chocolates at Angelina. This is a food memory of Paris that is a good one – at breakfast, at lunch, brunch, the ice cream cart or from the patisserie case – so indulge!
Angelina Paris Location
We at the original location across from the Tuileries Gardens (between the Louvre and Plaza Concorde), at 226 rue de Rivoli in the 1st arr. Rue Rivoli leads to the Champs Elysees and the Louvre so the main street is also easy to navigate and the Metro (Line 1 yellow) stops at Tuileries. There are other locations throughout the city so go indulge your sweet tooth.