Crêpes are basically the closest the French have come to creating their own fast food and the best crêpes in Paris are the ones you can order hot off the street and eat on the go. The bustling, maze-like streets that branch off Rue de la Huchette offer an overwhelming selection of crêpe stands (or “caves”), no doubt catering to the hungry tourists coming from nearby Notre Dame Cathedral or Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore. But don’t be fooled, Parisian businessman and Sorbonne students come here on their lunch break too and you can spot them as the ones ordering something OTHER than a Nutella crêpe.
Yeah I said it- I love Nutella in and on all things, but quickly realized that Nutella crêpes are just a gateway to so many more delicious and authentically French options. So by all means, have the Nutella crêpe, and then try some of these other fantastic local options!
Here are my Top 10 (5 sweet, 5 savory) recommended crêpes to try the next time you’re in France:
Top 5 Sweet Crêpes to try in France
Crêpe Speculoos (Speculoos Cookies)
Once I discovered this crêpe at one of the stands along the Esplanade du Trocadéro and ate it while watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, there was no going back. Following my newfound determination to branch out from Nutella, Speculoos (the OG European cookie butter before Trader Joe’s tapped into that market) became my official first “sweet crêpe replacement.” If you are weaning yourself off Nutella, or just feeling particularly indulgent, you can always order a crepe with both!
Crêpe à la Crème de Marron (Chestnut Creme)
I associate this crêpe with Christmas time (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fiiiire”), but chestnut creme is a year round delicacy in France. Nutty and not overly sweet, you can spread it on toast, stir it in yogurt or ice cream, or enjoy it warm in the suggested form of a fresh crêpe!
Crêpe Lemon et Sucre (Lemon and Sugar)
I was a big fan of the lemon and sugar combo long before I landed in Paris, as my partner’s British family loves to make English pancakes with the same toppings. Sweet yet refreshing, you can justify eating more than one of these crêpes- they go down realll easy.
Crêpe Pomme-Cannelle (Apple and Cinnamon)
Mmmm, tastes like fall- my personal favorite time to visit Paris. Pair an apple cinnamon crêpe with a comforting cup of vin chaud (hot wine), that many of the street vendors start selling when the weather gets chilly!
Crêpes à la Confiture (Jam)
Classic, with an endless possibility of flavours, the jam crêpe is not just something you can order from a stand, it is the crêpe French mothers will send their school children off with in the morning! And the tradition continues into adulthood- one of my coworkers often brings leftover homemade crêpes with a jar of jam and break it out in the middle of a work meeting- no time for crêpes like the present!
Top 5 Savory Crêpes to try in France
Crêpe Jambon Fromage (Ham and Cheese)
Come on, you have to go for the ham and cheese- c’est classique! Crêpes that include cheese are usually made with Emmental- a light yellow cheese with a mild, slightly buttery taste that is used all over France in everyday cooking. Basically, emmental to France is what cheddar is to America.
Crêpe des Oeufs et Fromage (Egg and Cheese)
A great vegetarian alternative to the classic ham and cheese, I guarantee your crêpe maker will know how to make the perfect slightly runny yolk mix with the deliciously fried cheese- this ain’t their first rodeo! Sound delicious, but you still want some meat? Just ask to add an egg (un oeuf) to the above ham and cheese crêpe for an extra hearty meal.
Crêpe Thon Fromage (Tuna and Cheese)
Hands down, this is my partner’s all time favorite crêpe- when we lived by crêpe central Paris, he would find any excuse for us to not to cook dinner and go get a tuna crepe instead. The French form of tuna salad is pretty creamy- with finely diced onions and paired with a generous amount of emmental cheese. This crêpe makes for a perfect French equivalent of a tuna melt.
Crêpe aux Champignons et épinards (Mushrooms and Spinach)
This is my personal favorite savory crêpe- I find the vegetables slathered in cheese wrapped in a steamy crepe to be hearty and comforting, as it reminds me of an omelet that I can eat on the go. Add an egg, and it basically is!
Crêpe au Poulet et aux Champignons (Chicken and Mushroom)
Chicken in a crêpe? Yes, yes indeed. And before you knock it, think about the number of chicken enchiladas you have consumed in your lifetime, subtract the red sauce, and know that you are not far off. While you can always just go for chicken and cheese, I think ordering the ones with mushrooms is not only more French (they LOVE their mushrooms), it’s also way more flavorful, and often comes in a delicious creamy béchamel sauce.
The Best Crêpe Stand in Paris
I used to live a 10 minute walk from this “Crêpe Mecca,” so trust me when I tell you I ate A LOT of crêpes all around Rue de la Huchette, but soon became loyal to Crêperie Genia. I would place a to-go order (à emporter) and walk to the nearby left bank of the Seine or sit and listen to the street musicians on Pont Saint-Louis. Can you say cheapest Parisian date night ever??
Visit my favorite crepe stand and try out the €5.50 Formule (1 savory + 1 sweet + a drink) for yourself the next time you are in Paris:
7 Rue de la Harpe
75005 Paris, France