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Breakfast in France

Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
I'm a Camino Frances veteran, and I know the breakfast routine in Spain.... (Repeat after me: Cafe con leche, por favor....)

Next Spring I hope to walk from Lourdes over the Somport Pass to Jaca. That means five or six days on the Way in France.

What might I expect to find in France by way of breakfast? What should I order?
 
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FLEUR

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
le petit déjeuner (aka le petit déj. ) s'il vous plaît.
This can be a combination of coffee and croissant , maybe orange juice as well, or coffee and sliced French bread with jam and butter.
Many places will serve tea if you ask or hot chocolate.

Ask for un café allongé or café american if you want a large cup of coffee otherwise you might end up with an espresso sized cup.
 

docpam

Pam
Year of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
I'm a Camino Frances veteran, and I know the breakfast routine in Spain.... (Repeat after me: Cafe con leche, por favor....)

Next Spring I hope to walk from Lourdes over the Somport Pass to Jaca. That means five or six days on the Way in France. What might I expect to find in France by way of breakfast? What should I order?

In May I am also starting from Lourdes, going over the Somport Pass to Jaca to Puente la Reina.
From my readings the French like rolls and jam for breakfast, unlike in Spain. I will never forget seeing toast, tomato and olive oil for breakfast at a bar at Atocha in Madrid.
Recently on the San Salvador I saw Dutch people also having jam and bread for breakfast, but their jam was sugar free so I wonder what if any calories they consumed and how they managed their walk.
Enjoy the trip.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Hola rappahannock_rev,

En France, breakfast begins with café au lait, hot chocolate, or tea; a roll with butter and marmalade; and a croissant. While breakfasts are available at hotels, corner cafés can offer better pricing,(but no refills). It's fine to buy a croissant at a bakery and eat it with your cup of coffee at a café as well. Even better, some bakeries offer worthwhile breakfast deals with juice, croissant, and coffee or tea.

Imagine going into a Starbucks with a bag of Dunkin Donuts? They would be showing you the door, lol.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Absolutely, quite acceptable to take your own croissants from the bakery and eat them in a local cafe. I was amazed when a French friend suggested this and it worked!

The Spanish breakfast with crushed tomato flesh , olive oil and toasted bread has to be one of my top favourites.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
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Absolutely, quite acceptable to take your own croissants from the bakery and eat them in a local cafe. I was amazed when a French friend suggested this and it worked!

Those Spanish breakfast with crushed tomato flesh , olive oil and toasted bread has to be one of my top favourites.
I was in France several years ago and found it quite odd that none of the bakeries (at that time) served coffee. We scarfed down our croissants, then ran down the block to a cafe for our morning coffee. I never quite understood the separation of the two. :rolleyes:
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Ah, France! It's all to do with who has a license to do what. Our local cafe/ bar come village shop makes pizzas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. One can take them away or sit in the cafe and eat them out of the pizza box. However they are not allowed to serve the pizza on a plate with knife and fork because they don't have a restaurant license.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Absolutely, quite acceptable to take your own croissants from the bakery and eat them in a local cafe. I was amazed when a French friend suggested this and it worked!

Those Spanish breakfast with crushed tomato flesh , olive oil and toasted bread has to be one of my top favourites.

Yep, I was even told by the waiter in a French café to go and buy my own (from the bakery next door) :D it wouldn't work in Paris :eek::D

Tostada con tomate is my fav. too :cool:
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I was in France several years ago and found it quite odd that none of the bakeries (at that time) served coffee. We scarfed down our croissants, then ran down the block to a cafe for our morning coffee. I never quite understood the separation of the two. :rolleyes:

I have never come across a bakery in France that served coffee ( which of course doesn't mean they don't exist....) unlike those wonderful Bakerei in Germany :cool:

On the other hand, the cafés will often have, in the morning, a tray or two of croissants. If they don't or have run out, you go buy your own :)
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
@domigee my very British OH likes tea and cake in the afternoon. In France they often tell him to buy the cakes in a nearby boulangerie and return to eat them with tea in the cafe.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have never come across a bakery in France that served coffee ( which of course doesn't mean they don't exist....) unlike those wonderful Bakerei in Germany :cool:

On the other hand, the cafés will often have, in the morning, a tray or two of croissants. If they don't or have run out, you go buy your own :)
I never knew you could take your croissant into the coffee shop/cafe. In the USA it would be a big "no no". I'll be doing a large portion of the LePuy route in June, so I'm happy to be aware of this tip.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I never knew you could take your croissant into the coffee shop/cafe. In the USA it would be a big "no no". I'll be doing a large portion of the LePuy route in June, so I'm happy to be aware of this tip.
Yes but better make sure the café doesn't already provide the croissants... They would be on a tray/basket on the counter ...
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Veering off topic a bit here..... We had gone to a fairly nice restaurant for dinner in Montreal, Quebec. The waiter asked if we had brought our own wine. We had not; would not have dreamt of doing that. He directed us to the liquor store around the corner to buy a bottle of wine to have with our dinner. I don't know if they still do that.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
I have never come across a bakery in France that served coffee ( which of course doesn't mean they don't exist....) unlike those wonderful Bakerei in Germany :cool:

On the other hand, the cafés will often have, in the morning, a tray or two of croissants. If they don't or have run out, you go buy your own :)

On one of my first trips to Paris, Connie and I walked into a cafe a few blocks away from Montemartre in Paris. It was maybe 11 in the morning. I ordered "deux cafe au lait et deux pain au chocolat s'il vous plait" (two cappucinos and two chocolate croissants). "Oui monsieur" said the waiter. A minute later he delivered the coffee. Then he hopped the low fence and ran a half block down to the bakery where he bought the two croissants. He ran back with the bag, put one on each plate, and delivered them to the table without anything more than a "bon appetit"!
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
On one of my first trips to Paris, Connie and I walked into a cafe a few blocks away from Montemartre in Paris. It was maybe 11 in the morning. I ordered "deux cafe au lait et deux pain au chocolat s'il vous plait" (two cappucinos and two chocolate croissants). "Oui monsieur" said the waiter. A minute later he delivered the coffee. Then he hopped the low fence and ran a half block down to the bakery where he bought the two croissants. He ran back with the bag, put one on each plate, and delivered them to the table without anything more than a "bon appetit"!
Sometimes I just love the way they do things in Europe. :)
 
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FLEUR

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Certainly no shortage of wine or spirits at any time of day in France.
Twice recently in UK I've heard BYO mentioned (bring your own...wine) at local restaurants. One said they'll just charge £5 !!! for corkage the other £2.50 per bottle.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Veering off topic a bit here..... We had gone to a fairly nice restaurant for dinner in Montreal, Quebec. The waiter asked if we had brought our own wine. We had not; would not have dreamt of doing that. He directed us to the liquor store around the corner to buy a bottle of wine to have with our dinner. I don't know if they still do that.

In Quebc some restaurants are fully licensed to serve alcohol, others are Bring your own wine (BYOB). You cannot simpy walk into just any restaurant with a bottle to drink.

Sometimes, the fact that a restaurant is a BYOB is a sign to run away as the food will be bad, and customers only looking to pay as little as possible. I have a relative who insists on taking me to some of these places for my bday. I would much rather prefer pass on the wine all together but get a good meal.

But as wine served in restaurants gets a high markup, there are now excellent tables that are BYOB and will charge you a decorking fee. So you can come and spend 75$ on your meal, pay 20$ for the decorking fee, and enjoy a 100$ bottle of wine with it, a bottle you would have paid 250$ for otherwise, or rather, you would have passed on the 100$ wine, chosen a lesser one available for 30$ in the shop but for which you would be charged 100$.

These BYOB restaurants are labbled « apportez votre vin » and are usually well advertised as being of this category.
 

Harington

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
le petit déjeuner (aka le petit déj. ) s'il vous plaît.
This can be a combination of coffee and croissant , maybe orange juice as well, or coffee and sliced French bread with jam and butter.
Many places will serve tea if you ask or hot chocolate.

Ask for un café allongé or café american if you want a large cup of coffee otherwise you might end up with an espresso sized cup.
Though the equivalent of cafe con leche is "un grand crème, s'il vous plaît"
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Though the equivalent of cafe con leche is "un grand crème, s'il vous plaît"
That's quite a mouthful. Hope I can learn to say it before I hit the LePuy next June. I suppose that gives me enough time to memorize it. :rolleyes:
 

Jotown

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Lourdes (11th September 2014) via Piedmont to SJPP,
then Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela

Via Francigena, Ramsgate,Canterbury ,England to Rome,
via France,Switzerland and Italy. April to July 2016
I always order Un Grand Cafe au Lait !!

One thing I would caution on the route you are taking ...be aware of whether any bars /cafes/ restaurants will be present , or even open as you set off... a lesson I learned when walking some of that route !!
In that area along the Pyrenees there was frequently none available, nor any at night for dinner !!

It pays to be prepared !!
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
"Though the equivalent of cafe con leche is "un un grand crème, s'il vous plaît"

@Harington - you are correct. I didn't mention un grand crème simply because I never take milk in my coffee in France or in Spain.

To the other posters, be not afraid , the French will still understand if you ask for un café au lait.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
"Though the equivalent of cafe con leche is "un un grand crème, s'il vous plaît"

@Harington - you are correct. I didn't mention un grand crème simply because I never take milk in my coffee in France or in Spain.

To the other posters, be not afraid , the French will still understand if you ask for un café au lait.
Oh good...I HAVE to have milk in mine!
 
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CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I like everything about this thread! Breakfast, France, croissant, jam, pan au chocolate, ahhhhh!

I am so glad that you have chosen an interesting Camino, Rappahannock_rev. It sounds like a wonderful time.

When I was in Paris, I had breakfast at the cafe' outside my hotel one morning. They were in no way connected, and I had not yet realized that the little boutique hotel's breakfast was very homespun and delicious.

I sat down to have a cafe au lait, and an older gentleman arrived. There were few seats left, and he sat down beside me, and in very good english, asked if I minded that he smoke.I was glad to have the company of a gentleman who spoke great english, and I welcomed him to light up. This began an hour of fascinating conversation.

As it turns out, he had lived in SE Asia for about a decade, as I had. We compared notes on different countries, and had some great laughs and also some sad moments. His wife, who had recently died, very much loved Thailand, so we talked a lot about that. As we had our morning drinks, we ordered some breakfast and had a leisurely meal, watching people as they scurried about starting their days.

What a luxury it is to enjoy a breakfast in France with a friend.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I like everything about this thread! Breakfast, France, croissant, jam, pan au chocolate, ahhhhh!

I am so glad that you have chosen an interesting Camino, Rappahannock_rev. It sounds like a wonderful time.

When I was in Paris, I had breakfast at the cafe' outside my hotel one morning. They were in no way connected, and I had not yet realized that the little boutique hotel's breakfast was very homespun and delicious.

I sat down to have a cafe au lait, and an older gentleman arrived. There were few seats left, and he sat down beside me, and in very good english, asked if I minded that he smoke.I was glad to have the company of a gentleman who spoke great english, and I welcomed him to light up. This began an hour of fascinating conversation.

As it turns out, he had lived in SE Asia for about a decade, as I had. We compared notes on different countries, and had some great laughs and also some sad moments. His wife, who had recently died, very much loved Thailand, so we talked a lot about that. As we had our morning drinks, we ordered some breakfast and had a leisurely meal, watching people as they scurried about starting their days.

What a luxury it is to enjoy a breakfast in France with a friend.
Love this! Thank you for sharing the details of your very special memory. I plan to walk half of the LePuy come June and hope I have some special moments to reflect on, too!
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
Veering off topic a bit here..... We had gone to a fairly nice restaurant for dinner in Montreal, Quebec. The waiter asked if we had brought our own wine. We had not; would not have dreamt of doing that. He directed us to the liquor store around the corner to buy a bottle of wine to have with our dinner. I don't know if they still do that.
Typically that has to do with a liquor license...maybe the cost or the unable to get.
One of my favorite spots in the World is New Hope Pennsylvania, an old Andy Warhol hang out. Along the Delaware River there are several amazing restaurants that do the same. I love it! A huge cost savings.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
.

I think eating breakfast outside one's home or outside the hotel/B&B where one is staying is unusual resp an urban/modern habit in many parts of Europe, which would explain anectodes where bar/café staff got out of their way to cater for a guest's wishes.

None of my Spanish friends have breakfast at home! They go to a café for ...coffee and tostada (con aceite) and a quick look at the local paper... and see the world go by.
When we were (much) younger, it was chocolate con churros very early in the morning. :D
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
...and has anyone else broke the news to you...to be prepared to pay a lot more for your morning coffee, or atleast I found that to be the case...
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
None of my Spanish friends have breakfast at home! They go to a café for ...coffee and tostada (con aceite) and a quick look at the local paper... and see the world go by.
When we were (much) younger, it was chocolate con churros very early in the morning. :D
Sigh...I want that life!
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
I'm a Camino Frances veteran, and I know the breakfast routine in Spain.... (Repeat after me: Cafe con leche, por favor....)

Next Spring I hope to walk from Lourdes over the Somport Pass to Jaca. That means five or six days on the Way in France.

What might I expect to find in France by way of breakfast? What should I order?

The whole food thing is so much better in France than in Spain - you're getting plenty of good advice about the breakfasts, but you will be delighted by the dinners at the albergues. Always go for demi-pension - you will get an excellent evening meal included in your tariff, simple, no choices, but, as the French are so very serious about food, always quality, delicious food and, naturellement, always with four courses including cheese. They know how to live! (I also think the Spanish really know how to live, but instead for their late nights, music, gaiety, siestas.) Sigh... now I'm feeling restless.
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
Well, coming back to the OP...problem is, the Piedmont way, from Lourdes to Oloron, goes basically by villages. Sometimes, if you are fortunate, there is one restaurant or bistro, but not probably open early in the morning. So, albergues usually offer a breakfast or there is a kitchen available.
Oloron, on the other side, is a medium city with many services (and good restaurants, I had a good experiencie at Le Croqu' antine, rue Louis Barthou 43, by the river )
I don't know the section to Somport (I went to SJPP), but it seems to me, too, very rural.
Some supermarkets and bakeries could be of some help. And no, the latter do not usually offer coffee...
An advise: carry your own lunch, because the journeys could be quite long.
Some village bars and epiceries (groceries) are of some help; so, water is not a problem, but be cautious anyway.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
I live next to the Grand Châtenet section
I live in the Charente-Maritime where there are
boulangeries which have coffee but not all.

As a rule it seems the french don't do more than coffee/hot chocolate maybe a small bread , I know some have sliced tomatoes.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk around 2022
Veering off topic a bit here..... We had gone to a fairly nice restaurant for dinner in Montreal, Quebec. The waiter asked if we had brought our own wine. We had not; would not have dreamt of doing that. He directed us to the liquor store around the corner to buy a bottle of wine to have with our dinner. I don't know if they still do that.

We do this in Ontario too, but expect
To pay a “corkage fee” for opening your bottle. I’m not sure if this practice extends to Spain.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
We do this in Ontario too, but expect to pay a “corkage fee” for opening your bottle. I’m not sure if this practice extends to Spain.
It’s done here too in BC, but I believe that the corkage fee is in lieu of purchasing a bottle of wine in an establishment that is already licensed to sell alcohol. Restaurants make a nice profit from selling spirits; if patrons want to bring their own wine then the restaurant will usually charge a corkage fee - sometimes a very hefty one.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Veering off topic a bit here..... We had gone to a fairly nice restaurant for dinner in Montreal, Quebec. The waiter asked if we had brought our own wine. We had not; would not have dreamt of doing that. He directed us to the liquor store around the corner to buy a bottle of wine to have with our dinner. I don't know if they still do that.

Going further off topic. The bring your own option in the UK is quite common. It is realtively difficult for restaurants to obtain a drinks license so they allow BYO and provide glasses and bottle openers. Posh restaurants charge a corkage fee cheap restaurants do not charge a fee. The national dish in the UK is now the Indian curry and nearly all of the restaurants in Birmingham's "Balti Triangle" are usually sighted next door to an Off-Licences liquor store.

To get back on Topic. The simple French breakfast served in Village bars is usually a plain bread roll or croissant which is dunked in your morning coffe or hot chocolate.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
En France, breakfast begins with café au lait, hot chocolate, or tea; a roll with butter and marmalade; and a croissant.
Cafe au lait is the drink you get at breakfast, in a large cup or bowl (no, that's not a cereal bowl there at your place), while un un grand creme is the drink you get later in the day (in a coffee cup). Un cafe will get you an espresso-like small cup of strong and black.
 

Scott Sweeney

Active Member
I'm a Camino Frances veteran, and I know the breakfast routine in Spain.... (Repeat after me: Cafe con leche, por favor....)

Next Spring I hope to walk from Lourdes over the Somport Pass to Jaca. That means five or six days on the Way in France.

What might I expect to find in France by way of breakfast? What should I order?

Breakfast's we're pretty basic, coffee, toast and fruit.village are sparce and odds are most things will be closed when you pass them. Plan ahead for the next day and learn to love pizza along this route.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
"The whole food thing is so much better in France than in Spain"

Try and find a meal in France outside of "normal" dining hours . . . somebody once said a baguette sandwich was the French way of punishing you for not taking food seriously.

Whereas you can rock up at a small bar in rural Spain and tuck into a glorious plato combinado.

Spain for me.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Some of us shuffling geriatrics still have them from time to time when we get the chance. No time in Spain is complete without churros at least once :)
I am one of those shuffling geriatrics! :D
I was referring to what was - at least in my Madrid student days - the early breakfast i.e. 5 am when you'd been partying all night and were on your way home. :D
Now I still have chocolate con churros, or even just churros, and often still with my friends fron Uni but....at a more civilised hour, like 6pm :rolleyes::D
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
"The whole food thing is so much better in France than in Spain"

Try and find a meal in France outside of "normal" dining hours . . . somebody once said a baguette sandwich was the French way of punishing you for not taking food seriously.

Whereas you can rock up at a small bar in rural Spain and tuck into a glorious plato combinado.

Spain for me.
Sadly, I have to agree and I'm French ! It pains me. Walking through France (from Calais to Besançon) opened my eyes. I am a towny (a Parisian :eek:) and I had no idea :oops:
 

CillaP

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April (2019)
Absolutely, quite acceptable to take your own croissants from the bakery and eat them in a local cafe. I was amazed when a French friend suggested this and it worked!

The Spanish breakfast with crushed tomato flesh , olive oil and toasted bread has to be one of my top favourites.
Love the sound of the spanish breakfast
Does it have a name? Or do i just point and say "that please?"
 
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David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
French breakfast radishes are lovely. A baguette, home made sea salted butter and that's it
 

bernhugo

Active Member
A bit off topic, but for anyone interested, a few years ago I stayed 2 nights at the hotel Itzalpea in St Jean Pied de Port.
No cooking at this hotel, but the cold breakfast was eat as much as you liked .
A pot of tea or coffee, bread or croissant, ham , cheese, butter and home made jam.
The owner brought more of any that you requested.
Old fashioned but well recommended.
For evening meals, there was a restaurant next door.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
A bit off topic, but for anyone interested, a few years ago I stayed 2 nights at the hotel Itzalpea in St Jean Pied de Port.
No cooking at this hotel, but the cold breakfast was eat as much as you liked .
A pot of tea or coffee, bread or croissant, ham , cheese, butter and home made jam.
The owner brought more of any that you requested.
Old fashioned but well recommended.
For evening meals, there was a restaurant next door.
I stayed there once, it’s a lovely hotel. And a very good breakfast, I agree 🙂
 
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JabbaPapa

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butter and home made jam.

The best version of petit déjeuner has lightly toasted bread, quality butter (hand churned preferably), and indeed, home made jam.

Drink to taste ; personally I would always go for a grand crème, or failing that a café au lait. These are both French equivalents of cafe con leche -- but the grand crème version is about halfway between a good Spanish cafe con leche and an Italian cappucino.

A café au lait is a simpler coffee with milk, just French style.

There is also a petit crème, though most bakeries and bars will only provide one size of the drink -- it's about the same as a grand crème, except it's served in a cup the same size as a black café allongé.

Most French households put their coffee in a little bowl rather than a cup, and that is how coffee will be taken in quite a few French albergues along the Way, whether you make it yourselves or they make it for you.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
Is this an autocorrect thing where "traditions" was changed to "radishes"? Or do the French really eat radishes for breakfast? I must admit never having come across that while I was in France.
Breakfast radishes as described are wonderful! The radishes may not be quite the same, but I occasionally have this for breakfast in the US! Organic, Spring radishes 😊
 
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October (2021)
Veering off topic a bit here..... We had gone to a fairly nice restaurant for dinner in Montreal, Quebec. The waiter asked if we had brought our own wine. We had not; would not have dreamt of doing that. He directed us to the liquor store around the corner to buy a bottle of wine to have with our dinner. I don't know if they still do that.
Maybe he gets discounts 😆
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Maybe he gets discounts 😆
😃 Quebec has different liquor laws than does the rest of Canada. If you brought your own bottle of wine to a restaurant here in Vancouver they would charge such an exorbitant corkage fee, it would not be worthwhile. At least that the way it used to be ... it’s been a while for me. 😊
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
😃 Quebec has different liquor laws than does the rest of Canada. If you brought your own bottle of wine to a restaurant here in Vancouver they would charge such an exorbitant corkage fee, it would not be worthwhile. At least that the way it used to be ... it’s been a while for me. 😊

It varies in Ontario, where it is still a rare practice. I know a good Ottawa restaurant which charges $8, but c ross the street and it will be $25.

But for French breakfasts, I have generally taken much pleasure in a good croissant with café crème (but only rarely did the glass of orange juice approach the wonder of Spanish zumo) although I was bitterly disappointed in the stale croissant and baguette at my pricey hotel in Mont Saint Michel when I walked out that first morning. Happily a café 5 or 6km up the river Cuesnon provided me with some boiled eggs, baguette, and hot chocolate. Hotel breakfasts were uneven in my experience, although the hotel in Sens-en-Bretagne which opened for the single pilgrim passing through, provided a tray from the manager's house walked down the street by his niece, of eggs, country sausage, coffee and a shot of calvados to speed me on my way.

Breakfasting at farmhouse gîtes was usually a positive experience. A farmhouse near Guenrouet provided me with monstrous chunks of home-smoked ham and a salad of tomatoes and greens reminiscent of caliloo. The stirrup-cup which came with the morning coffee was made from the garden's plums. The next stop's breakfast made up for it, with 2-day old baguette which needed sopping in my café crème before it could be eaten.

If one's starting point failed in breakfast provisions, surely the next café (although now many French villages are café-less and restaurant-less and one needs to search for a gas station to get coffee...) will make a nice croque-monsieur to serve as the second breakfast, so beloved of hobbits and pilgrims.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Curious .... Are you by any chance referring to callaloo, the Caribbean soup that’s made with the leaves of the taro plant? One can make a good callaloo (soup) here using spinach leaves. 😊

Yes-- that's the spelling used by my supplier, an organic gardener south of Ottawa. In Jamaica I had both the soup and the vegetable on its own. It's excellent. I would prefer it in caldo gallego to grelos, but that's me.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CF 2020
I'm a Camino Frances veteran, and I know the breakfast routine in Spain.... (Repeat after me: Cafe con leche, por favor....)

Next Spring I hope to walk from Lourdes over the Somport Pass to Jaca. That means five or six days on the Way in France.

What might I expect to find in France by way of breakfast? What should I order?
Yes! My husband “stop again for another cafe co leche?”
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Veering off topic a bit here..... We had gone to a fairly nice restaurant for dinner in Montreal, Quebec. The waiter asked if we had brought our own wine. We had not; would not have dreamt of doing that. He directed us to the liquor store around the corner to buy a bottle of wine to have with our dinner. I don't know if they still do that.

Yes. Not all restaurants, but many. You bring your own wine and pay a "corking fee" of a few dollars. I do not know the history of how it started, but it is a very ordinary practice in the province. (Former Montrealer here).
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
It varies in Ontario, where it is still a rare practice. I know a good Ottawa restaurant which charges $8, but c ross the street and it will be $25.

But for French breakfasts, I have generally taken much pleasure in a good croissant with café crème (but only rarely did the glass of orange juice approach the wonder of Spanish zumo) although I was bitterly disappointed in the stale croissant and baguette at my pricey hotel in Mont Saint Michel when I walked out that first morning. Happily a café 5 or 6km up the river Cuesnon provided me with some boiled eggs, baguette, and hot chocolate. Hotel breakfasts were uneven in my experience, although the hotel in Sens-en-Bretagne which opened for the single pilgrim passing through, provided a tray from the manager's house walked down the street by his niece, of eggs, country sausage, coffee and a shot of calvados to speed me on my way.

Breakfasting at farmhouse gîtes was usually a positive experience. A farmhouse near Guenrouet provided me with monstrous chunks of home-smoked ham and a salad of tomatoes and greens reminiscent of caliloo. The stirrup-cup which came with the morning coffee was made from the garden's plums. The next stop's breakfast made up for it, with 2-day old baguette which needed sopping in my café crème before it could be eaten.

If one's starting point failed in breakfast provisions, surely the next café (although now many French villages are café-less and restaurant-less and one needs to search for a gas station to get coffee...) will make a nice croque-monsieur to serve as the second breakfast, so beloved of hobbits and pilgrims.
Yes the quality is very uneven ! You can be lucky and have the most crispy buttery light croissant as well as the baguette of 3 days old !!! It is not like the Cafe con leche tortilla ... unhappily
Some bars let you buy croissant or whatever in the next door bakery and have the coffee with them
Many bakeries also have a few tables where you can sit and have a warm drink ( no alcohol) it is the case here in Brittanywhere I live!!
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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Yes. Not all restaurants, but many. You bring your own wine and pay a "corking fee" of a few dollars. I do not know the history of how it started, but it is a very ordinary practice in the province. (Former Montrealer here).
Interesting -- illegal in France (even the old family places in the 70s and 80s refused it), and probably not in Italy ; though Spain no idea.

I *think* you can drink your own stuff in a bar if you've ordered something else, but a restaurant ?

Given that so often the vino tinto is part of the menu, at the very least it would be disrespectful I think. But the family places in Italy might allow it, given that there are just so many family vineyards and olive groves, so that a barter donation of liquid to the restaurant might grant you such rights.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Geneva to Irun then Norte to SDC 2015, Piemont Pyreneen 2018
I do like a good breakfast so I have learned over the years that if I am asked what I would like I often respond with "bacon, eggs, toast and a big black coffee". Now you may think I am being a bit presumptive in asking for such fare but you would be surprised on how many times the owner has nodded his/her head then moved off to the kitchen to return 15 minutes later with more or less exactly what I have requested then stepped back to watch me eat.
A croissant with jam just does not cut it for me and if that is all that is available I'm off looking for a deli.
I have to confess on more than one occasion I have joined the local workers standing at the bar for a shot glass of Marc to get the day going.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I *think* you can drink your own stuff in a bar if you've ordered something else, but a restaurant ?
The BYOB (bring your own booze, for the uninitiated) option started with the restaurants that didn’t have a liquor license; it kept costs down all round. Then the licensed establishments got upset and things got complicated.
 

Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Customs across Europe are very different. In my part of Europe something like that would never happen. But we have other customs that you may like :)
When I lived in DK in the late 80's, one custom I found strange at first, was eating a sandwich for lunch with a knife and fork. I remember work colleagues looking at me with bemusement as I attempted to eat smørrebrød med sild with my hands. Today I still eat smørrebrød two or three times a week....with a knife and fork of course! Scandinavia was notably way ahead of the rest of Europe back then for reycling too and on Saturdays we would take all the glass empties back to buy beer with the proceeds. And the practice of putting out unwanted household items on a designated day: chairs, tables, lamps, rugs....
I still have a few small things in my possession 30 years later.
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I attempted to eat smørrebrød med sild with my hands.

Your Danish is perfect!

”Smørrebrød med sild” – it doesn’t get much more Danish than that (don’t forget the raw onions).

on Saturdays we would take all the glass empties back to buy beer with the proceeds.

Oh, happy days – we still do that, but these days you’d have to return a good backpack full of empty bottles to buy another round.

I’m glad you enjoyed your stay here :)
 
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Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Thank you! Yes, time there had a very positive influence on my life and still does!

Sorry OP, back to topic... I have nothing to add about breakfast in France but I live for tostada con tomate in Spain and here at home for a change too...
My version: toasted, almost burnt brown bread drowned with olive oil, pulped ripe tomato spooned on top and a grinding of salt...perfect!
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I have a question for other coeliacs. I did a lot of homework before our trip to Spain as my husband is coeliac, and we were always able to find something for him to eat. We did purchase food for dinners from supermarkets, but breakfast we bought from a cafe.
What are the gluten free options in France?
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I'm a Camino Frances veteran, and I know the breakfast routine in Spain.... (Repeat after me: Cafe con leche, por favor....)

Next Spring I hope to walk from Lourdes over the Somport Pass to Jaca. That means five or six days on the Way in France.

What might I expect to find in France by way of breakfast? What should I order?
I stayed only in albergues on that Camino so it isn’t really a case of what you should order, but what there is 😉 Few cafés in between that I can recall....
I once made a detour of a couple of kms (up a very steep hill!!!) just because I was hungry. Had a very nice breakfast/lunch of home -made ‘patatas bravas’ 😎
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
We supplement breakfasts when we hike. Otherwise..it is too much wheat.... Most of the time we eat a second breakfast after walking for a while. Before we leave our room, we usually have cereal (Oats) hot or cold, or yogurt and granola, both choices with a banana or berries. Or a soft boiled egg, when possible and hot tea. Then we may share an egg tortilla,toast and decaf somewhere, or occasionally one order of bacon and eggs, trim off the fat (which it mostly is) and make a sandwich.

Camino meals seem to be starchy. It is fine for a day or two before a marathon, but-not for several weeks or more. We try for a more balanced approach. We make lots of fresh salads and often eat the menu del dia,or off menu, trading the beverages and dessert for a better piece of Meat.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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What are the gluten free options in France?
Some boulangeries do have gluten-free bread, though you may sometimes need to order it the previous evening, then pick it up in the morning (which can sometimes be done as early as 4 AM).

And the larger supermarkets do tend to have a range of gluten-free products.

But bio food shops are actually fairly common throughout France, at least in some of the larger municipalities and all the cities, so that if you're prepared to carry the weight, and make sure to walk through those towns and cities from time to time instead of avoiding them, you should be able to obtain and maintain a sufficient stock of these foodstuffs in your packs.
 
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