Friday 30 May | 2014

alster hamburg
Hamburg is a magic city. It has a sort of industrial glamour that makes it unique, the same formula of style and substance that gets converted warehouse apartments featured in glossy magazines.

The streets are youthful and stylish and there’s an inherent happiness here, perhaps granted by the strong sense of culture that welcomes creativity alongside practicality, or the calming tonic that is the Alster.

cafe paris hamburg
So having found yourself in brilliant little Hamburg, you would need a very good reason to slip behind Town Hall into a café named after a very different city altogether – Café Paris.

cafe paris hamburg
And the coffee would not be your first reason to visit. While the cappuccino (€3.50) looks the part and comes with a little dark chocolate accomplice – you’ll need that, because the Haiti Espresso brew is overall bitter.

cafe paris hamburg
To sit under this stunning ceiling however, would be very good grounds to idle away an hour here, and by 9:30am the café is half full with suits and small groups of friends doing just that.

From my comfortable bench seat I have an excellent view over the quietly humming bar area. The impressive collection of French liquor and champagne bottles lend a touch of old world charm to this French inspired brasserie. And despite being a more upmarket spot for breakfast, the atmosphere here is incredibly friendly, the service too.

cafe paris hamburg
Arme Ritter (€5.90) appears to be the most interesting breakfast menu item, which I gladly order despite having no idea what it is. That is a dangerous game to play in a city that snacks on bread rolls filled with raw fish fillets.

Meanwhile, the interesting family of four next to me have ordered a simple croissant each, which arrive sky high and ever so flaky. As food envy sets in, I think back to the menu’s tempting ham and cheese version that I should have ordered, on the side of course, where calories don’t count.

arme ritter
Arme Ritter is actually a local disguise for brunch favourite French toast, served with a dusting of powder sugar and three pieces of juicy fresh fruit. The French toast part is literally toast, leaving me dreaming of brioche French toast in a past life, but still it is well done with the right amount of sweetness and no eggy aftertaste. The blueberry compote is sadly far too sweet and thick to be of much use, and as for Nutella, well… luckily this simple Arme Ritter needs no such things.

cafe paris hamburg
Hidden below eye level at the bar is this little cabinet of French tarts and macarons. Next time, it will be the croque monsieur and a slice of the lemon meringue tart below for me… oui.

Drop by for the atmosphere and a great croissant.

Check out Café Paris’ menu here:

Café Paris menu

Café Paris
Rathausstrasse 4
20095 Hamburg

Café Paris | Hamburg
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