Brunch is not a trend. Brunch is a movement. You’re too late for breakfast, its not quite time for lunch, and you’re craving some breakfast staples. Citizen Femme’s guide to the best brunches in Europe combines great food and even better outfits.
Europe does brunch so well. Sweet or savoury, can’t decide? Have them both. Bacon and maple syrup. French toast and sausage. Endless vegetarian options. And best of all, drinking is totally acceptable, in fact, a couple of brunch-time special Bloody Marys are encouraged. The best thing about brunching? Obviously getting dressed for it. Citizen Femme’s Fashion Editor, Lisa Haynes, picks her edit of food-themed brunch-time pieces so you can make a style statement as you’re Instagramming your avo toast.
Fruit and seafood are hot trends for this season that you can wear as well as eat. The sartorial brunch requirement? Throw on a piece (or two) with a hint of irreverence. It is the weekend after all.
the brunch packing edit
La Guerite, Cannes
Paradise found. A 20-minute boat ride from Cannes on île Sainte Marguerite, this 3,500 metres squared of protected nature really is an exceptional place to eat. You will be seduced by a menu featuring fresh fish, live music walking through the tables followed by a DJ playing songs you will sing along to the whole afternoon, alongside jaw-dropping views showcasing the epitome of Riviera living.
The Chef, Yiannis Kioroglou, comes from Athens and has remained faithful to his roots cuisine despite his many gourmet wanderings in San Sebastian, on the French Riviera and in the Italian countryside.
To get to the restaurant, you walk along a winding pebbled path shaded by fragrant pine and eucalyptus trees. Walk past sunbeds laid out where you can choose to spend some time post lunch before hopping on a boat back to the mainland.
Packed with families and groups of friends, its a must visit lunch place in the Summer months. The restaurant is open every day for lunch.
Le Camondo, Paris
A Paris brunch is no longer a coffee and a croissant (although its still a popular option, as you sit and watch Parisians go about their day, oh so stylishly.)
A new Parisian address, Le Camondo, has opened on the border of the 8th and 17th arrondissements, in the lofty garage of the eponymous museum, just next to Parc Monceau. As if suspended in time, this former parking garage of the Hôtel Particulier has retained many of its features, including its coffered ceiling and metallic columns. It offers a large bar dining experience, acting as the central element of the space. It also opens onto a paved secret courtyard, to enjoy a little al fresco during the warmer Parisian months.
In the kitchens is talented young chef Alexis le Tadic, who revisits bistronomy style, blending Mediterranean flavours and French classics. For the sweets, it’s Christophe Michalak who’s behind the Pavlova, mille-feuille and Paris Brest. Although we love it for brunch, its really quite hard to resist, at any time of day.
Elegant conservatory meets private member’s club. It’s for those in the know.
Picnic, El Born, Barcelona
El Born, the district located next to the Gothic Quarter, is one of Barcelona’s most authentic and vibrant areas, brimming with local favourites, trendy terraces, and assorted bar-hopping options. El Born is the place to go for one of the best brunches in Europe but you may well end up staying in the area till dinner.
Picnic is one of our top spots, on the outskirts of El Born. Owned by an American-Chilean couple, it is traditional American brunch meets Latin favourites. Try their signature fried green tomatoes with corn salsa, chipotle and horseradish Bloody Marys and quinoa hash brown croquetas.
Be prepared to queue at weekends! And if you are lucky, grab a seat on the terrace.
Did I hear you say you were after a looong leisurely lunch? Nothing is really ever rushed on a trip to Mykonos, nor is your lunch at Scorpios. Scorpios Beach Club Mykonos is a dreamy boho-luxe-chic slice of paradise, nestled on a ridge between two scenic sandy beaches, a short drive from Mykonos town.
Either get there early for morning yoga, take a dip in the sea, find yourself a beach bed, and when your stomach calls, grab a table and enjoy their fully organic lunch menu.
Or get there for a late lunch, order literally anything from their extensive beach cocktail list, grab a few beach beds and enjoy the beautiful sunset views. If it’s a Sunday, their outdoor club party is worth hitting up post lunch!
This convivial market hall in De Hallen is lined with around 20 street food vendors serving up everything from wood-fired pizzas to Vietnamese summer rolls and Greek meze to artisanal burgers from some of Amsterdam’s best-loved kitchens.
The main action is centred around a large island bar flanked by plenty of tables and perches, while a deeper exploration of the hall will reveal extra rooms and speciality bars, as well as an upstairs seating area with views across the entire space.
Once a hub for the first electric trams, it is now a cultural centre in Amsterdam’s up-and-coming neighbourhood, Oud-West. A great brunch spot to head to with friends, buzzing at all hours of the day. Guard your table if you manage to get one at all.
Top tip: Make sure to try the Gin & Tonic bar.
Barcomi’s Deli has, for the past 20 years or so, transformed itself from a coffee shop in Kreuzberg into a local American style food institution. Situated in a courtyard below the Sammlung Hoffman gallery (a private collection of modern art), Barcomi’s New York-style deli has established a solid local reputation.
Run by Cynthia Barcomi (a New York native), you’ll find 13 different house coffees all roasted at Barcomi’s mother branch on Bergmannstraße in Kreuzberg. Delicious New York cheesecakes, muffins and chocolate cakes are baked fresh daily (also at the Kreuzberg premises). There’s no breakfast menu as such, but the healthy selection of toasts and bagels will keep the appetite sated morning, noon and night. Classic black and white interiors are featured, as well as chairs set out in the pretty courtyard outside. Cynthia Barcomi herself is something else – with her two cafes, four children and 3 books to her name.
Top tip: Try and get there before mid-afternoon, it gets particularly busy on weekends.
Wulff & Konstali, Copenhagen
It’s a bakery that sells freshly baked bread and various cakes and treats to stay or to go. But it’s better to stay and mix your own brunch or breakfast from a menu. You receive a menu with 21 options including bread, pastries, eggs, bacon, waffles, chia porridge, yoghurt and granola, avocado and so much more. Pick your own combo making your very own wonder brunch. It’s a popular local hangout, and for a reasonable price, a great place to cure the hangover or start the day.
Luckily Wulff & Konstali have more than just the cafe at Lergravsvej. You can also visit their cafe in Hellerup (Philip Heymans Allé 17), north of Copenhagen or their food shop at Isafjordsgade 10 (no brunch at the food shop though).
Top tip: have a pastry, it’s honestly life-changing.
Fauna & Flora, Lisbon
Flora & Fauna puts healthy and natural first. Green leaves climb the outside wall of the restaurant and potted plants hang from the ceiling, its all about the outdoors brought indoors. After one too many pastel de nata, you may well welcome a detox bowl and freshly squeezed orange juice.
The menu features a handful of smoothie and granola bowl options, a variety of toasts (including of course an avo toast), and more.
It describes itself as honest food with a cocktail bar. Serving all day brunch, seasonal and healthy, they are pretty spot on.
Top tip: The pancakes melt in your mouth.
Granger & Co, London
An Aussie breakfast is one I could have all day long, so much so, I’m suggesting it for brunch. Ricotta pancakes I hear you say… ? The Notting Hill outlet is the first London one from Australian Bill Granger (restaurateur and author of a number of cookery books), now with 4 in London. Reflecting the ‘Australian’ way of thinking: sunny, easy-going and generous.
A no-bookings eaterie – queues form at weekends for brunch. The room is open and airy with tall windows flooding the room with daylight, and light-filled, and the menu filled with tempting options. Eggs with harissa, the famous acai bowls, small sharing plates and salad options alongside heartier options including burgers,
Feelgood, quality food. And you’re hanging out with the locals in each and every location. A winning combination.