Le Pain Quotidien

March 6, 2008

Le pain quotidienMy favourite ever breakfast/lunch place when I was living in NY, Brussels and London was the chain ‘Le Pain Quotidien’.

I can’t tell you how many Tuesday afternoons in the last year before I moved to Amsterdam, that Courtney and I spent in one of the venues in London (occasionally joined by Michela visiting us from Milan), enjoying the bread baskets (my favourite are the hazelnut flutes), a salad or a tartine (open sandwich), with an XL cappuccino and – best of all – the chocolate spread to top it all off.

Le Pain Quotidien originated in Belgium, where they know the meaning of good food as no other – even if we’re only talking about plain bread!
Upon entering the shop, there is a counter where the most wonderful, hand-shaped loaves of bread are sold, alongside croissants, brioches, crusty baguettes, and last but certainly not least, the tarts and pastries (oh, their chocolate bombe is just to die for)! Everything is absolutely delicious, both for the eyes and for the mouth.

But you can also eat in (breakfast and lunch) – the atmosphere is really cosy (sort of French country style with long communal wooden tables and wicker baskets) and there are always high-chairs available. It’s a families’ favourite; also great to bring newborn babies – mine used to sleep next to me on the wooden bench!
Traditional jams and a variety of spreads can be found on the tables (including the world-famous Belgian chocolate praline spread)!! If you can’t find what you’re craving on your table – just ask your neighbour. That’s how it works!

Le pain quotidien spreads

Unfortunately, in Amsterdam there is no such thing as Le Pain Quotidien (yet – I hope). Snif. 🙁
But there is a concept that comes pretty close to it: ‘De Bakkerswinkel’ (The Baker’s Shop). Different breadbaskets come with a variety of bread, muffins, croissants, jams, cold- cuts and cheese. Salads and sandwiches are also on the menu.
It might not be as good as the ‘real’ thing, but it’s still a great place to take your children for brunch on the weekend!

xxx Esther


Comments (6)

March 6, 2008

Oh I am sooo missing our Tuesday afternoons at Le Pain Quotidien!! Everything there is yummy! (Especially, like you said, the chocolate spread)!

Though my thighs and gut are probably thankful for the much less frequent trips!

March 6, 2008

oooohhhh I love Le Pain Quotidien!!
I used to go in Brussels, then on every trip to Paris…and when they finally opened in London I was about to leave.
Needless to say there is not a single one of them here in Milan!

March 7, 2008

One of my favorite things about Belgium! It’s one of the places I really miss when I’m home in Chicago…

March 8, 2008

mouth watering! I have a funny little cook book called “Everyone Eats Well in Belgium” – off to open it for the first time in a few years!

March 9, 2008

Must say that we LOVE this place. We are fortunate to have two in our neighborhood here, but we loved going to the ones in London and Brussels too! My husband loves the Praline spread and I am partial to the chocolate croissants

October 23, 2008


I found you by googling Le Pain Quotidien. I was in Paris for a year with my 3 year old, and we spent many rainy afternoons there. I was missing Paris & the tartines and trying to recreate them at home (in Seattle). Your site was a very nice find. Thanks for being here!

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