Whenever I think of eggs benedict or eggs florentine, I think of having brunch at Chez Justine in Paris. Instantly I am brought back to happy summer days walking down Rue Oberkampf from my student housing almost every Saturday or Sunday. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I was a regular brunch goer in Paris since it was and is my favorite meal of all time. And a Chez Justine brunch was something I always looked forward to.
Chez Justine brunch will always hold a special place in my heart. It was one of the very first places I ate when I arrived in Paris. I can remember as clear as yesterday that summer I spent at NYU Paris. A friend of mine (let’s call her Nima*) had studied abroad at NYU Paris her freshman year, but by this time we were about to enter our senior year. We were both in the summer writing program and she knew of this place from before. It wasn’t until I got there that I realized that brunch was on the menu.
Chez Justine Brunch Includes…
My french is and will always be inferior to my Spanish and Italian. I’m not sure if I will ever quite get it right. Additionally, I’m not sure if I will use french as much as I use the other two. So, when I arrived in Paris, I knew only the necessary phrases. I knew how to order and ask for directions. However, I completely forgot how to tell someone that I am allergic to pineapples and peaches, as the brunch menu comes with the juice of the day. Luckily, Nima* knew French and wrote it down in my phone. I spent time trying to recite and remember the phrase but when it came down to ordering, I sounded like an idiot. I then proceeded to push my phone with the phrase in the waiter’s face. Je suis américain.
The formule brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays. It includes a hot drink (like tea or coffee), the juice of the day, choice of eggs benedict or florentine, hash browns, caesar salad, and a choice of chocolate mousse or yogurt with fruit. All of this cost 16 euro. This Chez Justine brunch is one of my favorites. However, they have a smaller brunch (6,5 euro) and English breakfast (9,5 euro) that is available during the week in the morning. I recommend them if you can’t make the weekend Chez Justine brunch.
The Space Is Incredibly Cozy…
When you first walk in, it can be a bit overwhelming but soon someone will tell you where you can sit. Sometimes if you catch Chez Justine brunch at the right time, you will be able to watch a band play while eating. I remember being able to watch bands play American oldies. It was truly a treat! Additionally, the staff is so kind and wonderful. One time when I was enjoying the petite brunch on the 14 Juillet (kind of like 4th of July in France), my waitress who I had seen numerous times stopped to have a conversation with me. I learned that she had studied in New York for quite some time but didn’t like it. We both shared how harsh New York can be at times. I believe that was the last time I saw her that summer.
It comes in handy knowing a bit of French in France. However, you will most likely find someone who speaks English. Most of the time I spoke French in Chez Justine out of consideration that it may be easier for the staff. I don’t think I ever had a serious issue. That being said, the menu is fairly easy to understand. When in doubt, they have wifi that comes in handy for looking up words you don’t know.
Chez Justine became home for me and will be one of my favorite brunch spots to go to. I honestly will never forget the memories I shared there.
Comment: What is your favorite brunch menu item?
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All photos by Girl In Gamba
*Name has been changed for privacy
Quality of Service9
Value for Your Money8
Can get really loud
Menu is in french (not really a bad thing)
A bit confusing when you walk in