Best Crepes From Around The Globe
By: Inna Shamis
First made popular by the French, crepes were originally served on Candlemans Day (La Chandeleur) – a Christian Festival held to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary on February 2nd in France. Soon recognized as simply, “Crepe Day” – this celebrated day in February referred to the tradition of offering and serving crepes. It was on this day that many also believed, if you could catch the crepe with a frying pan after tossing it in the air (with your left hand), while holding a piece of gold (on your right) you’d become rich that year. If only this juggling act were that easy, or that true!
Imported flat round, cast-iron crepe griddles are used to prepare light flavorful crepes. The people of France, especially those of Northwestern region of Brittany, have enjoyed crepes since the Middle Ages. Today, this thinly cooked, delicate pancake-like treat (savory crepes are made from buckwheat flour; sweet crepes are made from wheat flour) is recognized and appreciated all over the world. Whatever filling or topping you choose to accompany this little treat, it’s always a delight – whether for a meal or dessert!
After scouring the globe, here are journeyPod’s top picks on where to get this authentic French creation, the crepe:
La Creperie (Chicago, IL) – Nestled inside the same cozy bistro location since 1972, this family run hot spot features favorites that include the ratatouille crepe, filled with squash, zucchini, eggplant, onion and carrots; a seafood crepe with shrimp and scallops in a light cream sauce; and a Grand Marnier dessert crepe seasoned with liqueur. If you find yourself in the windy city during the summer months, request a table on the outdoor patio!
Cecel Cafe Crepe (New York, NY) – A tiny East Village shop, Cecel Cafe Crepe is the destination of choice for locals and tourists alike. Run by Kaz Yokoi (of Sushi of Gari and Payard Patisserie), the crepes at this spot fuse French and Japanese techniques and incorporate Asian ingredients unlike anything you’ve ever seen. But, what you’ll find even more interesting is that unlike the traditional French crepes, the ones at Cecel’s arrive in an ice-cream-cone shape and filled with pastry-cream.
La Creperie (Paris Hotel – Las Vegas, NV) – Reminiscent of the sidewalk spots you’d find on the streets of Paris, La Creperie is a walk-up bistro that serves this “quintessential French delicacy prepared before your eyes”. Whether you’re craving a dessert, meal or light snack, this is the place. Just be prepared to wait – open from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. (daily), this spot is always buzzing!
Creperie Bretonne (Paris, France) – Although crepes are available on just about every street corner in this city, you must check out Creperie Bretonne, which serves the best authentic ones here!
Creperie Beaumonde (Philadelphia, PA) – Having been awarded the “Best of Philly”, “Best of Brunch” and “Best of Outdoor Dining” awards, Creperie Beaumonde is known for its dessert – in particular its crepes! Go for the Nutella – a fluffy and moist delight filled with a chocolate hazelnut spread you won’t soon forget!
Cafe Bonaparte (Washington, DC) – Located in the heart of Georgetown, Cafe Bonaparte is a small cozy creperie that is like a quintessential European cafe. Offering a menu filled with “not so sweet” and “sweet” crepes, our favorites include the Saint Germain, which combines strawberries, whipped cream and almonds and The Lorraine, filled with wild berries, vanilla ice cream and chocolate. A great spot to grab a delicious bite and do some people watching!
La Creperie de Hampstead (London, England) – A small stand (located near the King William IV pub by the Hampstead tube), this little hot spot serves up amazing crepes. But be prepared to wait. It isn’t just the locals who’ve discovered this fantastic gem. Favorites include the Belgian White Chocolate and Banana crepe.
Le Jardin Nelson (Montreal, Canada) – Located in the heart of Old Montreal, this spot is set in a gorgeous courtyard, aside a building that dates back to the early 1800’s. Favorites include the signature “Le Jardin” crepe, made with sweet corn and sesame butter, filled with fresh vegetables, basil, black olives, cheddar, mozzarella and goat cheese. Or if you’re in the mood for something sweet, tickle your fancy with the Chocolat decadent crepe (which also translates to “Death by chocolate”)! Need we say more?
Ti-Couz (San Francisco, CA) – One of the oldest crepe restaurants in the city, Ti-Couz is always bustling with folks looking for a bite of this French delight. Perfect for those who believe the crepe is the palette for greater things, at this spot, customers pick their fillings and flavors a la carte – which naturally allows for some interesting concoctions. The place offers everything from seafood sauce and smoked salmon, to berries and brown sugar. Foodies, unite!
Point Chaud Express (Paris, France) - From the mint tea that the owner serves those waiting for their crepe order, to the lollipops he distributes to children passing by, its not hard why many are drawn to this spot. It also doesn’t hurt that he serves up some of the best crepes in town. Our favorite is the chicken and cheese crepe – filled chicken, tomatoes, sauteed onions and olives, topped with shredded melted cheese. A testament to how much pride he takes in each and every crepe creation, the chef also folds each one evenly and adds cheese around the edges, perfect for those who enjoy a crispy finish.