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Travel to Paris in Your Own Backyard

Start your day with friends and breakfast at Nicole's in South Pasadena.

Travel to Paris in Your Own Backyard Travel to Paris in Your Own Backyard Travel to Paris in Your Own Backyard Travel to Paris in Your Own Backyard Travel to Paris in Your Own Backyard

Sometimes parents have to put things on hold while they’re busy being parents. For example, I probably won’t go back to Paris anytime soon, but a Kir Royale, a chocolate croissant or a cheese plate at Nicole’s Gourmet Foods in South Pasadena makes it feel not so far away.

One of the best things about Southern California is that you can pretty much dine al fresco any time of year--it’s just too bad more restaurants here don’t have that option. At Nicole’s there are plenty of tables outside. And what better way to start the day than outside over a European style breakfast with friends—sans kids.

I recently did just that and can’t wait to do it again. The breakfast menu includes omelettes, brioche, croque madame and a variety of pastries, croissants and fruit. And one of the best tasting coffees I’ve had in a long time. If you’re more in the mood for lunch there are many choices for sandwiches, salads, and soups.

Opened twelve years ago, Nicole’s is more than a neighborhood café--it’s also a market where locals, Francophiles and chefs from all over can find specialty products, fresh daily baguettes, pastries, cheeses, pates, cakes, wines, oils, and much more. A friend pointed out their large selection of spices and how comparatively lower their prices are. And another friend picked up some frozen chocolate croissants that you can bake up at home to serve to guests. Nicole’s will also prepare food for a lunch or party. I happened to notice the flourless chocolate cake which I’ll be ordering for Easter.

Owner Nicole Grandjean said, "It’s a very family friendly place and we do get lots of moms here.” So next time you want to catch up with friends, whether it be over breakfast or a glass of wine and a cheese plate, remember to head to Nicole’s and then pick up some ingredients for dinner while you’re there.

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