Le Bal Café / Cookbooks

Le Bal Café / Cookbooks

I tend to pop off photos of cookbook shelves when I come across them. In the moment, just a couple frames with my cell phone, for browsing later. It occurred to me that you might like to see them as well? How about starting with Le Bal? Le Bal Cafe is a place I sneak off to often when I visit Paris. Tucked up an alley in the 18th, behind the bustling Place de Clichy, the space is airy, bright, and casual. It sits next to a robustly-stocked photography book store (and gallery). You'll find rare books, small editions, one of a kind photo projects - it's a gem of a place. I like to browse the books, or exhibit, then pull up a stool. After a look around, you might order a noisette, or an afternoon tart framboise, or sit for a proper lunch while you flip through a new book or magazine.

Le Bal Cafe

The cookbooks in Le Bal Cafe - they're a nice mix of baking, Brits, wine, West Coast, and charcuterie - there's The Taste of Britain, Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, The River Cottage Cookbook, Tartine, Delia's Cakes, NOMA, Ottolenghi, Moro, Faviken, amongst others. If you'd like a closer look, there's a larger image posted here.

When there, I keep my eyes peeled for Guillaume Belvèze. He works at the cafe (or did as of my last visit), and photographed the fanzine of the food of Le Bal. I tend to pick up little books when I travel, and came across the Le Bal zine one morning. I mentioned how much I liked it to the woman who was ringing me up at the book shop, and she pointed at Guillaume inside the cafe. He shot it. He would shoot while working at the cafe, and I think that is part of what I love about it. It's the different between shooting as an insider versus an outsider. Anyway, I like to see what he's up to and what he's shooting. He's easily, one of my favorite photographers (food, or otherwise) that I've come across in the past few years.

Le Bal Café
6, Impasse de la Défense, 75018
+33 (0)
Métro: Place de Clichy

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I find it fascinating to find out what cookbooks are lying around. It seems to really give a history of a person. It amazes me that so many homes have so many cookbooks but all they do is gather dust!

Great photos and such a pleasant story behind them.


What a great idea! I love it when eateries share their beloved books.

Do you like the ones at Local Mission Eatery? It's droolworthy....

phi @PrincessTofu

thanks for the link the zine looks awesome. Ive always wanted to put one together of photographs, doodles or other random stuff but never actually went for it.
Do you ever see yourself producing a small zine of photographs? I bet it would be excellent!

Sarah @ hairwaytovegan

i live right by place de clichy in montmartre... and i never knew this place existed. i'm going there this afternoon to do some reading... and some cook book creeping! thanks for this!

Jessica (bakecetera)

Paris is my favorite city in the whole wide world; next time I'm there I'm definitely going to check Le Bal. Heidi, if you have other suggestions it would be fantastic. 101Cookbooks is going to be my Lonely Planet...I could work with that!

HS: Have a great time Mike - My Paris page is really out of date at this point, there are many, many new coffee shops and places that I haven't updated on my map....def. check out Buvette, and Nanashi, and there have been a number of NY Times articles in the past year with recommendations as well.


Thanks for sharing :) I love photos of book shelves. You have me inspired ;)


Noted for my next visit to Paris! thanks Heidi.


I am terrible for looking through other people's cookbook shelves when we are invited to friend's homes. They are just too addictive to look through!

Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables

Such a nice fanzine.


This place is definitely one of my favorite hidden treasures. My friends just opened Holy Belly which is noteworthy. Frenchies who lived in Oz, cooking and making coffee in Paris in the Aussie way. So coo.


I hope you gave them a copy of yours!


I love to buy and read cookbooks, but for some reason I never make anything in them, I keep thinking maybe my husband one day will pick up that hobby! They do make my kitchen look awesome!


I´ve never been to France actually, great tips.

Madelein - mother to three boys and three girls

Always funny to find new adress advised by foreigner people ! I love the area, but I don't know the place (for now !). Thanks !


Yes to seeing other's cookbook shelves, love how everyone is dressed to match the b&w decor!

HS: :)

diary of a tomato

I travel extensively, and the souvenirs that I purchase are cookbooks. They speak of the natives to that area and the foods that they consume. What a way to study history .


Nice idea!Love snooping at peoples cookbooks:)


Yes! The Bal Cafe is such a gem... and good coffee which is not always easy to come by in this town. Another place that is good and has their own delightful cookbook is Rose Bakery.


Lovely and I wish I could come and have a coffee. I love the attire and cups.


As I've aged and find myself unable to withstand the rigors of travel I've found many placed here in my beloved San Francisco and Northern Cali that rival your recommendation, I might have made an effort in my youth but alas those times are past. Thanks for the recommendation and lovely pictures BTW have you tried Cibo in Sausalito, can't recommend it highly enough.


This is a perfect find - I'm doing 1-week solo trip to Paris and am looking for places to relax and eat at. Putting this on my list!

Shikha @ Shikha la mode

I can speak for Nanashi... We rushed there the afternoon before our flight out of Paris and it was well worth it. They had really nourishing food and as a vegetarian I ate really well!


Hi Heidi! sorry about this comment here, but I can not find other way to contact you :-(
Today I made your Sesame banana bread (I made it several times already!!) and I remember a comment on that post of somebody asking for a substitute for yogurt for lactose intolerant people. I substituted it for kefir, and it works perfectly! I usually use it for every recipe (yours and others) that calls for buttermilk and it's a perfect change. Thank you so much! i really enjoy every one of your recipes :-) have a great day

HS: Thanks Ileana! I'll make a note in the recipe on that page. Really appreciate you checking back in with your results. Have a great week.


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