Brunching in Tunis

Before we had kids, Justin and I would go to brunch every Sunday; early before the church crowd rolled in. Brunch was our religion. After we had kids, it became less frequent, but it was still our go-to outing when we needed to get out of the house. There’s just something comforting about sipping a cappuccino and chatting over a plate full of french toast and bacon.

We’ve been in Tunis a little under a year and I am pleased to see that their brunch game is on point. Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface. I’m sure the following list will leave out some great undiscovered restaurants, but I thought it would be nice to compile a little list of a few favorites we’ve tried thus far.

A Mi Chemins

This place gets the number one spot for a few reasons. It’s a trendy little spot in La Marsa, located on the 3rd floor on the side of the Zephyr Mall. From the top of the building, you can eat your breakfast overlooking the Mediteranian Sea. If you sit inside, the vibe is very cool and spacious- lots of retro decor, eclectic furniture, lighting, and plants. The service is great. They have fresh juices and smoothies. Although, as with all places in Tunisia, be prepared with some backup options if they don’t have the ingredients for your top choice. I’ve ordered the smoothie bowl which was refreshing and healthy, but my favorite thing I’ve ordered was a platter of fried chicken strips, warm waffles coated in ricotta cheese and topped with the fluffiest scrambled eggs, perfectly seasoned with red pepper flakes. For a while, this spot seemed like a best kept secret and we usually only shared the space with a few other customers. I think the secrets out now though, so depending on the day and time, you might have to prepare yourself for a bit of a wait.

Cook’s

Cook’s is a well-loved Sidi Bou Said brunch spot. It has a local coffee shop-feel, filled with sofas and shelves of books. It’s not big, a bit grungy, and the service and menu are casual and unfussy. If you want a great value, this is the place to go. Sometimes you pay a premium for eating in Sidi Bou Said, but this spot is cheap and easy. My favorites are the eggs benedict with real bacon or the Croque Madame. My daughter ordered a waffle the other day that looked amazing and came with real maple syrup. Pork bacon and maple syrup aren’t always easy to find, so Cook’s gets bonus points for having these comfort staples. I should warn that the atmosphere is usually filled with cigarette smoke and being a small space, it’s hard to get away from. This is pretty common in Tunisian restaurants, but here I find it’s especially noticeable.

Gormandise

Here’s another Sidi Bou Said spot that’s a new discovery as of this morning! (They have a few other locations around town as well.) It quickly rose up my list for its pristine, spotless environment and fabulous menu selection. Plus, it has a separate, completely enclosed smoking section! This is the first place I’ve seen where they have a seperation. It was so nice enjoying breakfast without the smoke! When you walk in you are greeted with case after case of fancy pastries and tarts lining the walls behind glass. Their menu had many pages of entrees and drinks. It was hard to choose. I ordered a juice with orange, carrot, and ginger, a smoothie bowl with greek yogurt, granola, and fruit, and the croque madame. The food was solid and service was great.

Palazzo Caffee Restaurant

The Palazzo is right next to the Tunisia Mall in Lac II. It’s our go-to brunch spot on mall shopping days. Palazzo and Zara- not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning. This place looks very upscale, but the fancy velvet chairs and white curtains are now a bit faded from years of cigarette smoke. You don’t get a great view here but it’s never crowded and the food and service is consistent. They have breakfast combinations that give plenty of variety and value. I always get the Parisian. As with all their meals, it automatically comes with water, juice, and a cappuccino. The meals are beautifully presented on tiered platters with baked goods, omelets, and charcuterie samplings. I’ve never been able to finish the whole breakfast. The kids get the breakfast duo, meant to be shared and again there’s more than enough. My breakfast with all of the drinks was 22 dinar (about $8 USD) and the kids’ choice was 33 dinar (about $6 per kid). It feels like eating at a 5-star restaurant for fast food prices.

Punic’Art

I’m adding Punic’Art mainly for the view and fun menu options, but it would not be a top choice for breakfast. It’s located near Salambo beach and park. If you go on a nice day you can eat right on the water’s edge and feel the salt air. The inside seating feels a bit more like a beach shack and this place can get crowded, so plan accordingly. I’d go here if you want dessert and a Mediterranean Sea location. I ordered the Oreo milkshake and it was amazing! They have lots of sweet options, some a bit over-the-top-decedent, topped with thick whipped cream, candy and cookies. Take it easy so you don’t leave with a stomach ache.

Other: I’ve also been to Ivy and Sabato which are highly recommended but tiny. You have to hit these places as they open or you may be out of luck. They both have smaller menus with quality, local ingredients and a cute atmosphere.

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