Café GourmandGreat Weekend Breakfast and Brunch, Coffee Roaster
Café Gourmand is a French bistro and bakery in Uruguay with great service, always freshly-baked bread and pastries and delicious coffee at affordable prices
The French-American owners Erica and Grégoire moved to Uruguay in 2011 and absolutely loved it but were frustrated whenever they ate out (“even supposedly great restaurants left us a bit disappointed when compared to our dining experiences abroad”). So they decided to start up a French café, coffee roastery and Uruguay bakery in their neighbourhood, Cordón.
Though some journalists cynically questioned their choice of location–which has become ‘the place to be’ in the last few years–, for the couple it is a practical and personal matter. They’d been living in Cordón practically since they arrived, wanted to contribute to their community and, having two small children, wanted to be close to home. They say, “we are a local bistro showcasing Uruguayan products with a French/international touch.”
Everything at Café Gourmand is prepared fresh daily including the pastries too die for—buttery croissants, sticky cinnamon rolls and the pain au chocolat (cause of addiction of more than a few locals)—and deliciously chewy baguette and pan de campo (country bread), seasoned with sea salt from Rocha.
They offer breakfast and brunch (and take-away and delivery with advance ordering). Their coffee beans come directly from the plantation and they work with organic coffee farmers in Colombia. The beans are roasted in-house. Check out their Instagram and Facebook pages to see what’s coming up.
The full brunch had this guru in ecstasy. It includes Grégoire’s twist on Eggs Benedict, fresh yogurt, home-made granola and fruit, and your choice of pastry, as well as a basket of their fresh-baked bread. It also includes two drinks—one hot and one cold—They even have an option for a Tispy brunch with mimosas!—unheard of on any other brunch menu in Montevideo as far as I am aware—and the detox classic, kombucha (Erica’s parents back in the US have been brewing it since the 70s).
What you should know
All breads and pastries are super fresh Grégoire is at the café by 4am so that the first batches of breads and pastries are ready for opening. Then he’s kneading and rolling throughout the day. On Saturdays they bake up to five times. So whatever time you rock up, your croissant will be just fresh from the oven.
Go early or after the midday rush The cafe gets busy from 11am.
Great customer service In a land where the waitstaff are studiously “elsewhere” while you’re trying to ask for the bill, I was delighted to find that a single glance had Emily, the multilingual (English, French and Spanish) waitstaff, at my table in a second. Visit Café Gourmand for a second time and they’ll remember you were there before and maybe even what you ordered.
A Café Gourmand is actually a Parisian tradition – a coffee with three—three!—small desserts. And of course it’s on the menu.
Vegetarians There are always options and they are happy to cater to customers with specific dietary needs. Check out Greg’s macarons, a French obsession, made with almond flour and egg whites and filled with chocolate ganache or coffee or lemon mousse, which are gluten-free. Though Grégoire is quick to point out that Café Gourmand is a bistro-slash-bakery, so traces of wheat are inevitable in the kitchen.
Most ingredients are sourced locally They have a barter arrangement with a local egg-seller—kitchen waste for golden yolks—and no commercial soft drinks are sold on site, so no Coke, no Fanta.
Breakfast Breakfast specials 260-320 pesos, granola, yogurt & fruit salad 180 pesos, brunch 650 pesos.
Take away Pain du chocolat 80 pesos, croissant 70 pesos, macaron 60 pesos.
Lunchtime Sandwiches including BLT 220 pesos. Croissan’wiches from 190 pesos.
Constituyente 1869 (on the corner of Yaro), Cordón, Montevideo
Open Saturdays and Sundays 8h30am to 3h45pm
Delivery/pick-up available with advance orders on Thursday
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