Café Gourmand is a neighbourhood bistro and bakery with great service, always freshly-baked bread and pastries and good 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 gourmet café in their neighbourhood, up-and-coming Cordón.
Though some journalists cynically questioned their choice of location, 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.
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—such as a glass of house wine or a half a pint of craft beer—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.
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.
Dying for decent coffee in Montevideo? Café Gourmand imports their coffee, are trained barristas and proud members of Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) of the USA and Europe.
Brunch is usually Saturdays only but this summer Café Gourmand has offered brunch every day from 9-3 throughout January and February. As a crusader for REAL brunches in Uruguay, I’m hoping this is a change that sticks.
A Café Gourmand is actually a Parisian tradition – a coffee with three—three!—small desserts. And of course it’s on the menu.
Vegans & 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.
The craft beer is in the balance right now Erica tells me that if they don’t start moving more beer, unfortunately she’s going to have to lose the tap. Don’t let that happen! Choose beer with your brunch!
Breakfast Breakfast specials 210-260 pesos, granola & yogurt 120 pesos, brunch 500 pesos.
Take away Espresso + pastry 140 pesos, pain du chocolat 80 pesos, croissant 70 pesos, macaron 50 pesos.
Lunchtime Special + bread basket 320 pesos, sandwiches including BLT 220 pesos.
Constituyente 1869 (on the corner of Yaro), Cordón, Montevideo
Open Wed-Sat 9am-5pm
- Address: Directions