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  • Writer's pictureAine Dougherty

Le Nid: Un Endroit Incontournable à Mulhouse

Le Nid: An Unmissable Spot in Mulhouse

When moving to a new country, one of the most important and soul-warming things to do is find "your spot" – whether that's your neighborhood boulangerie, a particular stand at the Saturday market, or a local store where they know you by name.

As potentially one of the most introverted and socially awkward Leo's out there, this proved to be more difficult than I imagined when I came to France.

Les Hirondelles!

And yet, after a year and a half, I can confidently say that my absolute go-to restaurant in Mulhouse has to be Le Nid. (Le Nid means "The Nest," which is very fitting, because I made it my home from the very minute I landed in this city.) This "guinguette urbaine" is owned by two of the sweetest françaises I have ever met. They always have smiles on their faces, and after seeing me come in quietly once a week during normal times and ordering to-go at least once a month mid-COVID, I finally had the nerve to strike up a conversation. And the rest was history.

In a sweet, minimalist, pastel-colored cadre, where every detail is aesthetically pleasing, Le Nid offers everything from fruit-topped pancakes or peanut butter toast for breakfast to fleischnackas for lunch to a never-ending carousel of homemade, in-season desserts (cookies, cakes, tartes... the list goes on). The first time I set foot in this spot to spend an afternoon lesson planning and sipping on a coffee, I was immediately intoxicated by the aroma of toasted hazelnuts, ready to be mixed into a batch of cookies that made me think of home. At Le Nid, you can stop in for a latte or even for an apéro, or, you can do what I've done multiple times to keep me sane during COVID – place your order for takeaway brunch.

This Easter rendition featured a pancake, a waffle, French toast (pain perdu) with berries, hazelnut spread and strawberry jam, a classically Alsacien bretzel, yogurt and granola, grain bread, an assortment of cheeses, smoked salmon, avocado spread, blinis, a tartine with asparagus, ham and Parmesan, and finally, a fresh orange-ginger juice. Whew, that was a mouthful... And a delicious one at that. (For 27 euros, you eat for two. They do takeaway apéros, too!)

Bref, Le Nid is 100% authentic. You can taste the love they put into their food. The hirondelles at Le Nid are innovative and hard-working, and the smiles haven't left their faces, even despite the hardships of the past year for many small businesses. Nothing makes me feel more at home in Mulhouse than seeing my name and a smiley written on my to-go bag. I can't wait to finally return to their trendy, cozy corner and dine-in, sans masques... one day.

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