Table of Contents
- Paris Pastry Guide
- Unique Paris Pastry Shops
- Artisan Paris Boulangeries
- Traditional Paris Pâtisseries
- Best Paris Chocolate Shops
- Plan Your Paris Stay
- Hungry for More Sweet Treats?
- Pin It for Later
- About the Authors
Cafes may have revised their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Some may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check cafe websites for updated information.
Paris is a dream destination for a variety of travelers including honeymooners and backpackers. They flock to the City of Light from all corners of the world during all four seasons.
Some of these travelers want to gorge on art at museums like the Louvre, d’Orsay and l’Orangerie. Others want to live out their romantic fantasies at the Eiffel Tower and experience golden sunsets while strolling hand in hand with loved ones along the cobblestone banks of the Seine.
Then there are food travelers like us who focus on eating all of the glorious pastries in Paris when not eating at the city’s best restaurants.
Our quest for the best Paris desserts is nothing short of a lifelong obsession. We even filmed a Paris Pastry Tour video that documents our obsession.
After a dozen trips to Paris including four visits in the past year, we’ve eaten our weight in pastries from the deceptively simple to the marvelously sublime.
And the best part? Thanks to a seemingly infinite number of pastry shops in arrondissements throughout the city, the selection of Paris pastries never bores us.
Our search for the best patisserie in Paris has been nothing short of an adventure. We’ve discovered some of our favorite Paris sweets at old-line patisseries that have been operating in the city for decades, if not centuries.
Stohrer, the oldest bakery in Paris dating back to the 1700s when Nicolas Stohrer baked for Louis XV, still sells to-die-for pastries in the 2nd arrondissement. The shop’s traditional, buttery yet subtly boozy Baba au Rhum flavors are as relevant today as ever.
Food travelers could exclusively visit a plethora of traditional Paris patisseries and boulangeries and never tire of the best sweets in Paris like Macarons, Mont Blancs and Palmiers. However, this type of approach would provide an incomplete picture while leaving many tasty treats off the table.
A new generation of classically-trained pastry chefs is making its mark in the city with unbridled enthusiasm and exotic ingredients. Some of these young guns are baking updated versions of traditional Paris pastries (think black Charcoal Croissants) while others have introduced global sweets like Churros, Cookies and Babka to the Paris pastry mix.
In other words, it’s an exciting time to explore the best bakeries in Paris.
Paris Pastry Guide
The question isn’t if you should eat pastries in the city of lights. Instead, it’s where to find the very best pastries in Paris if you have limited time, budget or stomach space. Unlike this guide, the best Paris pastries aren’t free and have more than a few calories.
Based on our deep dive into the black hole that is the Paris pastry scene, we’ve compiled this Paris guide with our favorite Parisian pastries as well as chocolate, ice cream and other Paris desserts that you really should not miss.
We get that only the pastry-obsessed will make it to every shop in this guide in a search to find the best patisserie in Paris. However, we guarantee that you’ll have fun if you give this quest your very best effort.
Unique Paris Pastry Shops
The French revolution happened in the 18th century but the Paris pastry revolution is happening now. The city is filled with young chefs taking (or should we say baking?) pastries in new and exciting directions.
Some of these pastry chefs are classically trained with impressive culinary resumes. Others are self-taught, while a handful honed their baking skills in other countries. With a common thread of pastry passion, these innovative pastry chefs are the ones who pique our interest the most.
Sound intriguing? If so, check out the following unique Paris pastry shops:
A visit to KL Pâtisserie near the Wagram metro station would be incomplete without trying one of Chef Kevin Lacote’s special ‘À La Minute’ creations. The chef makes a full range of French classics but, if you’re there for an afternoon hang, you must try his Mille-Feuille, Pain Perdu or Churros.
Yes. You read that correctly. Though more associated with countries like Spain and Mexico, Churros are THE thing to eat at KL Pâtisserie.
Elevating the sweet street food staple to a level fit for a Paris salon, Lacote freshly fries vanilla dough before serving his sugar-dusted Churros over a layer of vanilla sugar and with sides of orange-passion fruit compote and Valrhona chocolate sauce.
Since KL’s Churros were only available from 11 am to 5 pm at the time of our visit, we shared a pot of Earl Grey tea and a Pain au Chocolat while we waited for the moment when Lacote would prepare our Churros. Shaped with delicate ridges that encourage the vanilla bean infused sugar to cling to the sides, these Churros were well worth the wait.
As we photographed our Churros, a random woman exclaimed “It’s a shame you can’t photograph the smell. They smell so good.” We’re pleased to report that they tasted even better than they smelled.
KL Pâtisserie is located at 78 Avenue de Villiers, 75017 Paris, France.
We discovered Babka Zana through pure serendipity on a walk through Paris’ 9th arrondissement on the way to breakfast. As we passed by the shop on Rue Condorcet, just a short walk from pastry hub of Rue de Martyrs, we got sucked in by the unmistakable buttery smell of hot, heavenly pastry baking to a gorgeous golden brown.
We knew we had to check this place out. We’re so glad we did because this ‘Levantine’ bakery may be baking some of the best Babkas and Ruggelach in the world.
Power couple and Jewish Tunisian natives Emmanuel Murat and Sarah Amouyal opened the compact bakery in January 2020 after consulting with renowned Parisian pastry chef Benoit Castel. Not your typical Babka, there’s nothing tough or overly chewy in these buttery, pillowy breads of bliss.
Murat confided that the secret is in the dough which they prepare in a French Normandy style that involves 48 hours of fermentation. Ingredients include lots of butter, creme fraiche, liquid yeast and a bit of syrup.
Seinfeld TV show acolytes should not fear veering away from the classic chocolate Babka at Babka Zana. This Paris bakery makes an outstanding roster of spot-on flavors including chocolate-hazelnut, cinnamon-muscovado, pistachio-fleur d’orange and halva-citron.
We tried the pistachio Babka with fleur d’orange, which sounded unusual to these two Babka eaters. However, we were promptly captivated by the pastry’s buttery texture and definable taste of pistachio.
Babka Zana is located at 65 Rue Condorcet, 75009 Paris, France.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred
Prior to visiting Aux Merveilleux de Fred, our only experience in Lille was changing trains on the way to Bruges. Now that we’ve tasted the Parisian version of Lille’s marvelous Merveilleux pastry, we want to visit the northern French city near Belgium to taste a Merveilleux at the source.
Although Aux Merveilleux de Fred has locations around the world including cities like New York and Berlin, visiting a shop in Paris is a must to see one of the patisserie’s gorgeous chandeliers. However, the pastries are the main event. Crowds queue for the chance to buy a unique Merveilleux in various sizes, colors and flavors.
But what is a Merveilleux? Technically, it’s a small pastry consisting of meringue, whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Bakers at Aux Merveilleux de Fred take the Merveilleux to the next level by creating airy puffs of sweetness in flavors including caramel, cherry, chocolate, coffee, praline and speculoos.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred has multiple Paris locations. We visited the Marais shop at 24 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris, France.
L’Éclair de Genie
If you think that Éclairs are boring, Christophe Adam is proving the opposite at L’Éclair de Genie in Paris, the best bakery in Paris for trying the iconic oblong pastry. The innovative pastry chef has made this old-school choux pastry exciting with the addition of seasonal ingredients like blood orange, sesame and passion fruit.
We immediately noticed Adam’s artistry when we walked into his Éclair boutique and viewed rows of his colorful creations. We noticed it again when we ate the hand-crafted pastries later that night. Yep, thanks to Adam, Éclairs are definitely not boring.
L’Eclair de Genie has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 14 Rue Pavée, 75004 Paris, France.
Jean Hwang Carrant
Two factors drew us into Jean Hwang Carrant’s self-named Cookie shop while we were walking to lunch in the 2nd arrondissement – (1) Hwang Carrant’s fabulous cookbook, displayed in her bakery’s front window, filled with arresting food photographs and (2) the fact that we never met a Cookie we didn’t like.
Hwang Carrant is the kind of entrepreneur one can only find in Paris – a Kansas native of Taiwanese descent deeply dedicated to her craft. Her Cookies scream America, Taiwan and France in each bite. Sesame is her most popular Cookie and the one that most defines her culinary style – they’re soft, not too sweet and have a deep mellow sesame flavor.
This is not a cheap Cookie, retailing for €3.50 at the time of our visit. But Hwang Carrant will surely let you know that every bite contains some of the finest ingredients in the world like Taiwanese sesame and matcha imported directly from Japan.
Shoppers can choose from ten different Cookie options in Hwang Carrant’s Paris Cookie boutique including an environmentally friendly “Newtella” Cookie made without palm oil as well as familiar flavors like salted caramel and pistachio.
Jean Hwang Carrant is located at 84 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris, France.
Are Cinnamon Buns taking over the world? During our travels, we’ve eaten great versions in locales like Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki and Portland. Of course, our hometown of Philadelphia has great Cinnamon Buns too.
The global trend for the twisty pastries has made its way to Paris with Circus Bakery, opened by the team behind brunch favorite Fragments, as one of its standard-bearers. Crowds line up at the practically barren space to sample the bakery’s Cinnamon Buns as well as “Pit-zas” and rustic Boules all day, every day.
True confession – Circus’ popular bun doesn’t rank as our favorite. We found it to be a bit chewy for our tastes, plus the bun’s understated cinnamon flavor didn’t wow us.
Circus Bakery is located at 63 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris, France.
Maison Aleph has a story as interesting as its pastries. Syrian-born owner Myriam Sabet uses unique ingredients as well as French classics like clarified butter from Normandy and cream from Brittany. This female chef epitomizes the diversity of Paris’ new breed of pastry chefs.
Located in the Marais, the pretty Paris pastry shop specializes in nests called Nids. Sabet stuffs these conical rounds of kadaifi with whipped cream and an assortment of flavors like orange blossom, Damascus rose and pistachio.
Sabet also makes a ‘travel’ version of her kadaifi nests with exotic ingredients like Peruvian dark chocolate, Iranian pistachios and hazelnuts from Piedmont as well as 1001 Feuilles with caramelized filo, clarified butter and flavored dried fruit cream. Par for the course, Maison Aleph’s layered pastry incorporates unique flavors like white sesame and halva.
Maison Aleph is located at 20 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris, France.
The Pavlova may be the most French pastry not invented in France. Popular in New Zealand, the meringue-based dessert drew its inspiration from Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova when she performed down under.
Benoit Bardon and Marie Stoclet Bardon embraced the storied Pavlova when they opened the original La Meringaie in 2015. The married duo sells their creamy, fruit-topped meringue creations in sizes geared to both individuals and small groups. Flavors change weekly and embrace seasonality.
La Meringaie has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 35 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France.
Popelini sells one pastry and one pastry only. However, this Paris patisserie achieves diversity by offering 15 Popelini flavors plus a daily surprise. Expect to choose from a treasure trove of colorful pastries with flavors like lemon, raspberry rose and pistachio cherry.
Although Lauren Koumetz opened the original Popelini, a shop as petit as its cream puffs, back in 2011, she didn’t invent choux pastry cream puffs. That credit goes to an Italian chef back in the days of Catherine Medici. However, this American entrepreneur deserves credit for making them 100% French.
Popelini has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop located at 44 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France.
Fou de Pâtisserie
Food travelers with limited time in their hunt for the best desserts in Paris can start and end their journey at Fou de Pâtisserie. With its selection of French pastries from the best Parisian bakeries, this shop lives up to a name that literally translates to Crazy for Pastry.
Owners Julie Mathieu and Muriel Taillandier source freshly baked pastries from many of the top Paris patisseries featured in this guide including Philippe Contincini, Jacques Genin, Pierre Hermé and Cyril Lignac. With so many tempting treats on offer, sweets lovers may have a problem with choosing just one pastry. Actually, that doesn’t sound like such a bad problem.
Fou de Pâtisserie has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 36 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France.
Une Glace à Paris
After eating some of Italy‘s best gelato in Bologna, Venice and Verona, we were keen to try the ice cream at Une Glace à Paris, one of France’s most lauded ice cream shops. After sampling various flavors including Rum Baba and Vanilla, we surprised ourselves by ordering a surprisingly refreshing sorbet featuring carrot and ginger.
We get that ice cream isn’t a pastry BUT we’ve included Une Glace à Paris in light of the fact that co-owner Emmanuel Ryon is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) Glacier and World Pastry Champion. Seriously, though, does it really matter when the ice cream tastes so good? Plus, the cone kind of qualifies as pastry.
Beyond ice cream, Une Glace à Paris sells items like meringues and candied orange slices. Those who can’t decide between ice cream or pastry can kill two birds at once by eating ice cream cake (i.e. frozen pastry) in the shop’s salon.
Une Glace à Paris has multiple Paris locations. We ate our cone at the gelateria located at 15 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris,.
Artisan Paris Boulangeries
French boulangeries have fueled the country with a daily supply of Baguettes for more than a century. And the best part? They’re all good.
Even mass-produced Baguettes available at chain patisseries like Eric Kayser are better than Baguettes sold at boulangeries around the world. However, artisan bakers are taking the boulangerie concept to the next level.
The best Paris boulangeries bake Baguettes, Croissants and Brioche along with a wide variety of French patisserie favorites like Tarts and Éclairs. Others have pushed the envelope to present new ways of seeing and tasting classic bread and pastries.
We urge you to begin your day at these temples of risen dough. Many just have counters while others have table seating where you can enjoy some of the best Viennoiserie. Whether we sit or stand, these are our favorite Paris boulangeries:
Du Pain et Des Idées
We first strolled into Du Pain et Des Idées in the evening, just before the wickedly popular Parisian bakery closed. The shop had already sold out of Escargot, a beautiful, infinitely layered snail-shaped pastry that can best be described as a cross between a French Palmier and a Scandinavian Cinnamon Bun.
On that evening, the art nouveau bakery was almost bare as workers emptied shelves, preparing to close award-winning pastry chef Christophe Vasseur’s boulangerie in the 10th arrondissement for the night. The only item on view was gorgeous bread, what the shop calls Pain des Amis – gigantic, crusty, dark brown loaves sold by weight in rectangular segments.
Based on that first visit, we knew that this was a boulangerie that belied its traditional appearance, fulfilling an original, visionary role in the Parisian food scene. We exited the bakery that night with empty hands, eager to return once the shelves had been restocked.
During our first morning visit, we queued in a line that snaked around the boulangerie door before sharing an Escargot Fruit Rouges dotted with a blend of organic red berries and one of the bakery’s Croissants. Both pastries were outstanding – the Escargot’s buttery layers of pastry surrounded a top-quality fruit filling while the handcrafted Croissant was light, airy and wonderful.
We returned a couple days later to taste the boulangerie’s über-popular Chocolate Pistachio Escargot as well as its legendary Pain des Amis. We found the Escargot to be excellent and, while it may not be the best thing we tasted in Paris, it’s a definite gem with a distinct pistachio flavor. It’s also one of the most photogenic pastries in Paris for those who are into that kind of thing.
But the true star of our breakfast, and the specialty not to be missed, was the Pain des Amis. The seemingly simple bread possesses a crust that’s almost impossibly thick with a soft crumb that’s equally great. Its special malty flavor is unlike anything we’ve tasted. This is a bread that’s worth stocking up on and freezing once you return home.
Du Pain et des Idées is located at 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France.
The French Bastards
The French Bastards is one of the best bakeries in Paris, part of an excellent breed of newer boulangerie/patisserie hybrids devoted to not only great bread but also magnificent pastries.
The boulangerie serves excellent coffee sourced from Belleville Brulerie. If you’re staying in or around the 11th arrondissement, this is a great place to begin your day.
Like most great things in this world, there’s a team behind The French Bastards. After meeting owners Julien Abourmand, David Abehsera and Emmanuel (Manu) Gunther, we can assure you that the friendly crew belies the bakery’s name.
The ‘bastards’ are true ‘jacks of all trades’ and they do all of them well. The bakery serves a huge range of breads and pastries including rustic new-age Pain au Levain Boules and Baguettes, Viennoiseries like Croissants and Fruit Tarts filled with a variety of berries. They’re also on the cutting edge with fun Tartes au Charbon (charcoal black tarte), special puffy “Cruffins” and mini Babkas.
The French Bastards is located at 61 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris, France.
When we entered Boulangerie Utopie, another hugely popular bakery in Oberkampf, there was a buzz in the air among the crowds buying and chowing down on the bakery’s large range of Baguettes, Boules, Viennoiseries, Éclairs and Tartes. As it turns out, a news crew from France’s channel TF1 was shooting a story about the boulangerie’s black breads and pastries.
And by black, we’re not talking about some sort dark rye or pumpernickel. Utopie’s breads are literally burned black with a special sesame mixture.
We don’t know how this trend of eating carbonized food began. We first experienced the trend when we ordered a charcoal cappuccino in Lyon. Without a doubt, Utopie is taking the trend to the next level.
To say the flavor of the carbonized Croissant was unique would be an understatement. But bearded chef duo Sebastien Bruno and Erwan Blanche have managed to create a balanced pastry with mellowing sesame and pleasing, sugary frosting that counterbalance the Croissant’s burned, charred flavors.
And, yes, we get the irony that Blanche’s surname translates to white.
The carbonized breads at Utopie are certainly worth a taste. However, don’t discount the hip boulangerie’s lauded Croissants.
Utopie’s chefs follow a three-day process to make their beautiful multilayered crescent pastries. The boulangerie uses a special butter from Montaigu in the area of Charantes-Poitou in Eastern France. The result is nothing short of wonderful.
Boulangerie Utopie is located at 20 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France.
Gluten-free travelers and people with celiac disease have a happy place in Paris. And that place is called Boulangerie Chambelland.
Nathaniel Doboin and Thomas Teffri-Chambelland have created a gluten-free haven filled with breads and pastries that taste great despite their lack of wheat. The innovative chefs mill their own rice and buckwheat flour and modify recipes as necessary. For example, breads are baked in small rectangular pullman-like loaves instead of other shapes.
We wandered to Boulangerie Chambelland with a healthy dose of skepticism. We admit it – we typically like wheat in our bread. Located just a block from The French Bastards (see above), the modern boulangerie surprised with its display case filled with a variety of bread flavors as well as treats like vanilla Éclairs, chocolate Brownies and lattice-topped Apple Tarts.
Boulangerie Chambelland offers outdoor seating which is where we enjoyed our mini sugar loaf. The crispy yet springy texture reminded us of a glazed donut, and the flavors were pleasingly sweet with a touch of orange. Lunch options include cafe fare such as soup, salad, sandwiches and pizza.
Boulangerie Chambelland is located at 14 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris, France.
Open since 1932, Boulangerie Poilâne retains a sense of modernity despite its octogenarian status. Original owner Pierre Poilâne was clearly ahead of his time when he devoted himself to baking artisan bread in a wood-fired oven.
The current Poilâne generation has continued Pierre’s bread baking methods, albeit in an expanded capacity, to the delight of locals who adore the boulangerie’s country-style Boules made from naturally risen levains or what we would call sourdough in the United States.
These hearty loaves, which have thick crunchy crusts surrounding an airy crumb that’s full of life, have grown to dominate bread baskets in many of the city’s most trendy bistros and restaurants.
We first visited Poilâne’s original location in 2010 and returned a decade later. We’re happy to report that the bread lived up to our memory as did the Croissants. Did we mention that we love Croissants?
Boulangerie Poilâne has mulitple Paris locations. We’ve visited the original shop in St. Germain des Près as well as the Marais shop.
Boulangerie Pâtisserie Terroirs d’Avenir
Boulangerie Pâtisserie Terroirs d’Avenir’s original location on Rue du Nil is no fluke. Not only is the modern boulangerie located on the same block as its sister shops selling meat, fish, produce and cheese, but it’s also on the same block as Frenchie‘s culinary empire.
We first stumbled upon the bakery when we ate at Frenchie To Go (FTG) back in 2016 and then rediscovered it years later when we stayed at a nearby hotel. Despite the time in between, we couldn’t resist the boulangerie’s tempting array of sourdough bread and pastries. What can we say? We’re suckers when it comes to tasty treats loaded with butter and chocolate.
Boulangerie Pâtisserie Terroirs d’Avenir has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 3 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France.
Maison Arnaud Delmontel
Maison Arnaud Delmontel proves that first impressions can be deceiving. At first glance, this original location feels like a friendly neighborhood boulangerie, assuming that your neighborhood is located inside a historic building in Paris. In actuality, Maison Arnaud Delmontel has multiple locations and has racked up numerous accolades for its baguettes and pastries.
Tempted by the shop’s colorful Macarons and chocolate cakes, we settled on a lemon meringue tart topped with lemon gelées. Though we didn’t eat it right away, we joyfully scarfed the tart down hours later after a long session at Le Baron Rouge, one of the best wine bars in Paris.
Maison Arnaud Delmontel has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 39 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris, France.
Traditional Paris Pâtisseries
Spanning centuries, the history of Paris patisseries is so deep that Ghislaine Bavoillot wrote Paris Pâtisseries, a 176-page book with loads of pastry photos as well as recipes for pastries at some of the best Paris bakeries including Angelina, Fauchon, Pierre Hermé and Jean-Paul Hevin. Whether you buy the book or not, you won’t have to look hard for the best pastry shops in Paris.
In a sign of the times, many of the most famous Paris patisseries like Cyril Lignac and La Pâtisserie Des Rêves have multiple locations, while others like Pierre Hermes and Michalak have a worldwide presence with locations as far away as Japan. Patisseries like Cedric Grolet and Angelina are located near top attractions like the Louvre, making it easy to kill two birds with one stone.
As you plan your Paris itinerary, we recommend that you include the following traditional patisseries:
More than a pastry chef, Jacques Genin is a master when it comes to Chocolates, Caramels and Pâte de Fruits. We first visited his flagship shop during a Paris food tour and have since returned a half-dozen or so times on our own due to our continuing love affair with his colorful gelées.
Genin’s gelees are not mere confectionaries. Each bite of the cubic wonders is a transportive experience where, in the words of Willie Wonka, “The snozberries taste like snozberries.” These heavenly cubes overwhelm your palette with flavors like passion-mango, blood orange and black currant followed by a joyful sugary crunch of sugar crystals.
Jacques Genin (the store) is a thoroughly modern operation that bustles with Asian tourists shopping for edible souvenirs. However, savvy locals know to pre-order Genin’s Paris-Brest which has been called the best in Paris and Mille-Feuille pastries before they even enter the shop.
Jacques Genin has multiple Paris locations. We visited both and recommend the flagship location at 133 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris, France.
Anton Rumpelmayer didn’t invent the Mont Blanc pastry but the Austrian entrepreneur gave it a home in Paris when he opened Angelina in 1903. More than a century later, Angelina remains a popular salon with crowds queuing seven days a week to try Angelina’s equally famous Hot Chocolate drinks and Mont Blanc pastries.
Fatigued after a day of intense pastry ‘research’, we bypassed the line and headed straight to Angelina Paris’ takeaway shop to purchase a Mont Blanc to share. Our energy lifted as we dug into the tiny cup topped with three layers – a base layer of crunchy meringue, luscious dreamy whipped cream in the middle and a spaghetti-like topping of extruded chestnut cream. The nutty flavors of the chestnut cream lasted well into our walk through the nearby Tuileries.
This Paris dessert packs such a punch that it was almost impossible for us to eat it in one sitting. Instead of discarding the half-eaten pastry after our initial tastes, we wrapped it up and took it back to our hotel room. And guess what? It tasted even better the next morning. A true Paris pastry miracle!
Angelina Paris has multiple Paris locations. We visited the flagship salon at 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France.
Stohrer is a Paris patisserie that oozes with history. Not only is Stohrer’s 18th-century flagship shop listed as a national historical monument, but founder Nicolas Stohrer invented the Baba au Rhum pastry in that same century.
Legend has it that Stohrer, a Polish pastry chef, added rum to brioche when he worked for the former King of Poland and father-in-law of Louis XV, Stanislas Leszczynski. Today, Stohrer sells multiple Baba au Rhum varieties including the Baba Chantilly a marvelously alcohol-soaked piece of heaven topped with a lovely cloud of chantilly cream.
The famous Paris patisserie is also worth a visit for its beautiful, intimate beaux-art chandeliered space adorned with gilded mirrors and striking artwork. You really need to see it to believe it.
Stohrer has multiple Paris locations. We visited the flagship location at 51 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France.
La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac
Selecting a pastry at La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac poses problems due to the abundance of tempting options. The celebrity chef-helmed pastry shop sells chocolate bars and spreads, sourdough bread, buttery pastries like Croissants and special creations.
We were initially leaning towards buying either a simple Kouign Aman or a fancy Tarte au Citron displayed in the shop’s polka-dot adorned cases. However, we couldn’t resist the shop’s seasonal Equinoxe Sainte-Valentin.
Although Lignac’s signature Equinoxe pastry is typically a round concoction with a slate gray exterior, the patisserie offers a red heart-shaped version in February in honor of Valentine’s Day. Similar to the original, the seasonal pastry is decadently filled with light bourbon vanilla cream, salted caramel and a speculoos cookie.
In other words, it’s a piece of pastry bliss that we couldn’t help but eat in one sitting.
La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 24 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris, France.
La Pâtisserie du Meurice by Cédric Grolet
Deemed the ‘World’s Best Pastry Chef’ in 2018, Cédric Grolet showcases his extravagant trompe-l’oeil fruit creations at the Hotel Meurice. Pastry connoisseurs can find Grolet’s creations in the five-star hotel at his self-named patisserie as well as at Alain Ducasse’s swanky restaurant salon, Le Dalí.
We treated ourselves and two family members to afternoon tea at Restaurant La Dali in our quest to eat the best pastries in paris. Named after one of the hotel’s most iconic customers, the restaurant’s salon tea service includes a three-tiered display of miniature sandwiches, scones and cookies in addition to apple and maracuya (passion fruit) inspired trompe-l’oeil pastries.
You can enjoy your tea-tower in an interesting, yet dark Philippe Starck designed space lined with mirrored doors. Keeping to theme, the room is topped by a large Dali-inspired tapestry designed by Starck’s daughter Ara.
Grolet’s fruit mimicking pastries come complete with pimples, stems and leaves. Depending on the season, the fruity repertoire includes mangoes, lemons, peaches and more, each with a surprise center of intense fruit flavors. Our tea tower was topped with gooey spheres of passion fruit and apple.
While we can’t say we loved the intense passion fruit flavor, we did enjoy Grolet’s artful yellow and red ‘apple.’ The pastry had a realistic skin that yielded to cream surrounding a gooey center of caramelized apple.
The tea tower also included tea sandwiches, a mixture of scones and a special nutty Bretonne cookie topped with puffed sarrasin (buckwheat).
La Pâtisserie du Meurice by Cédric Grolet is located at 6 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, France. The pastry savant has a second location at 35 Avenue de l’Opéra, 75002 Paris, France. We enjoyed his creations during afteroon tea at the Hotel Le Meurice.
Open since 2016, Pastry Chef’s Nicolas Haelewyn’s KARAMEL Paris is a pastry oasis filled with tempting treats as well as a small salon with tables, internet and a bathroom – three coveted items that are not the norm at Paris patisseries. Also out of the norm were the natural browns in the old fashioned, yet classic wood adorned shop and the array of caramel brown pastries.
Mindi couldn’t resist ordering a Palmier, an intricate, multi-layered pastry she has loved since childhood when her mother called it an elephant’s ear. Planning to eat just one bite, she ate the entire crispy, buttery Palmier without regret.
Daryl ordered a Snickers-inspired Tarte Chocolate Façon and, happy not to share (as is his usual practice), ate the entire pastry himself. The phenomenal tart resembled an amped-up Snickers bar as advertised. It’s not an original idea, but, like most pastries in Paris, it was executed with minute precision and came with a salty caramel interior, high-quality chocolate exterior and luscious peanuts.
Karamel Paris is located at 67 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, France.
Stepping into Paris’ Café Pouchkine is like stepping into the past. Ironically, that past is in Russia instead of France and the history is, more or less, fictional. The ‘original’ Cafe Pushkin was founded in Moscow by Russian-French restaurant magnate Andrei Dellos in 1999, meant to replicate a fictional cafe made popular in the 1964 French song Nathalie.
After the Moscow cafe’s success, Dellos opened a Parisian branch of the ornate Russian neo-baroque/aristocratic establishment on Place de la Madeleine. Upon entry, we were struck by one of the most beautiful displays of pastries we’ve ever seen, with pink chocolate flower vases, red tartes in the form of fuzzy Russian minarets and, of course, the cafe’s signature pastry, the Nathalie – a rectangular macaron-like sandwich cookie in an assortment of flavors.
Created by Executive Pastry Chef Patrick Paille, our Nathalie was nothing short of spellbinding – filled with chocolate ganache and orange cream. We greedily ate the Nathalie just outside the shop, marveling at the explosive chocolate and orange flavors that danced in our mouths.
Café Pouchkine has multiple Paris locations. We visited the flagship café at 16 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France.
In a city filled with pedigreed patisseries, acclaimed Chef Christophe Michalak’s self-named Michalak stands out. This Paris patisserie is notable for its vibrant decor and equally vibrant pastries.
Though Michalak is a celebrity chef with TV appearances, books and a pastry school, he and his team don’t cut corners when it comes to baking cake in France. The cakes at Michalak are as striking as any we saw in all of the country’s capital.
Visiting Michalak on Valentine’s Day made our decision easier. Of course, we wanted to stay in theme by sharing either a Mon Koeur or a Love Apple.
Inspired by the chocolate in the shop, we chose a Mon Koeur made with a chocolate cookie, creamy Caribbean dark chocolate, exotic compote and passion fruit cream. One bite led to several before the Mon Koeur was no more.
Michalak sells a range of chocolate including bars shaped like Klaviers (i.e. keyboards) that caught Daryl’s eye. He’s both a keyboardist and a chocolate lover. As for Mindi, she was more drawn to the Gianduja hot chocolate. She’s just a chocolate lover.
Michalak has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 60 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75010 Paris, France.
Tucked behind a courtyard in a refurbished former factory, Bontemps Pâtisserie is a cheerful spot to enjoy Sablés (butter cookies), Tarts and tea in the center of Paris. Decorations skew shabby chic with retro furniture, dangling light fixtures and fresh flowers on each table.
Options include full-sized Parisian desserts in flavors like lemon, hazelnut and chocolate. We opted to share a selection of miniature pastries, choosing four from the eight on offer, served on flowery ‘great-grandma’ china. Bontemps offers brunch, lunch and afternoon tea menus for those who want more than a sweet treat.
Bontemps Pâtisserie is located at 57 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France.
Des Gâteaux et du Pain
With a name that literally translates to Cakes and Bread, Des Gâteaux et du Pain lives up to expectations by selling baked goods including breakfast pastries, fruit-forward tarts and olive focaccia. Claire Damon leads the sweets charge while David Grange bakes the bread.
Tempted by a display case filled with seasonal tarts featuring ingredients like grapefruit, rose and lemon, we stuck with our gut and shared a Tartelette Aveline. Our verdict? Filled with salted caramel, Piedmont hazelnuts and creamy caramels, this Paris pastry packs a punch despite its compact size.
Des Gâteux et du Pain has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 63 Boulevard Pasteur, 75015 Paris, France.
Hugo & Victor
We felt the opposite of miserable as we munched on a buttery, flaky Croissant from Hugo & Victor. The original Victor (Victor Hugo) may have penned the dark French classic Les Misérables, but the new Victor (Victor Pouget) channels only positive energy when crafting pastries, chocolates and other tasty treats.
With a commitment to sourcing local, seasonal ingredients, Pouget bakes classic French pastries like Mille-Feuilles and Macarons as well as more exotic creations suitable for special occasions. However, there’s nothing wrong with just eating the world-class pastry chef’s Croissant as we did. After all, it very well may be the best Croissant in Paris.
Hugo & Victor is located at 40 Boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris, France.
Jean-Paul Hévin achieved Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) status in his home country after honing his craft in Japan. Today, Hévin sells his pastry and chocolate creations in Paris.
Hévin specializes in creating chocolate in all forms including liquid drinking chocolate, but don’t count out his pastries. During our visit to Jean-Paul Hevin in the 3rd arrondissement, we sampled two Macarons – Violet and Normandy with sea salt and caramel. Both were divine.
Jean-Paul Hévin has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 41 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France.
La Pâtisserie des Rêve
La Pâtisserie des Rêves name literally translates to Pastry Shop of Dreams. Originally opened by pastry Chef Philippe Conticini, La Pâtisserie des Rêves lives up to its name with a unique decor that’s part laboratory and part boudoir.
We first visited La Pâtisserie des Rêves during a Paris food tour in 2016 and returned the very next day after dreaming about the shop’s Paris-Brest. Once we lifted one of the shop’s glass cloches, that dream came true.
The patisserie also published a cookbook for those who want to follow the Paris-Brest recipe at home.
Prior to returning a few years later, we wondered if La Pâtisserie des Rêves had retained its luster without the founding chef at the helm. We put this query to the test by buying a sampling of miniature pastries to eat at our Paris apartment hotel.
Our verdict? A big thumbs up.
La Pâtisserie Des Rêves has multiple Paris locations. We most recently visited the shop at 19 Rue Poncelet, 75017 Paris, France.
After living out his dream at La Pâtisserie des Rêves, Philippe Conticini took the next step in 2018 by opening a patisserie named after himself. Phillipe Conticini (the shop) sells a range of typical Paris desserts including pastries, cookies, chocolates and candy.
Considering that Conticini literally wrote the French book (Cochon de Lait) on pastries, the experienced pastry chef pulls all the stops when it comes to baking. We sampled his work by eating a Boule Cake Marron, a seasonal chestnut flavored cake soaked in boozy Armagnac. Approved!
Philippe Conticini has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 37 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France.
Maison Pierre Hermé Paris may be the ultimate global patisserie. A fixture in Paris since 2001, the original Pierre Hermé shop actually opened in Tokyo in 1998.
After eating Hermé’s Macarons in both cities we’re not only repeat customers but also fans. We like quality Macarons and nobody does them better than the man named the World’s Best Pastry Chef in the 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Are these the best Macarons in Paris? The only way to decide is to taste them for yourself.
Many pastry fans including us are surprised when they learn that Pierre Hermé sells more than just Macarons. Those in the know seek out special pastries like Ispahan Croissants with rose, raspberry and lychee, 2000 Feuilles and Tartes Infinite Vanille with vanilla sourced from Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti.
Pierre Hermé has more than a dozen Paris locations. We’ve visited several and they’re all good.
Originally operating as an artisanal dairy shop in Burgundy, it took nearly a century for the Senoble family to open a salon in the center of Paris. In 2017, the family’s fourth generation opened its first Senoble Famille Gourmande boutique in Paris.
More than a typical salon, Senoble serves ice cream, pastries and savory food in addition to tea. The colorful array of pastries in the glass counter tantalized us with items like Éclairs, Tartes and Cheesecake during our pre-dinner visit at the tony spot.
Senoble has multiple Paris locations. We visited the location at 11 Rue des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris, France.
Pâtisserie Yann Couvreur
Led by Chef Yann Couvreur, Pâtisserie Yann Couvreur is a modern Pastry shop with a case filled with glistening pastries and several window seats. Crowds queue to buy Couvreur’s baked works of art as well as his whimsical chocolate creations. However, only 50 lucky customers score one of the pastry chef’s signature Madagascar Vanilla Mille-Feuille each day.
We joined the queue after drinking flat whites in nearby Belleville and were enthralled by unique pastries like Couvreur’s intriguing Tarte Pistaché d’Iran topped with a pile of green pistachios. However, when push came to shove, we ordered a chocolate-coated Merveille and a Kouign Amann instead.
We later learned that Couvreur bakes pastries like the Kouign Amann with buckwheat flour and reduced sugar. Though less sweet than other versions, we enjoyed every buttery bite of Couvreur’s Kouign Amann. We didn’t notice any lack of sugar in his Merveille, a layered pastry that reminded us of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup but better.
Yann Couvreur Pátisserie has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 137 Avenue Parmentier, 75010 Paris, France.
Ladurée might not have invented the Macaron, but the pastry shop offers a complete range of Macaron flavors for those addicted to the colorful confection. Open since the 19th century, the French enterprise has locations all around the world. There’s even a location in our home city of Lisbon.
At this point, eating Macarons in Paris may sound cliche. However, we still can’t get enough of the classic almond flour/meringue sandwich cookies.
Best Paris Chocolate Shops
The French didn’t invent chocolate. Instead, they joined the global chocolate party in 1615 when King Louis XIII was gifted chocolate as a wedding gift. The country has been in a torrid love affair with the sinful sweet since that fortuitous day.
And who can blame the French? Today, France is the home of Valrhona, one of the world’s finest chocolate producers. Plus, the line between Paris patisseries and Paris chocolate shops is fuzzy at best with top pastry chefs like Jacque Genin and Jean-Paul Hévin doubling as chocolatiers.
Sure, you can satisfy your chocolate craving at a Paris grocery store but where’s the fun in that?! Instead, you should indulge in superior bonbons and truffles at the following chocolate salons:
If the Paris chocolate scene has a renaissance man, it surely must be Patrick Roger. A Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) chocolatier who’s also a sculptor and motorcycle enthusiast, Roger channels his diverse passions into creating a chocolate product that’s flavorful, evocative and downright exciting.
Though Roget sources beans from countries in Africa, Asia and South America, his end creations are pure French artistry thanks to the infusion of ingredients like jasmine, Sichuan berries and even beer. Resembling demi marbles, his hemispheres tantalize the eyes and tastebuds in varieties including lime marzipan and honey ganache.
After sampling chocolate in the shop, we bought a small box to enjoy later. Somehow, nibbling like miserly mice, we rationed the pieces to maximize each precious chocolate square.
Our bounty included Atome (oat ganache), Jacarepagua (lemongrass and peppermint ganache), Zanzibar (lemon marzipan with lemon marzipan) and Désir (hazelnut praline wafer). Our favorite? All of them.
Patrick Roger has multiple Paris locations. We visited the shop at 43 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris, France.
Open since 2004, Jean-Charles Rocheux is a small but mighty chocolate shop that tickles multiple senses at the same time. The sweet chocolate aroma hits the nose right away as does the visual impact of a wall filled with elaborate chocolate sculptures and cases filled with chocolate truffles. However, it’s the taste of the chocolate that provides the biggest sensory impact.
Flavors explode in truffles filled with Makers Mark Bourbon but the cocoa-dusted truffles are equally satisfying. We were drawn to the former since we have an affinity for bourbon; however, narrowing the choices for our edible chocolate souvenir was still a challenge.
Should we buy truffles or bourbon bonbons? And what about seasonal chocolates filled with chestnut mousse or a jar of salted caramel spread? The sales clerk warned us that the chocolate had a limited shelflife, so we needed to choose wisely.
As we were about to pay, we suddenly shifted our decision and bought a dark chocolate letter D. Since Daryl’s birthday was quickly approaching, he ate the entire letter by himself just three days later and all was good.
Jean-Charles Rochoux is located at 16 Rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, France.
Though not as old as Stohrer (see above), Fouquet is no flash in the pan. The candy store opened in 1852 and is as pertinent today as when it opened almost two centuries ago.
Led by fifth-generation family members Catherine Vaz and Frédéric Cambeau, Fouquet creates its chocolate and confectionery treats in a workshop at the original location on Rue Lafitte. And, yes, the original location remains open for shoppers to visit.
Fouquet sells its crafted chocolates in bars, boxes and jars. Purists can choose plain dark or milk chocolate while more adventurous chocoholics can opt for varieties featuring marshmallows, almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts and dried fruit. As for pastry lovers, they can get their chocolate fix via the shop’s Croquant Cookies.
Chocolate haters (if such a thing exists) will find plenty of goodies without cacao at Fouquet. We recommend colorful Pâtes des Fruits and chewy Caramels. Fouquet makes these sweets too, guaranteeing both freshness and quality.
Fouquet has multiple Paris locations. We visited the original shop at 36 Rue Laffitte, 75009 Paris, France.
La Maison du Chocolate
La Maison du Chocolate sells chocolate and a lot of it. We wouldn’t expect anything else from a business that literally translates to House of Chocolate.
Robert Linxe started this French chocolate empire which now has locations further afield in China, Japan, Korea, Macau and the USA but he doesn’t run La Maison du Chocolate alone. Nicolas Cloiseau, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) Confectioner’s Chocolatier, serves as Chef and spearheads the operation’s chocolate production.
Chocolate comes in all shapes and sizes from liquid drinks to inside macarons at this house. Not sure what to order and have euros to burn? The 119-piece box filled with ganaches, pralines and truffles has your name on it. Otherwise, you can buy a smaller box with two ganaches for under €5.
Maison du Chocolat has multiple Paris locations.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.