Finding a good boulangerie and patisserie can be a hard task when you live in a city with thousands of shops, and basically five at every corner. It can actually be a frustration. Especially, after you just bought a croissant from a boulangerie with the expectation of thoroughly enjoying it, then it turns out out to be soggy, oily, and everything else you wouldn’t want in a croissant. It’s great that the French stick to freshly made bread instead of the processed and packaged bags of toasts like the ones we would get from supermarkets in America. But sometimes, fresh just isn’t enough. Can we get fresh and good? It’s very possible. Since I’ve arrived in August, I’ve made it a mission to find the best places for, well, my carb indulgences.
Du Pain et Des Idées: This is by far, my favorite boulangerie in Paris. Go and you’ll know why! Though it takes a total of 20 mins for me to travel there, I never regret my visit. The smell of bread in the store is sublime. Definitely, for sure 200%, get their brioche, pain des amis, and try one of their famous escargots. Their croissant is also fairly good in my opinion, got a crispy skin, but it is a different style of croissant not most prefer. Of course, everything else in that store looks amazing and it is my goal to try them all before I leave Paris.
Des Gateaux et Du Pain: An amazing boulangerie and patisserie. The croissant is one of the best in Paris, as is their pain au chocolat! The place may seem a bit obnoxious as they pick up bread and serve things with a glove, but hey, anything to get my daily bread. I love their brown sugar and maple apple tart. They also have a few locations throughout the city.
Gosselin: I have a place near my house, which is the shop for having awarded with 5th place baguette in Paris for 2014. Need I say more?!
Julien: This place always has an award winning baguette, but not in the recent years. It’s also near where I live so I ventured there a few times. Unfortunately, I got crappy service so I’m not to fond of the place. Once, I went to buy a full baguette. The guy gave me two pieces of demi that who knows has been there for how long. I looked at him and said “Non, pas coupé.” He was annoyed. Nevertheless, when I got my full baguette, it was still good. Don’t let my personal experience get to you.
Poilane: I always love a good sourdough bread! They allow you to buy it by the slice, which is pretty awesome considering it would take me forever to finish an entire loaf. This place also makes amazing tartelette de pommes. Not made with apple confit, but real apple slices with a extremely crispy crust. I like to throw it into the oven for about 4 minutes before devouring it. The curst becomes even more crispy! Ugh, I’m so hungry just thinking about it.
Eric Kayser My reliable favorite with several locations around the city. Where I live in the first, there are two shops that I frequent. Nothing goes wrong here if you stick to the bread. Their baguette is also one of the better ones I’ve had in Paris. But I love their pavé au sarrasin (buckwheat bread), rustique, pain aux figues, and pain aux cereales. I’m picky about my carbs, so when I don’t know what I want, I head to Kayser and I’m sure to get something satisfying.
Stohrer: Oldest patisserie in Paris and located just 5 minutes walk from where I live! How convenient for me! They have one of the best croissants I’ve had since I got to Paris. Stohrer has all of the classic French desserts, so if you want something French, without fail, you will find it here! Although it is not the most delicate (everything looks pretty rustic…not a bad thing btw!), most finely made pastries you will get in Paris, it will be one of the tastiest! My favorite is definitely their little puit d’amour.
Carl Marletti: The rose religieuse is a definite must. The Lily Saint-Honoré is also worth a try. I’ve never had a Saint Honore that was lavender flavored! I got a pistachio eclair, which was also very light and good! The mille feuille he had looked amazing, but they ran out when it was our turn to make our order. This just means I have to go back often to make sure I get my hands on that mille feuille!
Pierre Herme: You’ve tried the mille feuille, but have you tried the deux mille feuille? The texture of this pastry is great. But I am not a fan of eating a pastry that is nosiette, so I wouldn’t say its my #1 favorite. But, I can say that their tarte au citron is my favorite so far. Not too sweet, not too sour, but the perfect combination of both, is pretty much all one can ever ask for in a lemon tart. And do savor that crunchy and crispy crust. Unfortunately, all Pierre Herme stores only sell chocolate and macarons except for the one shop located on Rue Bonaparte. Thank goodness this is the one I always pass by.
Patisserie Ciel: Angel cakes! I can never resist a light, fluffy, sponge-y, angle cake. Let alone one from this place. The size of the cake is huge, so it’s good for sharing (or not). It’s so light that I can guarantee you will feel zero guilt after eating it (or not). You can also have the angel cakes sur place in this cute little salon de thé that makes Japanese drinks! Added points for style and the zen ambiance.
Les Patisseries de Reves: The head pastry chef, Philippe Conticini , is actually very well known in France. His Paris-Brest was voted #1 a few years ago, he has coached the French team for World Pastry competition, before co-founding this patisserie, he worked in Michelin restaurants. All in all, pretty well-rounded individual yeah? His shops are fun and modern. Everything looks clean and out of a child’s dream (hence the name). Yes his Paris-Brest is good, his Saint Honore also very well done but I think right now, they have a new product – the almond blueberry tart…I gotta get my hands on that one of these days!