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Best Paris patisseries. How on earth do you know where to begin? There are Paris patisseries on every corner. Through trial and error (not very many of those!) I’ve come to find my favourite Paris pastries.
Searching out the best Paris pastries was not a new obsession but during the Coronvirus pandemic Paris patisseries brought me joy, day after day. With everything else closed, Paris patisseries offered a sense of normal, a ritual, a knowing that a gastronomic delight could bring immense pleasure in unprecedented times.
During all my taste testing, I’ve discovered three key indicators when searching out the best Paris patisseries.
- There’s always a lineup. Parisians know.
- The scent wafting through the bakery doors will stop you in your tracks.
- The overwhelming choice when entering one of the best Paris patisseries. Which French pastry will it be today?
Here is my list, based on my recent French pastry explorations, of the best Paris patisseries.
12 Best Paris Patisseries
1. Paris Brest At Thierry Marx
Thierry Marx at Le Beau Passage, Paris 75007
Thierry Marx is my place. I swear he makes the best baguette in Paris. And his Paris patisseries? All melt in your mouth calibre.
I’d heard of Paris Brest. I’d seen Paris Brest. But I’d never tried one. Ouf – what a mistake.
The Paris Brest looks like a donut, for us North Americans. It is round and there is a hole in the middle. The comparison ends right there.
The Paris Brest is made of choux pastry, filled with praline cream which is piped in so that it looks gorgeous and then hidden on the bottom layer, is a buttery crunchy praline concoction.
Sprinkled on top are sliced almonds and icing sugar.
What’s there not to like?!
Louis Durand created the Paris Brest patisserie in 1891 inspired by the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race. The shape of the Paris Brest is usually round in the shape of a bicycle wheel. But you know those pastry chefs in France are a creative lot, so you might find some in a different shape.
2. Best Paris Patisseries | Lemon Tart At Autour Du Pain
Autour du Pain, 135 Rue de Turenne and 59 rue de Saintonge, Paris 75003
Autour du Pain was my go-to pâtisserie during the spring confinement of 2020. I would line up with the locals around the block for their outstanding baguette and a treat. Autour du Pain, like most pâtisseries in Paris, has a fabulous array of desserts making one’s taste buds come alive at first glance.
It was the lemon tart that I returned to over and over again. The pastry is excellent and the filling has just the right amount of lemony tang. These tarts are available with a meringue topping (my preference) or without. Make sure you stop by for one of these outstanding Paris pastries when exploring the Marais.
3. Gianduja Eclair At Boulangerie d’Alesia
77 avenue du General Leclerc, Paris 75014
I have admitted several times that an eclair is something that I would just never order nor eat in Canada. A French friend encouraged me to jump into the world of the French eclair and I’ve never looked back.
It’s hard to explain the sheer ecstasy of biting into this divine French pastry. The choux pastry is soft, delicious and melts in your mouth. The filling is the perfect sweetness, consistency and amount and then there is the glaze on top. You might have to sit down, close your eyes and travel to another planet. Yup. It’s that good!
And Gianduja? Think Nutella. No… think a thousand times more delicious than Nutella and be prepared once you are aware of it as a flavour, gianduja is everywhere!
4. Best Paris Patisseries | Macarons At Pierre Hermé
Pierre Hermé, 4 rue de Bretagne, Paris 75003
They’re little. Cute. And certainly classic. They make the perfect gift. And are just the right bite-size for an afternoon snack. They are indeed one of the best Paris patisseries.
The crunch on the outside pairs perfectly with the soft filling. Exquisite. I’ve tasted my fair share of macarons this year and Pierre Hermé takes the win due to his innovative flavours. M O G A D O R … milk chocolate and passion fruit. I S P A H A N … raspberry, lychee and rose water. Swoon. Find a Pierre Hermé boutique and your day will go from marvellous to splendid!
5. Chocolate Pistachio Escargot At Du Pain Et Des Idees
Du Pain et Des Idees, 34 rue Yves Toudic, Paris 75010
The line-up. Remember one of the telltale signs of a best bakery in Paris? At Du Pain et Des Idees, there is always a queue.
Famous for their bread and Chausson aux Pommes, it’s the Escargot Chocolat-Pistache (chocolate pistachio danish) that I can not resist. The golden flaky pastry peppered with little tasty bits of chocolate and pistachio might actually be my all-time best Paris pastry of the year.
Close to Canal Saint-Martin, get your escargot chocolate-pistache with a coffee and sit by the Canal. This is a slice of Parisian heaven.
6. Best Paris Patisseries |Choux At Odette
Odette Paris, 77 rue Galande, Paris 75005
Another bite-size best patisserie in Paris that packs a punch. Cream puff. The name evokes floating somewhere. Choux pastry. Creamy filling. Your taste buds will be sending you express to another planet!
7. The Merveilleux At Aux Merveilleux de Fred
Aux Merveilleux de Fred, 24 rue du Pont Louis Philippe, Paris 75004
Aux Merveilleux de Fred always has a line-up. In all of their Paris locations, the line up is out the door. I remember wondering what the fuss was about this dessert from Northern France. I stopped and stared at the meringue cakes available in the window displays and was suitably awed.
When I finally dove in I wasn’t sure what to expect. On a warm February day, I chose a Merveilleux and an Impensable. The Merveilleux or the Marvellous was chocolate covered and the Unthinkable was covered in coffee crystals of meringue.
With a coffee in hand, I sauntered down to Ile Saint-Louis. The results? Ouf as the french would say. Light. Airy. Full of flavour. A little chewy meringue (my favourite) in the middle.
Definitely one of the best Paris patisseries. Definitely worth lining up for.
8. Best Paris Patisseries |Kouglof At Yann Couvreur
Yann Couvreur (multiple Paris locations)
A brioche from the Alsace region of France is not something I would normally choose. Walk into a Yann Couvreur pâtisserie and you’ll be drooling instantly.
This round brioche came highly recommended by my French friend Laurence. She convinced me that it was one of the best Paris patisseries and needed to be savoured.
But with the first bite, I was converted. Raisins, cognac, nuts, and orange blossom water. The brioche is then dipped in hazelnut butter and sprinkled with sugar. It’s a complete fiesta for the taste buds. It’s light and juicy. And oh so flavourful.
Of course, there is a story behind this brioche because, as I am discovering, there is a story behind everything in France.
The Kouglof Story:
A king of Bethlehem had forgotten his hat, an almond-shaped turban when leaving for the Crusades (yes, this is an ancient legend). A pastry chef from Strasbourg in Alsace, France found the hat and used it as a cake pan. And thus the Kugelhof, the Alsation word for turban, was born.
Let the kouglof melt on your tongue and think of the clever pastry chef!
9. Chausson Aux Pommes At Poilâne
Boulangerie Poilâne ( multiple locations)
Poilâne is known for its gorgeous, rounds of bread with the letter “P” etched on top. Don’t be shy to ask for exactly what you want, as they will happily sell you just a few slices of the loaf.
I had heard that the Chausson aux Pommes at Poilane was legendary so on a chilly February day, I decided to put it to the test! The golden crust is
D I V I N E and the apple filling the exact right amount of sweetness. It’s a win.
10. Best Paris Patisseries |Mont Blanc At Angelina’s
Angelina Paris ( multiple locations)
Angelina is world-famous for her hot chocolate. The warm, rich, pure chocolatey drink slips across the taste buds and down your throat. You might gasp at the luxuriant goodness of the experience.
My French friend Joelle arrived at my door one evening with a round pastry. Not one I would pick on my own. A Mont Blanc. Little did I know that this best Paris patisserie has been a speciality of Angelina’s since 1903.
Mont Blanc is a dessert of sweetened chestnut purée in the form of vermicelli filled with chantilly (whipped cream) sitting on a meringue base. It’s a winter favourite in many Paris patisseries.
I looked at this round ball of chestnut paste not sure what to make of it…
I dove in. No turning back. The chestnut cream paired with the whipped cream and the little crunch of meringue were…. well… you can only imagine. Let’s just call it U N F O R G E T T A B L E….
11. Best Paris Patisseries | Madeleines At Paris Ritz Le Comptoir
Head to Paris Ritz Le Comptoir (36 rue Cambon) where Pastry Chef François Perret’s creations are a delight to savour. After his time in the United States, Perret invented elongated pain au chocolat, to be eaten on the run. It’s the only place you’ll see them!
In my opinion, the best Paris pâtissseries at Ritz Le Comptoir are Perret’s madeleines. Madeleines are a classic and delicious French pastry – a small sponge cake with a shell-like shape. Perret’s flavoured madeleines have a creamy or fruity surprise in the middle. They make the perfect snack and elegant gift. Purchase five or ten in lovely boxes honouring chefs at the Ritz Hotel.
Read More: Take a 4-hour cooking class at the Ritz.
12. Best Paris Pâtisseries | Walnut Tart At Chez Paco
Boulanger Patisser Chez Paco at 64 Av Simon Bolivar
My daughter found this best Paris patisserie and my sister claims the walnut tart is the best dessert she has ever tasted! Walnuts just never taste as fresh in Canada. In France, walnuts melt in your mouth and their taste is exquisite.
Chez Paco is a small patisserise close to Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The shopkeeper picked out the loveliest walnut tart when I told her it was for my sister. It could have been the buttery, creamy filling or the gorgeous glazed walnuts on top or perhaps the excellent crust but I concur with my sister… one of the very best Paris patisseries.
And there you have the twelve best Paris patisseries to try on your next visit to Paris. Don’t worry, the tasting isn’t over. I’m sure there will be a new addition to the list of best Paris patisseries very soon.
Let me know your all-time favourite. Which are you going to try?
Until next time,
More Travel Info…
Gastronomy in Paris:
After eating all the best Paris patisseries, find out where to find the most delectable croissants in Paris.
Here are the best tips about French baguettes and how to eat them like the French!
Are you a cheese lover? Have you tried these French cheeses? And here are seven of the best fromageries in Paris to find that perfect cheese, and have that, oh so fun, experience of standing amongst oodles of cheese.
There are also plenty of café suggestions for the Marais area in this post: Tips from a Local. Suggestions for restaurants in the Marais is a popular post along with the best places to eat in Canal Saint-Martin.
If you are in Paris and gluten-free, luckily it is much easier to satisfy the taste buds than it was years ago. Here is my go-to on gluten-free delights.
DELICIOUS TIP: If you are here in January, don’t miss out on this very traditional pâtisserie that only makes an appearance once a year. Find out more here.
Exploring Paris and Beyond:
PARIS: Travelling to Paris alone? This article on navigating Paris alone is full of tips and tricks for the solo traveller. And this guide on the Paris arrondissements will help you plan the best trip ever!
Where To Stay in Paris: Suggestions are here
This page has all my articles on Paris that will help you plan out your trip, including day trips from Paris. Did you subscribe to my newsletter to get my awesome 2-Days in Paris Itinerary?
If you love that village feel in Paris these areas might interest you:
Montmartre, much like Ile Saint- Louis, feels like a small village. This post on Montmartre leads you to the most popular sites as well as some lesser-known places on the hill.
Canal Saint-Martin is great fun to explore. Here is what to do in this Bobo quartier.
These hidden gems of Paris will lead you to uncover some super secrets in Paris.
FRANCE: If you are going further afield in France, make sure to check out my page on France.