paris pastry shops
EUROPE, CITY, FOOD, FAMILY / MAY 15, 2016
PARIS, FRANCE : TOP 10 PARIS BOULANGERIES, PATISSERIES …
We took our kids to Paris for the first time and went crazy for sweets. Trusted friends had given us a list of the city’s best boulangeries, patisseries and glaciers (pastry chefs, bread bakers and ice cream makers). We starred them on our map and ducked in every time we passed one. So much fun!
1. Pierre Hermé: Since I visited Pierre Hermé I have thought of his sublime Tarte au Citron at least once a day; its deliciousness has taken hold of me. This must be why some call him a “pastry demigod”. His shops are full of beautiful things to eat, including a unique lineup of macarons (olive oil and vanilla, yoghurt and lime zest…) which many argue are the best in Paris, as well as an amazing Ispahan, an oversized macaron filled with rose, lychee and raspberries.
2. Eric Kayser: There are several boutiques strategically placed throughout Paris and sometimes when we needed a pick me up the most, we were delighted to look up and see an Eric Kayser window full of bread (they make 60 varieties each day). Inside you will also find tarts, cakes, pastries (sweet and savory), sandwiches and coffee. On a quest for the best Croissant aux Amandes of my life, I found it here, while our boys invariably selected a mini pain au chocolat or a baguette sandwich.
3. Berthillon: I have come to Berthillon for ice cream every time I have been in Paris over the years and it never disappoints. Sometimes I wonder if it will be as good as I remember and, amazingly, it is even better. I love hanging out on Île Saint-Louis; On this trip with the kids we met old friends for lunch at Café Saint-Régis and then wandered next door for scoops of mango, raspberry and dark chocolate.
4. Bread and Roses: I stopped in for a café au lait with a slice of cheesecake while exploring the area around the Place de la Concorde. Bread and Roses is a small, serene and very pretty café with delicious breads and cakes as well as a full breakfast and lunch menu. There is a second location on the Left Bank, near Luxumbourg Gardens, where you can take out sandwiches for a picnic in the park.
5. Angelina: When I was in college and lived in Paris I loved meeting up with visiting family friends; I would tour them around the city and they would treat me to meals at restaurants I couldn’t afford on my own. I always led us into Angelina’s after a stroll through the Tuileries and we would sit together in the fancy, old fashioned main room and sip chocolat chaud. Since then, gourmet hot chocolate has become wide spread, but Angelina’s is the original. We brought our boys here after some deliriously good fun on a fast moving merry go round at the playground across the street. They surprised me by ordering white hot chocolate, which they loved.
6. Jacques Genin: For chocolate, pâtes de fruits and an array of heavenly caramels, Jacques Genin is the place. We wandered in with a group of friends, including children, and spent nearly an hour selecting jewel like treats from sparkling glass cases. Rows of caramels in varying colors and flavors (cassis was a favorite) makes it nearly impossible to choose, but it’s good fun trying.
7. La Pâtisserie des Rêves: I couldn’t remember what a madeleine looked or tasted like, but on a tip from a friend I selected one here at “The Patisserie of Dreams” and I am glad I did. I devoured it out on the street while passing out brioche to our friends and children. Everyone was especially crazy about the brioche made in this Paris pastry shop.
8. Ladurée: This place is fancy, traditional and touristy; it’s not quite my style. Yet, if you like macarons, this is a requisite stop. When walking the length of the Champs-Elysées, swing through Ladurée; enter the frilly foyer, line-up for macarons and pop them into your mouth as you make your way along the avenue.
9. Poilâne: There are so many wholesome baked goods to love at Poilâne, from the dark rounds of sourdough bread to their famous apple tarts. When I think of Poilâne I think of classic favorites made to perfection: light, buttery cookies called punitions (punishment) and croissants.
10. Grom: This is an Italian gelato purveyor, a global chain, so I’m surprised to have placed it on this list. Let’s just say Paris is lucky to have it and I was lucky to have it in Paris. After lunch at Café de Flore, we took a short walk with the kids to Grom and ordered scoops for them and affogato for ourselves (with extra cream).
If I had more time: I would try Un Dimanche à Paris, Sadaharu Aoki, Des Gâteaux et du Pain, Maison Georges Larnicol and Du Pain et Des Idées. I went to several other places that I liked, but didn’t love, so they are not on this list. Honorable mention goes to L’Eclair du Genie – a shop dedicated to eclairs- in the Marais, which was whimsical, but almost too sweet.