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Great bakeries and patisseries in Paris

Among things that make a visit in Paris pleasant, there is the opportunity to taste delicious treats from local bakeries or “patisseries”. I love food, so I thought it was a fgood idea to share my favourite parisian bakeries.

Best boulangeries and patisseries in Paris

Boulangerie or Pâtisserie ?

First, let me explain the difference. A boulangerie is a bakery that specializes in baking bread, ranging from the classic baguette to various types of loaves like pain de campagne (country bread). The focus is on bread and bread-based products, including items like croissants and pain au chocolat, which are made with a yeast-leavened dough.

On the other hand, a pâtisserie is dedicated to pastries and sweets. This establishment is where you’ll find an array of exquisite cakes, tarts, éclairs, and other confections crafted by skilled pastry chefs. While some boulangeries may offer a selection of sweet pastries, making them seem similar to patisseries, the true patisserie is distinguished by its specialization in and the variety of its sweet offerings.

Treats you MUST try…

Brioche suisse (also called pain suisse or pepito, according the the shop): that’s a variation of the pain au chocolat, with some custard. Sometimes you’ll find some with pistachio (they’re green). Soooo good!

Pain au chocolat or croissant: of course, but you’ll see the difference if you buy one in a GOOD bakery. Be careful, sometimes when they look overcookd, it might be that they’ve re-cooked items from the day before. Not the best choice.

Pain au chocolat (or croissant) aux amandes: that’s a pain au chocolat with a filling of almond cream. So goooood! It’s usually made by the baker using unsold items from the day before: they cook them again with almond cream to turn them into these delicious treats.

Chouquettes: one of my favourites. Small round balls of puff pastry with small chunks of sugar.

Flan: this is the n°1 pastry bought in France. It’s basically a vanilla custard pie. But it can be awful if the texture is bad. Never buy one in a supermarket or in a bad bakery. Texture must be creamy and the crust must not be too thick.

Eclair, religieuse or divorcé: it’s the same recipe with different shapes. Basically, creampuffs with flavoured cream inside. Classic ones are chocolate or coffee, but there are more and more often other flavours such as vanilla or pistachio. Divorcé is a half-half version with chocolate in one side and coffee in the other.

My favourite boulangeries and pâtisseries in Paris

Boulangerie Pâtisserie “La Castellane” (6 rue de de Castellane, 8th arrondissement, near metro Madeleine and Havre-Caumartin): a great place for croissant, brioche suisse or pain au chocolat. They also have a delicious flan and good pastries.

Maison Julien (73 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 8th arr., near metro St Philippe du Roule): they have a lot of customers so salespeople might be a bit rough, especially at lunchtime, but their pastries are really great.

La flûte Gana (226 rue des Pyrénées, 20th arr., near metro Gambetta): my favourite. Created by the daughters of Bernard Ganachaud, a famous baker, they provide the finest breads, croissants and pastries in Paris. There are a few other bakeries selling the same items under licence in Paris and in some big cities in France (look out for “Boulangerie Gana” name). Basically everything is good here, but my favourites are: pâtisserie poire chocolat (pear and chocolate pastry), étoile au beurre (a star-shaped version of croissant), gana choux (creampuffs). Do try pain biologique (organic surdough bread), my favourite bread ever, anywhere. Their small pizzas are great too. Well, I could buy everything there.

Les Gourmandises de Mozart (48 avenue Mozart, 16th arr., near metro Ranelagh): everything is pretty good there. They have a specialty of giant eclairs. You can share one, it’s enough for 3 or 4 people.

La Pâtisserie des Rêves (93 Rue du Bac, 7th arr., near metro Sèvres Babylone or Rue du Bac): literally “The Pastry Shop of Dreams,” lives up to its name with whimsical and innovative creations. The Paris-Brest, with its praline-flavored cream and choux pastry, is a reinterpretation of the classic French dessert. Their tarte Tatin (upside-down apple pie) is a must as well.

Du Pain et des Idées (34 Rue Yves Toudic, 10th arr., near metro Republique or Jacques Bonsergent): a testament to traditional French baking. Christophe Vasseur’s bakery excels in classic techniques to produce bread and pastries that are both visually stunning and delightfully flavorful. The Pain des Amis, with its crusty exterior and tender inside, is a must-try. Do try their version of brioche suisse, called escargot Pistache (a snail-shaped pastry with pistachio and chocolate filling). Their pain des Amis, a wood-fired bread, is great.

Boulangerie Poilâne (8 rue du Cherche-Midi, 6th arr., near metro Saint-Placide): a Parisian institution since 1932, Boulangerie Poilâne is famous for its sourdough bread, crafted according to time-honored methods. The apple tartlets, with their buttery crust and tender filling, are a perfect example of Poilâne’s dedication to quality and flavor. Their flan is great too.

L’Etoile du Berger (56 rue Saint-Placide, 6th arr., near metro Saint-Placide): very nice bakery with wonderful treats. Their brioche suisse is amazing. Their chocolate eclairs are maybe the bests in Paris (with their small chocolate bar inside). Do buy a pack of their sablés diamant (shortbreads), they’re incredible and make a wonderful present.

Gontran Cherrier (22 rue Caulaincourt, 18th arr., near metro Lamarck-Caulaincourt): embark on a sensory overload at Gontran Cherrier, renowned for its vibrant selection of breads and pastries. From fruit tarts to decadent choux à la crème (puff patry filled with custard cream), each bite is a masterpiece. Don’t forget to grab a bag of their signature financiers, buttery almond cakes that melt in your mouth.

Les petits mitrons (26 rue Lepic, 18thnarr., near metro Blanche): best cookies in Paris and wonderful fruit pies. A must when you’re visiting Montmartre area.

As for bakery brands featuring several shops in Paris, my favourites are: Kayser (reaaally good bread, croissants and pastries), Bo&Mie (bread, croissant, brioches), Odette (creampuffs) and Maison Landemaine. On the other hand, I’m not fond of Paul (they’re better at marketing than baking, so I think their value for money is poor).

Please send me other addresses, as I didn’t try them all!