We’re kicking off the new year inspired by the all things in the French culinary tradition, from France’s oldest kitchenware emporium to a rustic French feast orchestrated by our favorite cooking school and epicurean center in Burgundy. Our trusted food sources just shared their favorite places to eat in Paris, and now baker Jean-Yves Charon, pastry chef and co-creator of Galaxy Desserts, has stepped in to steer us in the right direction next time we’re craving dessert in the City of Lights.
When we heard Jean-Yves was headed to France, we asked him to head to all of the city’s best pastry shops and recap his experience for us upon his return. Here are his 11 favorite patisseries in Paris (with a few boulangeries and chocolatiers thrown into the mix).
“The la pain granola at Liberté has a rustic and different quality. It’s unusual to see bread as large as this in France; when I was a child, they used to make large-sized bread like this in the countryside, but it takes a long time to bake. Other savory bread highlights here include one made with bacon.” Liberté Patisserie Boulangerie, 39 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris
Bread & Roses
“I would rank Bread & Roses at the top of my most recent visit. The desserts had unusual shapes and very different presentations. I was impressed by their savory quiches—in particular, the salmon quiche, which had a very innovative presentation, and the savory puff pastry with fresh tomatoes, artichoke and Italian burrata.” Bread & Roses, 62 rue Madame, 75006 Paris
La Maison du Chocolat
“This pâtisserie is known for their classic Parisian packaging and display: modern yet simple and classic. Along with their bright and sophisticated packaging, they create really good chocolate! They specialize in macarons, chocolates and chocolate bars.” La Maison du Chocolate, 225 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, 75008 Paris
L’éclair de Genie
“L’éclair de Genie has a variety of éclairs, and what impressed me was their creativity. They’ve ventured into some exotic flavors, like pistachio orange and raspberry passion.” L’éclair de Genie, 14 rue Pavée, 75004 Paris
“Michel Cluizel: What a modern, classy store. On this visit, I had a fun meeting with one of their experts about chocolate pairings. They are known for whimsical sardine-shaped chocolate, and I was particularly impressed by a the fabrication of a chocolate star, which was sold during Christmas.” Michel Cluizel, 201 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris
Des Gateaux et du Pain
“I had to visit Des Gateaux et du Pain, which had been voted the third best bakery in Paris. They prohibit photography, but you have to trust me: the interior is sleek and the desserts are beautiful and high quality. They treat their desserts like high-end jewelry; they even wear fabric gloves to handle them! Flavorful pastries and simple yet classy croissants.” Des Gâteaux et du Pain, 63 Boulevard Pasteur, 75015 Paris
Le Moulin de la Vierge
“Can you imagine what a pâtisserie would’ve been like in the 1800s? La Moulin de La Viege will take you back in time with an authentic French bakery look and feel. I really like the rustic breads; it’s impressive that they’re an organic bakery, as there are not many in Paris.” Le Moulin de la Vierge, 166 Avenue de Suffren, Paris 75015
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse
“The rustic French look and feel of Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse takes you back in time to a traditional chocolate store. I especially like the rustic packaging, which evokes old French charm.” Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, 40 Rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris, France
Dalloyau is known for their religieuse de rêve, made of two choux pastry casings, one larger than the other, that are filled with crème pâtissière, most commonly in chocolate or mocha. I liked their savory religieuse—they had many great combinations, which were different from everyone else’s. For example, I had an avocado and crab version, then a salmon one with one side that was savory and the other side sweet. Dalloyau, 101 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France
I was in Paris during éclair week—just my luck! Fauchon is known for their eclairs and their store had just as many savory éclairs as sweet éclairs. Thankfully, many are bite-sized so I was able to try a lot of flavors, like a vegetable éclair, and a salmon-mango-grapefruit fusion. The salmon filling was quite good! I also found croissants with flavor pastes like pistachio, raspberry and chocolate twisted into the dough, and tasted flavored madeleines. Their lemon meringue was really interesting as well.” Fauchon, 30 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France
Sadaharu Aoki Paris
Sadaharu Aoki is a pâtissier known for his French pastries using Japanese ingredients, and his store has very modern, clean lines, with design elements integrated from different cultures. Hi pastries include many Asian-inspired flavors, like yuzu, matcha and much more. Sadaharu Aoki, 35 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris
Fellow dessert lovers: What are your all-time favorite places to enjoy pastry in Paris? Tell us in the comments below.