I don’t know about you but when I think of Paris, I think of the most delicious and prettiest pastries in the world. I may be biased because I have an unconditional love for that city but do feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Every time I’m back there I try to discover a few new places. I feel like my list of favourites is growing with each trip and it’s about time I shared it with you. I’ve pinned them all in a map and I hope to remember to update the list regularly.
(I would like to point out that this is in no order of preference what so ever…)
- Karamel: I first tried Karamel in April 2018 and couldn’t resist their Paris-Brest Pistache. It was the main reason why I wanted to check it out. I’m not the biggest fan of caramel so I was worried it would be too sweet. On the contrary, it was perfect! I’m the definition of a greedy person so I managed to eat it by myself but I guess that many of you would it find it too rich for one. Their Paris-Brest’s flavour is seasonal and can change at different times of the year. If you manage to catch the pistachio version, you have to try it! If nuts, praline, cream and choux isn’t your idea of heaven – I’m sure you can tell by now that I’d happily eat that all day every day – then go for the exquisite tarte au citron also perfectly balanced and definitely big enough for one (no sharing!) or the cookie.
- Yann Couvreur: speaking of Paris-Brests, I must admit that my favourite classic one is by Yann Couvreur. I have a weird obsession with pistachios in desserts but the combination of hazelnut and chocolate remains unbeatable to me. It really is a match made in heaven. Yann knows how to celebrate this magical duo through both his Paris Brest and the Merveille. Despite using the same main ingredients, they’re quite different desserts. Try them both but if you really had to choose one then go for the Paris Brest. It’s big enough to share as well. For a quick breakfast pick up, go for le roulé. They’re usually available in different flavours. Flaky, buttery, sweet and sticky pastry. Best way to start the day if you ask me!
- Bo et Mie: I stumbled across this patisserie on the same day I went to Karamel. We were walking to a wine shop and their display caught my eyes. Then I remembered that I had vaguely looked them up once. Thankfully my equally greedy sister-in-law encouraged me to go in and I’m so glad we did. We tried the cheesecake mangue passion and it’s one of the tastiest fruit-based patisserie I’ve ever had. I grew up eating a mango mousse cake at every occasion and this cheesecake reminded me of it, just it was better in every way: perfectly sweetened, containing a mixture of textures and deliciously refreshing. If you do come across it then I highly recommend trying it!
- Pierre Hermé: my love for Pierre is one of a kind. Despite having lived in Paris for three years, I discovered good macarons in London and more particularly at a Pierre Hermé event in Selfridges. As a humble undergraduate student, macarons weren’t on my radar. After trying the ones by Pierre Hermé – because let’s be honest, I’ve tasted a certain other brand and really disliked them – I was suddenly obsessed with him. My next trip to Paris, I made sure I visited his boutique. I bought his recipe book, I got it signed by him. Proper fan girl behaviour right there! But once you try his 2000 feuilles, you’ll understand why. I honestly haven’t fallen in love with many other of his patisseries – his croissants are worth trying though – but this one is very very special. It combines my favourite match of chocolate and hazelnut, with textures, richness, creaminess and sheer perfection. It’s big enough to share between two. Sadly the patisseries don’t have any seats or tables so take away is your only option. Also be careful, not all Pierre Hermé boutiques sell the patisseries. I usually buy mine from his shop in the 6th arrondissement on Rue Bonaparte or in Galeries La Fayette Gourmet. I don’t think there’s been a trip to Paris where I didn’t have his 2000 feuilles. On a separate note, obviously I love all his macarons but recently I tried his Chou Montebello, a large choux pastry filled with a creamy pistachio filling and hidden strawberry jam. Refreshing, and perfect for a nice spring day.
- Un Dimanche à Paris: I must admit, I had their take on a Paris-Brest, a Paris-New York in April 2018 and I wasn’t mind blown. There wasn’t anything wrong with it but I guess I’m not a fan of caramel and peanuts. I love peanuts but the flavours didn’t work for me. Apparently the one patisserie to have from them is the tarte baba au rum. I guess it’s one for next time.
- Cedric Grolet: The best pastry chef in the world, Cedric’s work truly is exceptional. However, it comes with a very high price tag. His patisseries are found in one of the most beautiful five star hotels in Paris, Le Meurice, and he recently opened his own boutique, linked to the hotel but not within the same building. It’s a very short walk from the hotel. I’ve been following Cedric for a while and I’ve been dying to try his Noisette, a chocolate hazelnut patisserie, but his boutique was closed when we went on a Monday. Always check opening hours! About a year ago, I tried his famous Paris-Brest and it was the most expensive yet most delicious patisserie I’ve ever had. For €20, you better hope it would be the best one you’ve had.
- L’Eclair de Génie: A true genuis when it comes to éclairs, I don’t think I like any other ones but his. Surprisingly, my favourite remains the vanille pécan for it’s simplicity and perfectly balanced flavours. Obviously, I am obsessed with pistachios to I absolutely love the pistache framboise barlette, a take one a tart in the shape of an éclair to keep up with the theme.
- Du pain et des idées: mostly known for its breakfast style pastries, I had to check out what the hype was about. The pistachio chocolate escargot (snail) was delicious but I preferred the hazelnut one. I guess it’s down to personal taste but they were both delicious.
- La Patisserie des Rêves: beautifully and playfully designed boutiques, with equally stunning patisseries. As my theme of Paris-Brest continues, Philippe Conticini’s one is definitely worth a try. Perfectly balanced, extremely tasty and very very high on my list of favourites. He used to have two boutiques in London but sadly they closed down without any notice. I found out the hard way by going to one with the exciting anticipation of grabbing one of my favourite desserts and it was shut, forever… It’s still around in Paris so definitely give it a go!
- Fou de patisserie: For a selection of patisseries from the best pastry chefs in Paris, it’s like taking a kid to a candy store!
These are all tried and tested. My list continues to grow with each trip, as well as my obsession with patisseries. Let me know if you’ve tried any and if you think I should definitely check a place out next time I’m there!