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Mar 5, 2007 05:57 PM

Pastry Pilgrimage in Paris - suggestions?

I plan on spending an entire day stuffing my face with the best sweets Paris has to offer. All I know so far is that I plan on returning to Patisserie Mulot and trying out Poilane's breads and sable bretons. Any suggestions would be welcome. Where should I go and what are the "don't miss" items there?

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  1. The most famous don't miss are certainly Ladurée's macarons.

    At Mulot, I really like the tarte au citron, his croissants and fruit tartes.

    Also, Pierre Hermé's pastries. Lines can be long though.

    Jean-Paul Hévin's salon de thé on 231, Rue St. Honore, 1st arr., is pure heaven.

    Dalloyau is pretty good as well. Different branches all over the city.

    Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki, 35, Rue de Vaugirard, 6th arr.

    Don't underestimate small no-name neighbourhood patisseries. Bascially, every neighbourhood has at least one good patisserie. Prices there are often a lot lower.
    In the 7th arr., I recommend the patisserie Jean Millet 103, Rue Saint-Dominique.

    BTW, you'll find lots of cafés (mainly in the Saint-Germain area) that use Poilane's bread for their sandwiches, croque-monsieurs or hot chèvre toasts.

    Same with the famous Berthillon ice creams, incidentally, which can be found a bit all over Paris.

    1. >> Don't underestimate small no-name neighbourhood patisseries.
      >> Bascially, every neighbourhood has at least one good patisserie.

      Very true! To find the best of the neighborhood patisseries, look for the word "artisanale" on the sign or the window - that means they hand-craft high quality pastries (unlike some other places that treat the pastries and bread like a huge commercial bakery).

      I wish I could provide some specific recommendations, but I haven't been to Paris for 3 or 4 years. (I do remember a very nice bakery in the 14th arr., across the street from Le Moulin Vert.) But here's a blog with lots of recommendations:

      Enjoy yourself, and please eat some chouquettes for me!


      2 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        I may be wrong about this but I thought "Artisanale" only applied to the bread baked on the premises i.e. it is prepared from scratch on the premises rather than the half cooked frozen factory bread that is simply finished on the premises which will be found in non-Arisanale Boulangeries. Thus it may be wrong to conclude that the pastries/cakes are also made on the premises and not bought in.

        I suspect the quality of a cake/pastry is far more easily discerned by simply looking at it. Unlike bread when a crusty exterior can hide a doughy mush. Thus it is more important with bread to have a signal it is good.

        I second the recommendation to check out Davids blog - he does tours of Paris chocolate shops and Pâtisseries but I understand he is back in the US soon for a stint of cooking demos so may not have any when you are over.

        1. re: PhilD

          Good point - I think you're right. I guess I was assuming that if an "artisanale" place made their bread on site, they would do the same for the pastries, too. I suppose that word is no guarantee, but I've never had a bad pastry at a place with great bread. Perhaps I'm just lucky! Or perhaps my sample size is too small - I don't eat enough pastries when I'm in Paris.


      2. i'm taking my 15 yr old daughter in april (thank god, she EATS, tho she is as skinny as a starving model). just picked up a book called "paris by pastry" --stalking the sweet life on the streets of paris, buy joyce slayton mitchell.
        it looks like a fun read for the plane, with recipes, stories and many, many patisserie suggestions. i got it off the shelf at borders--it's a small publisher (jones books, madison, wi), but you should be able to find it online. have fun, and please post your findings...

        1. I like the cookies and breads at Jean Luc Poujouran's boulangerie in the 7th. better than Poilane's.

          The Kugelhopf and Madeleines at Lerch in the 5th,

          Would you want to sign up for an afternoon pastry demo class at LCB or Ecole Ritz?

          I'm guessing Dorie Greenspan's web site would have some great suggestions for pastry not to miss, as well as Patricia Wells'.

          1. Pain de Sucre 14 r Rambuteau 75003 PARIS 01 45 74 68 92

            is worth a visit. It is only a few minutes walk from the Pompidou Center. They make some incredibly imaginative tartes and cake, particularly delicious if you like pistachio and fruit. They are also one of the few retail places to sell Jacques Genin caramels. Their lemon tartes are very good too, particularly if you want some finger food pastry for your stroll through the Marais.