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Oct 27, 2009 01:45 PM

Paris--best pastries to try

My husband, daughter and I will be in Paris the week of Thanksgiving. I have found lots of lists of great bakeries and pastry shops--which we will check out. Once we get there, what specific pastries should we sample? Last time we were in Paris we ate many croissants, varieties of croissants, and every flavor of macaron we could find. We also tried several local ice creams. What else (especially that might be uncommon in the US outside of large cities) should we add to our mix?

Many thanks.

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  1. I was there back in 83 and 85. I loved the croissants with the chocolate in them. I was reading today about Kouign Aman, pastry with layers of buttery sugar dough. Do a search and see how they look, they either are baked in one big pastry or individual ones. I didn't know about them back then or I'd have looked for them. I've printed off many recipes for them and one day i'll make one!!!! :) :) :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Barbarainnc

      Try the pâtisserie Aurore Capucine (3 rue de Rochechouart), esp the pastries using lavender.and other flowers

      1. re: Parigi

        Parigi, I'm sorry to repeat your endorsement. With our mutual rec of this insolite address, we need to meet sometime. What an adventure!

        1. re: mangeur

          (Transcendentally off topic):
          Geniuses think alike.

      2. re: Barbarainnc

        Thank you. I looked it up, and it looks and sounds like the ideal thing to alternate with croissants for breakfast.

      3. Whenever we are in town for a few days, and they are the right days, I try to get to Vandermeersch just inside the periphique in the 12th. ON SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS ONLY they make an incredible array of kuglehofp, airy brioche-like tube cakes with almonds, fruit or not. Go early. They usually sell out before noon.

        A small one will serve two for breakfast for two days (if you are both restrained). We call for room service coffee and have a feast.

        The first time I brought one back to the hotel, my husband looked at it and said that it wasn't the kind of thing he liked. He tried a small piece and from then on I had to beat him away from it with a club.

        278, Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris, France
        01 43 47 21 66

        5 Replies
        1. re: mangeur

          Although I'll gladly second the general recomendation of Gugelhopf (my tastes in pastry go more towards the germanophone Alps), it's a very non-French style of pastry and not something widely adopted either. It never would have occured to me to ask, but if anyone has a recommendation for Dampfknödeln...

          Isinicki: since we're talking non-French pastries as well, do you have access to arab pastries where you are?

          1. re: tmso

            Ran into 4 shops in Toulouse a bit back, but that l am sure is no help.

            1. re: tmso

              I live in Portland, Maine-- and I'm not aware of any arab pastries. But we do have a fairly diverse population, so there may be pastry in one of the tiny ethnic mini-markets we have. What do you suggest I look for?

              1. re: lsinicki

                In that case, I would suggest you look for them in Paris. We have a lovely Algerian pastry shop, La bague de Kenza. The main store is on the rue St-Maur, but there are a few other locations around the city. Things to try would include cornes de gazelle, cigares, skandriates, maqrout-el-louz, droits de Kenza, and galb-elouz.

                For Tunisian pastries, there's a boutique Masmoudi on the bd St-Germain. Baklawas, melfoufs, mlabes, tajins and dawamas would be good things to try.

                1. re: tmso

                  Thank you. We may have to skip meals to leave more room for pastry.

          2. Another off the wall place is Aurore-Capucine Patisserie on lower rue Rochechouart in the 9th. This tiny whimsical place makes you shake your head in wonder: savory (rosemary, thyme) and floral (rose, violet) sable cookies, fantasy cakes and pastries. The proprietess is someone out of a fairytale.


            1. At Pierre Hermé, be sure to try the pastry called "Carrément Chocolat." It is incredible.
              They also have a fabulous "tartelette au café," something I haven't come across anywhere else.


              1. Kouigh Aman are my favs as well. Right now consuming one from my wonderful supplier. Au Grenier du Pain, but only the one on Rue Abbesses. Been trying these pastries all over France, especially Bretagné where they are based, and IMHO this bakery has it right.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  I often go up to Abbesses, to the poissonnerie on Lepic-Abbesses. Now I must check out Au Grenier du Pain...
                  There is also the very popular yet no-frill "Les Petits Mitrons" on 26 Rue Lepic, a pie specialist. The outside crowd equals that at the Amélie café across the street.
                  Another good place in the general neighborhood of Aurore-Capucine is Pâtisserie Seurre. Seurre is not a baker but a real chef pâtissier, of several generations at that.
                  Delmontel on rue des Martyrs makes an excellent old-fashioned lemon pie (tarte au citron à l'ancienne), using crushed lemon peel, but one has to "book" a pie as the bakery makes very few on spec.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Interesting; our local supplier of Kouigh Aman, who's become a legend, at least in our diminutive batiment, is Arnaud Larher: 53 rue Caulaincourt in the unfashionable18th.

                    John Talbott

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        Quick, all you kouign aman fans in Paris:
                        The charcuterie Aux Papilles gourmands on rue des Martyrs just got a one-time-deal delivery of a very limited supply from Frédéric Jegou, this year's trophée d'or for best KA of Brittany. The store has 4 left. I got the 5th one.

                          1. re: souphie

                            I also broke down and bought a hard drug that Daniel Rose got me into: beurre bordier aux algues.