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Mar 21, 2010 04:22 PM

Best boulangeries & patisseries in Paris?

I'm traveling from NYC to Paris for the first time in late May and staying here for five days. I adore everything that is baked - breads, pastries, cookies (I have a macaron obsession), and cakes! I know Paris is a haven for baked goods but I would like to know what and where I can find fabulous bakeries (it can span from savory to sweet). Please list away, as I'll try to eat my way through and possibly take a couple of items with me back home!

Thanks in advance!


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    1. re: dietndesire

      Really, as in my first time to Paris - yes. Yes, if I would try to eat my way through bakeries, patisseries and boulangeries, if I can handle it and if it's worth my time and stomach space.

      If that's what you're inquiring.

      1. re: chocokitty

        Seurre, Aurore Capucine, Delmontel, Herme.
        Have a sweet trip.

          1. re: dennis855

            What should I get at both places?


            1. re: chocokitty

              Genin: have a freshly-constructed mille feuilles in the tea salon, then take home a bag (or three) of his mango-passionfruit caramels. (his salted butter caramels, in a variety of flavors, are delicious as well.)

              1. re: chocokitty

                Genin: also tarte au citron. The shop itself is very nice.

            2. re: chocokitty

              Pain de Sucre in the 3rd, Des Gateaux et du Pain in the 15th. Look at the Chocolate and Zucchini website -- the author of the site wrote a great book that describes lots of wonderful places to eat and buy all sorts of food in Paris.

          2. Even if you travel no more than a dozen blocks from your hotel in any direction, you will still have a problem eating your way through all of their offerings, which on a scale of one to ten may be quite decent. Almost daily in Paris I wonder how on earth the city sells out of patisserie products each day, so prolific and extraordinary is the output. Be aware that judgement of macarons is in the eye or rather palate of the beholder. Enjoy.

            1. Well, this is good timing, because tmrw our friend Phyllis Flick/Felice, who has been chosen as a judge in "La baguette, une histoire d'amour parisienne" competition will, with four other "internautes de" picked from 500 of us who competed, test 200 baguettes for the best in Paris.
              We await her report.

              14 Replies
              1. re: John Talbott

                You must go to Polaine for their sourdough bread. It is perfect to take home, because it will stay fresh for several days and it freezes well. ( We stopped on our way to the airport.)
                Our favorite patisserie was Gerard Mulot. The peach tart was the best dessert I've ever had. Make sure to take a little camera. You'll want to take photos of the windows. You won't believe how beautifully the displays are. Have a wonderful time.

                1. re: DaisyM

                  A very recent thread about the best patisseries:

                  BTW, I believe, we all have our favourite places for whatever reasons.

                  Best baguettes in 2009 list posted by Meg (dated March 22, 2010):

                  1. re: Dodo

                    We bought a book that you might like. It is called "The Patisseries of Paris". The shops are categorized by arrondisemont. We found the descriptions to be on the mark.

                    1. re: Dodo

                      Hi all,
                      The link that Dodo posted is to a Google map that I just created, which presents the winners from the Grand Prix Baguette competition from the years 2009, 2008 and 2007. I'll update this as soon as the 2010 winners are announced today or tomorrow.

                      You can access the map here (and can save any of the bakeries to your own Google map):

                      And like John Talbott mentioned, I'm really looking forward to Phyllis Flick's insider report on this competition after a day spent tasting and judging baguettes!

                    2. re: DaisyM

                      Little camera? I own a Canon 5D Mark II (I gave up on point and shoots years ago). I will be taking photos like there's no tomorrow. Haha...!

                      Anyway, I was intending to go to Polaine. Do you know offhand if they do serve lunch or breakfast? I'm thinking of having their tartines prior to a mulitcourse dinner.

                      Thanks, DaisyM!

                      1. re: chocokitty

                        You can't eat in Polaine, but right next door is this tiny little place that serves open face sandwiches on toasted Polaine bread. It is a lovely little place for lunch. If you order coffee they serve it with a cookie spoon. And since you are on that street....walk down a block or so and go into Reine Astrid and get a box of chocolates. Their window display is amazing....and the chocolates were some of the best I've ever had.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              Duly noted on the spelling. Thanks :)

                            2. re: DaisyM

                              Poilane has a number of shops - Bar de Cuisine is next to the one in rue du Cherche-Midi. And of course there are also two estranged brothers who both use the name Poilane but bake similar but slightly different bread, some like Max's others Lionel's.

                              1. re: PhilD

                                Sadly, there WERE two brothers. Lionel's daughter now runs his shops, no?

                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    But both "brands" continue....?

                        1. breakfast pastries from Boulangerie Monge. The best!

                          1. Phyllis Flick, who was a judge in this year's Grand Prix competition for the best baguette in Paris, just announced the 2010 winner: Djribril Bodian from le Grenier à Pain in Montmartre (38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018).

                            Bodian placed 5th in the 2009 competition and 4th in 2007.

                            Phyllis is on her way home from the competition now and promises to post the full results here:

                            22 Replies
                            1. re: meg_zimbeck

                              Actually I'm very certain Ms Flick had the #5 2007 at a exclusive tasting on the Rue du Poteau which for some reason only numbers 1, 2 and 4 are recorded in the archives.

                              1. re: meg_zimbeck

                                "the 2010 winner: Djribril Bodian from le Grenier à Pain in Montmartre (38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018)"

                                I respectively disagree. In fact just tasted it 2 days ago. The overall presentation of the boulangerie is great; the baguette is not as good as Delmontel's.

                                1. re: Parigi

                                  I spent an incredible afternoon tasting a whopping 163 baguettes as a member of the jury for the best baguette in Paris 2010. I am off to bed feeling a bit ill from too many carbs but I just posted an account, including the top ten scores, on my blog

                                  Unfortunately, I realised too late that I had gotten a smudge on my camera lens so my photos came out pretty terrible.

                                    1. re: Parigi

                                      I don't think Arnaud D. was eligible since he won a year or so ago, and I agree, Delmontel's Renaissance baquette is as good as I need.

                                      1. re: Laidback

                                        Not everyone enters, so he very well may not have. Christophe Vasseur of Pain et des Idées has said he doesn't enter because it is an unfair competition since bakers bring the best they have and it may not reflect what they put out day in and day out.

                                        1. re: Phyllis Flick

                                          Thanks Phyllis, but aren't previous winners ineligible for a certain number of years? Is it permissable to ask your top choices?

                                          1. re: Laidback

                                            Here's our own Souphie's fab google map to the best patisseries and boulangeries. A fabulous and well researched resource!

                                            1. re: plafield

                                              Sweet mother of all things carb! This map is amazing! I will definitely bookmark it.

                                              Thank you, plafield and Souphie!

                                              1. re: plafield

                                                could you repost that link? it seems to not work at the moment.

                                                i too am heading to paris in a few weeks (haven't been for a decade) and am searching out the best patisseries. thanks.

                                                  1. re: souphie

                                                    thank you! this is a great resource, and could very well Make our trip. merci.

                                            2. re: Phyllis Flick

                                              "...since bakers bring the best they have and it may not reflect what they put out day in and day out."

                                              I think this is a key point, competitions are fun, but shlepping across Paris to a prize winning baker is a bit crazy. IMO it is far better to find the best locally so that you can pop out just before breakfast or lunch and buy fresh bread for the meal. Baguettes have a short shelf life so trekking them across Paris is counter productive.

                                          2. re: Parigi

                                            Next time there try their ficelles, that is why l schlep there, ficelles and their Kouigh Amman

                                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                              That's what I schlepped up there for - the ficelle. Excellent indeed.
                                              As for Kouigh Amman, I am KouiAm-ed out. One Koui-Am goes a long way. It's an overdose of butter and sugar.

                                              1. re: Parigi

                                                Yes, I think I've reached the Kouigh Amman saturation point too; sugar bubbles circling inside my head. However, my local guy, Arnaud Larher, 53, rue Caulaincourt, in the 18th, should be on chocokitty's list.

                                                1. re: John Talbott

                                                  Just in case the 18th turns out to be out of the way for chocokitty to sample Kouign Amann, there's delicious K-A to be had at Ladurée Royale (can't say the same for Ladurée Bonaparte, did not think it was as good there...)

                                                  1. re: shortstop

                                                    If memory serves me, Arnaud came (many years ago) from Laduree.

                                                    1. re: shortstop

                                                      My favorite Kouigh Amman is from Pâtisserie des Rêves (rue du Bac in the 7th). It looks like a (buttery glossy) hockey puck, but tastes lighter than most that I've tried. Yum!

                                                      1. re: meg_zimbeck

                                                        Also delicious at Pâtisserie des Rêves - the Tarte Tatin and St. Honoré.

                                                        Chocokitty, also in the neighborhood of Pâtisserie des Rêves, is Hugo & Victor, on bd. Raspail and rue Chomel. Accurately described in another thread as like a jewelry store, it's sleek and modern, with beautiful (and unique) pastries in glass cases. Chocolates as well. I preferred what I sampled from Pâtisserie des Rêves, but Hugo & Victor is a must visit for a pâtisserie-buff. (as is Pâtisserie des Rêves.)

                                                        1. re: shortstop

                                                          My fav at Patisserie des Rêves would be Paris-Brest.