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Five days five pastry shops. Where should we go and what should we eat? [Paris]

back to Paris with the mister and my daughter and we are looking for the top 5 places to go for pastry and what we should have when there.

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  1. Tarte au peche at Gerard Mulot! Hands down best pastry I've ever eaten.

    16 Replies
    1. re: DaisyM

      Although Gerard Mulot's tarte au peche is indeed delicious, now is not the season for it. Instead, I would have their tarte tatine. My favorites shops for pastry include Hugo & Victoire for mille feuille and tarts (in the 7th and 1st), Pain de Sucre for their lemon tart, apple tart or anything that contains their most marvelous vanilla pastry cream (in the 3rd), Des Gateaux et du Pain for any pastry (in the 15th), Jacques Genin for lemon tart and eclairs (in the 3rd) and Carl Marletti for anything, but especially lemon tarts (in the 5th). I have different favorites for bread, but that's a different question.

      1. re: Nancy S.

        This guy has done his research and while some of the ones on this list are seasonal and won't be available now, browse through the rest of his blog for gorgeous photos and suggestions of where to go for some of the best pastry in town:

        1. re: Nancy S.

          I guess that will be my next questions!

          1. re: Nancy S.

            Very important to point out that peach is not in season.
            Tarte tatin is an excellent choice.
            Excuse me for correcting: tarte tartin, not tartine (very different pronunciation and meaning).
            Tarte tatin is best eaten hot, with crème fraîche melted on top.

            1. re: Parigi

              And while we're at it, for the sake of the search engine, it's Hugo et Victor.

              1. re: Ptipois

                Many thanks for my typos. I should have proof read!

                1. re: Nancy S.

                  NBD. You should have seen the time my eyes came out of their orbit seeing "poisonnerie" in a post of mine.

            2. re: Nancy S.

              Lemon tart!
              Delmontel (rue des Martyrs) makes an excellent tarte au citron à l'ancienne, with lemon peel ground into the tart. Very good, esp after a full-flavored or even spicy main.

              1. re: Nancy S.

                Nancy, when is the tarte au peche available? The first time I had it was at the end of April. I remember wondering how they got such delicious peaches so early.

                1. re: DaisyM

                  Peach season is from late spring to more or less the entire summer. Early summer peaches are splendid.

                    1. re: DaisyM

                      I had my first white peach in Paris, about 35 years ago. Splendid then, and splendid still.

                      1. re: Nancy S.

                        White is great, with much more juice and sugar than yellow.
                        I like yellow peach in jams and pies for the tanginess though.

                2. re: Nancy S.

                  if you go to Jacques Genin and do not try the millefeuille (made to order in several flavors), you have missed the best pastry shop millefeuille in Paris. You'd have to go to a fine restaurant to find its equal. To be eaten immediately in their cafe, not kept in a box while the pastry absorbs moisture.

                  1. re: RandyB

                    I actually prefer the millefeuille at Hugo et Victor.

              2. Today David Libovitz points us to this Paris pastry ap. Wowzer! http://www.paris-pastry.com/

                1. To add to what has already been said, the tarte tatin at Moulin a la Vierge and the bostock at Pierre Herme

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    I never hear of a 'bostock' before but that sounds perfect!

                    1. re: t14072

                      <I never hear of a 'bostock' before>

                      You're going to be glad you did!

                  2. To forward your hopes, went to Un Dimanche a Paris, asked for a reglisse macaron. When they did not have it, walked out without anything, staring at the manager. Perhaps it will help to get them to return the reglisse.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      You're literally my hero ;) That made me laugh so hard. I will have to ask Perrine if there's been an uptick in réglisse requests. I know I caused a clementine shortage there, by referencing them too often on my site, so I'm hoping your efforts help hasten the return of the réglisse macaron. Thank you!

                    2. I second ParisPatisseries' post, with no surprise, he's the expert — suffering for us all and risking diabetic shock every day to inform us.

                      Although I am less of a "bec sucré" than he is, I agree with his recommendations (except for Pierre Hermé and Ladurée) and also with his misrecommendations. I too think Arnaud Delmontel is very, very overrated.

                      I would add Carl Marletti and Dominique Saibron to the list, although I haven't tasted anything from Saibron since he moved to the place d'Alésia. Carl Marletti makes very fine stuff in a steady turnover all day long, so his pastry is very fresh. The one I place above all others is, naturally, Jacques Genin, who has the guts to produce incredibly delicious streamlined versions of classic pastries with no bells and whistles added. Quite a rare feat.

                      While we've got ParisPatisseries on the line, I will confess having a little problem with Café Pouchkine. I went there recently and had a little trouble imagining that these baroque confections were actually edible. I find them really intimidating.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Ptipois

                        I listed Pierre Hermé and Ladurée because they're the ones so many know . . . and if a person comes back from France others are like, "Well you did go to Hermé and Ladurée, right?" only to hear "No.", then they can make someone feel silly for missing out. It's kind of like how you need to eat Godiva chocolate so that you can name-drop Amedei, Domori, Bernachon, etc. with impunity. But I agree PH and L are not the best.

                        And, yeah. Carl Marletti is great. Super nice guy . . . and he's got great pieces. Assuming you're down on the Rue Mouffetard, he's the perfect spot to hit-up. Dominique Saibron is always a fun visit, too. The head pastry chef there, Franck, is a nice guy and loves what he does. Nothing like passion getting baked into things.

                        And, yes, Pouchkine is tricky. If there's such a thing as too pretty, they might be guilty. I think the main problem is the staff. While they've warmed up, I think the crowds of customers really take their toll. I used to go in the morning when no one was there, and it was pretty relaxed. Then I visited one afternoon, and it was a circus. Poor ladies. But try and give them another shot. Their vanilla croissant is amazing, and they have some of the most perfectly formed macarons around. I'd also sell my soul for some of their pastries ;)

                        1. re: ParisPatisseries

                          Pastries aside, one should still try a plain (I said PLAIN) croissant at Hermé. I agree with le Figaro that this is the standard for a perfect, plain (need I repeat myself?) croissant.

                          Hermé's pains au chocolat are also excellent. As for the isphanan croissant that replaced the almond one, I will stay silent and not insult its many fans.

                          1. re: RandyB

                            I agree. Monsieur Hermé has one of the finest croissants around. I'm also fond of Blé Sucré, Bread & Roses and Gontran Cherrier, when it comes to croissants . . . but, yeah, PH might well be the most consistent. They're always there every morning at 10 and get snapped-up pretty fast. Good stuff!

                          2. re: ParisPatisseries

                            I like Laduree for their macarons only. The other pastries are not as fresh as they should be and not as vibrant as they could be. I agree about Delmontel regarding pastries, though his baguette is good (when he does not over-bake it, which seems to happen too regularly in my experience).

                            75 Champs-Élysées, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR

                            1. re: Nancy S.

                              I still dream about the PH almond croissant I had about 5 years ago. Why the isaphan is so popular is beyond me. But the other things I've tried there have all been too sweet and gelatinous for my taste.

                              1. re: Nancy S.

                                I think Laduree's macarons are too sweet. not my favorite. I will be searching for one (a favorite) early next month. ;)

                                75 Champs-Élysées, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR

                            2. re: Ptipois

                              I have to agree about Delmontel, I found the pastries good but pretentious, and the sandwichs I got there were better then your average sandwich in a regular boulangerie, but still not so great, with the bread pretty hard.

                              I've had the opportunity to sample a few things at Saibron on place d'Alésia. The breads are really good, and some pastries are not bad, but overall I didn't like the pastries as much as the breads.

                            3. I can't say enough things about Sadaharu Aoki. Absolutely perfect. There is nothing that I would change except that the shop which I visited (6eme) lacked a salon.

                              They have really everything that I want from pastries- perfectly delicious, beautiful to look at and inventive.

                              I tried Pierre Herme and Laduree and (although I dream about the chocolate laduree macaron at night) the macarons at Sadaharu Aoki were just as good or better. The flavors were unique and the execution was comparable to the more traditional patisseries.

                              Where Sadaharu Aoki excels, however, is their pastries. Please do not come home without trying them!!

                              Pierre Herme
                              72 Rue Bonaparte, Paris, Île-de-France 75006, FR

                              75 Champs-Élysées, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR

                              1. They do not allow photos so that explains the quality. I snapped these "by accident"....

                                This shop is not to be missed!

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: t19103

                                  Sadaharu Aoki is great. I'm often hesitant about pointing people there, as the flavors can be a little shocking. The "Zen" piece in your photo, in particular, is very alcoholic and heavy with black sesame -- great for someone who enjoys those flavors, but perhaps too wild for someone just casually picking it from the case. His black sesame eclair is great and is a lighter approach to the flavor, minus the alcohol. His caramel tarte, yuzu tarte, choux vanille, Fuwa Fuwa Passion, cheesecake, and Sudachi are pretty excellent and palatable for most. I also like his Bamboo and the violet macarons, though both can be a little challenging for some.

                                  1. re: ParisPatisseries

                                    The item was not alcoholic at all. You must be mixing it up with something else. I almost never have alcohol and can detect even the slightest trace of it. Neither my friend nor I, who had the same dessert, detected any liquor.

                                    I also had a number of macarons and a few pieces of other small sweets. No alcohol in anything.

                                  2. re: t19103

                                    The matcha green tea dome (in your third picture) is extraordinary. I went to the S. Aoki at Galleries Lafayette food market and ate it sitting down at the nearby coffee/juice shop which has seating. Better than the lemon version (which is still damn good).

                                    1. re: Steve

                                      I am a fan of the baba au rhum at Stohrer, 51 rue Montorgueil Mon-Sun, 7:30-20:30, but then again I am a sucker for custard.

                                      Has anyone tried the kouign amann at Arnaud Larher: 53 rue Caulaincourt Tue-Sat 10:00 to 19:30?

                                      Another shop that I have heard about, but never visited is pâtisserie Stéphane Secco, 20 rue Jean Nicot in the 7th arrondissement.

                                      As for Aoki Sadaharu 56 bd Port Royal 75005, I find the pastries more intriguing than satisfying. I am not a great fan of their cakes, but they do travel well, if you want to bring something back to the States. Cakes in general are very different from products of the same name in the States. No frosting, more like a spice cake than a pound cake. Sometimes on the dry side, but they are good with a strong smokey aromatic cup of tea such as lapsang souchang or Russian caravan.

                                      1. re: VivreManger

                                        'Has anyone tried the kouign amann at Arnaud Larher: 53 rue Caulaincourt Tue-Sat 10:00 to 19:30? '

                                        No, but have you tried the small ones at Grenier au Pain, all locations, it is my go to.

                                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                          As always in search of my favorite pastry, schlepped to Larher today and Tada, they did not have them, curses foiled again.

                                        2. re: VivreManger

                                          Secco is fine but not worth a detour.

                                          1. re: Nancy S.

                                            l am one who goes to Bellota-Bellota next door and never goes inside Secco. Still pissed about Poujaran leaving the space.

                                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                              I think Secco has gone downhill in recent years. 3 or 4 years ago many things there were just fab. The last 2 years I was disappointed with everything I ate from her. Definitely not worth seeking out.

                                              1. re: plafield

                                                Agreed. 5 or so years ago, I loved the lemon tarts. (But I believe Secco is a "he".)

                                                1. re: Nancy S.

                                                  Do any of you know which is the boulangerie where the Constant restaurants get their bread? I remember leaving Cocottes several years ago with directions to their supplier. I walked a few blocks, turned a corner (I think), and entered a small shop with loaves piled high.

                                                  1. re: Nancy S.

                                                    I am going to 4th that non-recommendation of Secco. Their cheesecake gets so much attention, but I've never thought it was all that special ... good, just not too interesting. It's really more of a good neighborhood shop for that part of the 7ème, akin to Mulot in his part of the 6ème. Of course Mulot is being surrounded by haute pâtisseries, so I'm not sure what will ultimately become of him; business is still pretty brisk though.

                                            2. re: VivreManger

                                              <Another shop that I have heard about, but never visited is pâtisserie Stéphane Secco, 20 rue Jean Nicot in the 7th arrondissement.>

                                              Isn't that where Poujouran used to be?

                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                Yes, that's Jean-Luc Poujauran's place. Secco took it over and added a pastry section to the old boulangerie.