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Where to find the ultimate croissant in central Paris?

I'm going in August and don't have a place to stay yet. So this time, I'd like to locate myself close to the perfect croissant. I'm already looking forward to going out in the morning and bringing home fresh pastries to munch on with coffee and orange juice. So, please, where should I look?

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  1. Croissants are a pretty simple pastry, won't be significant differences, unless you buy the supermarket-packaged type. (a lower quality). Just about any boulangerie will have decent croissants.

    I assume by "home" you mean where you will be staying in Paris.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lemarais

      Croissants may look simple, but they are not. Combining elements of bread (live yeast) and laminated dough (like pâte feuilletée) make them much more sensitive to variations in every ingredient and temperature/humidity.

      I agree that it is silly to discuss "the best," but the average croissant in Paris is basically mediocre. If that's what lemarais means by "decent," then we are in agreement. But I think the OP, in asking about a "perfect" croissant, at least meant something much better than just decent. Placed alongside croissants from most of the places mentioned above by Parnassien, for example, there is no comparison to the average croissant.

    2. There is no such thing as the perfect croissant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ptipois

        I agree -- it's more fun to have your own taste test anyway. Then you have an excuse to try a croissant from every boulanger you pass.

        (I still give extra points to the boulangers who'll offer to warm your pain au chocolat in the oven)

      2. Make sure you get croissant au beurre. after that your choice and mine may be different. most neighborhoods have a plethora of bakeries, so if the first one does not make your idea of a croissant, do a second. within my apartment their are 8 bakeries within three blocks, lucky me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          I am going to disagree with DCM, I don't like the "best of threads" but there are some areas of Paris which do not have bakeries on every corner. I used to live on rue Rue Saint-Honoré (next to Hotel Costes) and it was quite a trek to the nearest shops let alone good bakery.

          So in very Central Paris especially the 1eme you need to be careful, better to get accommodation in a more residential area like the 7eme.

          1. re: PhilD

            And since our OP is going to stay in Paris in August, a certain number of boulangeries will be closed. Staying in a residential area will tend to lessen the chances, whereas staying in a "popular" area with plenty of food stores will increase them.

            Staying in the 5e, 6e or 7e not too far from Boulevard Saint-Germain might be a good idea: Kayser, Hermé, Mulot, Dalloyau, Grégoire, La Pâtisserie des Rêves will be within walking distance.

            If croissants were my main reason to stay in Paris, I'd pick the vicinity of one super-boulanger like Dominique Saibron on place d'Alésia or Christophe Vasseur (Du Pain et des Idées) in the 10th.

        2. I put my vote for the perfect croissant on Boulangerie Pichard on the rue Cambronne. I believe it actually won that prize a few years ago. also-they have great savory quiches and all the other goodies associated with a bakery.

          1. I should also add that it is in the 15 th, and that they also have a chausson de pomme-as they described it to me, it has an entire apple in every chausson. Nice for a breakfast pastry..

            1. you should probably also know ahead of time that a chausson de pomme is croissant dough baked with a filling of applesauce -- it's not chopped apples, and definitely not a whole apple.

              4 Replies
              1. re: sunshine842

                The dough for chaussons *aux* pommes is not croissant dough but puff pastry.
                The applesauce for that kind of pastry is called "compote sèche", meaning that it is heavily reduced (to avoid leaks), so it figures that the best examples of chausson aux pommes could easily contain an entire apple if they're generously garnished.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  I knew it was wrong, but I had a day from hell yesterday, couldn't remember the correct term, and couldn't find enough giveadamn to go search for it. C'est la vie. :)

                  But my point was that it isn't a whole apple -- it might be the *equivalent* of a whole apple, but there's no chunks or slices in there.

                2. re: sunshine842

                  When I went there,they made a point of telling me that their chausson had an entire apple in every chausson - what a good slogan :) and we're talking about breakfast pastry here.. Just mentioned it as a good accompaniment to a coffee in the morning. I had an apricot tart in Landeman that would work too

                  1. re: pammi

                    I understand that it might have the flesh equivalent of an entire apple -- but just pointing out that it's NOT a whole (uncut, as in all in one piece) or even pieces of apple. Just purée.

                3. There are so many "concours" and taste-tests to find the best croissant that I'm pretty sure that every bakery in Paris has won some prize or other. With so many competitions, it's telling that there is rarely any great degree of unanimity among the various tests and contests. Le Figaro's latest test puts Pierre Hermé on the rue Bonaparte/6th, Sebastien Gaudard on the rue Martyrs/9th, Bread & Roses on the rue Fleurus/6th, Landemaine on the rue Martyrs/9th, and Des Gateaux et du Pain on the boulevard Pasteur/15th as the top 5. "Les Meilleurs Croissants Franciliens 2012" at the annual Fête du Pain gave the trophy to Laurent Duchêne on the rue Wurtz/13th with Dominique Saibron on the avenue Général Leclerc/ 14th, Alain Yhuel on the rue Jean Lantier / 1st, François Vacavant on the avenue d'Italie/13th, Pichard on the rue Cambronne/ 15th, and Au Duc de la Chapelle on the rue Tristan Tzara/ 18th as runners-up. And then there's the entirely different winners of other competitions organized by the Chambre Professionelle des Artisans Boulangers-Patissiers.

                  All this to re-inforce Ptipois's perfect observation that there is no perfect croissant and to second Deluca's suggestion to investigate every boulangerie in walking distance to find the one croissant that appeals to you more than another. For the highest concentration of good boulangeries-pâtisseries, it's probably St Germain des Prés in the 6th, around the place d'Aligre/ Faidherbe-Chaligny in the 11th & 12th, rue Martyrs in the 9th, and avenue Mozart in the 16th.

                  In the end, it's you who are the final judge and jury.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Parnassien

                    However, the OP wanted the best in "central Paris".....and most of these are not really central.

                    As I said in my earlier post, forget about central and head to the more residential areas like the 6/7eme which correlates with these recomendations (OK Pti I do know these are not 100% residential but they are more residential than te 1/2eme)

                  2. My favorites are Herme and Des Gateaux et du Pain, but Herme doesn't make croissants for most of August, even though the shops are open and Des Gateaux et du Pain is closed for a few weeks in August.