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What are your favorite local bakeries in France and why ?

Hello All,
I am going on a culinary/dessert adventure soon to Europe (alone). France will be a major part of the trip, Paris of course, Lyon, Nice ..etc.
Since France is the biggest dessert central, I would love to perfect the French specialties in the patisserie world.

I would love to hear some of my fellow chowhounders opinions on which bakeries and why they are your favorite!

I am planning on also interviewing the master chefs in some of the bakeries in France.

I personally love and wish to perfect Croissants (in baking). I'm close but still need practice.
Macarons, however, I have perfect.

Thanks everyone!

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  1. Landemaine rue des Martyrs. Near home. Excellent.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      Thank you! What do you like most about them ?

        1. re: Parigi

          Thanks Parigi. I was actually more asking on what food you like most from the place.

    2. If I live near rue des Martyrs, Landemaine would also be it; great breads though never had their croissants; love any of their fruit tarts, especially the tarte fine aux mirabelles. Just down the street is Sebastian Gaudard for his tarte au citron, Otello, Montmorency. He also has croissants, kugelhopf and all the viennoiseries but have never able to get there early in the mornings to eat them.

      7 Replies
      1. re: PBSF

        Those are great, thank you! I will try the croissants at Sebastian and rue des Martyrs, Landemaine and let you know how they are :)

        1. re: PBSF

          I couldn't find Otello, Montmorency on google, do you happen to know their website ?

          1. re: IammsT

            Never been on his website. Just google 'Sebastian Gaudard' to check if he has one. The Otello is usually in his pastry case but the Montmorency is seasonal. Was there early May.

            1. re: IammsT

              They are both types of cake. I think PBSF simply missed a word out - "....Sebastian Gaudard for his tarte au citron, Otello, and Montmorency."

              1. re: PhilD

                For pastry Gaudard is insanely good. But the OP asked for bakeries, therefore I did not list him.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Thanks for clarifying my shorthand. As you pointed out, Otello and Montmorency are pastries at Sebastian Gaudard.

                  1. re: PBSF

                    I see, that makes sense. Thank you for the clarification. I will be sure to visit Sebastian Gaudard! Thanks guys!

            2. If I live near rue des Martyrs, Landemaine would also be it; great breads though never had their croissants; love any of their fruit tarts, especially the tarte fine aux mirabelles. Just down the street is Sebastian Gauchard for his tarte au citron, Otello, Montmorency. He also has croissants, kugelhopf and all the viennoiseries but have never able to get there early in the mornings to eat them.

              1. Croissants in Paris -- Pierre Herme and Des Gateaux et du Pain
                Lemon Tart and Strawberry tart -- Pain de Sucre
                Eclairs -- Carl Marletti
                Brioche Feuilletee -- Patisserie des Reves
                Baguette -- Grenier a Pain (Abbesses) and Gosselin (blvd. St Germain, which is my local, so bread for dinner hot out of the oven from their last batch of the day btw 7:30pm and 8:00pm is quite lovely)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nancy S.

                  Thank you Nancy! I have put all of those down on my list.
                  Pierre Herme is a must try for many things,I have his macarons book. But I heard his macarons are too much on the sweet side and that there is always a long line out the door.

                2. I hate the name, but Liberté on rue des Vinaigriers is very good for bread. For bread again, Thierry Breton makes and sells great loaves from his Chez Michel, Casimir, Pointe du Grouin empire.

                  The bread and pastries in my immediate 'hood, rue du Faubourg St Denis, suck. I wish it would change.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: vielleanglaise

                    Thank you!
                    Though when I looked up Chez Michel, Casimir, it showed up as a restaurant, I'm not sure if I got the right one ?
                    http://www.restaurant-chez-casimir.com/
                    Let me know if the above link is the right place.

                    1. re: IammsT

                      Yes. He has 3 places. They sell the bread at the Pointe du Grouin.

                      1. re: vielleanglaise

                        Thank you for verifying Vielleanglaise!

                    2. re: vielleanglaise

                      In your immediate 'hood, try the nut and dried fruit bread at the former Tholoniat, that is good stuff. Huge loaves from which you can buy portions. The pastry is nothing to write home about.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        The pastry at Tholoniat was good for a while, but then pascal guerreau the baker left and it went down hill. The bread has remained good, but I mourn the mille-feuilles and their signature Tholoniat semi-freddo which is a shadow of its creamy self.

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          Thank you for the suggestion! They only have good bread , got it.