Step inside a Parisian bakery, and you’ll experience a magical whirlwind of warm buttery croissants, colorful macarons, tangy lemon tarts, and delicate puff pastries. It’s no surprise, then, that The City of Light is known as a playground for bon vivants (people who “live well”). But when every bakery looks so temptingly delicious, how do you know where to start?
To help you out, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to map out the best pâtisseries in Paris – and introduce you to a few key words you need to know, so you can feel right at home when you go!
1. La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac
The brainchild of French cuisine superstars Benoît Couvrand and Cyril Lignac, the high-class Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac is a feast for the eyes and a delight for the senses. Even though you’ll have trouble choosing just one pastry, we highly recommend going for the Equinoxe – a mind-blowing combination of light vanilla mousse, smooth caramel ganache and decadent spéculoos praliné.
Keyword: Pâtisserie – refers either to the shop where pastries and cake are sold, or the pastry itself
Address: 55 Boulevard Pasteur, 75015 Paris, France and additional locations
2. Pierre Hermé Paris
Step inside this temple of French pastry, and revel in the bright colors and tempting aromas of the macarons and desserts. Pick up several of those delicate macarons – and enjoy the signature confection of the man Vogue named the ‘Picasso of Pastry’. With names like Arabesque (pistachio and apricot) and Infiniment Caramel (salted butter caramel), these little numbers will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Keyword: Caramel beurre salé – salted butter caramel; a smooth fudge originally from Bretagne
Address: 72 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France and additional locations
3. Eric Kayser
Eric Kayser bakeries, scattered through the city, are especially popular for their crispy baguettes and feathery croissants. Make sure you arrive early – locals line up to be the first to get a taste of rich pains au chocolat.
Keyword: Pain au chocolat – a flakey, sweet roll with chocolate inside
Address: 14 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris, and additional locations
Once the haunt of Coco Chanel and Marcel Proust, Angelina has become something of an institution in Paris. Stop by its Belle Epoque tea room just steps from The Louvre, and bask in the grandeur of the decor – marble top tables, crystal chandeliers and gilded mirrors – before you order a Mont Blanc Pastry. This signature dessert consists of a meringue base topped with whipped cream and a distinctive chestnut purée coat. Wash it all down with Angelina’s famously thick hot chocolate.
Keyword: Chocolat chaud – hot chocolate
Address: 226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
5. Le Grenier à Pain
No need to use a map to get to the Grenier à Pain – the smell of freshly baked bread will draw you in from miles away. Step inside, and revel in traditional French pastries and bread at this celebrated French bakery. Sink your teeth into buttery croissants or delectable cakes. Alternatively, pick up one (or several!) of their award-winning baguettes and buy some cheese in a nearby shop, and head to the nearest park to have a delicious picnic. Bon appétit!
Keyword: Baguette – long, narrow French bread
Address: 38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France