There’s no shortage of places in Paris in which to enjoy a gourmet treat, from glorious gateaux to magnificent macaroons and tantalising tarts. Indeed, with so many pâtisseries in the French capital it would seem almost a crime not to indulge in an exquisite visit to one of them. We take a look at seven of the best.
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without the purchase of a little (or large) green bag from Ladurée. One of the first tea salons in Paris, Ladurée has a rich and celebrated heritage, and although it now offers outlets all over the world none of its counters could be more appealing than the ones in Paris. The store located on the Champs-Élysées is perfectly positioned for you to refuel after a long day’s shopping. Indulge in the Marie-Antoinette praline pistache or a box of beautifully flavoured macaroons.
If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional pâtisseries head to the zen-like store of Tokyo-born pâtissier Sadaharu Aoki. He presents wonderfully original treats, mixing traditional French pastry ingredients with flavours from Asia. The results are surprisingly delicious. The clever fusions of Japanese and French cooking result in highlights such as the kimagure, a subtle mix of choux pastry, vanilla cream, matcha and azuki beans, or try the matcha-azuki pastry with layered green tea, red bean and praline.
Hugo & Victor
Walk in to this pâtisserie and you almost feel as though you’ve entered a fine jewellery store. The chocolates and cakes are presented under sleek glass cabinets, each with a spotlight and detailed description. Chic display cases offer recommended wines by sommelier Frédéric Béal. Hugo & Victor is the perfect pause after a hectic day of shopping.
A culinary paradise, Pierre Hermé is undoubtedly a must-visit for those looking to indulge. Generously sized, mouth-watering cakes and pastries fill the store but it is the macaroons for which fans return time and again. This pâtisserie is also renowned for its assortment of amazing flavour combinations such as apple, mint, cucumber and rocket; wild rosehip, fig and foie gras; and white truffle and hazelnut.
La Pâtisserie des Rêves
Lyrically named ‘the pastry shop of dreams’, this is one pâtisserie worth loosening a couple of buttons for. It is the creation of Philippe Conticini, one of the most renowned pâtissiers in Paris. He is particularly famous for his daisy-shaped Paris-Brest with a hidden centre of liquid praline and he is also renowned for his seasonal desserts using the freshest seasonal ingredients. In winter, the rich chestnut and rum tart is worth going to Paris for alone.
This pâtisserie/chocolaterie boasts the impressive accolade of ‘best chocolatier in the world’ by critic Mort Rosenblum and is home to some of the most sought-after cakes the capital has to offer. The huge shop has a big café where customers could easily spend an afternoon making their way through the delights created here. The most famous has to be the Paris-Brest, a light concoction of hazelnut praline cream piped generously between two rings of choux pastry. No matter what pastry you choose, you should also try the chocolate chaud traditionnel, a perfect pot of rich hot chocolate.
This pâtisserie is a showroom of beautiful, sweet treats. Bright colours and delicate detailing lift classic pastries; éclairs are laden with Piedmontese pistachio crème; traditional gâteaux St Honoré have added violet; well-executed mille-feuilles adorn the counters. But it is the lemon tart of master chef Carl Marletti that is the jewel in the crown here. It was named the best tarte citron in Paris in 2010.