Best patisseries in Paris
What’s the deal? If you like your desserts fruity yet subtle, with just the right amount of sweet, make a pilgrimage to this high-end Left Bank spot. Your host, world-renowned pâtissière Claire Damon, has worked everywhere from Fauchon to Ladurée to Plaza Athénée.
What should I order? The rhubarb and grapefruit tartelettes, the cherry Mont-Blanc, or pistachio millefeuille.
Where? 63 Boulevard Pasteur, 15th
What’s the deal? The little sister of the original Yann Couvreur near Goncourt metro station, this understated Rue des Rosiers address lets its bright, dainty desserts do the tantalising talking. Only eight desserts are available throughout the year – but all are delish.
What should I order? The Madagascan vanilla millefeuille, the raspberry pavlova, or apricot and coriander cheesecake.
Where? 23 bis Rue des Rosiers, 4th
What’s the deal? A restaurant that turns into a coffee shop outside normal mealtimes. Founder Moko Hirayama, a former lawyer, prepares original desserts that catch your eye as soon as you walk in, including cookies made with black olives and white chocolate. Her pecan cake is also divine.
What should I order? The best cookies in Paris.
Where? 5 Rue Saint-Bernard, 11th
What’s the deal? This place really does feel like, well... a utopia. From simple butter croissants to chausson aux pommes stuffed with real apple, everything here is simple yet insanely moreish. And the best thing? Prices aren’t prohibitive.
What should I order? The sesame eclair, a subtle strawberry and cinnamon tart, or a fragrant, melt-in-the-mouth flan.
Where? 20 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11th
What’s the deal? Forget your cinnamon rolls and pasteis de nata. The next sweet treat everyone’ll be raving about it is Japanese mochi. This five-star spot’s plump, freshly powdered rice cakes are as soft as baby’s cheeks.
What should I order? The seasonal cherry mochi (with added cherry blossom, of course).
Where? 39 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 10th
What’s the deal? Every French classic, all under one pâtissier’s roof. This excellent address does every kind of cake and pastry you could imagine. The difficulty is in deciding which of the many delights you want to take home.
What should I order? Go for a classic, like the lemon tart, Paris-Brest, or chocolate eclair.
Where? 85 bis Rue de Charenton, 12th
What’s the deal? Generously sized ganaches, crunchy nougat, velvety truffles… Any attempt to describe Pierre Hermé’s products unfailingly degenerates into a rapturous ode to gluttony. Though you could buy anything and walk away happy, the macaroons are a standout.
What should I order? The chocolate ‘Carrément’ or ‘Infiniment’ lemon tart.
Where? 72 Rue Bonaparte, 6th
What’s the deal? This self-proclaimed ‘creative boulangerie’ is Paris’s latest big foodie sensation – at least, if you go on Instagram buzz alone. But you can see why: the speciality here is well-priced (think €3-€5), huge, intricate, creamy desserts. Happily, they taste as good as they look.
What should I order? The ultra-creamy vanilla tart, the tarte aux pommes, or salted caramel and vanilla millefeuille.
Where? 18 Rue de Turbigo, 2nd
What’s the deal? A bright, airy, Korean-inspired café that’s won over Paris’s coffee connoisseurs with its fragrant, innovative brews. Pair one of their many aromatic cakes with an ultra-healthy ‘grain latte’ (€4) made from roasted job’s tears, a rare East Asian grain.
What should I order? The Earl Grey and chocolate swiss roll.
Where? 18 Rue Chapon, 3rd
What’s the deal? There’s no denying it – the arrival of Karamel caused quite a stir in the world of Parisian patisserie. Photos all over Instagram, recipes printed in newspapers and demonstrations at the Omnivore festival: Nicolas Haelewyn’s first tea room was everywhere. Try the former Ladurée chef’s delightful tuile biscuits, caramels and spreads, and you’ll see why.
What should I order? The house speciality, a poached pear with an indulgent caramel centre on a praline shortbread base.
Where? 67 Rue Saint-Dominique, 7th
What’s the deal? High-quality, seasonal ingredients and an immense talent in pâtissier Kévin Lacote mean the tarts, cakes and other bakes at this plush spot are some of the city’s best.
What should I order? The tarte aux pommes in winter, the tarte aux fraises in summer, or year-round favourite the tartelette Kara Damia, with salted caramel, coconut dacquoise and macadamias.
Where? 78 Avenue de Villiers, 17th
What’s the deal? This English-themed café run by a Franco-British couple stands out for the quality of its ingredients – all organic or from small producers. Come in the early to late afternoon to nab a selection of their too-good-to-be-true desserts.
What should I order? The inimitable house carrot cake, the red fruit crumble, or to-die-for chocolate brownie.
Where? 46 Rue des Martyrs, 9th
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The French capital is well known for being built-up, polluted – and, in warm weather, ever so slightly stuffy. That means a bit of fresh air can be a very good thing here. Fortunately, Paris has a disproportionate number of brilliant parks and gardens to kick back and relax in.