- Food and Cooking
Icing on the Cake: Best Pastry Shops of Paris
The pastries of Paris have been celebrated for centuries. Light-as-air cream puffs, delectable tarts, and iced macarons are a mere few of the sweet treats that continue to captivate both old and young alike. While it is certainly possible to enjoy a pain au chocolate at a myriad of Parisian cafes, it is essential to witness the crème de la crème of the city’s patisseries to taste what the rest of the world’s bakeries can only dream of; in the words of Willy Wonka, “a world of pure imagination” awaits the lucky travelers who pass through the doors of the following renowned patisseries of Paris.
The city’s legendary Laduree began as a bakery in 1862. By the turn of the twentieth century, the bakery transformed into a stylish tea salon and has been leading the pastry pack ever since. Located on the Rue Guenegaud, the patisserie is, perhaps, best known for its elegant macarons that sandwich creamy ganache fillings in an eclectic array of flavors; Laduree creates a new flavor for each changing season. Other favorites include the patisserie’s small fairy-like cakes inspired by flavors like violet, pistachio, and raspberry anise. The beauty of the pastries is one reason why they are so frequently featured on best-of lists; their taste, of course, is another.
Hughes Pouget, once an acclaimed pastry chef at Laduree, and his childhood friend Sylvain White joined forces to open Hugo & Victor where they have been revered as “pastry jewelers.” Their confections do, indeed, look as though they would be more at home in a jewel case, but the treats’ ultimate purpose is to delight the mouth, which they do with exquisite good taste. Among the most celebrated pastry shops in the city, Victor & Hugo have created a rare boutique of delectable bites from their Tahitian vanilla-infused marshmallows to their verbena crèmes. Noted for their sweet as well as savory delights, this patisserie is on the cutting edge of Parisian pastry. The patisserie is located on the Boulevard Raspail.
Unlike most patisseries that keep their wares behind the counter, La Patisserie des Reves features them throughout the space on the Rue de Longchamp. Customers walk through the gallery of iced and glazed attractions to view the artistry of the gateaux. The enchanting desserts are perched within temperature –controlled glass domes to create a visual menu. Customers place their orders and the sweet selections are served to them fresh from the kitchen. Although this patisserie is one of the city’s newest, it is already famed for its inside-out éclairs.
Jacque Genin’s tea salon is serving enchantment in the city’s Rue de Turenne. Well-known for his chocolates and mille-feuille, this celebrated chocolatier is wowing Parisians with both ginger and passion fruit caramels like no one else. His sweet boutique is noted for its chic décor, but all of the wares are acclaimed for their fresh and consistent quality. His chocolates might even be said to be a Paris attraction of their own. Other popularly ordered items include the tarte au citron and the almond rochers.
Located on the Rue Antoine Vollon near the Square Trousseau, Ble Sucre makes the city’s most celebrated madeleines. These small cakes served so customarily with tea are glazed with a citrus icing atop a buttery crust. The patisserie is also well-known for their pain au chocolate and airy croissants. Parisians enjoy the establishment’s terrace for morning pastries and espresso. The shop’s desserts continue to dazzle both Parisians and travelers from abroad; such travelers are unlikely to meet with another madeleine like those made at Ble Sucre until they return to Paris, city of supreme pastries, again.
These patisseries continue to demonstrate that not all Paris pastries are created equal. Be sure to sample their signature delights when visiting the city. They may be pricey, but few complain once their mouths are filled with unforgettable flavors the pastry chefs have created in order to entrance and intoxicate with the sweet taste of sugar.