Classic croissants, melt-in-the-mouth macarons, decadent desserts – Parisian pâtisserie is divinely delicious. A love for pâtisserie is embedded in French culture, and any self-respecting local starts the day with a trip to the boulangerie to buy a pain au chocolat or almond croissant for breakfast. Inside the city’s pâtisseries, the shelves are filled with rows of exquisite, colorful cakes that look like works of art and taste like heaven. In this article, we’ll showcase Parisian pâtisserie to enjoy – feast your eyes on this!
What is a pâtisserie?
Pâtisserie are sweet French pastries made from shortcrust, choux, puff, filo, or flaky pastry. Traditionally they are light and delicate and come in a vast variety of shapes, colors, and flavors – you’re probably already familiar with some of them such as chocolate eclairs and tarte tatin (caramelised apple tart). Paris even has its very own dessert – the Paris-Brest – a choux pastry shell filled with luscious praline cream named after the famous cycling route between the capital and Brest in Brittany.
The term pâtisserie is often used to include well-known bread-based viennoiserie like croissants, pain au raisin, and chouquettes – tasty hollow pastry puffs rolled in pearls of sugar. Génoiseries are also often included in the term. These are basically any kind of sponge cake or sponge-based pastries such as buttery madeleines, or Charlotte aux fraises with its thick, creamy filling and delicious strawberries.
The word pâtisserie also refers to the bakeries themselves which specialize in selling pastries and cakes. Only bakeries that employ licensed maître pâtissiers (master pastry chefs) have the right to use the title.
Best local Pâtisseries
Situated in stylish locations and with beautiful interiors, Parisian pâtisseries such as Odete and Laduree are famous all over the world. They offer a sensational array of visually stunning cakes, tarts, and pastries that taste sublime. A visit to one of these exclusive pâtisseries is an unmissable treat, but also an extremely expensive one. Fortunately, there are plenty of local pâtisseries away from the tourist traps which offer scrumptious treats, but at a much more affordable price.
Inexpensive pâtisserie can be found alongside fresh baguettes in almost every boulangerie, but the variety and quality can vary wildly depending on where you go. The good news is that Paris is bursting at the seams with bakeries, so you won’t have to go far before you find your best local patisserie. Our advice? Avoid bakery chains and stick to artisanal bakeries instead, they tend to use top quality – and where possible local – ingredients.
Need a nudge in the right direction? Here are our recommendations for some of the best local pâtisseries in Paris:
50 Rue de la Réunion, 75020 Paris
Tucked away in a quiet street of the 20th arrondissement, Pâtisserie Mélilot is a gourmet’s delight. Everything at this ethical and eco-responsible bakery is freshly made on the premises using organic ingredients. Specializing in cakes and pastries with innovative flavors, at Pâtisserie Mélilot you’ll have the choice between delectable treats such as blood orange, white chocolate and pistachio cake, peach tart, and cinnamon cream brioche buns.
123 Bd Voltaire, 75011 Paris
It wouldn’t be fair if vegans had to miss out on Parisian patisserie, so thankfully VG Pâtisserie is on hand to whip us totally delicious vegan viennoiserie, creamy cakes, and fruity tarts. This artisanal pâtisserie is the first vegan patisserie to open in Paris, and they make all their products using fresh organic ingredients. They also operate a ‘zéro déchet’ policy, so customers can bring along their own reusable food containers to take their delicious delicacies home with them. We’re fans of the Baba Chai Poire et Rhum – a chai-infused brioche base soaked in amber rum with juicy pear pieces and rich vanilla cream – yum.
La Pâtisserie de Choisy
62 avenue de Choisy, 75013 Paris
Fancy something exotic? Try La Pâtisserie de Choisy in the 13th arrondissement. This Asian pâtisserie has been around for generations and is something of an institution amongst the locals, who come here to get a taste of the Asian-inspired pastries and cakes. Custard tarts, Pandan cake, and sweet and salty combinations like coconut, durian, and egg yolk, or choux pastry with green tea cream filling are on offer.
La Vieille France
5 Avenue de Laumière, 75019 Paris
For truly traditional Parisian pâtisserie, head on over to La Vieille France in the 19th arrondissement. Established in 1834, this patisserie uses original recipes to create classic confections including Forêt-noire – finely layered chocolate, crunchy biscuit, flaky, pastry, chantilly cream, and black cherries, Saint-Honoré – light and airy choux pastry filled with cream and drizzled with caramel, and eclairs perfumed with Matcha tea.
7 Rue Sedaine, 75011 Paris
This modern bakery was opened in 2022. Just a few streets away from the Bastille in the 11th arrondissement, it’s bang on trend with a stylish interior, innovative recipes, and a friendly urban vibe. Frappe has become known throughout Paris for its Frappe Roll, a contemporary twist on the classic croissant inspired by a pastry originating from New York. Instead of the usual crescent shape, the Frappe Roll croissant is circular, filled with chocolate crème pâtissière; smothered in caramel, and topped with crunchy hazelnuts. Also available are a whole host of other sweet and savory goodies.
20 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris
Utopie is the endeavor of talented pâtissiers Sébastien Bruno and Erwan Blanche, who used to work at the prestigious Ladurée pâtisserie before opening up their very own bakery. Their fabulous patisserie are proudly displayed in the shop window to attract the gaze of passers-by. The choice of treats changes depending on the season and the owners’ inspiration. One day you might find salted caramel popcorn tarts with Chantilly cream, and banana and tonka bean millefeuille on another. Their bread and viennoiserie are out of this world too – apple and cinnamon bread anyone?
23bis Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris
Feeling like splurging on something special? Embrace your extravagant side and treat yourself to some pâtisserie from Yann Couvreur – who has often appeared in the French TV series ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Le Meilleur Pâtissier’. This famous Parisian chef pâtissier is known for his elegant creations which taste as good as they look. Couvreur’s mouth-watering offerings include mandarin tart with thyme and citrus, and his signature dessert of millefeuille à la vanille.
If you find yourself becoming addicted to all that yumminess, why not learn how to make your own pâtisserie? There are many patisserie workshops all over the city offering all kinds of classes. As well as allowing you to acquire superb new culinary skills, workshops can be a great way to improve your language skills, meet new people, and make friends. Here are our top five Paris patisserie workshops:
Pâtisserie à la Carte offer a fantastic selection of 2.5 hours classes in English. The cake class where you learn to master multiple techniques such as making a cake mixture, making whipped and sweetened Chantilly and other cream fillings, and successfully layering your cake – is particularly fun.
The 3-hour macaron-making class at Le Foodist is a good choice for beginners. Classes are small, English is spoken, and their fool-proof recipe ensures your macarons will be a success. At the end of the class, you get to sit down with your fellow students and enjoy eating your creations along with a nice cup of tea.
Why not learn the fundamentals of French pastry with a French pastry masterclass at La Cuisine Paris? This full-day course covers all the basics from start to finish for millefeuille, macarons, brioche, and more. They also offer technical tarte and choux pastry classes.
If you’re on a budget but are still keen to try making your own macarons, Galeries Lafayette has a 1.5-hour class available for only €55 per person. The class is divided into two stages, making the macaron shells first, and then the ganache filling. At the end of the lesson, you’ll go home with 4 handmade macarons and two different recipes.
At Les Secrets Gourmands de Noémie in trendy Batignolles, students can enjoy a 2.5-hour pastry class in a friendly and intimate environment. Chef Noémie will share her trade secrets and teach you how to create a few different classic patisserie recipes such as Paris-Brest and lemon Madeleines.
Paris has a phenomenal patisserie scene to indulge in. Have fun and take part in a workshop, or just savor the experience of all those luscious, creamy, delicacies. Get to know your local boulanger patissier and enjoy making regular visits part of your Parisian lifestyle.
Even better, share your new favorite hangouts, pastries, and cakes with like-minded friends and housemates such as Helena, a member of the Cohab family currently living in Paris. Cohabs can help you find the perfect coliving space with carefully selected tenants and a genuine sense of community to ensure you live your best life in Paris with a sense of purpose.