Don’t ever ask a Frenchman for the best Paris patisserie…
By Jane Bertch
When one speaks of patisseries in Paris, one of the best places to visit in France, there are too many to love to select only one. Not only is there a wide range of patisserie products, but there are also countless high-quality boutiques that offer both traditional and modern takes on each treat. I always recommend that you simply try to taste and discover on your first patisserie pass-through, and then plan to refine those tastes on future visits.
Of course, many Parisians and travelers to France have their favorite Paris patisserie, myself included. To get you started on your search for yours, the following are four of my favorites:
A Best Paris Patisserie: Huré
Huré is a boulangerie (a bakery) and patisserie that offers a huge variety of salé and sucré (savory and sweet).
It’s another of my favorite best Paris patisseries and you’ll see tourists and Parisians alike line up at lunch for their petits pains fourrés, little breads stuffed with everything from fruit to cheese to meat. They also have nice specialty breads that are sold by weight, which is great if you’d like to try a spread.
8 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 Paris
Pain de Sucre
Just a few doors away is Pain de Sucre, a modern Paris patisserie now well known for its square tarts and homemade marshmellows (or guimauves).
Pain de Sucre makes French confections with some flare, experimenting with new flavor combinations that are fun to try. Confections are done to perfection here, and Pain de Sucre strikes the perfect blend of delicious tradition combined with new creativity.
14 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 Paris
A Short Tour of Four of My Favorite Best Paris Patisseries
This map is a walking tour of the four patisseries mentioned in this article. They are all in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements north of the Hôtel de Ville. It is interactive; press +/- to enlarge it or make it smaller. It can also be viewed, and the route followed, on your smartphone.
Another Best Paris Patisserie: Mazet
Another of my wonderful Paris Patisseries is Mazet, which is very traditional. Pralines are supposed to be the oldest candy in France, and Mazet claims its recipe is the original from the 1600s!
You would never think something so simple could be so good. Pralines, after all, are merely roasted, caramelized almonds, but here they are exceptional. Manet does offer some twists on that basic recipe, like salted caramel and orange. And, of course, other Parisian confections include nougat and bien sûr chocolate, as well.
37 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris
Speaking of pralines, I tell everyone to try “La Praluline” at François Pralus, also located on Rue Rambuteau.
It’s a big brioche bun with rose-colored almond and hazelnut pralines throughout. I promise you will never see anything on a plate that is so beautiful or that tastes so sweet and buttery. It was created by Auguste Pralus who earned the very prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. His son Francois now runs the boutique, and has added chocolates as well.
35 rue Rambuteau. 75004 Paris
This list of my favorite best Paris patisseries will serve as a superb introduction into the world of Parisian sweet handmade treats. Once you have explored them you will feel compelled to brag about your discoveries and will want to come back for more “research.”
You’ll also want to bring a bag full of goodies back home. But they are not likely to last. Then it’s time, bien sûr, to plan another trip.