Boulangerie Gontran Cherrier
Look no further, the best croissant in Paris is here. Great flaky dough, not too buttery, perfect balance between the light crunch of the outside and the sweet softness of the inside. I also love the chouquettes. This young baker is incredibly creative when it comes to bread making. His baguette with black skid ink is fabulous. His rye bread loaf with red miso has a nice hint of salt and is perfect toasted with a little butter. Make sure to try his sourdough bread which is great both in terms of tang and texture. The pâtisseries also look - and taste - amazing.
22 Rue Caulaincourt 75018 Paris 01 46 06 82 66
métro: Abesses (12)
closed on: Wednesdays
Next to one of the best market in Paris (marché d'Aligre - beautiful and reasonable flowers and fruits - which are often quite ripe - perfect if you wanna make jam or eat right away), on a beautiful square and garden. Blé sucré's croissants and tarte au citron are worth the trip - the Kouign Aman is also a very strong option if you're into caramelized sugar and butter - that kind of things. Fabrice Le Bourdat also makes exquisite mini-madeleines/ financiers with a touch of lemon glaze - they are to die for. I always walk out with a little bag of home made guimauve - too tempting! The baguettes are great too - and if you come around lunchtime, you can sit on the tables to share a delicious sandwich.
7 rue Antoine Vollon 75012 Paris 01 43 40 77 73 métro: Ledru-Rollin (8)
closed on: Mondays
A strong name and a lovely décor for this atelier-boulangerie-pâtisserie steps away from the terribly trendy Canal st Martin. The place to go to if you want a beautiful, light and very reasonably priced lemon tart - on a simple sablé, with some fine lime zest. Their granola bread - with raisins and cereals - is really delicious (great crust, great moist crumb). They also make a great vanilla italian style ice cream in the summer.
39 Rue des Vinaigriers 75010 Paris
01 42 05 51 76
métro: Jacques Bonsergent (5) closed on: Sundays
A classic standing strong. The place to go if you wanna bring an impressive dessert to a diner. The cake decoration here is amazing: try biting into the Amarylis, a delicate giant macaron with raspberries and pistachios filled very light cream. I also recommend their mini macarons - lemon is my favorite, their viennoiseries (croissants, pain au chocolat), their flan, tarte au fromage blanc, and summer clafoutis with cherries. Their baguette is also very good, and so is their pain au levain, one of the best sourdough loaves in Paris. They also make home made guimauves and pâtes de fruits - perfect gifts to take back home.
76 Rue de Seine 75006 Paris 01 43 26 85 77
métro : Odéon (10,4)
closed on: Wednesdays
Boulangerie Alsacienne Maeder
Off the beaten track, tucked away in the 15th arrondissement, this bakery is close to home (I was born in Alsace) and makes great bread. Try the delicious hazelnut and raisin baguette - I can guarantee you will have eaten half of it on your way out. The soft Bretzels (French spelling of Prezels), and the Kouglofs are all great. Kouglofs are an Alsatian brioche - the classic version is a very good sweet brioche with raisins, but the savory version (which can be made to order here) with bits of lard and walnuts is beyond!
18 Rue de Lourmel 75015 Paris 01 45 78 89 31
métro: Dupleix (6)
closed on: Tuesdays
Pain de sucre
Two bakeries in one - first stop for the sweet things, second stop for the savory bakery. Taste and looks are key: these two talended pâtissiers got it. Nathalie Robert et Didier Mathray make an array of astonishing desserts - and savory delicacies. Their blackcurrant mousse tart is an absolute delight. Go there on your way to the Pompidou modern art museum or the Place des Vosges nearby.
14 Rue Rambuteau 75003 Paris 01 45 74 68 92
métro: Rambuteau (11)
closed: Tuesdays & Wednesdays
La Pâtisserie des Rêves
The Eden of desserts. If you are a fan of lemon tarts, theirs is absolutely exquisite - there is a thin layer of almond frangipane between the lemon cream and the sweet dough. Not on the cheap side, but trust me you will remember this treat. I recommend the insanely tasty lemon tart with a lovely meringue, the Paris-Brest, a chou pastry filled with praline cream - here it comes with pure praline inside and literally explodes in your mouth. Their Kouign Aman - a delicacy from Britany which is even more buttery than a croissant - is perfectly caramelized. I also love their metallic tins with see-through lids, filled with caramel hazelnuts, almonds, or pistachios.
93 Rue du Bac 75006 Paris
01 42 84 00 82
métro: rue du Bac (12) closed on : Mondays
Du pain et des idées
This is the essence of a French bakery (no pâtisseries here) with a focus on real bread (no baguettes!), brioche, and viennoiseries. The actual building is gorgeous, there is also a wooden table where you can sit - unless you prefer sitting on a bench facing the canal st Martin nearby. Their escargots are divine - flaky, sweet, flavorful and comes in a variety of styles (pistachio, raisin and rhum, lemon and nougat, fresh blackcurrant). Also on my list when I go there, the brioche Mouna (with or without sugar): an excellent brioche with orange blossom flower which isn’t too greasy nor too sweet. The bread here is le Pain des Amis, a bread which is definitely for crust lovers (there is less crumb than in classic loaves). Look out for the summer tarts with apricots in the summer (apples in the winter). And the warm mini savory bread (spinach/goat cheese, olives, feta/tomatoes) make a great alternative to a sandwich.
34 Rue Yves Toudic 75010 Paris 01 42 40 44 52
métro: Jacques Bonsergent (5)
closed on: Saturdays and Sundays (yes!)
I also love:
Carl Marletti (5é); Bread and Roses (6è); Rose Bakery (9è); Jacques Génin (3è); la Petite Rose (8e).