Having dedicated a whole post to croissants in Paris, we cannot overlook the plethora of baked treasures that the city’s bakeries and pâtisseries offer. Since we buy many other pastries or viennoiseries on a daily basis, we have included a short summary of our favourites.
If you happen to be around Place de la République, the two spots to visit are Mamiche and Du Pain et des Ideés. Both of them are fairly touristy, and so the price matches the crowd. Although the quality varies between the shops, we like to pop in from time to time when on the way to Canal Saint-Martin. Mamiche’s strength is bread. They do a Nordic style, high hydration bread, and a traditional style Parisian baguette. The level of baking in Du Pain et des Ideés is high on average. They offer an excellent bread, Pain des Amis, which is baked in massive loaves, with a distinct smoky flavour and thick crust. While they specialise in laminated pastry (exceptional pain aux raisin et rum or tarte fine aux abricots), their small panettone is a real treat. If you don’t mind a moody service and large crowds of snobbish amateur photo-croissanters, you should give it a go.
Our favourite stop is a few metro stops south, nestled at a corner near Place des Vosges – Brigat’. This shop is a real gem. It offers viennoiserie, pastry, bread and all of them are exceptional. Their bread is amongst the best ones in Paris, a Nordic style, high hydration and very flavourful. For the pastry, we recommend getting tarte au citron and tarte au chocolat from Nicolas Berger, both exceptional.
In our Carré Sucré between the 11th and the 12th arrondisement, we recommend starting with a neighbourhood gem – Ble Sucré. Apart from croissants, they do a remarkable kouing amann. Going up the road to Charonne, you will find Tapisserie from the popular restaurant Septime. Like all businesses owned by Septime, Tapisserie is ultra hyped with a hipster vibe. The service is pretty bad, and the crowd are mostly anglophone-tourists. Nevertheless, their galette des Rois is amongst the best ones in Paris, available throughout January. They specialise in individual tartlets; their most famous one is topped with maple syrup and whipped cream. Not too far, on the rue Paul Bert, you will find Cyril Lignac and Terroirs Avenir. Cyril Lignac, a protégé of Passard, excels in making traditional pastries. Try his individual tartlets with frangipane and seasonal fruits. While our assessment of Terroirs Avenir’s croissant was quite low, their skills excel in bread making. Their pain de mie is the best one we have tried so far.
The last mention, across the river, goes to Des Gateaux et du Pain. Apart from viennoiserie, they offer exceptional tartlets. Our minds were blown away by their peach and verbena tart made with the pâte feuilletée. They also make the best baba au rhum that we have ever tried (Napoletan style – not too soaked).