Walking down the streets of Paris, it’s impossible to stay indifferent to the smells of bakery and butter. You instantly renew your appetite even seconds after having a big lunch. It’s our nature to react like that, but nature never considered the sins of Paris. With five and a half days to spend, and ten restaurants to eat in, we still had the crave to try more than 10 different Pâtisseries, Chocolateries and Boulangeries. Sometimes it was too much for me, especially in the chocolates and candies field. In that case, we asked to pack them and took it with us back to Israel.
Du Pain et des Idées
This place touched my heart. I never had the chance to go here when I was living in Paris because it was never on the way to anywhere for me, what a shame. They have a reputation in the city and it’s all so true. Their specialty bread “Pain des Amis” (“Friends’ Bread”) is told to be created by mistake and discovered as a miracle in the boulangerie world. This square loaf of bread has a thick crispy dark brown crust and a soft excellent sourdough inside. This is the bread Frenchie’s chef used to get every day for his restaurant and people used to always ask where’s that bread from. I bet he still uses that bread. We also tried Escargot Chocolate Pistache – phenomenal. And our personal favorite was no other but the modest looking Chausson Lardons fermiers & Reblochon. It surprised us how much we loved it. We planned on paying a second visit but unfortunately they’re closed both Saturday and Sunday!
Completely unplanned, we walked into one of many Eric Kayser’s shops completely unplanned after finishing a 12 course lunch at Restaurant Astrance. We queued up, just like in any other Boulanger-Pâtissier but didn’t know what to get once reaching the end of the line. After asking the vendor what’s inside 3-4 different desserts we ended up getting a Crousty. Can’t remember exactly what it was: nuts, salted caramel, chocolate mousse… Too sweet for me, but I’m sure that with the right craving it’s perfect. We also tried one Eclaire à la Pistache. Sadly, I didn’t think it was fresh enough. With pâte a choux pastries I find it super important to taste them as fresh as possible. After that, we asked for the Baguette Monge. I remember it as one of my favorite baguettes in the city, but unfortunately we didn’t try it on time and it was already a bit dry that evening and completely dead by morning. Last was the Pâte de Fruits that we only tried back home. The flavor of the fruits was so vibrant. I loved it and I’m not a fan of the genre.
Such a small bakery, we couldn’t believe this was it. Following a recommendation we took the Far Breton which is like a custard cake with cherries. It’s a simple pastry but it was well made. The White Chocolate Roll was surprising and addictive: chocolate melted into the dough of the chewy bread. It’s not an “easy to eat” pastry like a croissant, but a rather challenging more satisfying treat. We continued and realized there’s a second 134 RDT boutique in the back street. We went there as well and took the famous German-style bread called Schwarzbrot, a dense and heavy brown bread which we also took home with us.
Right around the corner from 134 RDT we notice the luxurious looking Jacques Genin Boutique. This place does not fall behind a chocolate museum. Once you open the doors the smell of chocolate hits you in the face and you find yourself looking at dozens of different chocolate pralines, sparkling back at you from the reflection of the high ceiling lights like jewelry. There was a distinguish section for caramels as well and as a wall decorated with colorful painted chocolate sculptures worth hundreds of dollars. Omer was in heaven. We didn’t have enough time to sit down and have the hot chocolate or the mille feuille that looked amazing but we did have time to hear what’s inside each and every praline. We took a box of nine, wrapped inside an aluminum box like a necklace. We were treated with two little pralines to eat on the spot and enjoy, and we also took a bag of caramel – one of each. These were out of the ordinary.
Pain de Sucre
Entering what seemed to be the store we’re looking for, ended up being the savory boutique of the same owners right next to the sugary sweet pastry shop. We tried two different savory Chaussons but they were disappointing and dry. Then we stepped inside the sweet shop and sat down in a little table inside. They were just closing up and didn’t have patience for us, hard thinkers. I chose the Douce Rose: Biscuit Sablé, Marmelade d’ananas, Crémeux Mangue et Eau de Rose (Sweet Rose: Shortbread, Pineapple Marmalade, Creamy Mango and Rose Water). I thought it was beautiful and tasty.
This is what happens when a Japanese pastry chef gets hooked on French Pâtisseries. This beautiful tiny shop looks different than common shops. Everything looks so meticulously made! Sadly, it was not allowed to take a photo inside. We tried a pastry called Zen: Sesame paste, Cognac Rémy-Martin, Matcha Macaron, Hazel Nut Biscuit, sesame creme and chocolate cream. We also bought some of the delicious Macarons which were superb and a bag of Bonbons Maquillage. These are small chocolates glazed with color which makes it looks like makeup selection. Some of them were really good but we didn’t get to try all.
A classic chocolate shop with nothing but chocolates. The man there was extremely nice, he recognized we speak Hebrew because he used to work with Max Brenner! We asked what’s the store specialty and he suggested the Truffles. We ended up with a rectangular box of 6 cubical truffles. It wasn’t bad!
This beautiful store has an amazing chocolate tree sculpture right in the middle and some unique painted spheres of chocolate with fillings. We wished to try one painted sphere (instead of buying a whole box of 16 pieces for almost 50 Euro!) but we were refused. So we tried several chocolates from the open chocolate bar and ate them as we stepped out of the shop. It was very good.
Yet another “Paris Must” which we almost didn’t have time for, but then, right at the very last minute before leaving Paris, at the gate in the airport, we encountered a Laudurée stand! Omer chose 6 macaron and gift wrapped them for me in a beautiful box. This was a small treat to enjoy while leaving this amazing city. And yes, they do taste different from other shops.
Sadly, we missed the famous PH store at the end. So sad but true. Wrong timing. We planned on getting there about 30 minutes before closing time. There was a long queue and we had 5 other pâtisseries planned for today and all this before dinner. So we gave up and moved on. Next time for certain!
Even with all the planning it’s impossible to avoid entering randomly to pâtisseries and grabbing a small bite. We went to five random places like this. At Paul which is a big chain of bread and pastries we tried the Parmesan bread and Cinnamon and Raisins Escargot. It was okay but not exciting.
Just across from our apartment we had café at the bar and took some pastries from the corner shop to eat with the coffee. Tarte aux Cerises (Cherry Tart) which was great and a Croissant d’Amandes that disappointed. Eric Kayser’s one is very good though.
Another quick stop between bread and chocolate was at B[n]S, they seem to have nice macaron. We took a “six pack” and received two for free. It wasn’t as good as others we tried.
A place called Demoulin had a display window packed with goods. We tried Eclairs once again but I can’t say it blew my mind.
In our last day in Paris we bought some goods for the road at Yannchantrelle in rue Oberkampf and tried the Chausson with lardon and cheese once again. It wasn’t like the first one we had in du Pain et des Idées. We also had an Eclair of salted caramel which wasn’t bad and Flan which is my favorite patisserie and they did a good job with it!
To sum it up: so many pastries, so little time.