Paris desserts
Image by Matthias v.d. Elbe under Creative Commons License.

France, Paris Guide (D): Paris desserts

If you are ready to eat your way through Paris, this is the guide for you! This guide highlights many of the most famous and award winning spots in Paris to grab something sweet to eat. With 20 listed recommendations, you should be able to find something close to you whenever your sweet tooth kicks in. From pastries to chocolates, from ice cream to macarons, there is definitely something for everyone! Bon Appétit!
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Attractions Map

Guide Name: Paris desserts
Guide Location: France » Paris
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Destinations: 20
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Laduree   Lenotre   Fauchon   Jean Paul Hevin   Pain du Sucre   Hugo and Victor   Pierre Hermé   Un Dimanche a Paris   Maison Stohrer   Angelinas   Jacques Genin   Berthillon   La Creperie du Josselin   Vasavasa Gelateria   Arnaud Lahrer   La Maison du Chocolate   Popelini   Pierre Marcolini   Sadaharu Aoki   Laurent Duchene  
Author: Kristen Wade
Author Bio: Having traveled to over 40 countries with no plans to slow down, Kristen is driven by wanderlust. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan has lived in DC, SLC, LA, London, Hyderabad, Kampala, and now resides in Paris with her husband. She studied sociology for undergrad and her masters in Public Administration and International Development. When she's not writing tours and exploring the city, she's running a social business selling jewelry from impoverished Ugandan women.
1
Laduree

1) Laduree

History: Founded in 1862, Laduree is known as the inventor of the double decker macaroon, the two sides sandwiched together with a creamy ganache filling. 15,000 macarons are sold daily which makes Laduree one of the most famous macaron makers in the world today.

The founder, Louis-Ernest Ladurée, was a talented writer. He produced plays, poetry, novels, essays, historical and scientific works, more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He strongly supported social reform and wrote to promote those causes. In 1862 he founded the bakery, it was then burned down in the Paris commune uprising of 1871, then rebuilt. It wasn’t until 1930, when it became a more well known name, that the grandson of Louis-Ernest came up with the double decker macaron.

In the late 1800's Laduree provided the first "tea room" for women (who at the time were not allowed in cafés), thus allowing women to mingle outside of their homes. Their restaurant is now very good as well, if you want a sit down meal.

Look for other Ladurée stores in Paris, as well as Monaco, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Kuwait, and Ireland.

Highlights: Their Macarons. I love the Vanille, Citron, and Praline.

Hours: Restaurant: 7:30a-12:30a M-Su, Shop: 7:30a-11:30p M-Su
2
Lenotre

2) Lenotre

If you have seen the 2007 Pixar film Ratatouille, you have already been introduced to Gaston Lenotre. The character Gusteau (Remi’s idol) was modeled after Gaston Lonotre. History: Lenotre, (1920-2009) was born in Normandy, France. His mother was one of the first pastry chefs in Paris and was the head chef for the Rothschild family. The Lenotres kept cooking as a family affair and at one time Gaston worked with 12 of his family members, including his son Alain, the founder of the Culinary Institute in Houston, USA. Lenôtre was a pioneer during his lifetime. Among the accolades of firsts, he created: the first chain of upscale bakeries in Paris, a bakery-café bistro in the first French shopping mall, the first central kitchen in the country outside of Paris, the first professional French re-training chef school, the first line of frozen desserts distributed all over France, and the first International bakery franchises. Highlights: Fraiser (strawberry sponge cake) and Opera (dense chocolate cake). Lenotre also has 8 other locations in Paris, but the one on the Champs de Mars is the most picturesque. Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
3
Fauchon

3) Fauchon

The gourmet food and dessert store Fauchon was founded in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon. Stepping inside will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the upper echelon of French society as the decor and the food are pristine. History: Originally a street vendor and then a wine merchant, Auguste Fauchon opened this store in Paris in 1886. Due to its high quality, Fauchan became famous very quickly, both domestically and internationally. For more than a century, Fauchon served the rich, royal, and famous. In 1968, when French radicals wanted to strike at a symbol of decadence, they broke into Fauchan and, as Robin Hood would have done, passed out foie gras to the poor. The Fauchan franchise stayed in the family, but after a fire, which killed one of Auguste's daughters, another non-business minded daughter and her husband took over. Sadly, the Fauchon empire started a rapid decline. Luckily, it was later placed under new management and became profitable again. Pop culture: In the book "Hannibal" by Thomas Harris, the serial killer Hannibal waits until everyone was sleeping before he produced a Fauchan bag of food. In the movie Cast Away (2000) Chuck Noland (played by Tom Hanks) hands his colleague a fresh baguette in a Fauchan bag before they get on the plane. Highlights: Don’t view this stop as the best place you will ever eat at, but it is nice. I like the pain au chocolate here and have not been disappointed with anything I’ve tried. Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
4
Jean Paul Hevin

4) Jean Paul Hevin

Jean-Paul Hévin is a must see and goûter (taste) if you are a chocolate person. History: Jean-Paul Hévin was born into a farming family in Mayenne, France in 1957. Hevin originally wanted to be an electronic engineer, applying to a school in his area. He serendipitously missed the application date and decided to learn pastry instead, and earned his certificate as a confectioner/chocolate maker a few years later. He runs 4 stores in Paris, 5 in Japan and 2 in Hong Kong. Accolades: Meilleur ouvrier (best craftsman) de France 1986. In 2004, the Japanese newspaper Shinbun rated Hevin the #1 producer of chocolate in Japan. In 2005, he became the winner of Paris’ best classic macaron for his chocolate flavor. Highlights: They have great caramels and I have frequently over indulged in the salted caramel milk chocolate bar. Make sure to not leave without a chocolate macaron as well! Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-7:30pm
5
Pain du Sucre

5) Pain du Sucre

A relatively new shop in a trendy district of Paris, Didier Mathray and Nathalie Robert brought Pain du Sucre to life in 2004. History: Didier was a pastry chef prodigy. He made a name for himself in his town at the ripe age of 13 years old. Creating Pain du Sucre, he aimed to create something unique by mixing together a boutique with a dessert restaurant and in turn, give a new fresh feel to his pastry shops. His partner, Nathalie Robert grew up in Ethiopia, Switzerland, Canada, and Ireland, and used her traveling to help expand her horizons as well as her palate. Highlights: Once again, they are known for their macarons as well as pastries. For macarons: try the mint chocolate. The éclair with hazelnuts and the marshmallow cake are also delicious. Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
6
Hugo and Victor

6) Hugo and Victor

Hosting pastries in jewelry display cases, Hugo and Victor is truly a gourmet pastry shop. History: Hugues Pouget and Sylvain Blanc were childhood friends in the south of France. They went their separate ways to study and glean as much information as possible about pastries and high end shopping, with Hugues working in a 3 star Michelin rated restaurant with the renowned chef Guy Savoy, and Sylvain working in high end retail for Barry Callebaut Chocolate. Eventually, they came back together to fulfill their dreams of opening up a dessert store in Paris. Authenticity and freshness are two of their foundations as they deliver desserts that you will be sure to enjoy. Highlights: Victor Pistache, Victor Verveine, Victor Fraise Millefeuille, and the following macarons: mangue, combawa, vanille, myrtille (blueberry), and caramel. Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-8:15pm and Sunday 9am-1:30pm
7
Pierre Hermé

7) Pierre Hermé

Pierre Hermé is a French pastry chef most famous for his macarons, often with unusual flavor combinations. French Vogue magazine dubbed him "The Picasso of Pastry." History: Heir to four generations of Alsatian bakery and pastry-making tradition, Pierre Hermé began his career at the age of 14 as an apprentice in Paris with the acclaimed pâtissier Gaston Lenôtre, who Hermé claims as his greatest influence and mentor. At age 24 he became the pastry chef at Fauchon, where he remained for 11 years. In 1997, he was involved in the expansion of Ladurée into a chain of luxury pastry shops. Pierre Hermé was the youngest person ever to be named France's Pastry Chef of the Year, and is also the only pastry chef to have been decorated as a Chevalier of Arts and Letters in 2007. Highlights: Perhaps his most famous is the Ispahan macaron, made with rose, lychee, and raspberry. Hermé's chocolates are also renowned. His chocolate cake made it onto the Observer's "50 best things to eat in the world" list. The cake is seasonal and when I went this week the manager said it wouldn't be in the store until the fall. But don’t worry, the cake is available through special order. There are 8 other stores in Paris, but not all of them offer cakes. This location does. Hours: Mon-Sat 10-7:30pm
8
Un Dimanche a Paris

8) Un Dimanche a Paris

Located on a quaint cobblestone road in Saint Germaine, this picturesque location helps you feel apart from the rest of Paris, which is the exact intent of it’s creators Pierre Cluizel and Sylvie Valette. Dimanche a Paris, a pastry, chocolatier, chocolate store, restaurant, and salon, was created to be different, to be separate, just as Sunday feels different from the other days of the week. The store's philosophy: “sharing happiness is to give time, discover, taste, lick your fingers, laugh, learn poetry and the world of chocolate.” Highlights: Le Croustillant au Grué de Cacao, Macaron Coquelicot, Macaron Réglisse, Choux Pistache Fruits Rouges, Tartelette Framboise-Estragon, Tartelette Fraise-Coco, Hot Chocolate Store Hours: Open 11am-8pm Tuesday-Saturday and 11am-7pm Sundays. Closed Mondays.
9
Maison Stohrer

9) Maison Stohrer

The oldest bakery in Paris, the Maison Stohrer was opened in 1730 by Louis XV's personal pastry chef. It was in this shop that he invented the baba au rum (dry brioche soaked in rum and sugar). Take time to admire the beautiful frescoes and carvings that adorn the exterior. Highlights: baba au rum, strawberry tarte, eclairs, and puits d'amour. Hours: Open 7 days a week 7:30-20:30 but is closed for two weeks in August from the 1-15th.
10
Angelinas

10) Angelinas

Angelina is more than a pastry shop, it's a luxury brand that represents "the French way of life." History: The Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer established Angelina, named after his daughter-in-law, in 1903. For over a century, the Angelina tearoom has proven itself to be one of the most prestigious of Parisian gourmet cafes, quickly becoming a must-not-miss venue for Paris’ aristocracy. Proust, Coco Chanel and the greatest French fashion designers were frequently found there, a clientele commensurate with the café. Highlights: Angelina is famous for its thick-as-pudding hot chocolate (chocolat l'Africain) and for its Mont Blanc cake, although I prefer the other pastries to the Mont Blanc cake for taste. Hours: 11am-7pm Tuesday-Saturday
11
Jacques Genin

11) Jacques Genin

Jacques Genin, one of Paris’ most reputed pâtissiers-chocolatiers (and named one of the top French chocolatiers in 2010 by the Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat), opened a tea-salon and store in 2008, showcasing his concoctions: herb and spice-infused ganaches, almond rochers, butter caramels, fruit jellies, pastries, and much more. He values freshness so much that his famous millefeuille pastries are made to order for every customer and are definitely worth the 10 minute wait. Highlights: Millefuille, Éclair au Chocolat, Éclair au Caramel, Tarte Citron (Vert), Flan, Caramel Passion-Mangue, Caramel Gingembre, Caramel Macadamia, Ananas Pate de Fruits, Abricot Pate de Fruit, Tonka Chocolat Noir. In 2011 Le Figaro Ranked it #2 in their test of the city’s best strawberry tarts. Store Hours: Tues. to Sun. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (open Sat. until 8 p.m.) Closed Mondays.
Image by Merle ja Joonas under Creative Commons License.
12
Berthillon

12) Berthillon

Berthillon is one of the premier ice cream and sorbet makers in Paris, and although expensive, I believe it is well worth the 2 euros for a small scoop. History: The company is owned and operated by the Chauvin family, descendants of the eponymous Monsieur Berthillon, who opened the first store in 1954. Berthillon sells its ice cream in bulk and by the scoop from its shop on the island St. Louis, but many other retailers in Paris sell its selection of ice cream as well. Berthillon's fame derives in part from its use of natural ingredients, with no chemical preservatives, artificial sweeteners or stabilizers. Its ice creams are made only from milk, sugar, cream and eggs. Flavors derive from natural sources (cocoa, vanilla, fruit, etc.). Highlights: Everything, but my favorite is the salted caramel/chocolate or blood orange and raspberry. Hours: Wed-Sun 10-8pm
Image by David Monniaux under Creative Commons License.
13
La Creperie du Josselin

13) La Creperie du Josselin

In the area around the gare Montparnasse, there’s a plethora of crêperies. But the Zagat rated Creperie du Josselin stands out among the rest for it's buttery and authentic crepes and galletes (savory buckwheat crepes). History: Since the trains departing and arriving from the train station Montparness go to Brittany(where crepes were created), the people from Britanny who immigrated to Paris didn't travel far to settle down. Many set up creperies right around the station. Here at Creperie du Joseelin you will enjoy the old-school dining room full of dark wood and Breton lace. The creperie has the feel of a comfortable home, which gives the sense that you are at a big family dinner at grandmas. Highlights: Sugar Crepe, their savory galletes, and the caramel crepe. Hours: Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
14
Vasavasa Gelateria

14) Vasavasa Gelateria

Although an Italian chain, if you like gelato, this is a perfect stop when going to the Eiffel Tower. History: The name Vasavasa is a word from the Sicilian- Italian dialect, meaning "kisses-kisses." The idea of originally opening a new ice cream shop in Milan was born from a passion shared by three young entrepreneurs, Vincenzo Corrado, Arrigoni Massimiliano, and Di Marco Trucco. They wanted to give people the pleasure of a healthy, high-quality product in a pleasant, welcoming and friendly atmosphere. The gelato is made with fresh ingredients only, so no preservatives. Highlights: Everything I've tried is delicious. The vanilla has a hint of lemon in it which adds to the flavor. The chocolate is very rich but very good as well. Hours: I believe it is open until 11pm.
15
Arnaud Lahrer

15) Arnaud Lahrer

This pastry shop is a great stop for when you head to Montmarte, Arnaud Lahrer has been called the “Star of Montmartre.” One glance through Arnaud Larher’s bakery store window and you wont be asking why. The huge selection of macarons, pastries and chocolates are presented in a way that makes the artist quarter of Paris a fitting location. History: The up-and-coming Larher, still in his thirties, previously worked at Dalloyau and Fauchon before opening his own store. He was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier (best craftman) in France in 2007 and is rapidly developing a stalwart group of fans around the world. Highlights: Luxury hot chocolate is available here in chocolate vanilla, chocolate orange, bittersweet chocolate and chocolate cinnamon. Make sure to sample a pastry or two as well. Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
16
La Maison du Chocolate

16) La Maison du Chocolate

Robert Linxe and his chocolate concoctions at La Maison du Chocolate will satiate the cravings of even the world’s most discerning chocoholic. History: After several years of studying pasteries, Robert Linxe spent a year in Switzerland to study chocolate making. He went back to pastries but in the end gave in and switched to chocolate full time. About the switch he said, "I felt that, like a musician, I had at last found the instrument that suited me perfectly.” Recommendations: They create truffles of every flavor from hazelnut to caramel and cognac. The Delice cake, as the name implies, is also delicious. Check their website for the other locations (6 others in Paris). Hours: Mon-Sat 10-7:30pm
17
Popelini

17) Popelini

This new cream puff shop opened its doors in May of 2011 and is thriving in its delivery of bite-sized pieces of heaven. The name Popilini is kind of an onomatopoeia as well because of how “poppable” these delicious puffs are. History: The true story behind the name is that Popelini was a chef that came to France in 1540 and is credited with creating cream-puff dough. The store has many flavors but I recommend you go earlier rather then later because the selection vanishes quickly. Recommendations: We only got there in time to sample the pistachio (the rest of the flavors were gone, we got there around 7:30pm). That said, it was outstanding.
18
Pierre Marcolini

18) Pierre Marcolini

This wouldn’t be a truly French list with only one Pierre in the group. Pierre Marcolini is a Belgian Chocolatier with 10 stores around the world. History: Pierre Marcolini won the 1991 best ice cream maker in Belgium, the 1995 award for World Champion Pastry in Lyon, and the European Pastry chef Champion in Rome 2000. Pastries aside, his passion - and what he is most known for - are his high quality and detailed chocolates. Each year Pierre sends out a coco bean shopper who travels to many countries and brings back a mixture of the best cocoa beans they have found from around the world. Pierre then checks them himself and mixes the coco beans from Madagascar with the ones from Mexico etc, to find subtle mixtures to which he adds the most pure ingredients to create delectable masterpieces. Highlights: Calin Fondant -almond flour crisps covered in chocolate with Tahitian vanilla and caramel Hours: Mon. 2-6 p.m.; Tues. to Sat. 10-7 p.m.; Sun. 10:30a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
19
Sadaharu Aoki

19) Sadaharu Aoki

As you may be able to guess by the name Sadaharu Aoki, this is a Japanese pastry chef, one who has gained quite the reputation both in Paris and around the world for staying true to some major Japanese flavors. History: Sadaharu Aoki was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from Machida cooking School and worked at patisserie Chandon, in Tokyo. In 1991 he moved to France. He opened his first boutique in 2001 and his second in 2003. He now has five stores and caters for major fashion designers as well as ANA airlines business class desserts. Highlights: the highlights are his eclairs, a sesame flavored and a green tea. The green tea opera pastry is also very popular. Hours: Tue-Sat 11-7pm; Sun 10-6pm closed Mon.
20
Laurent Duchene

20) Laurent Duchene

Laurent Duchene, a renowned Pastry chef who has taught the advanced Pastry course at the Cordon Blue for many years, won in 1993 a very prestigious award here in France: "the meilleur ouvrier de France" or the Best French Craftman award. History: Laurent Duchene is an exceptionally talented pastry chef and a self proclaimed perfectionist. He worked as the head pastry chef at 2 Michelin rated restaurants before he opened this store in 2001. Highlights: Chocolate Eclairs (rated in the top 20 in Paris Match, a website where French people critique their local restaurants), macarons, and marble cake. Hours: Mon-Sat 7:30am-8pm *They are closed for almost a whole month in the summer, from mid July until mid August, so call ahead if you are traveling in the summer because this shop is a bit out of the way.

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