If you come to Paris and don’t sample a lot of pastry—well, you just haven’t seen Paris!
35, rue de Vaugirard, in the 6th Arrondissement. 01 45 44 48 90.
A French-Japanese pastry artisan offering unusual twists on the classics, such as a black sesame éclair.
La Bague de Kenza
106, rue St.-Maur, in the 11th.
01 43 14 93 15.
The top spot for Algerian and Moroccan pastries heavy on phyllo, honey and pistachios. Try a mix of offerings with mint tea in the tea salon next door.
85 bis, rue de Charenton, in the 12th. 01 43 07 75 21.
7 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Closed Wed and Thurs.
This is a definite neighborhood hangout, with locals addicted to their super-grainy baguette, the Bazinette. Others, however, come for Jacques Bazin’s flamboyant pastries, such as the square Choco-Orange (self-descriptive) or the scalloped Vulcano (a rosy confection of coconut mousse and cassis). Purists should select the more classic flan nature.
Boulangerie Jacky Milcent
52, rue du Bac, in the 7th. 01 45 48 98 23.
Visit rue du Bac’s unpretentious Boulangerie Jacky Milcent, winner of Best Galette des Rois in Paris in 2006. Galette des rois, or kings’ cake, is made especially for the Christian celebration of the Epiphany, usually on the first Sunday of the year. The cake—usually a puff-pastry round filled with almond paste—hides a small good-luck figurine somewhere inside. If you bite on the small charm, you luck out and get to be king or queen for the day.
75, rue St.-Honoré, in the 1st. 01 42 36 24 83.
Mon–Sat, 6:30 a.m.–8 p.m. See website for other locations.
The rue St.-Honoré branch of Boulangerie Julien balances frenetic traffic with placid luxury while serving up specialties such as the ultranoir Malicieux. Paris food guru Elodie Rouge sums it up: “Their name is to Viennese pastries what that of Hermès is to handbags.” So enjoy Chef Jean Noël Julien’s pain viennois au chocolat. Tastes as good as Hermès looks.
Sacha Finkelsztajn (pictured at right)
27, rue des Rosiers, in the 4th.
01 42 72 78 91.
Known for their cheery yellow window and the Yiddish and Russian specialties they’ve been selling for more than 50 years. When you are in the Marais stop in.
54, rue Caulaincourt, in the 18th, in Montmartre. 01 42 57 68 08.
Offers specialized crème brûlées and chocolate mousses—with a slightly different take on the classics, such as baba au rhum with chocolate liqueur.
76, rue de Seine (corner of rue Lobineau), in the 6th.
A place we cannot be objective about. In 2000 we were lucky enough to buy an apartment just across the street, and ever after at all times of day and night we could smell the delicious odor of bread baking—it drove us into the store on a daily basis. Wednesdays were dreaded as that is the day Mulot closes—and there is a yearly closing in mid-August, which also pained us. Japanese tourists flock to Mulot to take pictures of the store windows—which we could never understand until we went to Japan last year and discovered that there’s a Mulot in the Osaka train station, of all places! We were terribly jealous and upset, not understanding why we couldn’t have one in New York. Anyway, Mulot does everything well—breads, croissants, tarts, chocolates, quiches, ready-made salads and, of course, pastries. The line during the holidays goes out the door and around the corner and is something to behold. We advise trying everything at Mulot—and a quick stop in for breakfast is a must if you are staying nearby. There is another location in the 13th.
Pain de Sucre
14, rue Rambuteau, in the 3rd. 01 45 74 68 92.
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Closed Tues and Wed.
If you know guimauves are marshmallows, you know Pain de Sucre, whose elegant windows showcase vase after vase of them. Flavors range from the delicate (angelica or orange blossom) to the daring (Campari or pimiento). Duck in for whimsical pastries and inventive compotes. The bright orange packaging here is a stylish extra. Treat yourself to the perfect tarte au citron.
Pâtisserie de l’Église
10, rue du Jourdain, in the 20th. 01 46 36 66 08.
Laurent Demoncy’s Pâtisserie de l’Église looks deceptively homey. A glance inside, however, reveals some of Paris’s most famous patisserie. For your fanciest dinner, order Le Triollo, a sculpture of almond crème, crème légère, pistachio, ripe figs and mulberries. Also order a mille-feuille, just because. Just around the corner is their sister bakery, Boulangerie au 140.
Pâtisserie des Rêves
93, rue du Bac, in the 7th. 01 42 84 00 82.
Tues–Sat, 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
Pastry chef Philippe Conticini is drawing praise for his innovative presentation of classic pastries in shiny glass ovoids. The critics are right to rave, since these adaptations of the classics are wonderful. They’ve been greeted as a return to the flavors of yesteryear.
51, rue Montorgueil, in the 2nd. 01 42 33 38 20.
One of the oldest patisseries in Paris, dating back to 1730. The market street is wonderful, as are the authentic pastries, which include baba au rhum and tarte à l’orange.
Best Wine Shops
Au Verger de la Madeleine
4, blvd Malesherbes, in the 8th. 01 42 65 51 99. Can ship worldwide.
9, rue des Quatre Vents, in the 6th.
Charcuterie and organic wines served in a gorgeous old shop that looks as if it hasn’t changed in decades.
La Dernière Goutte
6, rue Bourbon le Château, in the 6th, near the St.-Germain-des-Prés metro stop.
01 40 46 84 47.
This American-owned store has a large selection of estate-bottled wines from the Côte du Rhone, Languedoc-Roussillon and Loire Valley regions. Free tastings on Saturdays. Very friendly service.
3, blvd de la Madeleine, in the 1st, near the Madeleine metro stop. 01 42 97 20 20.
This store has the largest wine collection in Europe, with 3,000 bottles from France and another 2,000 from around the world. Tasting bar and restaurant, too.
Legrand Filles et Fils
1, rue de la Banque, in the 2nd, near the Bourse metro stop.
01 42 60 07 12. Mon–Fri.
Old-fashioned shop offering fine wines and brandies, teas and bonbons. Housed within Galerie Vivienne. Wine tastings on Thursdays.