The Best Bakeries In Paris

11 places to load up on carbs and sugar in the French capital.
Turnover on outdoor table at La Patisserie Cyril Lignac

photo credit: Wenkang Shan

Most locals will tell you that the best bakery in Paris is whichever one is closest to their front door. Parisians don’t really travel across town for pastries, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t, especially if your heart’s set on a particular croissant, eclair, or slice of babka. But if you’re not sure what you want, start here. These are our favorite family-run neighborhood joints and buzzy chains, plus one or two big names in the French dessert world. 


photo credit: Wenkang Shan


Canal Saint-Martin

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Du Pain et Des Idées is an institution in the now-trendy Canal area, and you should come here for their “escargots,” or Danish-style pastries shaped like pinwheels. Choose from red fruits, pistachio, or something seasonal, and be sure to also pick up some of their pain des amis: a hearty, rectangular-shaped bread that’s ideal for sopping up some soup at lunch or dinner. They’re closed on the weekends, so if you show up on a Saturday or Sunday, don’t assume you’ve somehow magically skirted the line.

This women-run boulangerie with locations in the 9th and 10th arrondissements may not provide the Art Deco atmosphere you want for your grid, but their bread and pastries are some of the best in town—especially the babka and cinnamon bun, which other more traditional institutions don’t often make. Go after breakfast but before lunch (around 10:30am is good) and grab a turkey sandwich on a brioche bun and at least one of the €1 cream-stuffed chou before heading to the canal to chow down. And yes, the line is worth it.

You’re not going to find a croissant in this town without gluten. But you will find delicious bread made with nuts and figs, seasonal tartlets oozing with lemon, apple, or pear creams, and other wheat-free baked goods—and you’ll find the best at this charming bakery off of rue Oberkampf. Pop in for a quick snack in the morning before heading out for the day, or later on to grab some carbs that you can bring to the nearby Square Gardette. We love their mini loaves, or “chambellines,” and the shockingly light and moist rice flour focaccia with kalamata olives.

You can find exceptional desserts from the city’s most famous bakers at this concept shop, many of whom hold the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF): a countrywide distinction awarded every four years to notable craftsmen, and often displayed on shop windows. What’s available at each of the three Fou locations change often—as do the specific chefs making them—so while we can’t recommend anything specific, we’re confident you’ll come back at least once before the end of your trip.

It’s rare to find babka in traditional French boulangeries, which is what makes both of Babka Zana’s two locations so special. Not only do they offer individual babkas rolls (rather than slices of loaves), but they also come in a variety of flavors beyond traditional chocolate, such as halvah, cinnamon, pistachio, and more. At lunchtime, they also sell readymade challah sandwiches with fillings like pastrami, tuna, or sabich. 

Even though the chef-turned-TV personality behind this shop is a household name in France, this boulangerie-patisserie feels like a neighborhood spot in spirit. Swing by for some country loaves and at least one Equinox: a signature circular pastry filled with bourbon vanilla cream, caramel, and speculoos praline. And when it’s in season, don’t skip the chausson aux pommes: the crispy, candied outer layer and fruity purée interior will set the standard for anything apple you eat moving forward.

This legendary bakery on one of Paris’s prettiest pedestrian streets is the oldest pastry shop in the city—it opened in 1730 by the former pastry chef to King Louis XV. And if that isn’t a big enough accolade, he also invented rum baba. If that’s not your thing, this patisserie also makes a ton of other traditional baked goods like flan, eclairs, and financiers. If you’re in town during Christmas, their star-shaped spiced cookies make great souvenirs to bring back home.

There are two locations of this pastry shop from the team behind Septime, Clamato, and La Cave: the original spot in the 11th, and another on the Left Bank. You can pop into either if you’re just looking to grab and go, but if you’re hoping to sit down, head to the one near the Eiffel Tower—there’s a terrace and a tea salon with proper seating (the one in the 11th only has an outdoor ledge), plus some heartier savory snacks. The sweet maple syrup tart is a signature dessert at both addresses, but there are always new seasonal specialties worth trying, like a ricotta and blueberry mont blanc or a pretty sumac pavlova with poached peaches and rose syrup.

After macarons, the chou—a cream-filled puff pastry—might be the most popular single-bite treat in Paris. This chain has 10 locations around town, and they sell choux in a huge range of flavors, like lemon, salted caramel, raspberry cheesecake, and seasonal specials like tarte tatin in autumn. Its Italian-leaning name stems from the old legend that Queen Catherine de Medici brought over an Italian pastry pioneer to perfect the bite-sized cream puff. And while you can, indeed, pop a whole one in your mouth, two bites may be best.

The Bontemps to-go-only storefront is a great option if you’ve snagged an invite to a dinner party (get a box of sablés!), but if you’re looking for a proper sit-down meal, head to the tea salon next door. Lunch is served between noon and 2pm and includes things like tea sandwiches and big elaborate salads, and snacktime (or “gouter”) is between 3-5pm. If you come by then, order a slice of cake or some of those signature sablés, which come in flavors like choco banana and coconut cream.

This Middle Eastern bakery breaks from tradition ever so slightly: The owner’s signature nids pâtisseries are bite-sized “nests” wrapped in kadaïf and topped with cream, and come in flavors like classic chocolate, hazelnut, and salted caramel. But, more notably, they also highlight flavors of the Levant: cardamom, za’atar, halva, sumac, Iranian pistachio, and more. You can eat them standing up sur place inside the shop, but they’re also great if you’ve been told to bring dessert to a picnic. 

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