When in Paris, there is no better treat than a fresh croissant paired with un café. “Paris is a moveable feast” as Hemingway once said, so the occasional indulgence is almost a must. Last year, I traveled to Paris frequently for work and found myself revisiting particular pâtisseries and bistros for French sweets–some blew me away at first bite and some were simply classics. So here are three spots I personally adored in Paris, alongside some neighbourhood (arrondissement) favourites for a post-feast stroll.
Every time I take a bite of the pistachio-stuffed chocolate escargot at Du Pain et Des Idées I’m reminded of why I love french pastries. Buttery, flakey and decadent–it doesn’t get better than this. A neighbourhood hot spot and worthy of a “bread pilgrimage” according to Condé Nast Traveler, Du Pain et Des Idées is a must-visit in the 10th arrondissement.
Waking up early to arrive, order, and devour a fresh escargot before grabbing an assortment of pastries for my colleagues has become a delicious routine of mine. Note that Du Pain et Des Idées very recently added a coffee list to their menu–I can never resist a coffee with my croissants but be warned you’ll find much better options elsewhere. That being said, the pastry selection is more than impressive and the escargots are simply irresistible. Truly an icon of my Paris trips.
Previously the pastry chef behind Fauchon, Sébastien Gaudard has a charming pâtisserie and salon de thé next to the Tuileries Garden. The shop is bright and airy, with a gorgeous display of decadent sweets on the first floor and tea salon on the second floor. Sébastien Gaudard has quite an extensive menu, and among them the Paris Brest stuffed with praline cream is a crowd-favourite and so is the Mont Blanc cake. Because I like to visit in the morning, I also gravitate towards the viennoiserie and pick out a Chausson aux Pommes as well.
Sébastien Gaudard is a lovely spot for classic French sweets in the 1st arrondissement and perhaps that’s also why you do pay dearly for it (~8 euros for a cake!). That being said, Sébastien Gaudard is tucked in the corner of the Tuileries Garden and therefore conveniently on the way to Musée de L’orangerie where Monet’s Water Lilies, Nympheás, are exhibited. A sweet start to the day followed by a visit to the Tuileries Garden and surrounding museums is a pretty relaxing Paris itinerary.
When done right, soufflés are fluffy as a cloud and just dreamy–pretty much what I captioned on my Instagram post after my first visit to Le Récamier. I was first introduced to Le Récamier by my Parisian roommate back in university days–she said they had some of “the best soufflés in Paris” (and Vogue apparently thinks so too). So when I finally had a spoonful of the chocolat noir soufflé with a glass of chardonnay, I was pretty thrilled that it exceeded my expectations and more.
As Le Récamier is in the luxurious 7th arrondisement, there’s also a lot of nearby shopping available. For gourmands, visit Le Bon Marché and its adjacent food hall, La Grand Épicerie, for some gourmet shopping. You can most likely pick up all the ingredients needed to whip up your own soufflé!
I kept the list short but hopefully sweet. I have a long list of places I loved in Paris and I can’t wait to share it with you guys. Thinking about doing a bistro edition after this post (recently learned that bistro+gastronomy=bistronomy!).Anyways, I’ve been told a dessert a day may not be the secret to Parisian chic but sometimes… it’s simply too good to resist.
Du Pain et Des Idées
Address // 34 rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris
Website // www.dupainetdesidees.com
Tel // +01 42 40 44 52
Address // 1 rue des Pyramides, Sous Les Arcades, 75001 Paris
Website // www.sebastiengaudard.com
Tel // +01 71 18 24 70
Address // 4 Rue Récamier, 75007 Paris
Website // www.lerecamier.com
Tel // +33 1 45 48 86 58