Parisian Pâtisseries And Pastry Shops Are Like A Little Slice of Heaven

Begin your discovery of fine French pastries with a bite into one of the absolute not-to-be-missed French macarons. Until you've tried one you'll have no idea what all the fuss is about. Suffice it to say that they are nothing – and I repeat, nothing – at all like our macaroons (notice, please, too, the different spelling). French macarons are bursting-with-flavor little cookie cakes with a cream ganache center that comes in flavors like passion-orange, rose, salted caramel, licorice, lavender and chocolate. They are little light-as-air things but my do they ever pack the flavor punch. So be sure to mark March 20th on your calendar, it’s Macaron Day in France ! Other French classics are the Baba au Rhum, the Opéra, the Marie Antoinette... each one of them will have sugarplum fairies and fanciful sweet things dancing through your head once you’ve savored a bite.

One of the recent trends in the city are the sugar-free or reduced sugar and flour-alternative pastry shops. There has been a slight wave of gluten-free, in keeping with the rampant trend across “the pond,” but that seems to be giving way to pastry shops who are going in a different direction, developing desserts and fine pastries that are greatly reduced in sugar, even to the extent of being diabetic-approved, though you'd never guess it from biting into one of their baked goods. Alternatives to flour include almond powder, already a staple ingredient in macarons, and also things like rice flour and sweet potato paste.  


6ème Arrondissement
Ladurée -  Paris St.Germain
Photo courtesy of Ladurée

Macarons are one of the crowning glories of French patisseries. An odd statement if you've only ever seen the little round cookies with their ganache filling and never tasted one. Because they are so humble-looking, the explosive flavor packed...  Read More

9ème Arrondissement

This is the pioneer patisserie in Paris that launched their no-gluten menu of fine French pastries. When they did that, several years ago, no one in this town was doing it yet. Since then, a number of their pastries have become cult classics and...  Read More

6ème Arrondissement
Pierre Hermé
Photo courtesy of Pierre Hermé Paris photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014

The Ispahan, a rose-flavor-filled croissant, is just one of the things that put Pierre Hermé on the map. And on the map he is. From Paris to Tokyo and I've lost count of all the other places inbetween. This is also the genius patissier behind...  Read More

1er Arrondissement
Foucade Paris
Photo courtesy of @Foucade Paris

Calling itself the first "Patisserie Positive," this brand new fine pastry boutique is riding the wave of gluten-free and reduced sugar baked goods and fine pastries that has now seemingly firmly taken root in the city. The inspiration of a...  Read More

6th Arrondissement - Rive Gauche
Gôut de Brioche by Guy Savoy
Photo courtesy of Annabelle Schachmes for Gout du Brioche copyright 2015

This is a new concept and it's not strictly a Patisserie... but it is the brainchild of Chef Guy Savoy (three Michelin stars) so you know it's gotta be good. The concept actually arose from his signature dish and dessert at his restaurant....  Read More

16ème Arrondissement
Pâtisserie Lenôtre
Photo courtesy of Lenotre

Gaston Lenôtre founded what became his patisserie empire back in 1957 in a small pastry shop and bakery in the 16th arrondissement. When he died in 2009 he had created over 60 pastry boutiques in 12 countries. The lightness, airiness and...  Read More

This pastry shop is surprising in that its trademark is that it uses very little to no sugar in its recipes. Its tagline is, 'Not just for diabetics." Indeed, the sugar substitutes, such as agave and other natural-based ingredients, work so...  Read More

Positioning himself as the rock-n-roll pastry chef, Michalak offers a whole new take on what it means to be a top-notch pastry chef in Paris. Following a pop-up cream puff stand he did in partnership with another chef a couple years ago, he went...  Read More

6ème Arrondissement

This is a closely kept secret of the many students in the area who attend the Sorbonne. The tiny shop is just two shakes from the Odéon métro and it serves some of the best hot chocolate in town, that is, if you like your hot chocolate stiff...  Read More

4ème Arrondissement

It's true, this pastry shop looks more like a jewelry store than a shop in which you can buy things that you actually eat. But don't let that intimidate you in the least. The concept that these two (female) pastry chefs carved out here is that...  Read More


Meet Paige Donner

Paige is a transplanted Parisian. She first arrived as a young bride in the early 90s to live in Paris, having uprooted herself from her native California.

Paige has two APPs:...  More About Paige

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