Are you ready to jazz up your Parisian life with a sugar rush that comes with an irresistibly sweet aftertaste? Everyone knows the cosmopolitan French ‘City of Light’ is the most adventurous place to be if you are seeking the world’s finest pastries, exquisite chocolate, and mouth-watering delicacies. But where do you begin the magnificent quest for sweet delights to treat your taste buds when you find yourself in this charming metropolis?
If you want to make your sweetest dreams come true, you just might want to follow this trail of ten ultimate sweet spots in Paris. Expect to go on a journey full of unforgettable taste experiences with this list of exclusive hidden gems and world-famous must-visit places.
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse
Tucked away discreetly in Paris’ maze of countless charming streets, this brand new, cozy, little chocolate factory of renowned chef Alain Ducasse probably creates the best bonbons of the country. The factory is highly unique being the first small-scale chocolate manufacturer in Paris to work with a bean-to-bar concept making use of special machinery. It is a marvelous sight to watch the chocolate masters produce a fresh batch of delicate chocolates through the glass windows in the store. Rich in flavor and extraordinarily aromatic, Monsieur Ducasse’s beautifully hand-crafted creations are a delight to your senses. You cannot handpick your way through the selection of chocolates as the store sells pre-packaged boxes but feel free to ask the helpful staff to personally help you pick out the collection that suits your taste best.
Pain de Sucre
Don’t pass by this patisserie and boulangerie highly popular with the locals as it offers a wide assortment with all kinds of breads, baguettes, cookies and croissants. If you are fond of fresh-made marshmallows – a rare treat – you will also love their airy and soft guimauves (just French for: marshmallows) that come in all kind of surprising flavors and colors; bergamot, anyone? Not to mention the wide range of tarts and cakes which will leave you to ponder for hours before you can make a final choice on what to take with you on your sweet journey. Be sure to ask for a set of disposable cutlery and dive into your pastry on the little wooden benches just outside the shop.
‘This must be pistachio heaven’ will likely be the first thing time that comes to mind when you hear the name of this shop. Don’t be fooled though, it is not just the finest selection of pistachios in the world that you will find in this intimate elegant up-scale boutique. Once you step inside, you are mesmerized by the sophisticated décor and you will be pampered with a premium variety of nuts and dried fruits. If you don’t want to indulge alone, be tempted to buy one of the luxurious gift packages to surprise your family, friends or loved ones as recommended to you by the friendly shop personnel. If you are in the mood for a chilly refreshment, also try their sweet Japanese mochi-style little rounds of fancy ice cream.
Un Dimanche à Paris
Where in the world can you find a pastry boutique, tea room, chocolate lounge and a restaurant under one roof? Walk past an arch down the Boulevard St. Germain to find this hidden gem. The concept store sells all kinds of pastry; the impressive chocolate éclairs will certainly make you greedily crave after more. It is also a chocolate heaven; complete with truffles, bonbons, chocolate-covered herbs and all. The chocolate lounge is truly one of a kind, relax and forget about time while you are sipping the finest cup of hot chocolate to be found in Paris.
On a tiny little corner at the ground floor of the legendary Printemps department store, you will find this refined tea salon with exquisite Russian-French pastries. The place has a fairy-tale beauty looking incredibly impeccable. Do as the locals do, have breakfast at the café bar with a lavish vanilla croissant and a pot of aromatic tea. It will be hard to stay away once you have found this sweet place.
Des Gateaux et du Pain
Walking into this excellent boutique is like stepping into a secret pastry museum. With a stylish black décor in the background, each authentic pastry masterpiece is showcased individually and the friendly staff warmly welcomes you to make a selection. You might easily walk on by the store without knowing the wonderful world of pastry that is waiting for you inside. If you fancy something savory for a change, their quiches are also highly recommendable.
Far off the beaten path and away from tourist attractions, passionate pastry chef Carl Marletti creates gorgeous and imaginative pastry unlike any you have ever seen or tasted before. One of the sensational designs you will find in his pastry boutique is the Lily Valley: an inventive and chic purple-colored pastry made with loads of violets. It is clear that Monsieur Marletti does not settle for anything less than his most creative best. With a visit to this boutique you are guaranteed of an exceptional taste experience delivered by a pastry genius. You must witness it at least once in your life; simply magical.
Welcome to the dazzlingly intriguing world of macarons! These colorful, round and sweet crackling mini-meringues with soft and gooey fillings are now conquering the world at the speed of light. Although the competition is outrageously tough with so many fine confiseurs in the city, it is fair to say that this boutique produces the most mind-blowingly delicious macarons of Paris, or perhaps even the world. Too sweet to handle? Go check it out yourself at Pierre Hermé.
You will surely have to wait in line to get your order of sweetness at this prestigious pastry shop but you won’t be bored or annoyed. Just let your eyes wander off to the many scrumptious delicacies displayed at the counter. Besides, what better way to begin your day than with one of their characteristically crispy croissants? If you are in a romantic mood, you will definitely want to try the soft pink-colored Saint-Honoré Rose; a pastry of royal allure with roses and raspberries.
Le Bonbon au Palais
This little confectionery boutique oozes of nostalgia with big jars of home-made candy – mostly produced from regional ingredients – lined up throughout the establishment. It is impossible to walk in and not feel yourself going back in time and getting excited like a child. Be prepared to taste some jaw-dropping tasteful little jewels like sugared petals and candied chili peppers. Every sweet treasure in the store will be presented personally to you with much love, care and patience by the very welcoming and gentle shop owner Georges.