An Elegant Pastry Experience in Paris

These spots are how you justify squeezing three pairs of heels and an evening gown into your suitcase. Paris can still be snobbish in all the right places — and these places in particular are great at it. It’s not really about the depth of your wallet. It’s more a certain je ne sais quoi that will be silently judged here. You will surely pass with flying colors, as long as you stop yourself from eating every piece of pastry in sight (good luck with that, many have tried — and failed — before). No need to stick up your pinky, though, unless you want to show support for Louis the XIV and his *ahem* syphilis-ridden court, who actually started this whole thing, by the way.

bontemps

Bon­temps has pret­ty much every­thing for the per­fect quaint Parisian tea: a great loca­tion (Le Marais), a bor­der­line stereo­typ­i­cal French aes­thet­ic (frilly, sug­ary, pas­tel as all hell), some great tea and of course, phe­nom­e­nal desserts; with their crown­ing glo­ry being their sig­na­ture treat named sim­ply, ‘Bon­temps’. These naughty lit­tle diet sabo­teurs are made from two thin sablés (the French ver­sion of but­ter cook­ies) with a heav­en­ly fla­vored cream rest­ing in the cen­ter, and a touch of fruit, choco­late, or nuts on top depend­ing on the vari­ety. Many have tried and yet no one has ever man­aged to eat just one, so you also don’t have to restrict your­self. For a full expe­ri­ence, enjoy it in Bon­temps’ lush and idyl­lic secret gar­den ter­race; a cute court­yard full of lacy white fur­ni­ture and oodles of cas­cad­ing greenery. 

ADDRESS: 57 Rue de Bre­tagne (3rd arr.)

HOURS: closed Mon­days and Tuesdays

MÉTRO: Arts et Métiers (lines 3, 11) or Filles du Cal­vaire (line 8)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais

NUMBER: +33 1 42 74 10 68

DEETS: French bak­ery, gar­den, ele­gant, female baker

INSTAGRAM: @bontempsparis

RESERVATION RECOMMENDED

dalloyau

Dal­loy­au has a very posh his­to­ry. Found­ed in 1682 by Charles Dal­loy­au, who not only had the high­est gas­tron­o­my posi­tion in the French court (the com­pa­ny has occu­pied its Faubourg loca­tion since the ear­ly 1800s), but also invent­ed the con­cept of take­out (Oui/LOL). The House of Dal­loy­au also claims to have invent­ed the Opera cake (you know, that classy cof­fee-choco­late thing all over Paris pas­try shops). There’s more than one claim to the ori­gin of the Opera cake, but Dalloyau’s cakes appar­ent­ly taste the best, so voilà.

Today, Dal­loy­au oper­ates as a rather posh restau­rant, gourmet gift ser­vice, recep­tion hall and bak­ery with sev­er­al loca­tions in addi­tion to their Opera cake pro­tec­tion duties, all of which can make a read­er lose mind over choos­ing their after­noon delight. There’s a rumor that, for the oral por­tion of your French Cit­i­zen­ship exam, if you can pro­nounce « Dal­loy­au » cor­rect­ly five times fast with a Parisian-lev­el of con­fi­dence, you are basi­cal­ly IN. Oh, and get some mac­arons while you are there.

ADDRESS: 9 Rue de la Mon­naie (1st arr.) / 101 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Hon­oré (8th arr.) / 35 boule­vard Hauss­mann (9th arr.)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées

NUMBER: +33 1 42 99 09 08

DEETS: bak­ery, oldie but goldie, posh, vintage

INSTAGRAM: @dalloyauparis

ladurée

All the guide­books say that Ladurée is le best. Is it? Not real­ly as times have changed and young upstarts are out­fox­ing them left and right, but they have a legit, ele­gant, set of tea rooms where you can have the ele­gant pas­try expe­ri­ence that is actu­al­ly not so easy to find in our spark­ly, sug­ar-coat­ed metrop­o­lis. As for Ladurée they are known for mac­arons so why not get bunch­es of joy-induc­ing pas­tel sand­wich cook­ies straight from the source? Even if mac­arons aren’t your cup of tea (try one, then let’s talk), they also have great vari­a­tions of pret­ty much every clas­sic pas­try you can think of, as well as a swanky tea room on the Champs-Elysées. Whichev­er loca­tion you choose across Paris, expect to be met with the same mint-green posh décor and excel­lent qual­i­ty that speaks for their insti­tu­tion­al sta­tus. There are even a few (admit­ted­ly, less spark­ly) Ladurée stands at the air­port for some last minute plane treats. You lit­er­al­ly have no excuse.

ADDRESS: 75 Av. des Champs-Élysées (8th arr.) / 16–18 Rue Royale (8th arr.) / 21 Rue Bona­parte (6th arr.) / 15 Rue Linois (15th arr.) / Gare de Lyon (12th arr.)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Champs-Élysées etc

HOW TO BOOK: online

DEETS: cake shop, tea room, icon­ic, some locs are take­out only 

INSTAGRAM: @maisonladuree

mariage frères

Found­ed in 1854, Mariage Frères is a sta­ple in the French tea scene and has tea­rooms all over Paris and the world. Their le Marais tea­room, a bright, time­less, vague­ly trop­i­cal salon, can often be dis­missed as snob­by (or worse, touristy), but their intrigu­ing offer­ings of tea-infused food and drink, and the allure of clas­si­cal­ly schmoozy after­noon tea make it worth the well-trod­den trip. Let’s start with the tea-infused salmon: it aston­ish­ing­ly exists, and if that doesn’t imme­di­ate­ly tell you how won­der­ful­ly over-the-top this expe­ri­ence is, maybe the note at the bot­tom of the menu that guests can choose one of the one thou­sand icon­ic-for-a-rea­son avail­able teas to accom­pa­ny their matcha-infused mar­ble cake or roast­ed chick­en with rose tea might be a big clue. This is not a drill. Heads-up: you can’t sim­ply pop in for a cup here as they require you to com­mit in a big way. A full high-tea or at least lunch is required. You won’t get in and out for less than €30.

ADDRESS: 30 Rue du Bourg Tibourg (4th arr.) / 90 rue Mon­torgueil (2nd arr.) / 13 rue des grands Augustins (6th arr.) / 56 rue Cler (7th arr.) / 260 Faubourg Saint-Hon­oré (8th arr.) / 17 Place de la Madeleine (8th arr.)

MÉTRO: Hôtel de Ville (lines 1, 11) 

NEIGHBORHOOD: Le Marais 

HOW TO BOOK: email: reservations@mariagefreres.com

NUMBER: +33 1 42 72 28 11

DEETS: tea cen­tric, luxe, brunch, vintage

INSTAGRAM: @mariagefreresofficial

cédric grolet

Parisians and glob­al jet-set­ters alike who fol­low the less sweet, more fla­vor trend in desserts (and peo­ple who saw it on Insta­gram) have been mak­ing a pil­grim­age to Cédric Gro­let since he became a break­out star in the culi­nary world in 2017. Every day (except Mon­days  + Tues­days, the man’s got­ta rest his hands), Gro­let dis­pens­es his indul­gences to the mass­es at his new shop near the gild­ed Opéra Gar­nier, his cafe near the Place Vendôme, and to the more ‘cho­sen’ ones at the tan­ta­liz­ing­ly opu­lent tea salon in le Meurice hotel. Grolet’s crois­sants and pain au choco­lats, are want­ed by the crowds more that Tay­lor Swift tick­ets and a miles of queued fans are held back behind an actu­al vel­vet rope upon the open­ing of the bou­tique. If you man­age to get in, leave the rea­son behind and feel free let the sens­es guide you  — what­ev­er you order, you’ll for­get all that wait with the first bite.  Beware — Cedric has seen fit to split his menu at dif­fer­ent loca­tions, the famous fruit tarts are exclu­sive to le Meurice take­out or tea room! The menu at the tea salon and cafe change fre­quent­ly so check their web­site to see what’s on. 

ADDRESSES: 35 Avenue de l’Opéra (2nd arr.), 6 rue Danielle Casano­va (2nd arr. ), 6 rue de Cas­tiglione (1st arr.)

HOURS: closed mon­days + tuesdays

NEIGHBORHOODS: Lou­vre / Riv­o­li / Tui­leries, Place Vendôme / Palais Roy­alOpéra

HOW TO BOOK: here

DEETS: fan­cy, best crois­sants in Paris, worth the queue, Avenue de la opera is chic, Rue Cas­tiglione is take­away only

INSTAGRAM: @cedric­gro­let

maxime frédéric at louis vuitton

Here us out: this is THE new spot of Paris’ food scene. With its mod­ern decor, trop­i­cal green­ery and per­fect his­tor­i­cal loca­tion, the place is sim­ply impos­si­ble to pass with­out want­i­ng to go inside and sink into one of the arm­chairs. Cre­at­ed by the Maxime Frédéric, a renowned Chef-pâtissier of Cheval Blanc Paris Hotel in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Louis Vuit­ton, the haute cou­ture game in here is high. All the ingre­di­ents used for the pas­try are hand select­ed by the chef (even the eggs appar­ent­ly come from his fam­i­ly farm; call it ded­i­ca­tion or nepo­tism, but it is impres­sive either way), and the LV signed pas­try that come out of it seal the deal on this place being an embod­i­ment of con­tem­po­rary ele­gant pas­try expe­ri­ence. 

The café will be a safe space between all those touristy places in the neigh­bour­hood and help you relax after the whole day of explor­ing the city. The pra­lines shop will not only show you the mar­vels of the choco­late cre­ations but also to take some of that small plea­sures to go — and help exer­cise your strong will when you try not to eat it before get­ting back home.

ADDRESS: 2 Rue du Pont Neuf (1st arr.)

MÉTRO: Pont Neuf (line 7)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Les Halles

NUMBER: +33 9 77 40 40 77

DEETS: luxe, choco­late, haute cou­ture, new kid on the block

INSTAGRAM: @louisvuit­ton

le dalí

Look­ing like a dream and tast­ing like heav­en, Le Dalí restau­rant at the lux­u­ry Le Meurice hotel will give you this ele­gant expe­ri­ence you’ve been dream­ing of. The off­beat sur­re­al­ist decor, cre­at­ed by Philippe Star­ck, pays trib­ute to Sal­vador Dalí, its’ patron. Tea time snacks and pas­try are deliv­ered by *the* Cedric Gro­let (see sali­va­tions above), so if you want to try his mar­vels with­out hav­ing to queue like a peas­ant, and whilst seat­ed com­fort­ably whilst lux­u­ri­at­ing in all the accou­trements a high roller like you expects/demands/sighs at, like hot tea and not stand­ing in line. (Also we are get­ting charged extra but the web­site host­ing for the all the use of ‘whilst,’ so I hope you enjoy/sub­scribe.) Come back by lunch or din­ner to try the col­or­ful mod­ern French cui­sine, pre­pared with ingre­di­ents from local pro­duc­ers. Reser­va­tion required.

ADDRESS:  228 rue de Riv­o­li (1st arr.) 

MÉTRO: Lou­vre — Riv­o­li (line 1)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Lou­vre / Riv­o­li / Tuileries

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 44 58 10 44

DEETS: chic, ele­gant pas­try expe­ri­ence, dress code

INSTAGRAM: @lemeuri­ceparis

jardin de l’hôtel particulier

The Hôtel Par­ti­c­uli­er Mont­martre is the small­est, most pri­vate hotel in Paris (which does not stop them from being luxe AF), with an even small­er and more pri­vate gar­den where they host their le très British tea-time. Choose between choco­late or vanil­la theme (or decide to swirl a lit­tle) and enjoy them in a gor­geous set­ting. The calo­ries don’t count, since it’s just a stone throw from Sacré Cœur, so it makes sense to come here after that exhaust­ing (hero­ic) escapade to the top of the hill. 

ADDRESS: 23 Avenue Junot Pavil­lon D (18th arr.)

MÉTRO: Lamar­ck-Caulain­court (line 12)

NEIGHBORHOOD: Mont­martre

HOW TO BOOK: online

NUMBER: +33 1 53 41 81 40

DEETS: hotel restau­rant, ter­race, French, inside bar, tea time

INSTAGRAM: @hotelparticuliermontmartre

carette

This mul­ti-faceted resto-patis­serie has three loca­tions. Two of the three offer sit-down areas — the Mont­martre spot  has­n’t got­ten the ‘we want to sit down,’ memo yet. 

Creamy pas­tries, fluffy scram­bled eggs, and warm crois­sants. Just with every famous and sought after Parisian bak­ery, you should prob­a­bly get there ear­ly to avoid wait­ing for a ridicu­lous amount of time to get seat­ed. Either way, it is worth it. If there is one must-try item on their menu, it’s their famous silky hot choco­late and their among-the-best mac­arons. Sweet, tangy and oh so French. 

ADDRESS: 4 Pl. du Tro­cadéro et du 11 Novem­bre (16th arr.) /  25 Pl. des Vos­ges (3rd arr.)

MÉTRO: Tro­cadéro (line 6, 9) / Bastille (line 1, 5, 8) 

NEIGHBORHOOD: Tro­cadéro / le Marais 

DEETS: French, hot choco­late, Paris pas­tries, brunch, macarons

INSTAGRAM: @caretteofficiel

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