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 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
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.)
NUMBER: +33 1 42 99 09 08
DEETS: bakery, oldie but goldie, posh, vintage
No self-respecting Francophile can visit Paris without stopping by Ladurée. They literally invented macarons (yes, literally), so why not get bunches of joy-inducing pastel sandwich cookies straight from the source? Even if macarons aren’t your cup of tea (what is wrong with you?), 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.)
HOW TO BOOK: online
NUMBER: +33 1 40 75 08 75
DEETS: cake shop, tea room, iconic
Founded in 1854, Mariage Frères is a staple in the French tea scene and has tearooms all over Paris and the world. Their 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: email@example.com
NUMBER: +33 1 42 72 28 11
DEETS: tea centric, luxe, brunch, vintage
Cédric Grolet — Opéra
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 Sundays), Grolet dispenses his indulgences to the masses at his new shop near the gilded Opéra Garnier, 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.
ADDRESS: 35 Avenue de l’Opéra (2nd arr.)
HOURS: closed Sundays
MÉTRO: Opéra (line 3, 7, 8), Pyramides (line 7, 14)
HOW TO BOOK: here
NUMBER: +33 01 83 95 21 02
DEETS: fancy, best croissants in Paris, worth the queue
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
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, so if you want to try his marvels without having to queue like a peasant, try them here. Come back by lunch or diner 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
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 as heck), 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)
HOW TO BOOK: online
NUMBER: +33 1 53 41 81 40
DEETS: hotel restaurant, terrace, French, inside bar, tea time