The 6 Best Croissants of the Left Bank of Paris

When I first land­ed here almost 10 years ago, crois­sant was one of only two french words I knew. The oth­er one was bon­jour, so I wasn’t exact­ly up for nom­i­na­tion to the Académie Française.

Every time I see a bak­ery that I haven’t tried yet, I park my bike and go in to buy a crois­sant and a baguette tra­di­tion (for science).

 

Croissants in Paris are a Big Deal

Glow­ing gold­en brown, crispy but not too crispy, le crois­sant is the cease­less­ly dia­bol­i­cal threat to my peri­od­ic attempts at a keto diet and one of the few foods that can be eat­en on the street in a moment of morn­ing rever­ie (or shame­less des­per­a­tion, c’est la vie). 

So yeah, pas­tries in Paris. It’s a bit of an obses­sion of mine, or just what hap­pens on a nor­mal Sat­ur­day flâner­ie.

I’m so deep in the crois­sant game that I was once tapped by Aussie bak­er, Andrew Con­nole, to guide him and his crew to the best crois­sants in Paris for his new TV show, For the Love of Bread, which fol­lows the best in bak­ing to the far cor­ners of the world. Togeth­er with cam­era crew in tow, we zigzagged through Paris and I showed them where we hide the good stuff. 

Croissants are why we are here, non

Not gonna lie — It’s kind of why I’m here…

After writ­ing about crois­sants, talk­ing on tv about crois­sants and orga­niz­ing the Best Crois­sants of Paris walks (one of Paris’ most-beloved food tours — an immod­est amount of flex­ing going here), I decid­ed to final­ly put pen to paper, or key­board to inter­net as it were, and give you the ulti­mate list (for now) of the best crois­sants of Paris.

These Are the Croissants You Came Here For

While this two-part mas­terlist con­tains a ver­i­ta­ble Christ­mas Island of old idols like Poilâne and Lau­rent Duch­ene, it also con­tains some auda­cious new­com­ers like Bo + Mie‑a ‘mod­ern’ boulan­gerie.

What type of crois­sant you like depends on a few things: do you like it moist and slight­ly chewy on the inside + crispy on the out­side (like I do), or do you pre­fer flaky, airy, and light? 

For me, I’m in heav­en when the shrap­nel breaks off in big arch­es; so huge that I can pre­tend are an entire­ly sep­a­rate course — like a dessert after the crois­sant itself. Like the Doors’ Jim Mor­ris­son, I break on through to the oth­er side. 

You Can Stop Searching

These are THE crois­sants of the Left Bank of Paris (we start­ed with the Best Crois­sants of the Right Bank here).

La Masion d’Isabelle

Home­girl has awards and isn’t afraid to show it. The non­de­script shop can’t be missed because of the giant « 2018 Meil­lure Crois­sant au Beurre » sign. Her apple tart also reg­u­lar­ly drop mics at com­pe­ti­tions for such things. This lit­tle square next to the Maubert-Mutal­ite metro stop is home to local food heavy­weights engag­ing in some kind of French flex-off. The neigh­bor­ing shop adver­tis­es that it won the Best Head­cheese Award, so uh, save some room I suppose?

LA MAISON D’ISABELLE

Address: 47 Ter Boule­vard Saint Ger­main (5th arr.)

Neigh­bor­hood: Latin Quar­ter

La mai­son d’Isabelle


Poilâne

Poilâne is old-school. It’s now run by the grand­daugh­ter of the founder who also appeared on screen with me in For the Love of Bread. For being an insti­tu­tion, they haven’t giv­en up (I also men­tion this about Stohrer in our Best Crois­sants of the Right Bank of Paris arti­cle). Some­times in Paris, when things become famous, they indus­tri­al­ize and lose their touch (cough, cough, Angeli­na). This is not so with Poilâne. I found their apple tart under­whelm­ing (it’s one of the things they are famous for but Sain or Cyril Lignac have bet­ter ones…), but was so sur­prised to find the crois­sant so good, it war­rant­ed a men­tion here. 

POILÂNE

Address: 38 Rue Debel­leyme (3rd arr.) / 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi (6th arr.) / 49 Bd de Grenelle (15th arr.) / 87 Rue Bran­cion (15th arr.) / 39 Rue de Lévis (17th arr.) / 83 Rue de Crimée (19th arr.)

Neigh­bor­hood: Jardin du Luxembourg

Poilâne


Laurent Duchêne

One of the bak­ers on this list award­ed the pres­ti­gious MOF (Meilleurs Ouvri­ers de France or the Best Crafts­peo­ple of France for Patis­serie), you can taste the mag­ic of a fresh, hot crois­sant for 1 euro and change. As becom­ing an insti­tu­tion, well-known among the guide­book set, can give a place license to give up a lit­tle bit and rest on its lau­rels, I cast a care­ful eye on the MOF dis­tinc­tion. But in the case of Mon­sieur Duchêne — rest assured. I’m hap­py to report that he’s still hard at work, mak­ing sure every­thing that comes from his bak­ery is real­ly worth it. 

LAURENT DUCHÊNE

Address: 2 Rue Wurtz (13th arr.) / 238 Rue de la Con­ven­tion (15th arr.)

Neighborhood(s): Butte aux Cailles or Mont­par­nasse

Lau­rent Duchêne


Cyril Lignac

Pas­try is seri­ous busi­ness here. Mon­sieur Lignac’s hand ele­vates the basic (and usu­al­ly over­ly sweet) Baba au Rhum to new heights, but his crois­sant is worth the (often­times) line. While you are there, pick up an Equinoxe ; a visu­al work of art in the form of a vanil­la tart. I’m not a huge vanil­la fan, but I love this one. 

CYRIL LIGNAC

Address: 133 Rue de Sèvres (6th arr.) / 24 Rue Paul Bert (11th arr.)  / 55 Boule­vard Pas­teur (15th arr.) / 2 Rue de Chail­lot (16th arr.) / 9 Rue Bayen (17th arr.)

Neigh­bor­hood: Jardin du Luxembourg

Cyril Lignac


Des Gateaux et du Pain

One of the few lady patissieres break­ing through the but­ter ceil­ing, the ele­gance of the bou­tiques and the sub­tilty of the tarts will leave an impres­sion, so I was sur­prised to find that the crois­sant ranks among the giants. Come for a crois­sant but leave with a tart like the Pam­ple­mouse Rose (grape­fruit rose) which almost looks too good to eat. 

DES GATEAUX ET DU PAIN

Address: 63 Boule­vard Pas­teur (15th arr.)

Neigh­bor­hood: Mont­par­nasse

Des Gateaux et du Pain


Bo & Mie

Bo & Mie calls itself a ‘mod­ern boulan­gerie’ and they aren’t jok­ing. Besides the amaz­ing­ly good crois­sants, you can get nutel­la crois­sants, pis­ta­chio crois­sants, rasp­ber­ry crois­sants, or go off the rails with a Cook­ie Shot which is a choco­late chip cook­ie (cook­ies are a big thing in Paris right now) that was seem­ing­ly poured into a glass and baked. Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, here we come. With mul­ti­ple loca­tions across the city, this is the kind of sprawl we can get behind.

BO & MIE

Address: 91 Rue de Riv­o­li (1st arr.) / 18 Rue de Tur­bi­go (2nd arr.) / 359 Rue Saint Mar­tin (3rd arr.) / 5 Bd Saint-Michel (5th arr.)

Neigh­bor­hood: Lou­vre / Riv­o­li / Tuileries

Bo&Mie


I now try, French­ly, to stretch the enjoy­ment out after a child­hood of con­di­tion­ing to eat in 20 min­utes (thanks Over­crowd­ed Catholic Girls High School). Also, I’m assum­ing that the ‘Oral Exam’ por­tion of my upcom­ing cit­i­zen­ship appli­ca­tion means that stern proc­tors will grade how I eat a crois­sant. Sounds about right, non?

The food in France is mind-blow­ing, and this is ever­more true for les crois­sants on the Left Bank. Here in Paris, there is a bak­ery every 2 blocks so your game has to be TIGHT if you want to sell any­thing baked to the French. 

And the mark of a good bak­ery is a line outside. 

Yes, even if there is an anoth­er one 2 blocks away, Parisians will line up for *the* boulan­gerie

We’ll see you there…

You can book our « Best crois­sants of Paris » tour here and read about which crois­sants made the cut on the oth­er side of town here.

See you in line at the boulangerie! 

Bisous,

Kat

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Indeco­rous Cul­turevore and Poly­chrome Chow Vir­tu­osa Kat Walk­er likes nice things.

She once went to a job inter­view for that was sup­posed to be for sales but was actu­al­ly for pros­ti­tu­tion (the high-class ver­sion, she hopes lol) at a fan­cy hotel in the shad­ow of the Eif­fel Tow­er (arti­cle com­ing soon) and, anoth­er time inter­viewed for a posi­tion as a phone psychic.

She passed both with fly­ing col­ors. How­ev­er she declined the human traf­fick­ing posi­tion but stuck around longer than she should have to be able to write about it. (Are you not entertained?)

As for the tele­phone psy­chic gig, she only last­ed one day, even though the pay was excel­lent. Wooooooo…..She sees you sub­scrib­ing to our week­ly PARIS RIGHT NOW dis­patch . There is also a man in your future.

Now she is set­tled in as your Edi­tor-in-Mis­chief here, lead­ing the charge to not take Paris so damn seriously…let’s frol­ic a bit, non?

She writes fast and with­out pru­dence so if you enjoy this type of thing, edi­tors aren’t free so here is le Patre­on

When she’s not writ­ing about crois­sants, love, cul­ture, and lov­able, sexy crois­sants, she is a gonzo per­for­mance artist whip­ping up a (usu­al­ly) polit­i­cal ruckus. Her rab­ble rous­ing has pro­voked the atten­tion of var­i­ous pub­lic forums, like the time she appeared in the movie The Yes Men Fix the World as Russ­ian jour­nal­ist Lai­ka Gaga­ri­na or was fea­tured in Roll­Cal­l’s Heard on the Hill for her mock­ery of the U.S. sen­ate. Oth­er efforts have land­ed her in the Le Nou­v­el Obser­va­teur, Chica­go Sun-Times, Chica­go Tri­bune, and the Reader.

In oth­er places and oth­er lives, the actu­al live guy who played Ross on Friends came to see her show at a NYC gallery.

She has nev­er had a weird­er lunch than that one when an FBI infor­mant offered to kill her busi­ness part­ner for her.

She declined (phew) and that’s why she’s here, freely- and un-jailed-ly writ­ing about crois­sants and per­verts and the Eif­fel Tow­er (in that order, usu­al­ly) for PARIS > DEFINED MAGAZINE.

Her per­fect­ly impos­si­ble din­ner in Paris would be at Pierre Sang on Gam­bey (the wait­er choos­es the wine) with Gen­e­sis P. Orridge, Napoleon Bona­parte (he picks up the tab and the wait­er knows this in advance when pick­ing wines), Christo­pher Hitchens, Anais Nin, and Ket­a­mine in atten­dance. Drinks after at le17 but back in time, like 2017.

Her favorite French word is ‘bruit’ but only when a hot girl says it slowly.

In a bid for your atten­tion and approval she writes things here and man­ages this unruly tribe of Parisians endeav­or­ing to bring you what Paris­ing is real­ly about.

Sub­scribe HERE to the P > D newslet­ter for a week­ly dose of her, and the rest of the ram­bunc­tious and per­fect­ly depraved gals’ tren­chant and thought-pro­vok­ing opin­ions. Or tune in to their high­brow cul­ture com­men­tary and bike rid­ing through Paris on PARIS » D E F I N E D TV.

If you are mash­ing out a mes­sage to warn her of her crimes against gram­mar and punc­tu­a­tion save your time because she knows, she knows.

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