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
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.
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
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.
Address: 2 Rue Wurtz (13th arr.) / 238 Rue de la Convention (15th arr.)
Neighborhood(s): Butte aux Cailles or Montparnasse
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.
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
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.)
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
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!
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.
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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.