Paris Adventures: Do a Super-Sweet Pastry Crawl

Photo Norio NAKAYAMA Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s impossible to visit Paris without falling in love with the pastries. The city is alive with pâtissiers both old and new, creating sweets that are visually spectacular and delicious. The problem with all these pastries is the calories, of course, but we’ve solved that problem by creating a Paris pastry crawl. A pastry crawl is similar to a pub crawl but instead of drinking, you sample the most delectable, exquisite, essential pastries of Paris while doing a walking tour of the city (and burning off pastry calories!).

Unfortunately, we’ve had to leave some fabulous pâtisseries off this list due to the time requirements of walking from the first delicious bite to the last — but that will leave you with sweet dreams of pastries yet untasted (and perhaps, to do another pastry crawl someday?).

Below are seven pâtisseries to visit, listed in a logical walking order if you’d like to make a day of it.

Patisserie Michalak – 8 Rue du Vieux Colombier, 75006

Michalak is really fun. As a celeb chef, he knows how to capture contemporary culture in his work. His shop is chic, his pastries clearly all his own in their design, and everything tastes delicious. This is a great place to find pastries to take home as gifts for friends.

Sebastien Gaudard – 1 rue des Pyramides, 75001

This truly lovely salon de thé and pâtisserie features the best of classic French pastries. In good weather you can sit outside and enjoy the view, but the upstairs tea room is also charming and quite cozy. The textures and the flavors of Gaudard’s pastries place them in the highest category of pastry-making. He’s got an excellent hand and a light touch that will consistently bring you back for more.

La Galerie  Hôtel Plaza Athénée, 25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008

Among the other restaurants of high stature at Hôtel Plaza Athénée is La Galerie. Here you’ll find the outstanding pastries of Angelo Musa – one of the top pastry chefs in the world. For many people, the price tag of an entire fine dining experience can be simply unaffordable, but here that experience can be had through dessert. Though these pastries are not inexpensive, they definitely offer the experience of fine dining. It’s great to be able to live in those haute cuisine moments!

Popelini – 44 rue des Martyrs, 75009

Cream puffs have come into their own at Popelini, the store that creates small yet elegantly crafted creampuffs that have the allure of jewels. The flavors seem endless, each one more thrilling than the last. Definitely addictive!

Yann Couvreur  137 Avenue Parmentier, 75010

Yann Couvreur beautifully demonstrates how the finest examples of classic French pastry-making can be made new. It’s fascinating to see how the works of the great pastry chefs of the past are being recharged with the sense of the present in chic forms and alluring flavors at his shop. Every bite is simply awesome!

Dessance – 74 Rue des Archives, 75003

Dessance is known as being the first dessert bar in Paris, but it’s more than that. Philippe Baranes has created a place that’s truly unique. In his creations, sweet and savory combine in unusual combinations to challenge preconceived ideas of what a dessert must be.

Mariage Frères – Restaurants & Salons de Thé, 30 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004

Mariage Frères was founded in 1854, and since then has held the distinction of offering some of the most interesting teas in the world. This shop on Rue du Bourg Tibourg has a fascinating museum of tea on the lower floor, which you can walk though before or after enjoying a pastry and a tea from an enormous menu. Highlights include their incredible cheesecake is a red shiny globe with polka dots that resembles a Yayoi Kusama artpiece, and the gold cake, which is covered with edible solid gold.