Fancy something different? Pierre Hermé is known for his unusually flavoured macarons, so why not take a leap of faith and try olive oil with mandarin orange and cucumber water, or perhaps the apricot and pistachio? Hermé uses sugar sparingly and savoury ingredients imaginatively, which makes for a truly unique taste, and a gorgeous array of colours. This is the macaron as an art form – no wonder French Vogue once called him the “Picasso of pastry”.
Located within baguette swinging distance of stunning Sacre Coeur Basillica, this small and simple patisserie boulangerie is the perfect place to pick up a snack to sustain you on the walk up those famous steps. Try the “villageoise” baguette for a true taste of France, with the perfect mix of rye and salt, or indulge in a pain au chocolat or the delicious ‘belle arôme” baguette made with honey and spice.
Cake Shop, Mandarin Oriental
For something truly unforgettable head to the Mandarin Oriental hotel, where the Cake Shop offers a range of exquisite cakes and pastries. Choose the classic puff pastry Saint-Honoré or one of the many macarons to enjoy in the flower-filled lobby. If you’re feeling like really treating yourself though, take a table among the foliage of the courtyard garden of the Camélia restaurant and order Le Mandarin – a 62% dark chocolate mousse that you won’t forget in a hurry.
Des Gateaux et du Pain
With its black surfaces and sparkling glass cases, looks more like it should be selling diamonds than cakes. But let the design-heavy interior put you off and you’ll be missing out on one of Paris’s most highly regarded pastries – the chausson aux pommes. It may look simple but this apple tart has the perfect texture and flavour, and it won chef Claire Damon the top spot in Le Figaro’s recent search for the city’s best.
Chef was born in Tokyo and his creations reflect this heritage, with an Asian twist applied to even the most traditional French pastries. Try the éclair au sésame noir, with black sesame cream, or the unmistakeably floral violet macaron. Alternatively, for something totally different, the Kimagure choux pastry with sweet azuki beans is divine.
Un Dimanche à Paris
is the perfect place to try something new. Don’t call in here unless you’re prepared to be seriously tempted – there’s everything from a simple tartelette fraise-cocoa (chocolate and strawberry tart) to a fruit-laden choux pistache aux fruits rouges and a delicately floral coquelicot (poppy flower) macaron. Chocaholics are particularly well served by the range of chocolates and shouldn’t miss the chocolate foie gras – take some away for later, this is one to be savoured.
No list of Parisian patisseries would be complete without Ladurée. Yes, everyone knows the name, but there is also a reason for that. Here you will find what are consistently the best macarons in Paris and every flavour you can think of is laid out for you to select from. You could go for a simple chocolate or pistachio, but we suggest you try the new pink pepper flavour – a pale grey creation that is sure to surprise.
Le Flore en L’Ile
Ok, so it’s not technically a patisserie, but this café on Île Saint-Louis simply cannot be missed. The ice cream here is the best in Paris and can be enjoyed right next to the Seine with views of Notre Dame (just). Order chocolate, caramel and vanilla in one bowl, sit back and savour a true taste of Paris.
Explore Paris with our Pocket Guide, and delve into French culture using the Rough Guide to France.
You can book hostels for your trip here, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go.