The 6th and 7th arrondissements are home to some of Paris’ finest patisseries. I recently visited several and have mapped out a suggested route that hits many of them. One can start with Sadaharu Aoki, who is a master of blending Japanese ingredients with classical French technique. He has several locations in Paris. I visited his counter in the Galeries Lafayette food emporium, but his flagship store is in the 6th. His Millefeuille was amazing – layers of flaky pastry and vanilla pastry cream topped with a thin layer of crunchy caramel. He also has interesting macaron flavors like yuzu and matcha. From there, walk to Pierre Herme at 72 rue Bonaparte. Pierre Herme also has several locations in Paris, but most only sell macarons and chocolates. The location in the 6th is the only one that sells his pastries, including my all-time favorite, the Ispahan, with rose macaron, lychee, and raspberry. The Ispahan croissant is also amazing. The macarons are my favorite as well, especially the chocolate-passionfruit. They are expensive – a box of 7 in a nice gift box is 18e. Walk up rue Bonaparte to Laduree. Laduree is also famous for its macarons, and this location has a tea salon where you can sit and enjoy some pastries.
From Laduree, go to Hugo et Victor on Boulevard Raspail. I cannot believe I missed it on this trip, but I have read great things about Hugo et Victor. Then make your way over to rue du Bac, where there is one block that has three incredible shops. La Patisserie des Reves (the pastry shop of dreams), the jewel-like Des Gateux et du Pain, and opening later in 2014, Jacques Genin. Jacques Genin’s flagship store is near the Republique metro stop in the 3rd arrondissement. Jacques Genin makes amazingly creamy caramels in a lot of different flavors. I like the original and nut variations, and less so the fruity ones, except for the mango-passionfruit which was quite delicious. They sell for 110e per kg! A 100 gm bag will get you one of each of flavor. There is also a Mosaique sampler bag filled with various chocolates, pates du fruits, and caramels, which makes a nice gift for 17e. The Jacques Genin store in the 3rd has a tea salon, where one can order pastries. I am hoping that the store in the 7th will have a tea salon as well. Des Gateux et du Pain might be my new favorite patisserie. Stunningly beautiful pastries and breads. Their croissant was perfect. The pistachio St. Honore was delicious. La Patisserie des Reves is really unique, with more playful interpretations of the classics – look at their St. Honore, for example. A branch of Dalloyau is also nearby.
Finally, walk up rue du Bac to Eric Kayser to sit down and have coffee and your accumulated loot from all the other shops, or some of Eric Kayser’s excellent eclairs or a delicious baguette cereale (seeded baguette) and buy some mini financiers (chocolate, almond, and pistachio) to take home (10.50e for 300 gm). And…since you’re walking a lot and calories don’t count when you’re on vacation, enjoy!
Thanks to Paris Patisseries Blog for a lot of recommendations!
Edit: I think you could do the route backwards as well (starting at Eric Kayser), just as long as you end up at a place that has sit-down coffee service like Laduree or Eric Kayser.