In Paris, where corner mom-and-pop shops jockey for space with temples of haute-patisserie, pastry is part of everyday life. It isn’t uncommon to see lines of Parisians picking up fresh tartes for Sunday brunch with the family, or schoolchildren racing to their favorite bakery for a goûter (literally a “taste,” or petit snack). Across the city you’ll find a whole spectrum of intricately composed and elaborately decorated pastries that taste as special as they look: simple laminated viennoiserie like croissants and pain au chocolat, eclairs made with light choux dough, buttery sablés, and an ever-growing array of French and internationally inspired cakes, tartes, cookies, and brioches.
All of these wonderful pastries are sold at patisseries, shops dedicated specifically to sweet baked goods made with dough — as opposed to breads, which are sold at boulangeries. You shouldn’t count on picking up a great baguette along with your palmiers or vice versa, but some unconventional shops do excel at both bread and pastry.
The city is thick with pastry shops and competition is fierce. These 14 bakeries are among the greatest that Paris — and therefore the world — has to offer.Read More