When I first took an interest in Parisian pastry, I kept coming across those same names (Ladurée, Stohrer, Blé Sucré). It seemed odd. In a city renowned for its work in pastry, and jammed with countless world-class chefs of every stripe. There had to be more than five patisseries worth visiting.
What conventional wisdom and guidebooks haven’t accounted for is the explosion of high-end pastry shops in the last several years. Having now downed hundreds of pastries from scores of Paris’s finest shops, I can confidently say there are more than five worth visiting—and that at least three of the most hyped are well worth skipping. Here’s my list of the Top 10 Best Pastry Shops in Paris, complete with suggestions of great picks at each!
1. A preteen runaway, Jacques Genin grew to helm pastry and chocolate operations for La Maison du Chocolat before branching off on his own. After years of privately furnishing his ultraluxe caramels and chocolates to France’s finest hotels, restaurants and cafés, he opened his eponymous shop in December 2008. Few argue that he’s now Paris’s No. 1 master of the classics.
Top Picks: Chocolate éclair, lemon tarte, baba au rhum, flan, caramel éclair, raspberry tart, chocolate tart and of course as many caramels, pâtes de fruits and chocolates as you can carry home.
2. The former head pastry chef at the Michelin three-star Guy Savoy, Hugues Pouget went on to become the 2003 Champion de France du Dessert before teaming up with childhood friend Sylvain Blanc to open Hugo & Victor in 2010. Their pastries’ aesthetics range from the simple to the architecturally sublime —all served up in a shop that looks like a hybrid between Cartier and Dior. Seasonal flavors for the pastries are matched with champagnes and fine wines, as selected by H&V’s sommelier, Frédéric Béal.
Pouchkine’s head chef, Emmanuel Ryon, is one of the most decorated pastry chefs in history, holding titles such as Pastry World Champion, French Dessert Champion and MOF Glacier (France’s highest honor in ice sculpture, ice cream and frozen desserts). The pieces he creates are more ornate than anything you’ve likely seen. The flavors, too, are a wildly unique fusion of French and Eastern European sensibilities.
Top Picks: Tutti Frutti, Napoléon, Or Noir, strawberry/pistachio-heart macaron, vanilla croissant, Roulé Pavot, Feijoa and Moskito.