Getting to know Paris’s bread culture has been one of the most delicious things I’ve gotten to do since living here- we weren’t big bread eaters in my house growing up, probably because we didn’t have bread anywhere near this good. But bread is an extremely important part of French culture, and rightfully so- what other country has managed to make the simplest combination of flour, water, yeast and salt taste so darn good?
One question everyone wants the answer to, and one I got asked especially frequently by guests when I worked as a meet and greeter for an apartment rental company, was any variation on “what are the best bakeries in Paris?” Since France is known for its bread, everyone always wants to know where to find the butteriest croissant, the best crunchy-outside-soft-inside baguette, the most delicious sweet treats. I’ve shopped around at many bakeries over the years and have found a few that I return to time and time again (I’ve somehow managed to spend the last 4 years living within a 10 minute walk of the last one on the list!).
7 of the Best Bakeries in Paris (And What to Order at Each)
What to get: roulé à la canelle or roulé au sésame
Of course I had to start with Utopie, and for good reason- it was named best boulangerie in Paris in 2016. If you’re a bread lover, go straight here (do not pass go, do not collect $200) especially on the weekends to discover each weekend’s specialty bread and pastries. There’s often a line of people from the neighborhood (what we call gens du quartier) out the door on the weekends for exactly that reason, all the more proof that everything they bake turns into proverbial gold. Personally, I head there to satisfy my sweet tooth with a roulé à la canelle, which is essentially the offspring of a palmier, a croissant and a classic cinnamon roll. They also like to dabble in sesame (pronounced say-zahm in French), and were I actually a fan of sesame I’m sure their roulé au sésame would be a favorite too.
Boulangerie Utopie, 20 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011
What to get: pain Poilâne
Bread lovers the world over have heard of Poilâne, so ubiquitous that the type of bread itself is now named after the late baker. It’s a deliciously tangy sourdough pain de campagne that pairs perfectly with any kind of spread or cheese you might wish to add on top. While the original on rue du Cherche-Midi in the 6th is the best known (and a great place to stop for lunch), I love their location in the 3rd, close to my own neighborhood. Local favorite brasserie Le Progrès on rue de Bretagne serves its croque-monsieur with an option for pain Poilâne- a choice you will never regret making.
Poilâne, 8 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 // 38 rue Debelleyme, 75003. Hours vary by store.
What to get: cinnamon bun
If you’ve ever been to Fragments in the 4th, you’re already familiar with these cinnamon buns- and particularly with how quickly they sell out. The team behind Fragments opened this little spot on rue Galande, right by the famed Shakespeare & Co bookstore, and it’s already become a must-go. The coffee is truly excellent as well!
Circus Bakery, 63 rue Galande, 75005. Open Thurs-Mon 9h-18h.
Du Pain et Des Idées
What to get: escargot pistache-chocolat
This is yet another bakery where the bread is truly spectacular but I come here for a pastry. I know- how not-French of me, right? But no matter what you’re going for, a trip up here is always worth it for one of the best bakeries in Paris. Not only is the interior of the bakery stunning (make sure to look up at the ceiling!), the options are plentiful. If you’re here for bread, grab a pain des amis, but the chocolate-pistachio escargot pastry (does not contain actual snails) alone is worth the visit.
Du Pain et Des Idées, 34 rue Yves Toudic, 75010. Open Mon-Fri 7h-20h.
What to get: madeleines
I’ve never been much of a madeleine fan, but my friend Edna of Expat Edna took me here after lunch one day and holy moly are these things delicious. There’s a crunchy glaze on the outside of each one that just takes it to the next level- though you’d expect nothing less from the former pastry chef at 3-Michelin star restaurant Le Bristol. Buy one to eat now and a few to take home because trust me, you’re going to want another one.
Blé Sucré, 7 rue Antoine Vollon, 75012. Open Tues-Sat 7:00-19:30, Sun 7:00-13:30.
What to get: baguette
This boulangerie in the 14th won Best Baguette of Paris 2018, so it’s definitely worth the trek to try it. Imagine my surprise when I realized it’s the bakery that my friends and I frequented for lunch while studying French at the Sorbonne across the street!
Boulangerie M’seddi, 215 boulevard Raspail, 75014. Open Mon-Fri 7h-20h30.
PERSONAL FAVORITE: Maison Lendemaine
What to get: pain au chocolat
Though it has multiple locations throughout Paris, I’ve always found Maison Lendemaine to have consistently buttery croissants and crispy-outside-soft-inside baguettes. Thankfully, all of the apartments I’ve lived in since discovering it have had one within a 10 minute walk!
Maison Lendemaine, multiple locations around Paris. Hours vary by store.
Have you been to any of these bakeries? Which would you add to the list? Sound off in the comments, and PIN the image below to save the post for later!