Best sweet treats in Paris (and where to find them…)
Good news: in Paris the kids will definitely enjoy the food! Not keen on having breakfast at the hotel or worried about feeling starved at 4pm (traditional French “gouter” time)? The boulangeries of Paris have a wide range of tasty snacks to satisfy your hunger at any time of the day. This is definitely a big part of Paris, so please open the doors of those shops and indulge yourselves in the crispiness and richness of French Pastries.
1) The famous and well-known pains au chocolat and croissants. OK, you can find them in London, but what would be Paris without its cafés, their waiters and their croissants? One of my friends publishes a wonderful blog called Raids Patisseries. They taste pastries from different bakeries and rank them according to different criteria. They are professional foodies and they allowed me to share their precious secrets with you. Here is where you can find the best croissants in Paris:
2) A bit less common but just as delicious is the chausson aux pommes, or apple turnover. A puff pastry hiding some apple compote or even full baked apples… definitely worth trying! And again, Raids Patisseries have helped us to find the very best ones inParis:
3) Les chouquettes, delicious for breakfast and very easy for the little ones to eat in one bite. They are small choux buns covered with granulated sugar. You can buy them individually or by weight, but do not overestimate how many you buy, because once you get started on them you never really know when to stop…
4) The brioche is half way between bread and a standard pastry. Delicious with chocolate, but my favourite one is the brioche with pralines, also called “Saint Genix”, a speciality from Lyon. Either red or pink, pralines are a combination of caramelized sugar and almonds. They can be eaten as a sweetie or in pastries (tartes or brioches). Melted in brioche, they had moist and richness to a traditional brioche and the best smell in the bakery. They are not that easy to find in Paris, but here are some places where you can definitely taste them:
- In the Marais: Francois Pralus. It is there called the Praluline
- In the Kayser bakeries: 20 bakeries in and around Paris
5) Crepes, originally from Brittany, they are loved by French kids and can either be sweet (filled with sugar and plenty of butter, jam, chocolate…) or savoury (with ham, cheese, eggs, mushrooms …). The main area in Paris for crepes is around Montparnasse. We would advise you to drop by La Creperie de Josselin and enjoy your crepes with some cider, but you can find them more or less anywhere in Paris to take away (on Ile St Louis or near Opera for instance).
6) Ice creams can also be yummy during summer time. Berthillon must be mentioned here… their ice creams and sorbets are amazing with so many wonderful flavours to try. My favourite from over 70 flavours? Praline and pine nuts. You cannot miss Berthillon if you go to Ile Saint-Louis: their ice creams are sold in their very own café but also in most of the cafés on the island. My advice would be to stop off for a few minutes in one of the ones at the far end of the island with views over Notre Dame. Magic!
What is your favourite sweet treat? What is the address of your own personal favourite French Bakery?
And for more fun cooking activities, click here