Our Top Picks in a Nutshell
|(Various areas of Paris)
|(Various areas of Paris)
|Du Pain et des Idées
|Canal Saint Martin
|Des Gâteaux et du Pain
|Montparnasse & Saint Germain
|Best Croissant That’s Gluten-Free
|Best Croissant That’s Vegan
Next time you wake up in Paris, you should start your day off the Parisian way— with a tiny cup of espresso and, of course, a freshly-baked croissant.
Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth (or what I like to call salty teeth), the croissant’s flaky, cloud-like texture and fresh, buttery taste is pretty much a little heaven in the mouth.
This little heaven is so common in Paris that it usually runs for less than €2. While the traditional croissant is more of a simple, bread-like, organic-French-butter flavor, we’ve seen more creative spins pop up over the years.
Don’t hesitate to go for a chocolate croissant, almond croissant, or even a chocolate croissant with praline filling (we’ll see this one later).
However, even the best croissants in Paris have their secrets.
What’s Lies Inside my Croissant?
Besides the rare case of filling and frequent reality of gluten, you may not know what all’s inside that flaky pastry.
Even the best croissants in Paris hold secrets. Get ready for a shock, and consider this your controversial statement alert:
The croissant wasn’t always French. You read that right. Those delicious croissants didn’t originally come from France and, in fact, the pastry began as far back as 13th century Austrian (though some think even earlier).
Ever wondered what its crescent shape meant? Well, it didn’t happen as an accident.
Historians believe that for the Austrians, eating this crescent-shaped pastry symbolized devouring the Turks. That crescent shape looked like a crescent moon, which is a sacred symbol in Islam (the Turkish empire’s official religion during the Middle Ages).
Of course, nowadays, it only has that shape out of habit. The French liked this delightful pastry and the best croissants have maintained the shape hundreds of years later.
The French also changed it a bit, while keeping the shape. Now, the world considers the croissant so French that it’s a total cliché (but also a true one!).
French Bakeries & Where to Find a Croissant
Before you go out venturing for the best croissants in Paris, you’ll need to know a little about French bakeries.
First, if you didn’t already know this, the French language doesn’t have just one word to describe generic bakeries. In fact, this says something about the culture of baking— all bakeries specialize.
“Boulangerie,” refers to a place that bakes and sells mainly bread, croissants, and pain au chocolats. You probably won’t find cakes or pastries. If you only find three things in a boulangerie, odds are high that they’ll be the baguette, croissant, and pain au chocolat.
In a boulangerie, you’re more likely to leave with a traditional French croissant. You may not always find something more fancy like a vanilla and almond croissant.
However, some of Paris’ award winning croissants come out of boulangeries. For more daring croissants, such as almond croissants
For pastries, you’d go to a “pâtisserie,” which sells more dessert-like baked goods. What can confuse some people is that you’ll sometimes also find croissants and pain au chocolats in the pâtisseries but rarely vice versa within a boulangerie.
Without further ado, we’ve got a list of the best croissants in Paris.
Our List of the Best Croissants in Paris
Where to Find Laurent Duchêne
Neighborhood(s): 13th arrondissement, 15th arrondissement, and Vincennes areas.
Why We Love Laurent Duchêne
First off, this place has the honor of the Best Ouvrier de France title. Many argue that Chef Duchêne has made one of the best croissants in Paris.
His is a traditional, yet innovative croissant. He’s managed to upgrade the texture and add some extras to this classic— chocolate swirl and homemade praline stuffing.
In fact, even critics thought this was one of the best croissants in Paris. It earned him the Mellleur (Best) Ouvier de France. Don’t worry, though— they also have standard croissants, along with other breads and something called a bretzel. Their bretzel has a fanbase on its own.
They’ve expanded to multiple locations across Paris, now.
Where to Find Stohrer
Address: 51 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris
Why We Love Stohrer
The name comes from Nicholas Stohrer, the original chef whose pastries proved fit for the king— literally. Founded in the early 1700s, it’s the oldest bakery in Paris and was King Louis XV’s main pastry supplier.
The shop definitely has a boutique style to it, and it is situated in a cosmopolitan area on the historic street, rue Montorgueil. This place is one of those patisseries that also makes some of the best croissants in Paris along with their pastries. You can expect more than bread and croissants.
People also come for their éclairs, lemon tarts, baba chantillies, and yarrows.
Baba Chantilly at Stohrer / Image Source: Stohrer Official Site
If you’re a fan of baking itself, we recommend you head to their store for their recipe book, too. They’ve done something quite rare for bakeries and released old recipes out to the public.
Where to Find Du Pain et Des Idées
Neighborhood: Canal Saint Martin
Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010
Why We Love Du Pain et Des Idées
This bakery puts a unique spin on the French classics. For one, they work with sourdough mainly. They are quite French, though, in that they believe in making less things in a higher quality.
You won’t find every type of pastry and baked good under the sun, but you’ll taste some prestige there. The bakery dates all the way back to 1875, and to this day they’ve maintained the original beveled ceilings and painted glass.
They current chefs have won a good amount of honors, including Best Baker of Paris (Gault & Millau, 2008), Baker of the Year (Guide Pudlo, 2012), and Best Galette de Rois (Le Point Magazine, 2014), just to name a few.
Besides the croissant, some favorites here include their pain du chocolats and the puff escargots.
Where to Find Cyril Lignac
Neighborhood: Ste Marguerite / 11th Arrondissement
Address: 24 Rue Paul Bert, 75011
Why We Love Cyril Lignac
Here’s a place whose pastries will justify the long lines.
They have a big variety of things to choose from; however, come with a high pastry budget. Parisians pay many euros for their breads, pastries, and chocolate.
However, if you’re just going for the croissant, that will only set you back 3 or less euros. So, if you’re watching your spending, the best time to go is breakfast. If you get hungry by lunchtime, try their focaccia stuffed with sundried tomatoes. For your sweet tooth, they have well-known chocolate, marble cake, and something called an Equinoxe.
Linac’s equinoxe is an innovative pastry filled with vanilla bourbon cream and salted caramel, surrounded by a metallic-looking crust.
However, in general, you can never go wrong with a croissant. Many agree that Lignac’s croissants have just the right balance of flakiness and buttery goodness.
Where to Find Maison Landemaine
Location: (Various areas of Paris)
Why We Love Maison Landemaine
Here, you’ll find not only great baked goods but also incredibly kind and friendly staff.
Whether you want breakfast or a mid-shopping snack, you’ll likely enjoy their French-Japanese creations. If you’re a fan of fresh bread, we recommend you try their baguette. It won first place for Paris’s annual competition for baguette.
Miraculously, though, you can get this winner baguette for just a little over €1.
If you’re a chocolate lover, this bakery’s known for its dark chocolate éclaires. While we typically think of éclaires as very sweet, these have a flavor that’s balanced enough for you to enjoy any time of the day.
If you’re wanting something savory, you should try their fougasse, quiche, and other savory pastries.
Where to Find Des Gâteaux et du Pain
Neighborhood(s): Montparnasse & Saint Germain
Address(es): 63 Boulevard Pasteaur / 89 Rue de Bac
Why We Love Des Gâteaux et du Pain
This place isn’t like your average bakery. While you typically get more old, shabby-chic vibes from bakeries (especially in Paris), this place is more like a baking Palace.
This is the spot for luxury baked goods, as well as an overall luxury experience.
You’ll notice the extra-modern, sleek look embodied in the shop, as well as in its innovative pastries.
Luckily, they’ve got the classics, but they’ve just elevated them with fun and exciting elements.
For those not wanting to spend too much, the croissants, pain aux raisins, pain au chocolats, and bread in general will never disappoint or break the bank; however, they have some truly one-of-a-kind inventions inside that you won’t want to miss.
Above, you’ll see just a few of their newest masterpieces.
If you like orange, they have the Kashmire, a blend of orange, saffron, & vanilla. Their Celestial Tart blends the sharp natural mango with warm vanilla. Their Pink Grapefruit is a harmony of Corsican rose and grapefruit.
You can’t find stuff like this just anywhere.
If you have a taste for the 22nd century, you’ll definitely want to stop by one of Des Gâteaux et du Pain’s locations.
Where to Get The Best Croissant That’s Gluten-Free— NoGlu
This popular spot in Saint-Germain makes enjoying baked goods possible. They have more than just croissants, but many praise their croissants as the best gluten-free ones in Paris.
If you want healthy savory options, too, NoGlu has that.
Where to Get The Best Croissant That’s Vegan— Maison Landemaine
We’ve already raved to you about this charming patisserie, but we can’t forget to mention its vegan croissant.
They also offer ready-made vegan salads and sandwiches that you can grab quickly and go.