France without bread is like Paris without the Eiffel Tower. When it comes to baguettes and croissants, France’s famous bakeries (a.k.a. boulangeries) have no rival. It’s also important to know the difference between a boulangerie and a patisserie! While a patisserie is a bakery specializing in pastries and helmed by a pastry chef, a boulangerie’s main focus is baking bread. There’s also a difference between a boulangerie and an artisanal boulangerie: the latter indicates that all bread is baked fresh on the premises.
To bring you to the freshest baguettes in Paris, we’ve gathered our top 10 bakeries for you. You’ll find that some are combination patisseries/boulangeries, while others solely specialize in bread. What they all have in common, however, are some of the most delicious breads in Paris and perhaps even the world!
1. Le Grenier à Pain
This bakery won the Grand Prix de la Baguette de la Ville de Paris in 2010. In other words, Le Grenier à Paris was deemed to serve the best baguette in Paris! The bakery has several locations, but the winning shop is located on Rue Abbesses in Montmartre. Unsurprisingly, a Montmartre bakery wins the prize for best baguette almost every year! The bakery is run by the internationally renowned baker Michel Galloyer, who is also a talented pastry chef. If you have a sweet tooth, we definitely recommend trying the delectable chocolate tart.
2. La Flûte Gana
Baking in Paris is often a family affair, and La Flûte Gana on the corner of Rue des Pyrénées & Rue Orfila is a clear example. This bakery is run by the three daughters of the famous baker Bernard Ganachaud. The recipe for his traditional baguette has been passed down through generations; a tried-and-true success that you must sample! Furthermore, the croissants aux amandes (croissants with almond-cream filling) are simply delicious. The bakery is just two blocks away from the beautiful Père Lachaise Cemetery, giving you time to work up an appetite with a stroll through the peaceful gardens before heading to the bakery.
3. Du Pain et des Idées
Du Pain et des Idées opened in a historic building on the corner of Rue Yves Toudic & Rue de Marseille in 2002, making it one of the newer bakeries on this list. Baker Christophe Vasseur oversees operations, and you can taste his passion for the traditional trade in his creations. Customers rave about the escargot pastries, and if you can only try one, order the l’escargot chocolate pistache (‘escargot’ in this case refers to the shape of the pastry, and has nothing to do with snails!). Le pain au chocolat (croissant with chocolate filling) is a true classic and another favorite. The bakery is located near the picturesque Canal Saint-Martin, so you can order your goodies to go and enjoy them by the waterside. Continue your pastry journey with a tour of our top 10 pastry shops in Paris!
4. Blé Sucré
This quaint spot is owned by acclaimed pastry chef Fabrice Le Bourdat. Despite the chef’s background, the breads here are as good as the pastries! The traditional croissant has been perfected as slightly buttered and crunchy on the outside, and fluffy and flaky on the inside. For fans of cakes and cookies, the fresh orange-glazed madeleines (small, shell-shaped sponge cakes) are an extraordinary treat. You’ll find Blé Sucré on Rue Antoine Vollon right next to Armand Trousseau Square.
5. Jean Millet
This charming bakery/café at the corner of Rue Saint-Dominique & Rue Malar has been a neighborhood staple since 1963. It’s currently operated by pastry chef Denis Ruffel, and is said to serve one of the best pains au chocolat in Paris. The croissants amandes (almond croissants) build off the croissant recipe and are equally delicious. The shop is close to the Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower, so this is a great place to sit down with a pastry and hot drink after climbing the tower!
The area around Champ de Mars is a wonderful and central place to stay during your visit to Paris. Find accommodations with a look at our vacation rental apartments in the 7th Arrondissement!
Note: As of July 2019, Jean Millet is permanently closed.
6. Maison Landemaine
Maison Landemaine is a relatively new bakery concept with several locations in Paris. The main bakery on Rue des Martyrs in Pigalle is supervised by Rodolphe Landemaine and his wife Yoshimi Ishikawa. They opened their first bakery in Pigalle in 2007 and have been expanding ever since. The shop is both a boulangerie and patisserie, and serves deliciously fresh fruit tarts and tasty macarons. The Rue des Martyrs itself is a main thoroughfare in Montmartre filled with cozy shops, cafés, and bakeries. To see more places to visit in the neighborhood, check out our video tour of Montmartre.
7. Au 140
This bakery is a bit off the beaten path on Rue de Belleville, close to Jourdain Métro Station in the 19th Arrondissement. However, the bakery is definitely worth the detour! The palmier (palm tree or elephant ear) is a delicious buttery puff pastry in the shape of a butterfly, and Au 140 makes one of the best in Paris. In addition to a fantastic selection of organic bread, the bakery’s baguette and croissant have been award-winners, so you can’t really go wrong!
8. Au Paradis du Gourmand
This Rive Gauche bakery on Rue Raymond Losserand is in good company, as it was awarded 2013’s distinction of the best baguette in Paris! Subsequently, baker Ridha Khadher’s signature baguette was served to President Francois Hollande in the Elysées Palace for all of 2014. It also meant that the bakery was due to rocket into fame. However, it’s worth taking the metro down to Plaisance and standing in line to taste the award-winning, deliciously crunchy baguette! If you’re lucky, you’ll get one fresh out of the oven, still steaming, and giving off a wonderful aroma.
9. Laurent Duchêne
Stand outside this bakery at Rue Wurtz & Rue Daviel and note the sign on the door that reads ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France.’ This means that Laurent Duchêne was named the best baker in France! The distinguished title is earned following years of excellence, and he gets to retain it for life. Inside the shop, you’ll immediately notice that the pastries are displayed like true works of art. The chocolate éclair is the shop’s star, and the mini-macarons, which are available in flavors like raspberry, pistachio and lemon, are worth a try!
Poilâne has truly special staying power as one of the oldest bakeries on our list. The shop was established by Pierre Poilâne on Rue de Cherche-Midi in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in 1932. Following tradition, the sourdough bread is still baked in a wood-fired oven. Besides the bread, the shop also boasts some excellent pastries, including the very popular apple tart.
Lastly, this list wouldn’t be complete without at least a bonus nod to Maison Kayser! Internationally acclaimed baker Eric Kayser opened this bakery in Paris in 1996, and demand for his winning formula quickly began to spread throughout the world. Today, there are over 80 Maison Kayser bakeries and they can be found all over Paris and internationally. If you have a craving for a real French baguette or croissant, there’s a good chance you’ll find a Maison Kayser location near you!
If you are planning a trip to Paris in the near future, you can browse our Paris vacation rental apartments to find an apartment in the neighborhood of your choice. These apartments all come with fully equipped kitchens, inviting you to take your fresh baguette or croissant home for an authentic Parisian breakfast or lunch! If you’re considering a longer stay in the city, be sure to check out our furnished apartments in Paris that you can rent for a month or longer.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our top 10 bakeries in Paris! Of course, keep in mind that this is a subjective list and there are many more fantastic bakeries to be found throughout Paris. We encourage you to explore!