Dessert in Paris can be a hard meal to enjoy. Usually one is full by the time dessert roles around.
We learned a great trick. Eat dinner at one place then walk a mile or so and grab a pastry and java at a patisserie. This only works if you eat early. It is a balancing act as the better restaurants open after most bakeries close shop for the evening.
Another option is to buy chocolates or pastries early in the day and store them in your hotel room for after dinner. If you can wait, of course.
If you choose a “prix fixe” menu you will be eating dessert right after your fois gras, so try and save room.
At any rate, make sure you walk after eating a rich French meal. That is key when visiting Paris. Walking is the best way to make room for more food! Below is a list of some great Parisian dessert spots:
There’s a place in Lyon (Bernachon) which is the only chocolate shop in the world which actually makes their own chocolate, from scratch, from the beans. This Parisian shop carries it, and Brittany caramels, and home-made marshmallows, and bergamot candies, and well, you get the idea. A must visit. Open Tuesday-Saturday, with some Monday hours. Call ahead on Monday to be sure.
30 rue Fontaine
Paris, France 75009
Tel: 01 48 74 59 55
This shop near the Eiffel Tower features truffles which blend nine types of chocolate. The man is an artisan who makes, for example, replica sausages in net bags – all made of chocolate. Wow.
149, rue de l’ Université
Tel: 01 47 53 74 40
Paris, France 75007
Alain Ducasse has a food shop and deli, with a full bakery and patisserie folded in. There is seating here, but “to go/take away” is the rule. BE stands for Boulangerie Epicierie, so you can get savory and sweet here. Famed baker Eric Kayser provides the baked goods.
3 bd. de Courcelles
Paris., France 75008
Patisserie to the Elysee Palace – the French White House, basically. Oh yes, and the Rothschilds. They also have a super posh tearoom you won’t want to enter under-dressed. They have a self-named dessert which features almonds and praline creme layers. Don’t miss the “Opera”, almond flavored biscuit layered with chocolate and butter cream.
101 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré
Paris., France 75008
Métro: St-Philippe du Roule
Pourst famously used a madeleine cookie (actually more like a tea cake) to launch his novel of memory. Yeah, when they are good, they are that good. Here, there are classics, and then reinvented madeleines in flavors like green tea and pistachio.
26 place de la Madeleine
Paris, France 75008
Baba au Rhum is a rum-soaked cake which is a Parisian dessert staple. Not exactly apple pie and ice cream. This shop offers a premier example of the cake, among many other treats. It’s been open since 1730 and the reign of Louis XV, and features hand-painted frescoes of the time, depicting lovely damsels in 18th century costumes, holding flowers and pastries, natch.
51 rue Montorgueil,
Paris, France 75002
Métro: Sentier or Les Halles
At Pierre Marcolini, chocolatier. While bagged marshmallows are a great sugar rush, these are in another realm. This auteur of chocolate, Pierre Marcolini, has said that “time is a cake’s enemy.” The man equates good dessert making with war. That rocks!
In this cold weather city known for fashion you need to be slim for, ice cream is wildly popular. It makes no sense, but that does not mean the ice cream isn’t really wonderful. Since 1976, this spot has offered depth of flavor, organic choices and flavors like fig, banana rum and raspberry mint.
180 bd Vincent Auriol
Paris, France 75013
Métro: Place d’ Italie, Lines 5,6,7
Some people come straight from the airport, bypass their hotel and arrive here, for tea and a multi-page dessert menu. Known for hot chocolate you can stand a spoon in, and the iconic Mont Blanc egg white dessert.
226 Rue de Rivoli
Paris, France 75001
Tel: 00 33 1 42 60 82 00
Chocolate eclairs don’t have to be lead pipes filled with pudding. They can be airy and delectable. Eclairs are available all over Paris; this spot made the Top 20 list in Paris Match. That’s French people critiquing French desserts. Can that be bad? Also available here are lovely praline macarons, and delectable marble cake.
2, rue Wurtz
Paris, France 75013
Cream puffs, when made well, are crispy little things which look like a tiny roll, but disclose a creamy surprise with the first bite. This shop features cream puffs, caramels, chocolates and especially sublime quenelles, the buttery mini cake. They even have sourdough bread.
Le Moulin de la Vierge
105 Rue Vercingétorix
Paris, France 75014
Tel: 01 45 43 15 16
Pozzetto is an Italian run ice cream shop near the Villiers metro stop in Paris. You would most likely be taking a cab or the metro to get here as Pozzetto is a bit out of the mainstream. Once you arrive, however, prepare to be delighted!
Pozzetto’s second location at 39 Rue du Roi de Sicile near Centre Georges Pompidou is easier to get to.
Click here for an interesting blog post about Pozzetto
39 Rue du Roi de Sicile
Métro: Hotel de Ville
21 rue de Lévis
Ladurée goes back to 1862, when it started as a bakery. Nowadays, it is a tea salon/ice cream parlor which is a throwback to elegant and, yes, snootier, times. But the 7 page dessert menu should entice you to stay and ignore the stuffy atmosphere. Will you feel comfortable in sweaty shorts and flip flops here? Not a chance. A beachside margarita bar it ain’t.
The Elysée: cocoa biscuit with praline, thin, Madagascar chocolate leaves, chocolate cream, chocolate zabaglione mousse, chocolate biscuit and cocoa soaked in cocoa syrup.
Coupe Isfahan, a blend of raspberry sorbet, rose petal ice cream, fresh raspberry, lychees, Chantilly cream and raspberry coulis.
Macaroons, the delicate Parisian sandwich cookie which is decidedly NOT a coconut flake cookie. Flavors include licorice, rose petal, blackcurrant and coconut, as well as mainstream delights such as coffee, white and dark chocolate, and pistachio. Watch for specials like grenadine and lily of the valley.
There are other locations on the Champs Elysées and in St. Germain — and in Monaco and London.
Ladurée Royale — 16, rue Royale, 75008 Paris, France. Telephone: 33 1 42 60 21 79. Web site: www.laduree.fr/
Image: The Champs Elysees in Paris, France
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