Every trip to the City of Light turns into a search for the best Paris desserts. From macarons to crepes and eclairs, the city is full of delicious sweets. Whether you are in the mood for a quick bit or a full plated dessert, I have put together this list of Parisian pastries you need to try when visiting the city.
Here are 20 of the best Paris desserts according to a local…
Fraisier is a decadent French-inspired dessert made with sponge cake soaked in kirsch syrup, filled with creme mousseline and topped with fresh strawberries for a finishing touch. A popular pastry at French bakeries across Paris. Each put their unique twist on this popular pastry that tourists and locals alike line up to try every day. Although the original is made in a cake form, most bakeries offer a single serve option.
Foucade Patisserie, located in the heart of Paris, offers a unique twist on this classic dessert. Their Fraisier is 100% gluten free, allowing those with celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten to enjoy this delicious treat that they otherwise would miss out on. Their one-of-a kind take on Fraisier still tastes divine while offering a lower sugar content than the original. It’s the perfect healthy twist to the ever-popular light strawberry pastry that keeps people coming back for more.
Where to get a great fraisier: Maison Angelina, Lenotre, Dalloyau
When it comes to desserts in Paris, the crêpe is unrivaled- a sweet, shining star amongst its peers. Often wrapped around mouth-watering filling like nutella, fruit, honey or powdered sugar- the Parisian crepe is relative to what we know as the pancake. However, the perfect thin layer of goodness surrounded by a crisp edge from the pan will tell you the difference.
Crepes in France are a staple, landmark if you will. Fulfilling and simply unforgettable. Eating one for dessert in Paris will melt your foodie heart. That being said, you won’t run into any trouble trying to find a good one. With crêperies on every corner, the only issue you’ll have is deciding which place to try next!
With most good things in Paris, the best-of-the-best might come with a line and a worthwhile wait. If you’re looking for a place to start, you won’t be disappointed with your crêpe decisions at Breizh Cafe in the hip and elegant Marais area.
Where to find a delicious crêpe: Breizh Cafe, 109 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris, France
By Out Voyaging
Another pastry that can be easily associated with Paris and all of France is the French Macaron. Macarons are some of the best Paris desserts, though I could eat them all day! This sweet confection made with egg white, meringue, almond meal, and sugar looks like a small burger which mostly comes in cute different colors making it more appetizing to the eye. It has a variety of flavors but the most common are vanilla, hazelnut, strawberry, almond, coffee, and chocolate. Since this is a very popular pastry in Paris, you can easily find these in bakeries and macaron shops.
Don’t worry about hoarding these sweet little treats because French Macarons can last several days when refrigerated. However, it is best to consume it on the day of purchase while still fresh.
Where to get amazing macarons: Laduree, Gerard Mulot, Pierre Herme, Carette
By France Travel Guides
A flan is a creamy dessert that consists mainly of eggs and milk. Basically, it’s a custard cream dessert. A flan is frequently prepared with caramel, and real vanilla beans are used to enrich the delicate cream texture of this super delicious sweet treat. Parisian fine pastry shops are known to make some of the most amazing flans in the country. The best flan I have ever had was in Montmartre, a Parisian quarter, near the famous Basilica at a boulangerie and patisserie called PainPain. The pastries are a bit more expensive but well worth your money. They just look super cute and gorgeous and you won’t be able to stop at one flan, I guarantee that!
By Masala Herb
Tarte au citron
If you are a foodie visiting Paris you need to add tartes au citron (lemon tarts) to your Paris checklist. Tartes au citron are small, relatively light and you are going to love the slightly bitter taste of the lemon.
Tartes au citron are relatively simple to prepare and consist in a pastry case containing a baked lemon custard. Another version of tarte au citron, is the tarte au citron meringuée, with a layer of meringue on the top of lemon custard, but this one may result in a couple of additional grams on the scale at the end of the day.
Paul, a French chain of bakery/café restaurants, proposes good tartes au citron for a decent price. If you want to treat yourself well, however, head to Ladurée, corner of Rue Jacob and Rue Bonaparte, for excellent tartes au citron.
By World in Paris
When in Paris, indulging in pastries and cakes is almost mandatory. Not just any pastries however. Think of a sweet baguette made with chow dough, filled with cream and chocolate icing, and dipped in glaze. Quite the mouthful and a must try. Originating in France during the 19th century, these little delights are a treat to the eye and the taste buds. They come in a wide variety of flavors, the likes of fruit purée and salted butter caramel, topped with colorful icing and garnished with delicate ornamentation as works of art. There are a handful of designated places to find these tasty treats, with L’éclair de Génie being a local favorite.
By A Rai of Light
Crème brûlée is one of the best Paris desserts – make sure to order it for dessert at a restaurant! With a creamy and rich custard base topped with caramelized sugar, crème brûlée is served in a small individual dish.
Brioche aux pralines roses
Brioche aux pralines roses (or “pink praline brioche”) is originally from Lyon, but you can find these eye-catching buttery rolls in shops across France. Brioche bread is known for its soft and fluffy texture, due to the high butter and egg content. You’ll often see brioche in the form of rolls, sandwich buns, or sliced like toast.
Pink Praline Brioche is basically the same as normal brioche, but is almost always in the form of a roll, and is considered more of a dessert or pastry than a bread. The characteristic pink pralines are candied almonds that are dyed to an intense shade of pink, with the help of red food coloring. These pink pralines add a sweet and nutty crunch to the soft, fluffy brioche.
By Lily from Imperfect Idealist
A delicious and uniquely Parisian pastry for your must-try list is the praluline. Auguste Pralus created this innovative pastry, a praline brioche, in 1955. He coated Valencia almonds and Piedmont hazelnuts with rose sugar to enhance his shop’s rich brioche recipe.
From the first day, “La Praluline” was a huge hit. The unique flavor combinations of the praline give the brioche a subtle sweetness. The rose sugar provides its signature pink color and texture.
You can find pralulines at any Pralus shop in Paris. There are shops on rue de Bachaumont, rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, rue Cler, and rue Rambuteau. On a popular day, Pralus sell hundreds of its signature pralulines. Pralus also has shops throughout France and ships its signature brioche around the world from its website store.
A chouquette is a French pastry consisting of a small portion of dough made of choux pastry and sprinkled with pearl sugar. Chouquettes can be found in the boulangeries of Paris but not always. Some boulangeries only prepare chouquettes if people order them in advance.
Chouquettes are great to eat for breakfast, especially with a coffee or hot chocolate. In Paris, some people like to bring chouquettes to the office when there is something to celebrate and they are always welcome!
Unlike other pastries or viennoiseries, chouquettes are not fancy pastries so there’s no need to go to a specific boulangerie to find perfect chouqettes. The important thing with chouquettes is that they need to be fresh.
by Norbert from France Bucket List
Mille feuille literally translates to “a thousand sheets” because this dessert is all about the layers. Traditionally, mille feuille is made with puff pastry and pastry cream, stacked in sheets, topped with powdered sugar or icing, and cut into rectangles. This style of dessert has been around France for centuries and you can now find variations in other cultures as well.
Look out for mille feuille on dessert menus of typical French restaurants, including Bistro du Périgord in the Latin Quarter. This bistro provides a great value on a three course set menu, and mille feuille can rotate through as the dessert portion. It’s not to be missed!
By Michelle from Intentional Travelers
Pain au Chocolat
One of the beauties of French pastry is that sometimes, the simplest confections can be the most delicious. If you’ve ever had a real, buttery, flaky croissant, you’ll know how true this is. But imagine, if you will, that buttery, flaky croissant with a golden-brown exterior and an interior of luscious dark chocolate. That, friends, is a pain au chocolat (literally, “chocolate bread”).
Nearly as ubiquitous as the less-flashy croissant, you don’t need to look too hard to find one of these tasty treats to try – you can even find them in train station cafe cases! But even if you’re not on the go in Paris, these not-too-sweet sweets pair perfectly with a cup of espresso, an outdoor cafe with a red-checked tablecloth, and a view of any lovely old French street. The only bummer? A really authentic pain au chocolat is darn near impossible to find stateside!
By Luke and Meagan at Two Restless Homebodies
Croissants are the number one when it comes to classic, French patisseries, so trying one has to be an absolute must when visiting Paris. These light, buttery pastries are created from rich Viennoiserie-style puff pastry, in which butter and dough are laminated to create a well-risen, layered sweet treat. Croissants are usually a breakfast bite and are best served alongside a steaming bowl of chocolat chaud!
While you can pick up a pretty delicious croissant in any bakery around the city, there are some that will go above and beyond your expectations which are therefore worth seeking out especially! Some of the best can be found at Du Pain et des Idées, La Maison d’Isabelle and Pâtisserie Boulangerie Liberté – and I wouldn’t judge you for going to all three to find your favorite!
By Chrysoula at Historic European Castles
Baba au Rhum
Baba au Rhum is one of the most unique Paris desserts! I have never seen one in the United States….The Baba au Rhum was created by the Pâtisserie Stohrer. It is a delicious yeast-risen mini cake soaked in hot rum syrup and topped with candied fruit and creme Chantilly.
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without enjoying Les Merveilleux. These cakes, whose name literally translates to “marvelous”, are delightfully light sandwiches of meringue & whipped cream that are often coated with tasty toppings like chocolate or coconut.
Delicate like cotton candy, soft like marshmallows, these pillowy treats will dissolve in your mouth from the very first bite. The most famous place to savor Les Merveilleux is an adorable shop called Aux Merveilleux de Fred. Shops are woven throughout Paris so no matter where your travels take you, you’ll be able to enjoy Les Merveilleux. Le Merveilleux is hands down one of the best Paris desserts!
Escargot à La Pistache
My favorite pastry is Escargot à La Pistache from du Pain et des Idées, a flaky dough pistachio roll that is so delicious that writing this article makes me hungry! This pastry is a work of art and artisan-made from the best organic products in a cute traditional 19th-century neighborhood bakery that rose to fame in the past years.
You’ll love the subtle texture mix between the flaky dough and the soft chocolate and pistachio filling. Eating a pastry from du Pain et des Idées is an unbelievable experience that will truly show you the best of Paris.
Choux a la Creme
Choux a la Creme are little pastry balls filled with flavored custard. The French version of cream puffs, they come in so many delicious flavors like coffee, chocolate, green tea and passion fruit.
Saint Honoré is definitely one of the best Paris desserts. A puff pastry base, a piping of creme chiboust (a thick pastry cream made with egg whites) and mini cream puffs dipped in caramelized sugar, topped with creme Chantilly.
When in Paris, try a French madeleine. A super simple cake made with just flour, sugar, eggs, and butter and a small squeeze of lemon then baked in a shell shape. A madeleine is the perfect snack and melts in your mouth.
A staple in Parisian boulangeries, I always grab an Opéra when I visit the city. The Opéra is made of 3 layers of almond flavored sponge cake soaked in coffee flavored syrop, then topped with chocolate ganache and coffee butter cream and covered with dark chocolate icing. You only need to take one bite to get a taste of the whole cake.
Born from a baking mishap, the French tarte Tatin is my favorite homemade dessert. Warm caramelized apples, a crunchy fough base and a whole lot of butter. Don’t forget to eat it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
I love Paris Brest, it is one of the best Paris desserts to eat in the city. Made with cream puffs filled with creamy hazelnut custard and topped with crunchy almonds.