Contribution by Where Tiana Travels
The city of love, lights, and of course – some of the best desserts in the world.
France is a country well-known for its cuisine, and its desserts are no exception. Paris, the capital, is home to some of the best pastry shops and bakeries in all of France. Whether you’re looking for a traditional French dessert, or something a little more modern, Paris has it all!
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Top French Desserts in Paris
If you’re visiting Paris and have a sweet tooth, here are some of the best desserts you absolutely must try:
Tarte au Fruit
This tasty and refreshing dessert is perfect for summertime in Paris! Tarte au fruit, which translates to “fruit tart”, is a tangy tart made with fresh fruit, usually berries, and a light pastry crust.
You can find tarte au fruit at many cafes and bakeries around the city, and they’re commonly served at weddings and other special occasions. It’s a classic Parisian dessert that can be enjoyed any time of year, for any occasion.
If you’re looking for a place to try tarte au fruit in Paris, La Pâtisserie des Rêves is a must-visit. This world-famous pastry shop has several locations around the city, and their tarte au fruit is absolutely delicious. Trust us, it’s worth the line!
This historic French dessert is made with layers of puff pastry, filled with vanilla custard or whipped cream, and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. The word millefeuille translates to “thousand leaves”, referring to the many layers of pastry in the dessert.
Millefeuille has been around for centuries and is thought to have originated in the charming city of Lyon. Today, you can find this dessert all over France, and it’s a popular choice for celebrations and special occasions.
If you want to try an authentic millefeuille in Paris, head to Stohrer, the oldest bakery in the city! This historic bakery was founded by King Louis XV’s pastry chef and has been around since 1730 – and they know a thing or two about making a delicious millefeuille!
See Related: Is Paris in France or Italy?
Éclairs are a classic French dessert made with choux pastry and filled with cream, custard, or chocolate ganache. These delicious pastries are then typically topped with a glaze or chocolate icing and can be found in almost all Parisian pastry shops.
These tasty treats are filled with custards in all kinds of delicious flavors, like salted butter caramel, passion fruit, coffee buttercream, and even Gran Marnier flavored cream!
And where can you find the best éclairs in Paris? None other than L’Éclair de Genie, a popular patisserie in the 4th arrondissement of Paris and home to the best éclairs in the City of Lights. This pasty shop specializes in gourmet éclairs in a variety of flavors, like vanilla almond, apricot, salted caramel, and even cognac flavored or chocolate-infused-cigar flavored éclairs!
Though you can find éclairs at pretty much any bakery around the city, I definitely recommend visiting this pastry shop and trying some of these unique flavor combinations.
See Related: Best Rooftop Bars in Paris, France
Of course, no list of Parisian desserts would be complete without macarons! These delicate little cookies are made from almond flour, sugar, and egg whites, filled with flavored buttercream or ganache, and come in a variety of flavors, like coffee, blueberry, vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, and more.
While macarons originated in Italy, the French have perfected them, and Paris is the best place to try them!
Macarons can be found all over Paris at just about any bakery or pastry shop, but the most popular places to get macarons in Paris (and definitely the highest quality) are Ladurée and Pierre Hermé.
Ladurée was founded in 1862 and is one of the most famous pastry shops in Paris. They were the first to create the double-decker macaron, and their most popular flavors are rose, violet, pistachio, and chocolate. There are multiple locations throughout the city and even one in the airport, in case you want to take some home with you!
Pierre Hermé is another world-renowned macaron maker, and his macarons are definitely some of the best in Paris. His unique flavors include Earl Grey tea, olive oil, and jasmine, and he also offers seasonal flavors, like orange blossom, jasmine, lychee rose, and yuzu lemon. The Pierre Herme shop on Rue Bonaparte is the most popular, but there are also locations in the 7th arrondissement and near the Eiffel Tower.
See Related: Best Macarons in Paris
My editor’s favorite! Seriously, the guy won’t shut up about it.
No matter where you are in the world, I’m sure you’ve heard of this iconic dessert. Crème brûlée is a rich and creamy custard, topped with a layer of hard caramel and caramelized sugar. It’s believed to have originated in France in the 17th Century, and today it’s one of the most popular desserts in the world.
While these tasty Paris pastries can be found on dessert menus all over town, the best place to try them in Paris is at Chez Janou, located in Le Marais in the third arrondissement.
This charming bistro is run by one of the city’s most talented pastry chefs, is decorated with antique furniture and photos of Paris, and the crème brûlée here is absolutely to die for. It’s creamy and rich, with just the right amount of sweetness, and the caramel top is perfectly crunchy.
Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
See Related: Best Croque Monsieur and Madame in Paris
Mousse au Chocolat
This decadent dessert is made with chocolate, eggs, cream, and sugar, and it’s often served with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse) is rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious – and it’s the perfect choice for any chocolate lover.
While mousse au chocolat can be found all over Paris (and all over France), the best place to try it is at Angelina, a historic cafe and pastry shop that’s been around since 1903. Their mousse au chocolat is world-famous and definitely worth the hype! They also offer tons of other tasty French desserts, like Baba au rhum, french macarons, fruit tarts, classic vanilla ice cream, and éclairs filled with coffee buttercream and topped with a rich chocolate glaze.
Angelina is also well known around the city for having some of the best hot chocolate in Paris, so be sure to grab a cup to go along with your dessert of choice!
The line for this popular dessert stop can get pretty long, so definitely get there early to ensure you get a taste of their delicious mousse au chocolat!
See Related: French breakfast delights
When you think of French desserts, the humble crêpe is probably one of the first things that comes to mind – and for good reason! This sweet Parisian treat is a signature dessert here in the French capital.
Crêpes are simple, thin, round pancakes. They are typically made with wheat flour, milk, eggs, and butter. They can be served savory or sweet, come in so many delicious flavors, and are a staple in French cuisine.
The most popular type of crêpe is the crêpe sucrée, which is a sweet crêpe typically filled with sugar, butter, and lemon juice. You can also find sweet crêpe flavor combinations like Nutella and banana, fresh strawberries and chantilly cream, and crêpes topped with powdered sugar. You can even order a crêpe topped with ice cream!
Crêpes are typically served as a dessert, but they can also be eaten for breakfast or lunch. There are crêperies (crêpe shops) all over Paris, but some of the best places to get crêpes are La Crêperie de Josselin, Breizh Cafe, and Crêperie Suzette.
La Crêperie de Josselin is a traditional crêperie located in the heart of the Marais district. They use local ingredients to make their crêpes, and they have a wide variety of both sweet and savory options.
Breizh Cafe is a chain of crêperies with locations all over Paris. They’re known for their buckets of Nutella, which can be added to any sweet crêpe, and they also have savory options like the complete Breton (a crêpe filled with egg, bacon, ham, cheese, and onion).
Crêperie Suzette is a crêperie located near the Eiffel Tower, and they’re known for their namesake crêpe: the Crêpe Suzette. This crêpe is made with orange juice, Grand Marnier, and sugar, and it’s flambéed right in front of you. It’s definitely a must-try when you’re in Paris!
See Related: Best Places for Hot Chocolate in Paris, France
This iconic French dessert is made with apples, sugar, and butter, and it’s typically served upside down.
The tarte Tatin is believed to have been created by accident in 1898, when two sisters (who owned a hotel and restaurant in the Loire Valley) forgot to put the dough on the bottom of the pan before adding the apples.
They quickly realized their mistake but decided to bake it anyway and serve it upside down. The dessert was an instant hit, and it’s been a French favorite ever since! It even spawned a number of delicious upsidedown cake recipes across the globe!
The best place to get a tarte Tatin in Paris is at Chez Francis, a charming little cafe located in the 6th arrondissement. Chez Francis has been serving up this delicious dessert for over 50 years, and they definitely know how to make it right.
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This dessert is not as well known as some of the others on this list, but is just as tasty, and it’s (at least partly) named after the city. It’s a double-whammy!
The Paris-Brest is a ring-shaped pastry made with choux dough and filled with hazelnut-flavored cream. It was created in 1910 to commemorate the Paris-Brest bicycle race, and it’s been a popular French dessert ever since.
If you’re looking for a good Paris-Brest, head to Patisserie Carl Marletti in the 5th arrondissement. This modern and elegant pastry shop was founded in 2007 by award-winning pastry chef Carl Marletti, who decided to open the shop after winning several awards for his dessert-making skills.
Carl still owns and operates the pastry shop today, and sells hundreds of Paris-Brests every month! No matter where you decide to try these amazing desserts, the Paris-Brest is one of the best French desserts and will certainly not disappoint.
Tarte au Citron
The tarte au citron, or lemon tart, is a classic French dessert made with a lemon custard filling in a flaky pastry crust. This tart is tangy, sweet, and always refreshing – it’s the perfect dessert to enjoy on a warm summer day. It’s very similar to a traditional lemon meringue pie, but without the meringue on top.
If you’re in Paris and looking for a good lemon tart, head to La Pâtisserie des Rêves. This pastry shop was founded by world-renowned pastry chef Philippe Conticini, and it’s one of the best places to get desserts in the city. The tarte au citron here is definitely worth trying! Your taste buds will thank you.
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These cute little desserts are made with choux pastry and covered in sugar crystals. They’re typically served as a breakfast pastry or snack, but can also be enjoyed as a dessert.
Chouquettes are incredibly light and airy, and they just melt in your mouth. They’re very similar to donut holes but without the fried dough. These Paris pastries are a hit with both kids and adults alike.
If you’re looking for a good place to get chouquettes in Paris, head to Du Pain et des Idées. This bakery is located in the 10th arrondissement, and it’s known for its amazing bread and pastries. The chouquettes here are this bakery’s claim to fame, though they also have a wide selection of other delicious desserts.
Pain au Chocolat
If you visit Paris and don’t taste a pain au chocolat, did you really even visit Paris?
This classic French pastry is actually usually eaten for breakfast, but can also be enjoyed as a dessert. It’s made with a flaky pastry dough and filled with chocolate. It’s basically a traditional flaky croissant, without the typical curly horn/shell shape, and with chocolate chips baked inside. It’s simple, yet so delicious.
You can find these chocolate croissants at most bakeries in Paris, and they can be eaten at any time of the day! French children often eat this tasty treat for their goûter, or “afternoon snack”.
Though you can find this pastry at pretty much any time of the day, it’s best to grab yours first thing in the morning when it’s fresh out of the oven. These Parisian sweets are best served warm!
One of the best places to get it is at Boulangerie Utopie. This decadent pastry shop is located in the heart of the 11th arrondissement, and it’s known for its delicious pastries and assorted breads. Their pain au chocolat is made fresh in-house daily and is one of the best-selling pastries they have out of the many tasty treats they offer.
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Choux à la Crème
This dessert is made with choux pastry and filled with a sweet pastry cream. It’s light, fluffy, and oh-so delicious. Choux à la crème can be found at most pastry shops in Paris, and they come in a variety of different flavors. The most popular flavor is vanilla, but you can also find them filled with chocolate, coffee, or even lavender cream.
If you’re looking for a good choux à la crème, head to Crêperie des Arts. This charming little crêperie is located in the 6th arrondissement, and it’s known for its delicious crepes and choux à la crème. The choux à la crème here come in a variety of different flavors, but the vanilla is definitely the most popular. Crêperie des Arts is truly la crème de la crème when it comes to choux à la creme!
And last but certainly not least, we have the madeline. This classic French pastry is made with a light and airy sponge cake, and it’s typically dusted with powdered sugar. This tiny sponge cake is typically baked into the shape of a shell and is absolutely delicious.
Madelines are often eaten as a breakfast pastry or snack, but can also be enjoyed as a dessert. They can be enjoyed in the morning alongside a cup of coffee or tea, or in the afternoon with a cup of hot chocolate.
You can find madelines at most pastry shops in Paris, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, head to Ble Sucre – the madelines here are absolutely phenomenal. This bakery is located in the 12th arrondissement and is known for having some of the best madelines in town. Don’t just take my word for it, their reviews speak for themselves! These decadent sponge cakes are one of the most classic Parisian pastries and can be found in tea rooms, most Parisian restaurants, and almost any local coffee shop in Paris.
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So there you have it! Now that you know all about Paris desserts, you’re ready to eat your way through the city and try them all for yourself. From the classic French macaron to the tangy tarte au citron meringuée and flavorful Baba au rhum, to ice creams drizzled with milk chocolate and cream puffs filled with praline cream, there’s a dessert in Paris for any sweet tooth that visits here!
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and try them all for yourself!
Does Paris have good desserts?
I should say so! Paris arguably has the greatest restaurant scene on the planet, which means Paris desserts are also the greatest!
What food is Paris famous for?
Paris is famous for all kinds if cuisine, especially fancy desserts. A couple of other nibbles Paris does exceptionally well include the Croque Monsieur & Croque Madame and the ubiquitous Croissant.