When in Paris, don’t even think about counting calories! Sights, museums and cozy streets, are for sure great. But it is impossible to imagine French cuisine without its incomparable desserts. We have prepared a list of must-try sweets. And at the end of the article, there is a life hack for you: how to keep fit without denying yourself anything!
The most French thing you can try. There are no bad croissants in Paris! (well, almost). Pair it with a cup of espresso and you have a real French breakfast. Especially if you dare to dip it in your coffee.
You will find fresh and tasty croissants in the morning in any bakery (boulangerie) in Paris. But if you want to taste the best of the best, then head to La Pâtisserie by Cyril Lignac (24 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrondissement). According to critics, their croissants are the best of all. However, in 2022, the competition for the best croissant in Paris was won by Maison Carton confectionery (6 boulevard de Denain, 10th arrondissement).
The most favorite French dessert after the croissant. The origin of this famous dessert is still debated. And some even think that it’s just the taste of ice cream. In fact, creme brulee is the most delicate custard with a caramel crust. Dessert in the truest sense of the word «with a spark»: to get a crust, it is burned with a hand burner.
The best creme brulee is served in a small restaurant in Montmartre — Le Potager du Père Thierry (16 Rue des Trois Frères).
You can’t go to Paris and not try profiteroles! They perfectly stand competition with creme brulee among the favorite sweets of the French. Small balls of choux pastry with a delicious cream inside, it can be chocolate, creamy, berry or any other.
Be careful when ordering! Profiteroles can be not only a dessert, but also an addition to a dish. They can be served with soup or separately, but with unsweetened fillings, such as meat. The best profiteroles, according to numerous reviews, are served at the steakhouse Le Relais de l’Entrecote (101 Bd du Montparnasse) on Montparnasse Boulevard.
Eclairs are definitely at the top of the list of famous French desserts! For these sweets a huge list of fillings has already been created. Now you can try eclairs with confiture, chocolate, custard and even caramel. You never get bored with such a diversity of tastes.
In Paris, eclairs are made everywhere. But experts recommend trying those served at L’Éclair de Génie Café (14 rue Pavée, 4th arrondissement).
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A sweet dessert made from two almond biscuits with cream or confiture. These sweets will drive you crazy! Paris is famous for the sheer variety of colors and flavors of this dessert, from lemon to blueberry cheesecake.
Macarons are sold almost everywhere: in supermarkets, bakeries and pastry shops. To experience a real taste, you need to buy them in bakeries or specialized stores. In these places they are always fresh and insanely delicious. You can buy macarons by the piece, or you can buy a box of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 24 cakes and try several at once!
Where are the best macarons? Of course, in Ladurée. The famous patisserie has long acquired an additional boutique on the Champs-Élysées (75, avenue Champs-Elysées), and the historic store is located in the 8th arrondissement (16–18, rue Royale).
For those who are most in love with these divine delicacies, we recommend checking a macaron making workshop. You can sign up here. Under the tactful guidance, everything will definitely work out and you will bring a souvenir made by yourself from your vacation!
Truffe au chocolat
It is truly one of the most exquisite chocolate desserts in the world! In the classic version, these sweets are made in the form of a ball of chocolate, cream and butter. The ball is dipped in chocolate icing and then in cocoa or nut crumbs. Sometimes alcohol is added to the chocolate truffle: rum, liquor or cognac.
The best way to try real truffles is in restaurants. With mass production, the dessert loses that very refined taste. The acknowledged master of truffle making is chef Alain Ducasse. His chocolate workshop is located near Place de la Bastille (Chocolate Alain Ducasse, 40 Rue de la Roquette).
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«Thousand layers» (translated from French) of the thinnest dough is interspersed with a special almond cream and berries. It’s indescribable. A light crunch only emphasizes the delicate combination of almond cream and berries.
Millefeuille should be made strictly according to the recipe. Varied and at the same time impeccable cakes can be tasted at Yann Couvreur patisserie (23 bis rue des Rosiers, 4th arrondissement).
Come in the first half of the day, otherwise they will be sold out.
It is very simple to prepare meringue, an elegant and light dessert. There are only two ingredients — egg white and sugar. There is also a variety of flavors: you can add almonds, walnuts or chocolate. But the most classic flavor is, of course, vanilla.
Often this dessert is compared with the «kiss of a beloved» and this comparison has a reason. In French, the word «meringue» (baiser) means «kiss», as light as the cake itself.
The best meringues in Paris are prepared in the Aux Merveilleux de Fred confectionery chain. They are also among the top five in the world. There are 11 pastry shops in Paris, here are the most popular addresses:
- 1 Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 6th arrondissement
- 24 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 4th arrondissement
- 2 Rue Monge, 5th arrondissement
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Unusual name for a dessert, isn’t it? It was created in honor of the Paris-Brest cycling race, because of its round shape, which is supposed to resemble a wheel. The cake consists of choux pastry with a layer of praline cream. In the classic form, the cake is sprinkled with powdered sugar and almonds.
This is a special French dessert. It is served in many restaurants and bakeries in France, but it hasn’t migrated to other countries. You can find the classic Paris-Brest at the Stohrer patisserie (51, rue Montorgueil, 2nd arrondissement), and try a real rum cake! It’s a Stohrer invention.
And you can also learn how to make this dessert yourself. Workshop at this link.
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Tarte aux framboises
Short pastry base, delicate cream and fresh berries. It is absolutely delicious. This tart is made in different sizes from a small cake to a full pie. Moreover, this dessert can be tasted out of season. The freshness and quality of raspberries are exactly the same as in summer. It is a true secret how confectioners achieve this.
Connoisseurs recommend Bontemps confectionery (57, rue de Bretagne, 3rd arrondissement). They say they have the best berry tarts in Paris.
Biscuits in the form of shells or scallops are simple and sophisticated at the same time. As a matter of curiosity, initially these cookies were baked in real shells, but now there are special molds. In the classic recipe, nothing distracts from the taste of the cookie itself, but the dessert is worth trying in different variations: in chocolate icing, with fruit or powdered sugar.
When it comes to Madeleines, Blé Sucré (7 rue Antoine Vollon, 12th arrondissement) cannot be left out. These biscuits will drive you crazy.
Mousse au chocolat
It is not a dessert, but a real discovery for chocolate lovers! The mousse is served in small ceramic plates, garnished with berries, whipped cream or small nuts.
You will find this dessert in almost every restaurant in Paris. The perfect ending to lunch or dinner! We should also mention the restaurant Chez Janou (2 Rue Roger Verlomme, 3rd district), whose chocolate mousse is noted in international guidebooks.
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A truly «perfect» dessert. And this perfection is manifested not only in the name (fr. Parfait — perfect, impeccable), but also in the dish itself. The recipe for perfection is simple: vanilla, whipped cream and sugar. Season it all with fresh berries, fruits or chocolate. Yummy!
Fine parfaits are served in the restaurant of the hotel Le Bristol Paris (112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th arrondissement). Check it out after a stroll along the Champs-Elysées or book a room there using this link so that you don’t have a day without a parfait.
This apple pie has gained popularity not only in France, but throughout the world, thanks to an interesting way of preparation. First, the apples are caramelized in butter and sugar, and then baked together with dough. During baking the filling is under the dough, but then the finished cake is turned over and voila! This dessert is also called «inverted cake».
For a delicious tarte tatin you should head to the legendary cafe on Montparnasse Boulevard La Closerie des Lilas (171, boulevard du Montparnasse). Imagine yourself as a young Hemingway or Gertrude Stein.
Tarte au citron
It is a delicate and sweet dessert, despite the large amount of lemon in it. This open pie is made with shortcrust pastry and lemon, sugar and egg cream. It is often topped with magic meringue. The taste is unique, bright and tender at the same time.
Critics praise the portioned lemon tarts at Big Mamma’s restaurants. We also recommend trying truffle dishes there (you can read about them here). Tarts from Stohrer are really good as well.
We’ve promised a lifehack! Here you go
No need to spoil your vacation with bans! Try whatever you want. And to say goodbye to calories on the spot, walk around Paris all day long! Lots of walking is the best thing to do in Paris!
We have already collected many walking routes: in the center of Paris, along the Triumphal Route, along the Latin Quarter, along the Marais, along Montmartre, along the places of The Da Vinci Code, Amelie, Midnight in Paris and Hemingway.
Is it not enough just to walk and admire everything you see? If so, call our tour guides. They will walk you through the streets so that you will know all about it.
If you prefer to walk by yourself we also have audio guides!
A private walking tour for the price of a cup of coffee, not bad, right?
Are you afraid that simple walks will not be enough? Here is a special challenge for the most daring: you can climb the Eiffel Tower on foot. This is the cheapest way to visit the famous landmark, and there are usually almost no queues for walking up!
Goodbye extra pounds! Let only pleasant memories of magical French desserts remain!