If you’ve been researching what food to try on your trip to France on Instagram and have been overwhelmed by the banal inundation of influencers posing with croissants they probably don’t eat and have consequently lost your desire to ever eat another croissant again, here are five other breakfast pastries that are NOT a croissant nor a pain au chocolat! By pastries in this instance, I am referring to “Viennoiserie”, which consist of the pastries you are likely to eat for breakfast, unless you really want a Paris-Brest for ton dejeuner - it’s up to you!
1. Le Drops
“Drops,” “Drops au chocolat,” “patte d’ours,” (but not the same as the American bear claw) or “Brioche suisse aux
pépites de chocolat,” is a pastry prepared with brioche dough hence their fluffy, decadent appearance, that lacks
the crispiness of a pain au chocolat or a croissant. This pastry is composed of brioche dough layered over vanilla
custard and little morsels of chocolate chips. They are incredibly rich so if you’re preparing on enjoying one first
thing in the morning anticipate that it will be more of a brunch-style meal or split it with your partner after you
run out to your local boulangerie while they’re sleeping to surprise them with pastries and coffee - that’s how we
say “je t’aime,” in France (just joking but it’s an endearing gesture nonetheless).
I usually grab one of these when I am experiencing “mes regles,” the translation of which I’ll leave up to you but
let’s just say it involves a certain avaricious lust for chocolate and sobbing hysterically at the sight of my
neighbor’s three month old dachshund as he chases the petals of our Wisteria tree as they cascade down upon him from
on high. Pair it with the coffee and mild painkiller of your choice and, particularly if you are a woman of a
certain biological age, your day will be off to a relatively good start… considering the circumstances. For the best
“le drops,” in Paris head to SAIN boulangerie at their respective locations in the 3rd and 10th arrondissements.
📍13 Rue Alibert, 75010
2. Pain aux raisins
The pain aux raisins is equally as iconic as the croissant and pain au chocolat and with good reason. Made with the
identical flaky layers of a croissant and interwoven with mouth-watering frangipane and succulent raisins, this
pastry should be at the top of your must-try list! Some variations include cognac interspersed with the frangipane,
while others are glazed with a vanilla créme pâtisserie. For the best pain aux raisins in Paris, in my humble
opinion, stroll up Hemingway’s Rue de Martyrs to Mamiche and indulge in a boulangerie that is truly a moveable
📍45 Rue Condorcet, 75009
📍32 Rue Château d’Eau, 75010
Perhaps the simplest pastry on this list, the palmier is a heavenly combination of puff pastry, sugar, and
naturally, plenty of butter. The charming pastry is named for the palm leaf it resembles and is regularly enjoyed as
an afternoon goûter or snack, pairing excellently with a delicate tea or coffee.
For the best Palmier in Paris discover le Boulanger de la Tour in the 5th arrondissement, then pair your palmier
with a steaming cup of the beverage of your choice from the boulangerie and wander through the quiet serenity of
Jardin des Plantes located nearby.
Le Boulanger de la Tour
📍2 Rue Cardinal Lemoine, 75005
4. Chausson aux pommes
Chausson aux pommes, or known to Americans as apple turnovers, are another fruit-filled French staple! The word
“chausson” means slipper, so the term for the pastry effectively translates to “slipper from apples,” which I
personally prefer to “apple turnover,” which would be “bouleversement aux pommes,” unless you want to use apples
during la grève of course! SAIN boulangerie makes a reappearance on this list as one of the best places to try this
pastry and was thoroughly recommended by acclaimed chef and author David Lebovitz who describes the chausson aux
pommes from SAIN as unbelievably delicious despite their unassuming, rustic appearance.
📍13 Rue Alibert, 75010
📍23 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003
Even though Babka does not originate in France, but historically comes from Jewish diaspora in Poland and Ukraine, I
would be remiss not to mention one of the best boulangeries in Paris, Babka Zana, which first opened its doors in
2020. Renown for their sapid babka pistache fleur d’oranger, babka chocolat noisette, and their impossibly savory
sandwiches, this boulangerie is a must-visit! If you pick up your pastries at their luminous location in the third
arrondissement, be sure to also order a cup from their fantastic selection of coffee (also made in house!) and enjoy
your babka in the recently reopened park of Place des Vosges for a perfect morning in Paris!
📍65 Rue Condorcet, 75009
📍8 Rue du pas du la Mule, 75003
6. Mini Viennoiserie
The best way to try all French pastries at once, and believe me you will be tempted to, is to order them all in
mini-viennoiserie form which are almost universally available in boulangeries - just make sure to specify that they
are “mini”, add a little French accent to the word, and never forget to say Merci!