Okay, I know I live in France – and am French (see, this is how I answer two questions in une pierre deux coups) – but come on guys, France is not Paris.

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There are other cities. And I was even gifted with the right to live in some of them. Ask me about Antibes, Cannes, Nice or Monaco; even Toulouse.

But Paris? I go there a couple of times a year, generally for no more than a few days spent doing the compulsory shopping, dining out and partying, with very little time left for pâtisserie-scouting. What about the time when I actually lived in Paris for ten whole weeks. Now you bring this, I must say, that back then, I was in a pâtisserie, not visiting pâtisseries, and that well, thank you for reminding me I didn’t have enough time to complete the pastry-tasting I had initially planned.

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But because I love you and will do anything to make you happy, I’m going to share with you a few of my favourite places around Paris. Since I proclaim any good pâtisserie or food store a favourite; the list could probably narrow down to two or three hundreds spots; but here, I’ll make sure to keep it brief and delicious, and will only feature the places I find myself visiting on a regular basis.

If you’re looking for a absolute guide to Paris pâtisseries, I suggest you get yourself a copy of The pâtisseries of Paris – Jamie Cahill’s latest book, so beautiful you could read it anytime of the year, but which could become quite handy if you’re planning to visit Paris.

Before I tell you more about my hand-picked list, I’ll clarify a few points on books.

I buy most – let’s be honest, eighty nine percent (yes, I did compute) – of my books; but will never decline publishers’ offer to send me a copy of their latest release.

I mean. Books. And me. We have that extraordinary symbiotic type of relationships. We can’t live without one another. Only great books, that is. Given that I no longer buy books on a craze, but really look over new and old titles before hitting amazon; all the books I’ve bought clearly are excellent. Whether it is the foolproof recipe on page 622 (the more pages, the more to read!), or the use of that beautiful typeface, or even the great photography. Each and every of the books I own have that special something, which makes me love them.

However, when I receive books from publishing houses, I will only share with you those I refer to as terrific, those I would pay for. Failing that, you won’t hear about them, or at least not through foodbeam.

Please welcome warmly my eight favourite places around Paris. As you’ll notice most of them are in the first, second and sixth arrondissements. No wonder here. When I’m in Paris, I live right in the heart of the first arrondissement so, ahem, I tend to have a routine which consists in walking or velib’ing from my flat to the sixth – almost always through the pont neuf – for a latte or citron pressé at Café Flore; then cross the Seine again, landing at the Louvre carousel and later on, in the second arrondissement.

However, since I used to work in the fifteenth, I have my favourites over there as well, which include – as you might have guessed – Pierre Hermé.

Angelina
226 rue de Rivoli – first arrondissement

Okay, so this might not be a surprise, but Angelina is my favourite place for cold afternoons, when all I crave is good winter food; during those days, only a hot chocolat africain and a mont blanc will do.
They’re out of this world. Really.
I usually spend a good couple of hours there, sipping through the incredibly thick hot chocolate and reading the latest issue of Thuries magazine.

Pierre Hermé (closed on Mondays)
85 rue de Vaugirard – fifteenth arrondissement

Most of you know how fond I am of Pierre’s pastries. I do have favourites though. The collections I love the most are Mosaic – pistachio and cherry, and Infiniment Vanille – Mexican, Tahitian and Madagascar vanillas. Please make yourself happy and have a millefeuilles Mosaic or a tarte Infiniment Vanille or both.
Amongst the macarons, I must admit I’m partial to Mogador, Mosaic (again) and balsamic vinegar.
I do also advise you taste the cannelés and croissants – the best around town.

Des gâteaux et du pain
63 boulevard Pasteur – fifteenth arrondissement

This is where we – the pâtissiers at Pierre Hermé’s – used to get baguettes for our breakfast break. And trust me, good levain baguette it was. The crust is crisp and golden, while the crumb is uneven – with large air pocket – and slightly chewy.
Most definitely the best baguette I have ever had. The pastries are also fantastic looking and equally good.

G. Detou (closed on Sundays)
58 rue Tiquetonne – second arrondissement

This is where I go when I need hard-to-find ingredients. Liquid glucose, cocoa butter, pistachio paste… just to name a few.
I also recommend the cheap yet great vanilla beans, which are sold by fifty.
The staff is cheery and helpful, so do not hesitate to ask for help.

Stohrer
51 rue Montorgueil – second arrondissement

Being a one-minute-walk away from my flat, you’re likely to find me shopping at Stohrer – one of the oldest patisseries in Paris – on Sunday mornings.
Although all the pastries look refreshingly old-fashionned, I always end up buying a puit d’amour: a crisp puff pastry shell encloses a fragrant vanilla crème topped with a brittle caramel.

Sadaharu Aoki
35 rue Vaugirard – sixth arrondissement

Being the matcha green tea lover I am, I can’t help but drop by Sada’s pâtisserie, where I will only take two millefeuilles. One for instant gratification. One I’ll save for later – probably breakfast.

La grande épicerie (closed on Sundays)
38 rue de Sèvre – seventh arrondissement

My friends always tease me because I go grocery shopping at la Grande Epicerie which they see as one of the most expensive supermarkets around. Although, this statement is somewhat close to reality, I prefer to disagree claiming that Monoprix is much more expensive (ahem, right).
Don’t discuss, go there, buy Jean-Yves Bordier butter and spread it thickly onto a slice of baguette.

Patrick Roger (closed on Sundays and Mondays)
108 boulevard St Germain – sixth arrondissement

Call me superficial, but I could go to Patrick’s chocolaterie just for the perfect bondi-blue boxes. Quite evidently I have other reasons; like: chocolates.
Awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Patrick creates simple yet delicious chocolats. I am known to always purchase the almonds, dipped in caramel and covered with a thin layer of dark chocolate. The oat ganache chocolate also holds a special place in my heart and I hope it will in yours too.

Now I’m curious… What are your favourites?