We all know that Paris is the city of love, but haven’t you heard of the saying ‘the way to a man’s heart is though his stomach’? The city may have gotten our attention with its excessive number of museums, 800-and-something-year-old cathedrals, and the writings of Hermingway; but, let’s be honest, it had us at “crèpe.” Even Kim Kardashian traveled across the world for a piece of Cheesecake from Hotel Costes.
There is a boulangerie (bakery) on every Parisian street and street corner. If that’s not a sign from the universe telling you to spoil yourself, I don’t know what is.
Foodie-to-foodie, here are some of the best Parisian desserts that will have you feeling la joie de vivre – with the exception of Macaroons (because we’re not basic).
1. Galette des Rois
You know how in Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Willy Wonka hid golden tickets in chocolate bars? Well, imagine finding a little (inedible) figurine in a piece of pastry, and consequently being able to wear a crown for the day! Galette des rois (galettes of kings) a seasonal, traditional pastry cake that’s shared on Epiphany day – January 6th- in celebration of the Three Wise Men who visited Jesus after his birth. Every year, a little fève (figurine) is hidden in the pastry, and whoever finds it gets crowned king for the day. This can be found everywhere around the city, but the bakers at Artisan Boulangerie (111 Saint Dominque) are particularly popular among AUP students.
‘Millefeuille’ literary translates to ‘one thousand leaves.’ According to Bon Appetit, the traditional French pastry is “airy, crispy, flaky and decadent in all the right places.” Although this is common and can be found literally everywhere, I often find myself walking to La Terrasse every time I’m craving a piece.
No, it’s not just a Strawberry sponge cake. But just in case it doesn’t look ‘yummy’ enough, a walk past Sadaharu Aoki on rue Saint-Dominique will change your mind.
Just look at this. Now imagine how it tastes.
5. Ispahan Macaroons
I promised not to mention macaroons but every rule has an exception. Pierre Herme’s Ispahan macaroons are replicated in several boulagerie-pâtisseries across the city. It’s a macaroon stuffed with rose cream, lychees and raspberries. If you ever find yourself roaming around the 7th arrondissement, make sure to stop by Boulangerie Nelly Julien (85, rue Saint-Dominique) with €4.50 for what they call “L’Elegance.”
Special Mention: Tarte aux Citron, Frambroise, Fraise
Lemon, rasberry and strawberry tarts have always been irresistible. Now, imagine the French versions. You can find all of the flavors at Le Moulin de la Vierge.
Every time someone comes to visit me, I tell them, “I know the best bakeries in Paris.” It’s true – I do. But sometimes, the real gems aren’t even in bakeries. Le Recruitement Café sits at the crossroad at which Rue Saint Dominique and Boulevard de La Tour Maubourg meet. it’s my go-to place for when I’m sad, happy, excited, demotivated, tired, and bored. I take my laptop to the brasserie, sit, and type my essays while enjoying my cheesecake. Sometimes, I sit by the window through which I watch the passer-byers on each street: the very French people, the excited American tourists walking around with maps, and the teenagers publicly displaying their affections. Once, my friend saw an Arsenal football player through the window and we ran out to get pictures. I don’t even like football. And then there’s the rain. Oh! The rain. The slow drizzle by the window, with a good book and a piece of Cheesecake. It’s already a romantic story.
My friend Lauren Domagas visited bakery shops in Montmartre and tried some of these. Here’s a link to her video!