Canal Saint-Martin. Paris
There’s no other place like Paris. There just isn’t. Of course, every city is special, but Paris, with its monumental buildings, its big boulevards and tiny streets of yet-to-be-discovered neighborhoods, its crazy traffic, its French arrogance and indifference has its own kind of charm. Even if it has something you don’t like, there’s so much to like in Paris – even if you visit often, the power, charm and the magical sensations Paris can give you never run out. At least for me.
Du Pain et Des Idées
Snail, croissant, apple „slipper”. Du Pain et Des Idées is one of those places where you’re in trouble as soon as you walk in, unless you’ve strictly defined beforehand what you’re going to buy – to be honest, every single one of the pastries, breads and everything they have on display is more than appetizingly tempting. The problem doesn’t stop there though – it would be all right if it just looked good, but the bad news is that all of it is insanely delicious.
The snail-shaped pastry with almonds, with a custard filling between hundreds of layers of pastry, and, to top it off, a crispy nut praline – for that alone I and, I’d wager, a lot of other people would sell their mother. The croissants, pain au chocolat and their special apple „slipper”, chausson a la pomme fraiche, also come very close.
34 Rue Yves Toudic, Paris
Mini tables beside large windows, white tiled walls, a little bit of hipsterishness, kitsch, Illy coffee, lots of bread, excellent sablé biscuits, lunch sandwiches and salads for the locals, and cakes that look a bit different than usual, trying to be a bit more modern, but still keeping up with the best classic cakes, their light and airy cream fillings, the crispy biscuits and the perfect layers in a mille-feuille.
Their lemon tart in its unusual shape was like a walk through a lemon-tree alley, where you’re surrounded by them, yet not overpowered, where all you feel is clearly the freshness of lemon (well, and eggs, butter and the true art of putting it all together in the perfect combination). Enjoy it at one of the small tables, watching Parisians hurry by or baking masters at work, making everything that’s available here.
39 Rue des Vinaigriers, Paris
A co-working space and cafe. The latest trend in the most hipster quarter of Paris, but if in other places like this it’s the co-working that’s the most important, here it’s all about excellent coffee – from espresso and beautiful latte art to V60, drip coffee and more specialty coffee drinks. They’re also not forgetting that people need to eat as well, so there are lovely sandwiches (for example with sardines), croissants, cakes and a bit more international things like muffins and brownies available. In the summer, if it’s possible, grab a spot at one of the outdoor tables, as this street offers an entirely different life of Paris. A bohemian one, where the sun seems to shine a bit brighter.
24 Rue des Vinaigriers, Paris
If you’d like to try one of the most excellent madeleines or apple pastries and éclairs in town, take a seat at one of the Blé Sucré outdoor tables, get yourself a coffee and a madeleine, and enjoy it with a view of the park and to the sound of never-ending children’s laughter – they run up to the pastry shop from time to time, because they know what’s good here, from the abovementioned madeleines to very delicious ice cream and, of course, croissants.
7 Rue Antoine Vollon, 12ar, Paris
One of the most classic cafes of Paris – a place to just sit and enjoy some aristocratic charm, in the past frequented by Proust and Coco Chanel (but not just these two). Even if nowadays in the eyes of modern Parisians this place has lost its charm, it’s still a place for both aristocracy and those who don’t belong to it to meet for exquisite tea and cakes. The most famous is, of course, the Mont Blanc cake, but there’s more – including the classic mille-feuille and a version of Paris-Brest, called Paris-New York.
Even though Angelina salons can be found in several locations throughout Paris (also in the Louvre), this one at 226 Rue de Rivoli is the most famous of them all. Designed in the Belle Époque era by architect Edouard-Jean Niermans, this location undeniably shows the true Angelina story and feeling. What should you start with here? A Mont Blanc and their famous hot chocolate.
226 Rue de Rivoli, Paris
Hugo et Victor
Art, vested in cakes. That’s how you could describe the pâtisserie Hugo et Victor – where your cake is served to you in white gloves, and is exactly the perfect size, not too much and not too little. The choice is not big, but each of the cakes is so perfectly made that you can have that one cake forever and ever. Do try the ice creams and the chocolates as well.
7 Rue Gomboust, Paris
Chocolate lovers’ heaven and hell at the same time. Dozens of praline chocolates, caramelized orange peels in chocolate, pâte de fruit, countless chocolates, macarons, and more, and more, and more. Choosing what to buy at this shop is like pinching yourself non-stop – the longer you do it, the more painful it is. Come here on a full stomach, with a cool head, but you’ll probably buy too much anyway. The macarons will not be bright and colourful, because they’ve refused using colouring agents entirely. And the chocolate is made from cocoa beans from plantations that the owner of this business, Marc Cluizel, visits at least once a year.
To be honest, each product and every tiniest piece I’ve tried from the assortment at Michel Cluizel, be it made of white or dark chocolate, is like a small gift from heaven. And I’ll just add that their chocolate is not too sweet, and, compared to many other chocolateries in the city, the prices here are very pleasant.