Ah Paris, the glittering city of light, love, and of course, croissants! Starting your day with a warm, newly baked croissant bought from a Parisian boulangerie or pastry shop is truly amazing, n'est pas?
But who has the best croissant in Paris because let me tell you…there are a LOT of bad ones! With over 50 trips to Paris under my belt and I don't know how many hundreds of croissants down the hatch, I can tell you where you buy your croissant matters!
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I've been taste-testing these buttery beauties for years! I make Mr. Misadventures try out the croissant whenever we try a place for the first time. I get a pain au chocolat and wait for my husband to have the first bite of the croissant, then I take the second! If it's good, I will get one there the second time!
This buttery pastry is more than simply breakfast; it's an experience, a lovely tradition that both locals and visitors enjoy.
I am sharing my tips for finding a good croissant plus where to find le crème-de-la-crème of croissants with my list of the best croissants plus a few that always show up on the best of lists, after all, food is very subjective and what may be my favorite croissant may not be yours!
A tiny bit of history
All of us French-loving fanatics would like to believe that this delicate, flaky, buttery concoction is French, but its origin is actually Austrian. There is a reason there is a whole category of baked goods called Viennoiserie – the Austrians are damn good bakers! It all began in 1683 when the Ottoman Empire laid siege to Vienna. The Turks tried many methods to get into the city and as a last resort attempted to build an underground tunnel for a surprise attack.
But the city's bakers who baked in basements heard their digging and alerted the army. The bakers were celebrated as heroes. To celebrate their victory – and maybe rub the Empire's noses in it a little bit – they made pastries in the shape of the crescent moon, the symbol of the Turkish Empire!
The croissant was brought to France by Austrian entrepreneur August Zang, and the rest, mes amies, is history! (P.S. there is a great book on this story called August Zang and the French Croissant: How Viennoiserie Came to France if you are interested.)
What makes for a good croissant?
A true Parisian croissant is more than just flaky, buttery goodness. When baking a good croissant, it all comes down to the quality of the ingredients and the talent in the hands of the baker.
A well-made croissant is the right balance between texture and flavor. It should have a golden, crisp outer shell that crackles with every bite (but isn't too dry), revealing a light, airy interior with distinct layers. A good croissant has a distinct aroma of butter and caramelization and it should taste rich with just a hint of sweetness.
You don't want the croissant to be too buttery and you want the French bakery to use quality buttery and not poor butter or butter substitutes.
Tips on finding a good croissant in Paris
Seeking out a good croissant in Paris is a mix between going on an adventure and honing your skills. I’ve found the best way to get your hands on this flaky treat is by asking the locals for recommendations. I also have a group of Parisian friends that I regularly tap into for their suggestions for their favorite places plus new places that pop up!
Most Parisians love a good croissant and are happy to help you by talking about their favorite boulangerie. When you’re out on your own, keep an eye out for artisanal bakeries or even bakeries that have the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) label which certifies that it has received an award for craftsmanship.
Lastly, let your senses take the lead. If you come across the tempting aroma of baked bread and a flaky golden crust, don’t hesitate to grab one. I would also recommend keeping an eye on the time of the day when buying croissants. First thing in the morning and then at intervals thereafter is a good time because this is usually when freshly baked croissants are pulled out of the oven.
Anytime after 4 pm on Fridays can be a challenge as most of the good stuff is taken and some bakeries are closed on weekends, meaning they will not bake any more that day.
The Traditional French Croissant and its Variations
While you might be craving a classic croissant, many bakeries offer variations of this flaky treat. You can sample several different flavors like raspberry, pistachio (my personal favorite!), almond croissants, and even croissants with chocolate fillings (which is technically not a croissant but rather a pain au chocolat).
There are two types of croissants! The illustrious croissant au beurre and the humble croissants ordinaires. When you’re going to a regular bakery, be sure to ask for a croissant au beurre – this one is more buttery and rich and is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. It is made only with butter. When it's an indulgent buttery experience you crave, the croissant au beurre reigns supreme.
On the other hand, regular croissants (croissants ordinaires) may incorporate margarine (yuck). You will see the difference visually as they are commonly shaped like crescents.
If you’re looking for a fancier croissant, head to an artisanal bakery as they love to experiment with pairings and combinations.
The Best Croissants in Paris
In no particular order except that they are grouped by arrondissement, I present to you a list of the best places for croissants (I am referring to the best butter croissant – croissant au beurre) in Paris. You can get great croissants at any one of these spots. It is not an easy task to narrow the list!
Pierre Hermé is known for his inventive macarons but he also creates beautiful snail-shaped pastries. Like his Ispahan macaron, his Ispahan croissant is a must-try. The combination of rose, litchi, and raspberry croissants will surely take your pastry experience to a whole new level.
His sweets are a wonderful treat, with each bite transporting you to a world of exquisite flavor and texture.
Address: 39 Av. de l'Opéra, 2nd Arr. Several more across Paris including 72 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th.
As the French capital's oldest bakery, Stohrer has been providing delectable pastries since 1730. In fact, Nicolas Stohrer was King Louis XV’s pastry chef! Just like their chocolates and other sweet treats, their excellent croissants are rich in history and culture, which makes them an absolute must for anybody looking for a true taste of Paris.
It is a Parisian institution for pastries (they are actually most famous for their almond croissant) and continues to serve classic French sweets.
Address: 51 Rue Montorgueil (an amazing food market street!), 2nd Arr
Tout Autour du Pain
Tout Autour du Pain has established a well-deserved reputation as a top contender in Paris' culinary scene. They have the best butter croissant around. Indulge in their wonderful pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant), which is nicely paired with a freshly baked baguette.
You will have to visit them on a weekday for an exceptional gastronomic experience as they are closed on weekends.
Address: 134 Rue de Turenne, 3rd arrondissement, le Marais
La Maison D’Isabelle
La Maison d’Isabelle (a little bakery run by Isabelle Leday) won the Best Croissant in Paris Award in 2018 (and still going strong!) and uses only the finest ingredients like Brasseuil organic flour and Pamplie butter (an AOP butter Charentes-Poitou) to make their delicious croissants.
Flaky with airy layers and mouth-watering, a warm croissant from here can be relished in a little park across the bakery. They are a benchmark for quality and continue to attract visitors even today.
Address: 47ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 5th Arr (in the heart of the Latin quarter)
Des Gâteaux et du Pain
Being one of the best bakeries in Paris, the plump and flaky croissant at Des Gâteaux Et Du Pain are worth a mention. The buttery croissants from pastry chef Claire Damon don’t need anything to compliment them – they’re perfect all on their own!
They use the finest ingredients and make sure that each pastry is handmade with care. Also, try their Chausson aux pommes.
Address: 89 Rue du Bac, 7th Arr
Maison Lendemaine is one of the best bakeries for croissants. Their brilliantly golden croissants are as visually appealing as they are delectable. They’re rather light and more contemporary than traditional, but they are just as delicious.
Address: 26, rue des Martyrs, 9th Arr
Although fairly new to the Parisian bakery scene, Sain Boulangerie has made a name for itself in the Canal Saint-Martin area. Their croissants are made with the classic French recipe and a beechwood kneader provided by the head baker Anthony Courteille.
If you’re in the mood for something fancy, be sure to try their hazelnut butter croissant, it is truly heavenly! Their crunchy crusts and airy, soft crumbs extend to their menu of breads including a traditional baguette as well.
Address: 15, rue Marie et Louise, 10th Arr
Du Pain et des Idées
If you’re looking for traditional French pastries that come out of a beautifully painted shop of the 1870s, look no further than Du Pain et des Idées. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, this quantity boulangerie is located steps away from Canal St Martin and celebrated for its croissants that have the perfect combination of crunch and chewiness.
The master boulanger (chef Christophe Vasseur) here uses the finest organic ingredients ensuring the croissants are nothing short of pure bliss. Pick up a loaf of pain des amis their ‘house bread' for later.
Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 10th Arr
If you want to enjoy croissants that are baked to perfection, Mamiche is the ideal spot – they put their homemade spin on traditional baked goodies! Through the years, Mamiche has become a go-to spot for anyone who has those early morning pastry cravings.
Also, try their choux à la crème; it is heavenly. And they have one of the best pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) in town.
Address: 32 Rue du Château d’Eau, 10th Arr
Located in the 11th arrondissement, Boulangerie Utopie is a sanctuary for croissant connoisseurs. All their pastries are a piece of art in terms of texture – they have a flaky, crispy shell that breaks open to a soft, buttery heart. It's not an overstatement to claim that Boulangerie Utopie may be the best Parisian croissant, every single one a melt-in-your-mouth delicacy.
Address: 20 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11th Arr
Farine&O uses time-honored French baking techniques and ancient grains to stand out from others in Paris's bakery scene. Their pastries are of unparalleled quality and a tribute to tradition.
Their croissants are rich and fluffy – a golden brown piece of art with a tinge of nutty flavors. The real deal! The artisanal ingredients make their breads and pastries rich and indulgent.
Address: 153 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 11th Arr
If you're in the Bastille neighborhood and craving some divine delights, head straight to Blé Sucré, the bakery that understands how to satisfy taste buds. Known for their delicious chocolate mousse their flaky pains au chocolat and buttery almond croissants are famous too!
Address: 7 Rue Antoine Vollon, 12th arrondissement
Located in the picturesque Butte aux Cailles district, Laurent Duchêne’s boulangerie bakes award-winning croissants all year round. They have a unique method of adding a chocolate swirl and a touch of homemade praline spread.
Their baked treats, whether croissants or pastries are a sure sign of quality and MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) craftsmanship.
Address: 2 rue Wurtz, 13th Arr
For a classic traditional croissant, there’s no better place than Maison Pichard. An authentic Parisian bakery in the 15th arrondissement, Maison Pichard makes some of the best breads and pastries in the neighborhood.
Their croissants are known for their soft and fluffy interiors and crispy and flaky exteriors. You should also try their escargots and other pastries.
Address: 88, rue Cambronne, 15th Arr
La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac
Head to this chic bakery for stylish and delicious pastries and chocolates. The croissants here are a delectable treat that combines classic workmanship with a new elegance. Lignac is known to use Charentes-Poitou butter and Minoterie Viron flour for his croissants, and his secret? He knows just the right amount of time to let the dough rest.
The very popular French TV Chef creates croissants and other pastries that are just heavenly and oh-so rich – you can see the butter soak through the paper bag! Has a fantastic pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) as well.
Le Grenier À Pain
Le Grenier À Pain is known for more than its charming location in the Montmartre district. Here, you’re surrounded by artisanal breads and pastries, along with croissants and baguettes that are simply delicious.
Le Grenier À Pain also won the Best Baguette in Paris, so don’t hesitate to try their baguettes and other varieties of bread. Very good pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant).
Address: 38 Rue des Abbesses, 18th Arr
Quick list of where to find the best almond croissant in Paris
Almond croissants (croissant aux amandes) began as a brilliant solution for boulangeries to breathe new life into day-old croissants. These once-flaky pastries were generously filled with almond cream (crème d’amandes), adorned with delicate slices of almonds, and granted a second chance in the oven. This delightful encore allowed the creamy interior to set and bestowed upon the exterior a tantalizing crispness.
The best places for an almond croissant are:
- Stohrer: 51 Rue Montorgueil, 2nd Arr
- Huré: 1 Rue d'Arcole, 4th Arr
- La Maison d’Isabelle: 47ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 5th Arr
- Du Pain et des Idées: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 10th Arr
- Blé Sucré: 7 Rue Antoine Vollon, 12th Arr
Quick list of the best pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) in Paris
There is no true chocolate croissant. It isn't a true croissant. It's called a pain au chocolat. For the best chocolate croissant in Paris (pain au chocolat) I've noted those that I think qualify and you can check out my Where to Find the Best Chocolate in Paris article!
- Stohrer: 51 Rue Montorgueil, 2nd arrondissement
- Mamiche: 45 Rue Condorcet, 9th arrondissement; 32 Rue du Château d’Eau, 10th arrondissement
- Cyril Lignac: 9 rue Bayen, 17 arrondissement; 24 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrondissement; 55 boulevard Pasteur, 15th arrondissement
- Le Grenier à Pain: 38 rue des Abbesses, 18th arrondissement
- Cédric Grolet: 35 avenue de l'Opéra, 19th arrondissement
Take a tour!
Many of the locations featured in this article, spots where you can select the best croissant in Paris, can be found while taking a tour. There are 2 tours I recommend to get an opportunity to learn about the history and more importantly, get samples!
- Pastry and Chocolate Tasting Walking Tour from Get Your Guide
- Paris Pastry and Chocolate Tour from Devour Tours!
The best croissant in Paris is the one you love!
As you can see, there are a lot of wonderful Parisian bakers keeping Sunday mornings with a fresh croissant and espresso (or cafe au lait or hot chocolate) alive! Okay. It's not just Sunday. You can have a fresh croissant from a different place all month long! The perfect reason to move to Paris! The only downside is that you may need to do a lot of walking to keep the carbs at bay!
The pursuit of the perfect croissant in Paris is not just a culinary adventure; it's an exploration of the city's rich culture and history. From the crispy layers that shatter with each bite to the buttery aroma that fills the air, a great croissant embodies the essence of French artistry and craftsmanship.
Last thing, while I've covered some fantastic bakeries and patisseries renowned for their exceptional croissants in Paris, but this is my own opinion, it's important to remember that the best croissant is a matter of personal preference. Whether you prefer the classic buttery delight, a unique twist with almond paste, or a gluten-free option, Paris has something to offer every palate.
As you embark on your croissant quest in the City of Light, keep in mind that the best croissant is not just about the flakiness or the taste. It's about the experience – the cozy neighborhood bakery, the morning stroll to the boulangerie, and the simple pleasure of savoring a warm croissant with a café crème while watching the world go by.
So, whether you find yourself indulging in a croissant at Du Pain et des Idées, embracing tradition at Le Grenier à Pain, or discovering a hidden gem in the Parisian neighborhood you are visiting, remember that each croissant has a story to tell. And in a city where art, culture, and culinary excellence converge, the journey to find the best croissant is a delightful adventure that captures the essence of Parisian life, after all, it is part of the typical French breakfast.
In the end, the best place for croissants in Paris may be the one that steals your heart and leaves you craving more, forever cherishing the memory of that perfect moment in this enchanting city. Bon appétit, and may your croissant quests lead you to many more delicious discoveries in the world of French cuisine!
I've created a FREE PDF with all these locations, grab it here!
How about you? Have a favorite croissant in Paris? Do tell!
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I am married to a French man, lived in France for 3 years, and have been to Paris more than 50 times. I am always a tourist so the information, tip, and tricks I share are created to help you!