One of the best things about my month away in Paris was hands down, all the pastries. I made it a point to try so many new ones every single day. I’d wake up and head down the street to my local boulangerie and pick up something new. I’d almost always grab a croissant, because, why not. And then something new to try. Because yes, two pastries a day is what I’d recommend if you’re visiting Paris. It just makes sense. I call the second one a pocket pastry that you keep in your coat pocket or bag to enjoy later that day.
You will undoubtedly need a pick me up come early afternoon (or a goûter as they call it in France which is simply an afternoon snack) and you’ll be glad you did. The boulangeries get cleared out before you know it of all the good things. So I like to be prepared when hunger strikes.
In addition to my pastry selections, I’d usually also grab a baguette to have for my breakfast with a couple of eggs fried over easy. I couldn’t get enough of all the bread and pastries and sweets. But after an entire month in the City of Lights, I think it’s safe to say, I have a few go-to favorite pastries.
My Favorite Pastries
You can’t go wrong. Or maybe you can as I would skip over the Starbucks croissant. But when a real bakery makes a real croissant from scratch, it’s the best. The flaky layers, buttery taste, and pull-apart ability make it a favorite. I personally skip a chocolate croissant. It’s not for me. I skip most chocolate pastries and would always choose fruit based over chocolate any day. This is my go-to order to pair with a latte.
Something With Cardamom
If I see a cardamom pastry in the display box, I will probably try it. Bonus points if I’m with someone. I’ll get a croissant, and we’ll then share the cardamom one. I had a cardamom morning bun from a local Atlanta bakery, Little Tart, and it was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Cardamom is that distinct spice you taste in a chai and it is warm, spicy, and delicious. I love it so much.
A Morning Bun
And on that note of a morning bun, this is another favorite of mine. It’s basically the leftover croissant dough that’s been rolled in cinnamon sugar and popped into a cupcake mold. So you get the yeasted laminated dough which is layers of buttery flaky goodness, yet it’s covered in cinnamon sugar and caramelizes a bit when it cooks. It’s not quite a cinnamon roll, but it is a close cousin. The dough is completely different as it’s a laminated dough versus a classic brioche dough typically. If you like a croissant, and a cinnamon roll, this is your next pastry to try.
This is a popular pastry in the South of France, but hard to come by anywhere else. I did find this at a bakery in Paris thanks to a recommendation from my Instagram friend, @cestmargaret. She suggested I visit this very popular bakery, but instead of ordering the thing EVERYONE goes there for, try the sacristain. I’m so glad I got this inside scoop. She did not steer me wrong. A sacristain is a twisted croissant dough with layers of cinnamon sugar with almond pastry cream. And no, it is not an almond croissant. Which I do like, but find them to be a bit too sweet. This is as if an almond croissant meets a cinnamon twist of sorts. It’s divine! This would trump any pastry I would choose if I had all my options laid out for me.