There is often a saying, if you only have time for one patisserie in Paris, go Jacques Genin because it's impossible to go wrong. That's true, I've yet to have something I don't love at Jacques Genin. The millefeuille is made fresh on site, freshly pipped and stacked in the upstairs kitchen. The lemon and basil tart is legendary and I've yet to try something better than this. On your way out, buy some of their caramels, which are just the most perfect texture. It doesn't stick to your teeth, doesn't have grainy bits and very light to eat. For sure the best caramel I've ever come across.
Du Pain et Des Idees
The most famous bakery in Paris? Rightly deserved. It's so old school and everything so so good. The escargots are their speciality but I actually find them a bit too sweet but the pastry is just another world buttery. I love their bread and fresh tarts like apple, apricot etc, depends on the season. Do not buy to go and wait ages to eat them, they taste best when eaten there.
Paris Brest - Bistrot Paul Bert
Having tried many Paris Brest from famous patisseries later, the classic from Bistrot Paul Bert is still my favourite, much lighter than all the others. Yes even better than the Jacques Genin one, although both very good.
Pierre Herme at Paris is a completely different game. Having tried many cakes over the years I still find theirs the most challenging and perfect. The raspberry, rose and lychee croissant is just so unusual with this surprising jam inside (croissant Isphahan). The vanilla tart is unlike anything I've tried before, gorgeous layering inside too. Only the store at 7th has the croissant.
I haven't tried many things at Mori Yoshida, only the apple tart, which is still one of the best I've come across. Beautiful thin pastry and the perfect apple acidity vs sweetness. Really need to go back to try the Mont Blanc next round.
Angelina has opened all around the world now but as always things taste different and much better in Paris. Hot chocolate and Mont Blanc are their signature items. Before this I've tried many many Mont Blancs, all Japanese style, which use fresh chestnuts, all very sweet and use too much cream. The Mont Blanc at Angelina made me rediscover the love for the French way of making it, using candied chestnut and double amounts of chestnut cream in one cake. It's got a beautiful grainy chestnut texture, just the finest example of a perfect Mont Blanc.
Apple Tart - Poilane
Poilane has shops in London too but the apple tart is just not as good as the ones in Paris. It's really different to the fancy Mori Yoshida version, more rustic. More like a apple pastry than tart but definitely one of the best apple tarts in Paris.
The most famous chocolatier in Paris? He's won the MOF! I really love his chocolates, the flavours are so unique. I buy a massive box to go when I'm in Paris.