Last Updated on 16th March 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
If there’s one French dessert that’s sure to delight any visitor to the city, it’s the cream puff. This little sweet is typically a small round choux case (known as pâte à choux in French) filled with cream and topped with a little icing. Here’s where to find the best choux pastry in Paris (and what to purchase at each specific pastry shop, including flavour recommendations).
Are cream puffs French?
The answer to whether or not cream puffs are French is that we don’t know and it’s actually a mystery, though the original choux pastry probably originated in France or Italy. One of the more popular theories is that the cream puff was invented for Catherine de Medici, a queen of France and daughter of an important Italian Renaissance family.
Best cream puffs in Paris
For those who prefer a lighter dessert than the traditional heavier cream filling, Dunes Blanches can be found in the heart of Le Marais. This pastry actually originates from the the Bassin d’Arcachon in the South of France, where they were created by Pascal Lucas in 2007.
Today, there are several shops throughout l’Hexagone, including in the South, which is where their flagship store is. The cream puff is actually the only thing that the store sells.
The pastry is a fresh chouquette case filled with Chantilly cream. Since its original creation, the pastry has proved to be so popular that it has been registered as a trademark since 2009. At any one time, there’s the classic flavour, which is a light vanilla and then a changing ‘tourist’ flavour which can be a fruit flavour or the like.
Wander into the Le Marais store at any given moment and you’ll soon be greeted by an interior that is reminiscent of the sea. A light wood countertop, picket fences, and a pale decor.
Individual chouquettes are priced at €1,30 while the ‘tourist’ flavour costs a little more. Boxes of 12 can be purchased for €14,40. If I’m headed to a Parisian picnic or to a friend’s house for lunch/ dinner I love to pick up a box as they’re always a party favourite.
One of my new favourites when it comes to cream puffs in Paris is Popelini, a store which has several branches across the French capital (there are five stores and counting). My favourite shop is on rue de Martyrs, which is at the base of the Montmartre district of the city. Nearby, you can buy coffee to go from KB Coffee Roasters.
The brand was established in 2011 and is named for the private chef of Queen Catherine of Medici, who lived in the 1500s. Popelini does a whole array of classic flavours including vanilla and pistachio.
They also do guest flavours such as rum and vanilla. My personal favourite is salted caramel, which is a permanent flavour. If you want to get the pick of choux pastry flavours of your own choice, then be sure to head to the store earlier in the day rather than later. On my most recent visit, I actually bought the last salted caramel of the day!
With a very trendy interior with exposed concrete effect walls and a hipster vibe, it is also exceptionally well located just a stone’s throw from Rue St Vincent, La Maison Rose and the vineyard of Montmartre, the only functioning vineyard left in Paris.
Located in the 18th arrondissement, but in the part of the district that is more residential than anything else, Two Doors serves up delicious baked goods and speciality coffees. They also have a surprisingly tasty choux pastry that goes nicely with a piping hot coffee.
Of course, no discussion about some of the best sweets in Paris would be complete without mentioning Ladurée, which is also known for having some of the best macarons in Paris, as well as some of the best puff pastry in Paris.
Ladurée has several spots across the city, including notably on rue de La Bretagne Le Marais (time your visit so you can visit one of the every-few-month brocantes that take place on the road), as well as on the Champs Élysées (a visit to this branch can be combined with other highlights of the 8th arrondissement, including the Arc de Triomphe).
Though there are no longer simple ‘chouquettes’ on the menu, it’s still possible to purchase a chou pastry in the form of a ‘Religieuse à la Rose,’ a pastry which is flavoured like a rose and is topped and filled with cream.
One of my most recent discoveries that was recommended to me by a good friend for one of the best value cream puffs in Paris are those sold Mamiche. The larger than the palm of your hand cream puffs served there are filled with a vanilla cream.
What’s more is that the cream puffs cost just €1 each making them one of the cheapest choux pastry in Paris. The Mamiche bakery is located in the 9th arrondissement of the city and is easily accessible from Montmartre.
One of the more off the beaten path spots when it comes to finding pastries in Paris is in the 10th arrondissement of the city, not far from Sentier. This area is incredibly close to rue Montorgueil, which itself is known as a little bit of a foodie hotspot in Paris.
Bulliz was actually recommended to me by my friend Emily (@ theglitteringunknown) Of particular note is their classic salted caramel flavour. It’s also worth noting that there are a range of flavours which rotate seasonally, meaning that no two visits are ever the same!
A fairly newcomer to the scene of choux pastries in Paris is Tranché. This brand was founded by two friends who wanted to sell good quality organic and non-frozen pastries to the people of Paris. Tranché is located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.