Award winning, set a little away from some of the more touristic areas of the city, and something of a Parisian institution in its own right, Du Pain et des Idées is a must-see while you’re in the French capital city. Here’s how to visit, as well as a review of the foodstuffs for sale and a little glimpse at what’s in store for you should you opt to visit.
Address / 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris
Mon – Fri, 6.45am – 8.00pm (closed on weekends!)
When in Paris, you’re not going to want to miss the mouthwatering breadstuffs on offer, and in particular, the baguette (for which there is a bread festival in Paris held on an annual basis). In addition, those with a sweet tooth simply must sample viennoiseries and patisseries while in the city.
Step inside at any given moment and you’ll soon discover that the late 19th-century sumptuous interior of Du Pain et des Idées is reminiscent of Stohrer, the oldest patisserie in Paris, and a shop that happens to be less than a half hour walk away. The hand-glass painted ceiling of Du Pain et des Idées even happens to be a listed monument.
Du Pain et des Idées (literally translated into English as ‘Bread and Ideas’) was founded by Christophe Vasseur (who formerly worked in fashion) close to two decades ago as an artisan boulangerie serving up traditional breadstuffs with some unique twists.
Vasseur purchased a failing bakery that had been in situ since 1875 and gave it a new lease of life. From the classic chausson aux pommes (which is not too sweet, nor too sour) to the hearty loaves (one particular crowd pleaser is that of pain des amis), there’s no shortage of carb-rich foods to sample.
But perhaps the true star of the show is that of the ‘escargot’ a viennoiserie which is so-called thanks to its circular shape. Produced in several different flavours and baked fresh for customers throughout the day, I particularly enjoyed the pistachio and chocolate flavoured sweet.
How to visit Du Pain et des Idées
Visitors to the city and locals (who haven’t yet heard of this fantastic bakery) alike should note that the boulangerie is so successful and popular that it doesn’t even need to open on the weekends. Similarly, if you pass by towards the end of the day, then you’ll likely discover that many of the most delectable products are sold out.
As such, be sure to visit during the week and earlier in the day if possible if you wish to taste the delightful ‘escargot’ pastries or uniquely flavoured pain au chocolats for yourself. If you want to enjoy a quiet moment within easy reach of the café, then there are a small set of tables directly outside the front door.
If the weather is nice, then a lovely idea would be to wander with your purchases to the nearby Canal Saint Martin and sit on a bench, or simply along the banks, and watch the world go by while admiring the pretty reflections on the water.
If you’re lucky, then a boat may even make its way through the canal as you’re enjoying your pastry. Otherwise, you should note that the 10th arrondissement if full of quirky shops and cafés, as well as one of the best places in Paris to purchase plants, Plantes Pour Tous.