10 of The Best Croissants in Paris: Buttery Delights

Last Updated on February 15, 2024

Some of the best croissants in Paris

I can’t help but agree with David Lebovitz’s reservations about crafting “best of Paris” lists – who wants to bear the brunt of virtual tomato-tossing if the spots recommended fall short of expectations?

It’s also true that these “ultimate” lists often feel like they’re stuck in a loop, ceaselessly revisiting the same venues. The thought lingers: are these writers truly visiting the places mentioned or just recycling the same lines?

Nevertheless, in a city where subpar croissants are more common than you’d think, there’s merit in identifying the ones that won’t disappoint. 

With that in mind, in what follows I lay out what I think are 10 of the best croissants in Paris. But my list is neither meant to be definitive, nor does it merely replicate others around the web.

The croissants pur beurre (all-butter croissants) I chose to taste and include here were inspired by a range of sources: insights from friends, the buttery delights applauded by Paris’ bakers union, the Syndicat des Boulangers-Pâtissiers, spur-of-the-moment samplings, names that keep cropping up on the aforementioned “best of” lists—and, of course, a few cherished classics that I happily revisted.

My hope? That there’s a croissant for every palate among the ones I’ve chosen to include here. It’s true that Parisians typically don’t cross the city for a croissant, favoring convenience over a quest.

But I assure you that the ten picks below might even sway the most steadfast Parisian to cross arrondissement lines in pursuit of a perfectly buttery bite. Do feel free to do so with the aid of the clickable Google map.

Maison d’Isabelle: The buttery one

The croissants pur beurre from Maison d'Isabelle in Paris have won top awards. Rachel Naismith
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

The irony that I’m kicking off this independent lineup by highlighting one of the most frequently cited contenders for the “best croissant in Paris” is not lost on me. Saint Germain’s Maison d’Isabelle (read our full review here) serves as a reminder that certain boulangeries earn their place in conversations for a reason: pure excellence.

Their croissant – which I’m labelling the buttery one – more than lives up to the hype. Plump, golden, and (of course) rich with butter, so decadent was it that one left me pretty satiated — a first for me (though if someone proffered a second, I’m sure I’d manage).

It expertly toed the line between buttery and greasy, each bite bursting with flavor and underscoring the quality of the ingredients. 

The all-butter croissant, which won a first-place award in Paris in 2018, is made with famed butter from the Poitou-Charentes region. 

{A Short History of Brittany’s Legendary Salted Butter }

The boulangerie itself might not possess a charming façade (greeting you instead with a somewhat gaudy “1er prix 2018” sign for the best croissant in Paris), but it hardly matters.

The aroma of their pastries– that engulfs you the moment you alight from the nearby Maubert-Mutualité metro station– is so heady it will leave you entangled in doughy anticipation, and delightfully distracted. With such croissant craftsmanship at play, we can allow them that self-assured sign out front.

  • Address: 47ter Boulevard Saint-Germain, 5th arrondissement
  • Metro: Maubert-Mutualité (Line 10)
  • Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 6:00 am to 8:30 pm. Closed on Mondays

Boulangerie Gana: The fondant (soft-centered) one

Croissants at Boulangerie Gana, some of the best all-butter croissants in Paris /Rachel Naismith/All rights reserved
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

A restaurant-industry friend tipped me off about Boulangerie Gana, a place they exclusively rely on to supply bread and other baked goods. Fondant is the French word for soft-centered or melty, and it also happens to be the quality that defines my preferred style of croissant. Gana has truly excelled in crafting these fondant croissants, and among the city’s myriad options, it shines brightly. 

{Related: A Short History of the French Croissant}

The balance is great—this croissant is neither excessively doughy nor overly dry. Instead, it boasts an exquisitely supple interior, delicately infused with a hint of saltiness that enhances its moreish-ness. Adding to its charm are two petite yet crispy ‘ears’ (ends) creating a tasty textural interplay with the tender center. 

My visit led to me the bakery’s Rue Ordener branch in the 18th arrondissement, where the ambience exuded opulence, with hues of lavish gold and green blending into gorgeous wooden countertops. Through a spacious window at the back one can catch a glimpse of the bustling kitchens and spy the skilled bakers meticulously preparing the morning’s delights.

  • Address: 159 Rue Ordener, 18th arrondissement
  • Metro: Jules Joffrin (Line 12)
  • Open: Monday to Saturday, 7:15 am to 8:00 pm. Closed on Sundays

Atelier P1: The pâtisserie one

Croissants from Atelier P1 in Paris/Image by Rachel Naismith/All rights reserved
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

It’s always tickled me that a good deal of French texting slang revolves around food. P1 is a nifty shorthand for pain (bread), cleverly combining the “P:  and the “1”(‘un’ in French) to phonetically represent the word. 

And while Atelier P1’s aesthetic might match its namesake’s trendiness (exposed brick wall, minimalist Scandi-inspired décor, and chic printed tote bags), it’s anything but style overshadowing substance. 

Specializing in sourdough, organic and locally produced ingredients, as well as a genuine commitment to seasonality, this boulangerie produces bakes that are quite unlike anything else you’ll find in Paris. Interestingly, while it shines in crafting savory loaves, their croissant is distinctively sweet — what I’d categorize as a patisserie-style croissant, given its light glaze and rather sweet dough. 

{Some of the Most Delicious French Pastries in Paris, & Where to Taste Them}

The exterior is well-fired, lending it a deep golden color, and is temptingly glossy. I was particularly impressed with the depth of flavor in P1’s croissant— the crispy ends delivering delightful nuggets of toasted caramel notes, their slight bitterness a great contrast with the sweet interior. 

The coffee here is lovely, too, and the park opposite (Square Léon Serpollent) offers the perfect backdrop to savor your purchases.  

  • Address: 157 Rue Marcadet, 18th arrondissement
  • Metro: Lamarck – Caulaincourt (Line 12)
  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (7:30 pm Saturday, 7:00 pm Sunday). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Sébastien Degardin (Patisserie du Panthéon): The flavor-packed one

Croissant from Sébastien Degardin in Paris/Image by Rachel Naismith/All rights reserved
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

All great croissants should burst with flavor, but Sébastien Degardin, the renowned chef and pâtissier behind the counter at Patisserie du Panthéon, offers a true “taste odyssey”.

With my first bite, a hit of AOP butter (high-quality butter crafted to exacting standards) shines through, followed by subtle notes of coffee-like bitterness and toasted nuts in subsequent mouthfuls. 

Each morsel unveils the sensory profile of Degardin’s signature all-butter croissant: a symphony of intensity, robustness, and aromatic notes akin to the scent of dark chocolate. The lasting taste on the palate speaks to the quality of these fantastic ingredients.

{Book a guided food tour of Paris with Viator}

This is a distinctly grown-up croissant, a sophisticated snack: an impression further reinforced by the boulangerie’s attractive setting—adorned with mosaic-tiled floors, elegant chandeliers, and exquisite fresco ceilings.

  • Address: 200 Rue Saint-Jacques, 5th arrondissement
  • Metro: Cardinal Lemoine (Line 10)
  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm (6:00 pm Sunday). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Blé Sucré: The all-rounder 

Croissants from Blé Sucré, the Paris bakery renowned for their French pastries and excellent croissants. Rachel Naismith/All rights reserved
Photo credit: @ble_sucre via Instagram

Located in the culinary haven of the 12th arrondissement, a mere stone’s throw from the enchanting Marché d’Aligre, you’d be forgiven for dismissing Blé Sucré as just another run-of-the-mill boulangerie. Its unassumingly small boutique, modest interiors, and a quartet of tiny metal tables outside give off a distinctly no-frills neighborhood vibe. 

{Exploring the Marché d’Aligre, One of Paris’ Best Farmer’s Markets}

Scratch beneath the surface, however, and you’ll uncover that Blé Sucré boasts a rather illustrious history. It was, after all, established and led by none other than Fabrice Le Bourdat, the former head pastry chef at the esteemed Hotel Le Bristol.

While it may have changed hands in recent years, the new team was handpicked by Le Bourdat himself, ensuring the continued excellence of his pastry craftsmanship. 

Here, a harmonious blend of crispy exteriors and buttery, somewhat fondant, somewhat cake-like, interiors result in a croissant that strikes a fine balance. Not overly sweet, nor excessively savory, Blé Sucré’s croissant is an elevated delight that caters to a range of palates.

It’s a sublime all-rounder, one I’d wholeheartedly recommend. Just remember to arrive early; locals tend to snatch up the croissants, and often by 10:30 am, these much-coveted all-butter croissants have vanished. 

  • Address: 7 Rue Antoine Vollon, 12th arrondissement
  • Metro: Ledru-Rollin (Line 8)
  • Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 7:00 am to 8:00 pm (6:00 pm Sunday). Closed on Mondays
  • Visit the Instagram page

Cyril Lignac: The luxury one 

Croissant from Cyril Lignac /Rachel Naismith/All rights reserved
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

I was somewhat reluctant to delve into the world of so-called “luxury” croissants. None of my Parisian acquaintances would ever think of spending over 1.70€ on a croissant (raising eyebrows even at that price point).

But Instagram and TikTok- famous pastry chefs (such as Cedric Grolet, for instance), have whipped Parisian tourists into a frenzy over their “bespoke” creations. 

Grolet’s croissants currently come at a steep 4€ each (and , I’m informed at the time of writing, the wait-in-line times are often absurdly long– often exceeding an hour). Refusing to pay or wait that much for a croissant is the hill I’m definitely prepared to die on.

However, I understand the desire of visitors to sample pastries from renowned chefs and the allure of chic boulangeries to visit while in Paris – after all, you’ve made it all the way here!  

Cyril Lignac, another celebrated French chef who’s snagged multiple awards, including a Michelin star, has four patisserie-boulangeries scattered across the city. They are uber-luxurious, with modern interiors, exceptional service and meticulous attention to detail, right down to the packaging. 

The croissant I tasted here was every bit as divine as various publications and guidebooks have touted: fresh, soft, perfectly golden, and emanating a delightfully buttery aroma.

Devouring it was just as enjoyable as admiring the stunning array of pastries showcased behind the counter. 

While seeking out a luxury croissant crafted by a famous chef might not be a necessity, neither is indulging in croissants at all. So, if you’re in the mood for a high-end treat (sans the exorbitant price tag), my wholehearted recommendation goes to Cyril Lignac.

  • Address: 2 Rue de Chaillot, 16th arrondissement
  • Metro: Léna (Line 9)
  • Open: Monday to Sunday, 7: 00 am to 8:00 pm (7:00 pm Sunday)
  • Visit the official website 

Panade: The honeycomb one

All-butter croissant from Panade, Paris. Rachel Naismith/All rights reserved
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

In many ways, a croissant’s hallmark is its lamination, where thin layers of dough intertwine with butter, creating a honeycomb crumb. At Panade, a rather inconspicuous boulangerie nestled in the 15th arrondissement, this craftsmanship shines through. 

The butter croissant’s outer crust has a multitude of intricate folds and layers, a prelude to the delightful honeycomb texture concealed within— delicious evidence of the baker’s technical prowess. 

This croissant stands unique, with a cloud-like lightness and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. A thin, crisp outer layer reveals an airy crumb, subtly sweetened by a delicate sugar glaze.

For those seeking a dainty, weightless pastry, Panade’s croissant tout beurre is an excellent choice (leaving room for more indulgence!)

  • Address: 35 Rue Violet, 15th arrondissement
  • Metro: Avenue Émile Zola (Line 10)
  • Open: Tuesday to Friday, 7:30 am to 7:30 pm (8:00 am to 7:30 pm Saturday, 8:00 am to 6:30 pm Sunday). Closed on Mondays

Tapisserie: The salé (savory) one

Tapisserie makes some of the very best croissants in Paris, according to us. Rachel Naismith/All rights reserved.
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

My expectations for Tapisserie were high: it is, famously, part of the Septime family, which has become one of the most sought-after Parisian eateries in the past decade. There are two Tapisserie boulangerie branches in Paris (one in the trendy 11th arrondissement and the other discreetly tucked away in Motte-Picquet — close to the Eiffel Tower). 

My visit to the Rue de La Motte-Picquet branch was nothing short of delightful: the café itself, though small, was gorgeously decorated with fun food posters and comfortable wooden furnishings. The staff were very warm and friendly. 

While my mission was clear – to purchase a croissant – the array of patisserie delights before me made it a true test of willpower. Nevertheless, I steeled myself and stuck to the plan, and I was not disappointed.

The croissant itself was rather diminutive (smaller than any other on this list), and light, which came as a real surprise considering how savory, bordering on bread-like (though without a hint of dryness) it tasted. 

The absence of too much sweetness in the dough made it the perfect companion for Tapisserie’s exquisite chocolate-dusted cappuccino: a sweet and salty delight.

It’s rare to find a croissant with a savory profile that retains tenderness, without being excessively dense. But then again, one should expect nothing less from the exceptional team behind Septime.  

  • Address: 16 Av. de la Motte-Picquet, 7th arrondissement
  • Metro: La Tour-Maubourg (Line 8)
  • Open: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 7:00 pm (9:30 am to 7:30 pm Saturday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Sunday)
  • Visit the official website 

Maison Landemaine: The chain one

Croissant from Maison Landemaine, Paris/Rachel Naismith
Photo credit: @maisonlandemaine via Instagram

Before I get hounded for featuring a chain group’s croissant on this list, hear me out. Not only when I quizzed Parisian pals about their preferred viennoiserie did a surprising chorus echo “probably Landemaine”, but Landemaine’s all-butter croissant genuinely outshone many artisanal and trendy rivals I sampled. 

With some twenty branches scattered across the city, it serves as a convenient spot for a quick fix during your Parisian escapades, yet Landemaine isn’t a mere stopgap: it’s a very solid choice for croissant aficionados. 

Don’t let the “chain” label fool you— all croissants are meticulously handcrafted in-house with top notch ingredients, devoid of any preservatives. What’s more, the owner, Rodolphe Landemaine, honed his skills at the world-famous Pierre Hermé. 

Landemaine’s croissant was among the first I tried on my arrival in Paris as a student and, beyond the veil of romantic nostalgia, their croissant continues to impress. Rich in buttery goodness, it’s delicately seasoned with a hint of salt, boasts a soft, fondant center, and is adorned with perfectly crisp layers. 

  • Address: 28 Bd Beaumarchais, 11th arrondissement
  • Metro: Chemin Vert (Line 8)
  • Open: Monday to Sunday, 7:00 am to 8:30 pm (7:30 am to 8:30 pm Sunday)
  • Visit the official website 

 

Petite Île: The bien-cuit (well-baked) one

Photo of croissant from Petite Ile by Rachel Naismith
Photo credit: Rachel Naismith/ All rights reserved

Petite Île, a charming French-Taiwanese boulangerie located on the outskirts of the Marais, effortlessly melds the culinary traditions of two distinct cultures. French classics like baguette tradition and jambon beurre sandwiches rub shoulders with Taiwanese specialties such as melonpan—a sweet bread similar to brioche, encased in a cookie-like crust; this is a dynamic and multicultural bakery. 

I’m immediately struck by the appearance of Petite Île’s all-butter croissant: a deep, rich brown, with crunchy ends that look like they’ve been fired within an inch of their life, with the all-important laminated layers remaining discernible. 

As I take a bite, a satisfying crackle sounds as the crispy outer shell yields to reveal a buttery, moist core—a delightful balance of textures. The flavors are equally pleasing: a well-fired exterior providing nutty, deep caramelized notes, and the middle is buttery, with a slight sweetness.

While seating inside is limited, a sunny terrace offers a pleasant spot to savor your pastry, perhaps paired with a coffee from the neighboring espresso bar, Typica.

  • Address: 8 Rue des Filles du Calvaire, 3rd arrondissement
  • Metro: Filles du Calvaire (Line 8)
  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (9:00 am to 2:30 pm Sunday). Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

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Some of the best all-butter croissants in Paris/Pinterest image by Paris Unlocked

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