This is a particularly tough call, since new pastry shops are opening up all the time, but here are a few classic outlets where not even the snootiest gourmands will turn their noses up.
* Arnaud Larher, 93 rue de Seine, 6th arrond. (https://arnaudlarher.com; 01-43-29-38-15; Métro: Odéon or Mabillon), is a gateaux and chocolate wiz, with everything made by hand. Try the chocolate éclair; it’s a dream.
* Dalloyau, 101 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, 8th arrond. (www.dalloyau.fr; 01-42-99-90-00; Métro: St-Philippe du Roule), has been in business since Napoleon was in power and supplies pastries to the Élysée Palace (the French White House). Known for Le Dalloyau, a light praline cake filled with almond meringue.
* Pierre Hermé, 72 rue Bonaparte, 6th arrond. (www.pierreherme.com; 01-43-54-47-77; Métro: St-Sulpice), may look like a chic jewelry store, but the goods are edible here. Exquisite and fashionable pastries include the Ispahan series, based on lychee, rose, and raspberry flavors.
* Sébastien Gaudard, 1 rue des Pyramides, 1st arrond. (www.sebastiengaudard.com; 01-71-81-24-70; Métro Pyramides) makes exquisite French cakes, from classic mille-feuilles (layered vanilla cream slice) to playful sharing cakes, like the cherry and chocolate shirt, with a marzipan collar and nuts crumbled on top like patterned fabric.
* Stohrer, 51 rue Montorgueil, 2nd arrond. (www.stohrer.fr; 01-42-33-38-20; Métro: Sentier or Les Halles), was opened by Louis XV’s pastry chef in 1730. This is the place to sample the ultimate baba au rhum (a rum-soaked sponge cake); Stohrer invented it in the 18th century.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.