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The Best Croissants in Paris (Sorry, Crookie Fans) | Frommer's Photo by Kyle Hinkson on Unsplash

The Best Croissants in Paris (Sorry, Crookie Fans)

Forget about fusion fads like the cronut and the crookie. These four bakeries make the tastiest croissants in Paris.

No matter how they’re eaten—plain, dipped in coffee, slathered with jam or chocolate spread, stuffed with ham and melted cheese—croissants are an integral part of a French breakfast (or afternoon snack).

You’ll know a croissant has been made the right way when it has a flaky outer case; light, buttery, yet squidgy innards; and the power to make your heart sing.

The pastry is always made using either butter (croissants au beurre) or margarine (croissants ordinaires, which have a more breadlike texture). As you meander the quaint sidewalks of Paris, you’ll also notice bakeries selling variations like croissant aux amandes (topped with almond cream and sliced almonds), rectangular pain au chocolat (the same dough but filled with dark chocolate), and swirl-shaped pain aux raisins (layered with custard and raisins).

More recent innovations have capitalized on a craze for fusion pastries such as the cronut (croissant + donut) and the cruffin (croissant + muffin). 

Then, of course, there’s the crookie, a hybrid combining a croissant with cookie dough that became a TikTok phenomenon in early 2024 at Maison Louvard (11 rue de Châteaudun, 9th arrond.). 

@just.restless I was very intrigued by this croissant-cookie hybrid and they actually have managed to pull it off! ???? The centre is nice and gooey, but the outside is crispy. Even better if you manage to score one fresh from the oven! #crookie #croissantcookie #croissant #cookie #maisonlouvard #pastry #paris #parisfood ? original sound - Alex | Paris Life

For the record, I found the crookie to be far too sweet. My 7-year-old, on the other hand, devoured the thing in 5 seconds flat. Chacun à son goût.

(Crookies at Maison Louvard in Paris | Credit: Anna E. Brooke)

Upstarts notwithstanding, the classic croissant still reigns supreme in Paris. Visitors should by all means sample the city’s buttery bounty, but before you dash into any old bakery (and you have more than 1,300 to choose from), know this: Making good croissants involves a time-consuming process of folding the dough numerous times with butter and leaving the results to rest for many hours. For this reason, the majority of bakeries (somewhat shamefully) now fall back on mass-produced factory versions. 

To ensure you get homemade artisanal croissants, look out for bakeries with signage sporting the term Artisan Boulanger. That means all dough is kneaded and fermented onsite by bakers, and made from hand-selected raw materials. 

Or you can stick to one of my surefire faves below. 

(Boulangerie Moderne in Paris | Credit: Margie Rynn)

Where to Get the Best Croissants in Paris 

Boulangerie Moderne
Fans of Emily in Paris will recognize this quaint Latin Quarter spot as the title character’s local bakery. But the place has been making excellent pastries since long before Emily came along. You can’t do better than the croissant au beurre—a delightfully rich and flaky item that’s particularly good when dipped in coffee. Order both and enjoy on the outdoor terrace. 16 rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, 5th arrond; RER: Luxembourg

M. Jacques
With two addresses off the beaten tourist track—both in the hip northeast of town—M. Jacques is worth the trek for its deep-hued croissants and pains au chocolat, which flake in your mouth with a soul-satisfying crunch before melting into a buttery fluff on your tongue. The cakes made here are great, too. 132 rue Saint-Maur, 11th arrond. (second location at 207 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 10th arrond.); Métro: Parmentier, Goncourt, or Couronnes

Tout Autour du Pain
A short distance from the Picasso Museum in the trendy northern part of the Marais, this locals' bakery is in a handy spot when you're visiting the area. The croissants are light, sweet, and breadlike in texture, making them a good option if you want the buttery flavor without the grease. 134 rue de Turenne, 3rd arrond.; Métro: République, Temple, or Saint-Sébastien–Froissart

(Croissant from Tout Autour du Pain in Paris | Credit: Anna E. Brooke)

Terroirs d’Avenir
This is my local bakery, situated just east of Place de la Bastille on rue Paul Bert—a foodie street known for its grocers, delis, and restaurants. Even if I didn’t live nearby I’d cross town for these croissants. Light and buttery with a lip-smacking caramelized crust on the bottom, they’re so moreish it’s hard to stop at just one. Try to save room for the pillowy brioche and pain des abeilles, a dense loaf made with honey. 8 rue Paul Bert, 11th arrond.; Métro: Faidherbe-Chaligny

Terroirs d'Avenir has several other locations in Paris—a croissant from the bakery at 17 boulevard Morland is pictured at the top of this page. 

Anna E. Brooke is the author of Frommer's Paris 2024 and a co-author of Frommer's France, available in stores and from online booksellers starting May 21.