I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic. It’s true, chocolate is my drug of choice. I (think) I need a daily dose of it to cure my sweet tooth and fuel my endorphines. If there is anything with chocolate on the menu, it’s a safe bet to assume that’s what I’ll be ordering. (How can you go wrong with chocolate, right?)
Needless to say, when it comes to croissants and breakfast pastries, I have a serious weakness for pain au chocolat. In case you’re not familiar, pain au chocolat is a French pastry made from a yeast-leavened dough (very similar to croissants) and contain one or two pieces of chocolate in the centre. When freshly made and still warm from the oven, they are heavenly.
During my time in Paris, I ate more than my fair share of pain au chocolat. Some were good, some could have been better, and some were so good they kept me coming back for more.
Here are my top 5 boulangeries where you can find the best pain au chocolat in Paris.
1. Gérard Mulot
There are several different locations throughout the city where you can find Gerard Mulot, but my favorite was in the Marais district. The pain au chocolat here are uber buttery and downright delicious. My favorite thing was to stop in and get my pastry to go, then head down the street to enjoy it while sitting on a bench in Place de Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris. It’s a lovely way to start any day.
6, rue du Pas de la Mule
Tip: Also try the macarons here. I thought the chocolate and the salted caramel macarons were better than the ones from Pierre Herme and Laduree.
2. Au levain du Marais
This little gem is located in the 11th, right down from Place de la Bastille. You’re likely to find many locals lined up to purchase their bread and pastries, but don’t worry, the line moves quickly. The pain au chocolat here are excellent. It might have something to do with the high quality of dark chocolate they add to the center.
28 bd Beaumachais
Benoît Castel, the pastry chef behind Liberté has received awards for both his croissants and baguettes. Need I say more to convince you? Stop by the industrial style pastry shop then enjoy a walk or bike ride along Canal St. Martin.
10e 39 Rue des Vinaigriers
4. AU 140
This boulangerie is located away from the main tourist areas. Just about any time of day you pass by, you’ll find a line of locals waiting to purchase their bread and pastries for the day. The pain au chocolate that this rustic boulangerie churns out are baked in a wood-fired oven and are super buttery and flaky.
140 Rue de Belleville
5. Eric Kayser
Eric Kayser has numerous locations throughout Paris, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you’ll only find mediocre pastries from a chain bakery. You’ll find some of the best baguettes and pastries here. On two occasions I stopped and picked up a pain au chocolat to take home for breakfast the morning. Needless to say, once I got a whiff of the buttery pastry, it didn’t even make it half way home until I devoured it. I have no shame. Once you try one you’ll understand.
10 rue de l’Ancienne Comedie
Have you tried any of these boulangeries, or do have any others to add to the list? Let me know if the comments below.