Let me be your online guide to the best pastries and patisseries on Rue Saint-Dominique in Paris.
Inspired by my second book, Teatime in Paris, which is essentially a pastry tour of recipes all around Paris, I include rue Saint-Dominique. All in the shadow of the Iron Lady, this sweet street boasts more than just a couple of pastry and chocolate shops and so it deserves its very own post – especially as this street has changed over the last few years.
This post was first published on 28th June 2017. Sadly, since then a few well-known addresses have changed hands or left so this post is now updated, featuring the latest patisseries and specialities in this famous Parisian street, just a few blocks away from the Eiffel Tower.
My Best Loved Patisseries Near the Eiffel Tower
With such a wealth of the best sweet addresses in Paris, imagine how exciting it is to have the most delicious oasis of patisseries, bakeries, chocolate and caramel shops plus Salon de Thé tearooms concentrated IN JUST THREE BLOCKS – all near the Eiffel Tower!
We’re starting at the intersection with Rue Saint-Dominique and the bottom of the popular pedestrian street of Rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement, walking along to the Esplanade des Invalides, an open-air playground for the boules-playing locals. Finish off your sweet stroll by watching them play: grab a bench nearby with a pastry box or two and caramels in hand.
Best Pastries Rue Saint-Dominique Paris
Aux Merveilleux de Fred
Right on the corner of the Church of Saint-Pierre du Gros Caillou, marvel at the Merveilleux meringue-and-Chantilly-cream domes – or les gaufres fourrées (vanilla and rum waffles) – being freshly prepared in the window. With its door always open, it’s not difficult to be lured in to this chandelier-clinking bakery, where Frédéric Vaucamp has brought us back to 18th century specialities of Northern France and Flanders.
There are a few boutiques in Paris – I have fond memories of discovering the first one in the 16th, just off rue de Passy (rue de l’Annonciation) when I first started this blog in 2010.
Each Merveilleux meringue cake comes in large, individual or mini, and each take a theme from French society. Choose your size, for example, with a whipped cream and caramel that’s called the Sans-Culottes – meaning “without breeches or pants” – referring to the common people who largely took part in the French Revolution. Cinnamon lovers will enjoy the Incroyables (cinnamon speculoos cream), or why not try the Unthinkable (the Impensable) with its crispy creamy coffee meringue? For a cherry in your cake, go Excentrique.
Don’t forget to stock up with their legendary Cramiques for an extra sticky brioche-style breakfast. There are 3 kinds: either studded with juicy raisins, sugar pearls, or densely packed with dark chocolate chips.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred
94 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris
Sunday 9am-7pm (Closed Monday)
Award-winning pastry chef, Sadaharu Aoki has been amazing Parisians with his distinct Japanese influences on French pâtisserie since he arrived in Paris in 1991. Previously teamed up with Jean Millet, this boutique with its secluded tearoom at the back was completely taken over by Chef Aoki as of May 2017.
The window is often loaded with Matcha Green Tea croissants and colourful macarons but step inside and be prepared for a museum-like experience with his range of pristine pastries – many decorated with his signature mini macarons – chocolates and rolled Japanese sponge cakes.
Many macarons are tea-infused with Hojicha grilled Japanese tea, and Genmaïcha, a green tea combined with roasted brown rice plus with sophisticated tones of white and black sesame.
Green tea is given another voice with his popular pastry, the Bamboo – Chef Aoki’s Japanese take on the classic Parisian Opéra cake, with each delicate layer consisting of joconde biscuit, buttercream, chocolate ganache, syrup and glaçage (glaze) – but in place of the traditional coffee syrup, chef Aoki exchanges it with Matcha green tea and a splash of Kirsch liqueur, adding that special je ne sais quoi to the opera notes – Yo, it has its own pentatonic scale! For more of his pastry tastings, see my previous post here.
For lemon tart lovers, you won’t be disappointed – but be warned! There are yuzu tartlets too, amongst others (like pistachio), so making your choice could be difficult.
103 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris
Sunday 10am-6pm (Closed Monday)
Stop here for a taste of the other speciality of Bordeaux, the Canelé. As winemakers used egg whites to clarify their wines, the local nuns came up with this delicious idea to use up the egg yolks in the 18th Century and the Canelas was born. Over the years the name has changed but it’s still a fascinating little caramelised crunchy fluted cake with an eggy vanilla and rum interior.
They also have macarons and chocolate but you can’t leave France without tasting a Canelé! The good news is that they can keep for a few days, so prepare your doggy bag for later as there are still many treats to try yet.
74 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris
If you’re looking for a good, crusty baguette and a choice of delicious sliced breads, pop into the Boulangerie Nelly Julien, 85 rue Saint Dominique and be tempted with even more pastries.
Monday-Saturday 6.30am-8.15pm. Closed Sunday
Le Moulin de la Vierge
The bakery window says it all: “Viennoiserie – Tout Au Beurre”.
Here you have to taste their Viennoiseries, the delicious umbrella word which covers the best buttery, flaky croissants, pains au chocolat, pains au raisin, apple chaussons to name a few – and typically eaten for breakfast. More butter cakes come in the form of little Financiers (friands) teacakes, plus their selection of traditional pastries. Rows of fresh crusty bread, flutes and baguettes wink at customers behind the cosy lamps on the counter. They also offer soup and sandwiches to either take out or sit in.
64 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris
Thursday-Tuesday 7.30am-8.30pm (Closed Wednesday)
Turn right into Rue Amélie and you’ll see why it’s worth just a few steps off rue Saint Dominique. Decked out in turquoise blue and white, you’ll love the array of patisseries, macarons and viennoiseries dreamed up by talented pastry chef, Francesca and her team.
Check out the chic Parisian wallpaper and flowerpots on the original steel frames kept to remind you of the location’s history: it housed the workers of the Eiffel Tower in the 19th Century.
You’ll also be lured in to watch the chefs in full swing producing their picture perfect pastries and brioches from the lab in full view behind the counter. Pastry classes on request.
Notre Patisserie, 7 rue Amélie, 75007 Paris
Saturday 9am-7.30pm; Sunday 9am-1pm (Closed Monday)
As the word, “Thoumieux” implies with its play on French words, everything’s better! Just across the road from Chef Jean-François Piège’s famous eponymous brasserie, his cake shop has been taking Paris by storm since 2013 with the famous Chou Chou (a chou bun with a mini chou hidden inside).
Pastry chefs Sylvestre Wahid and Alex Lecoffre play with seasonal inspiration to create artistic treats using natural sugars and honey as well as some gluten free options. You’ll love their fraisier, mango cheesecake or lemon cake with a white chocolate crust. Don’t miss their fresh brioche buns – although my firm favourite still has to be the Chou Chou, which comes in various seasonal combinations.
58 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris
Sunday 8am-6pm (Closed Monday)
Update: Since writing this post, Thoumieux have sadly closed down their patisserie but the chocolates and macarons continue with a new shop opened by pastry chef, David Liébaux since mid-October 2017.
Henri Le Roux
Who would have known that salted caramel is a recent discovery? Not only is this one of the top chocolate shops in Paris but Henri Le Roux is also known as Caramélier. Fans of salted caramel have Henri Le Roux to thank, as he created the CBS© (Caramel au Beurre Salé) in 1977 in Quiberon, the location of his first chocolate shop in Brittany and where salted butter is added to many local specialities. Ever since, salted caramel has appeared the world over and so he wisely registered it in 1981.
Don’t leave Paris without a taste of the CBS, with its deliciously dark and soft half-salted caramel with crushed walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds giving it such a unique texture – and now celebrating its 40th birthday! There are dozens of additional flavours to choose from, including a subtle Sakura cherry blossom caramel to welcome the arrival of Spring. Peruse the mouth-watering range of chocolates (including one with truffle), as well as the caramel (Caramelier) and chocolate (Bonsoncoeur) spreads that are a special luxury on crêpes or simply on the best baguette!
52 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-2pm; 3pm-7.30pm (Closed Sunday & Monday)
Stick with me, as caramel continues to unwrap at the next block! Karamel is the new concept tearoom and patisserie created by another caramel-loving Breton, Nicolas Haelewyn, after a career at Ladurée with the last 5 years as international pastry chef.
Sitting in front of a long glass case of traditional looking pastries, it’s difficult to choose just one, as each masterpiece is intriguing – from the giant 1001 Karamel Mille feuille to some more dainty-looking treats. While I’m pondering, I’m thrown off track with tasting cups of a huge tureen of Teurgoule (or Terrinée), a dark-skinned slow-cooked caramel rice pudding from Normandy as Mum and our good friend, Rena, already tuck in to their pastry choices. I won’t spoil your surprise of my rather curvy caramelised pear on a tartlet – but open it up and Oh-là-làs are guaranteed! Sharing this somehow would have been difficult (well, that’s my excuse).
The teas by Kodama are all beautifully explained. Amazed at such a surprising match of green tea with lively ginger and lemon, the extra touch was a caramel slipped behind a dainty floral porcelain teacup.
Karamel, 67 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris
Want to make your own financiers, canelés, madeleines, tarts, millefeuilles, éclairs, choux buns and macarons yourself at home? Don’t forget you’ll find the recipes in my second book, Teatime in Paris!