This post will focus on a familiar classic: l'éclair. Traditionally, éclairs consist of baked pâte à choux, chocolate or coffee pastry cream, and a stripe of chocolate or coffee fondant. However, especially in Paris, you will find innovative flavors in addition to the traditional ones.
I've tried éclairs from five or six different places here in Paris and here's my current list. You will find a list with information and addresses at the end of this post.
This multi-store patisserie was founded in 1859 and continues to turn out lovely food and create a clean, sunny atmosphere. They've got 13 stores in the Paris area. No small operation. In 2015 they were named makers of the best éclair au chocolat in Paris.
I stopped by their Saint Michel location for a mid-morning snack one sunny day. In their refrigerated case, they displayed their award-winning éclair au chocolat, as well as salted caramel and passion fruit varieties.
I opted for the award-winner. The quality of the chocolate glaze was good, nice and dark. The pâte à choux was baked well, but overall they lacked the perfection I was seeking in a 4€ pastry. The filling was not the most flavorful and the choux was a little soggy, which I suppose in bound to happen with creamy fillings. A good snack, but for me, not the best éclair of Paris.
L'Eclair de Génie
Perhaps the most well-known purveyor of éclairs is L'Eclair de Génie. With boutiques all over the world, Christophe Adam has created a sensation. The meticulously created pastries here are always perfect. One could easily eat lunch in Paris for the 6€ it costs to enjoy one of these treats.
Unfortunately, my only photo of éclairs from this place is dark and unflattering. But, just trust me. These things are incredible. Each creation is classic and new, sweet, crunchy, smooth, gorgeous...
Pictured L to R are: Salted Butter Caramel, Vanilla Pecan, Dark Chocolate, Pistachio Raspberry
From all appearances, Thevenin is an up-and-coming patisserie in Paris. You can grab lunch at one of their shops to go with your bread and fancy pastry. Their éclairs weren't the most beautiful, the choux wasn't baked quite as darkly as I prefer, but the flavor and filling was spot on. The Thevenin éclairs au chocolat are more milk chocolate than dark, which is a nice change.
It was a pleasant thing to enjoy in the park by Notre-Dame de Paris.
I'm sure that I've barely scratched the surface of éclairs in Paris. Please leave comments of your favorite éclair in Paris!
Well established patisserie and popular for their brunch as well. Check out their beautiful website for a peek at their methods.
13 Locations in the Paris area.
The Saint Michel location is open each day and accessible by the Saint-Michel and Cluny/La Sorbonne metro stations
14 Boulevard Saint-Michel
L'Eclair de Génie
Bright and beautiful store-fronts welcome you in for a beautiful sight to go with beautiful tastes.
9 Boutiques in Paris, 5 in Japan, 5 in Hong Kong, 2 in Italy
A great spot for a good pastry or loaf of bread. Notre-Dame-des-Champs location is closed on Sundays
119 Avenue du Général Leclerc
14 Rue Daguerre
5 Rue Notre Dame des Champs