A French bakery in Old City is serving up cochinita tacos and Mexican-flavored doughnuts

Above all else, when it comes to french cuisine, France is perhaps best known for its bread. The best place to buy any carb food in France is at the boulangerie, which literally means bakery in English. Here’s your ultimate French bakery guide, including what to buy in a boulangerie in France and some French vocabulary to help you order!

People in France take their bread seriously and perhaps this is no more apparent than the literal fact that an annual bread festival is held each year on the Parvis de Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris.

During this cultural event, one baker receives the prestigious award of the ‘best baguette’. There are actually various awarding bodies for baked goods in France and it’s a point of pride at many boulangeries to display any awards that the business might have won in the past few years, including for various kinds of ‘best pastries’.

Paris En Rose sells fresh-baked croissants, pastries and other French treats, as well as sandwiches and hot and cold drinks.

(Paris En Rose)

San Diegans can experience a little slice of France at Paris En Rose, a new shop serving delicious sweet and savory fare with a French twist in Del Mar.

“I (have) always had a passion for (opening) my own bakery and cafe,” said Annie Benaroch, the owner of Paris En Rose. “I wanted to bring a little touch of Paris here.”

A Moroccan-born pastry chef who spent years in Paris before relocating to La Jolla, Benaroch said this isn’t her first French-inspired business in the area. She owns Parisien Gourmandises, a kosher bakery in La Jolla, where pastries are baked daily and transported to her new shop in the Del Mar Plaza. (Paris En Rose will not be kosher.)

Benaroch, a family-taught baker since she was a little girl, has taken baking courses in France and completed training at The Pastry School & Shop by Stéphane Tréand in Tustin.

“My passion started at home,” Benaroch said. “I’m in love with France and Paris. That’s why I chose La Jolla. It’s very cute, like a little Paris.”

Benaroch’s treats — including her popular croissants (pistachio, chocolate, almond and others) made with butter and flour imported from France — will be available year round at Paris En Rose. With “a little bit of everything for everyone,” the cafe will also offer savory sandwiches and hot and cold drinks.

For the cherry on top, Benaroch added a French épicerie with goodies like jams, candies and sparkling juice.

Paris En Rose has two tables outside for guests to enjoy the pastries, but will soon have more seating in the plaza’s common area.

Roxana Becerril is a freelance writer.

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March 23, 2023 / 4:30 AM
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It Happens Here: Back yard French bakery a big hit in Needham and beyond

NEEDHAM – It’s the talk of the town.

Le Petit Four is a back yard kitchen – literally in the back yard of a house in Needham – that can transport you, or at least your taste buds, to France.

“My dream was to start a business for years and particularly in baking because it’s inside of me,” says Valerie Coullet, the owner of Le Petit Four.

“We started with a small oven, so Le Petit Four means ‘small oven,'” she explains.

Some of the treats at Le Petit Four in Needham.

“Every time, each year, I am always surprised when I see the lines,” she told WBZ-TV.

“Good quality, perfection, starting small and consistency” are her secrets to success, as are the size of Le Petit Four’s baked goods.

“I said always with the kitchen, we have to be generous, we have to be gourmand.”

She’s now built a full kitchen in the backyard and has a helper. Local grocers and restaurants are starting to use her as a vendor.

Valerie Coullet (left) in her back yard bakery Le Petit Four in Needham.

And she’s thinking, in the near future, of starting a food truck.

“I am very proud,” Valerie says.

Liam Martin joined WBZ-TV in June 2015 as an evening anchor and reporter.

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The pandemic has been good for collaboration, especially in Philly’s food circles, where chefs have taken to teaming up for special tasting menus that bring out novelty-seekers. It’s a trend that’s seen chefs guest-star at the likes of Volver, River Twice, and Stina, often for one-night-only events.

One of the city’s latest collaborations, however, has more staying power and features two staples of the American diet: tacos and doughnuts.

Those are the primary offerings at Si, a weekends-only project from Mexican-food specialist Israel Nocelo and pastry chef C.J. Cheyne, owner of Oui bakery in Old City. Head down the narrow passageway next to Oui’s cobalt-colored storefront and you’ll find Si in a gravel courtyard festooned with a piñata and a disco ball. Step up to the bakery’s back entrance to order Nocelo’s saucy, habanero-spiked cochinita tacos and Cheyne’s Mexican-tinged doughnuts, grab a seat, and crack open a Victoria lager beer.

Nocelo and Cheyne have been frequent collaborators since the pandemic. Nocelo first tapped Cheyne’s culinary abilities in 2020 as the GM at La Llorona, to bake Mexican bread for the brunch menu. While he’s since moved on to manage at General Tsao’s House in Rittenhouse, the pair continued to work together through El Mezcal Cantina, where Nocelo consulted on the menu. Cheyne makes conchas for the new Point Breeze restaurant, which bakes them to-order in a wood-fired oven and serves them with vanilla ice cream.

“All of these baking breads in Mexico, like tortas and cemitas, are coming from the baguettes and croissants,” he said.

Si was conceived as a creative outlet that satisfied two respective desires: Cheyne had been considering a second location for Oui, and Nocelo — who has been involved in various projects in Philly, including La Mula Terca, Tuna Bar, and Attico Rooftop — wanted to showcase Mexican street food.

The two were discussing those ideas when it occurred to Cheyne: “I have a backyard. We use it, people love it. But what if we were to make a concept out of it?” she said. “You can start small, just to test the waters by doing a pop-up, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.”

They briefly launched Si last winter, serving tacos and doughnuts around a campfire in the courtyard, and brought it back in April after a hiatus.

The full menu is available for dine-in or takeout on Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. or sellout. (Si‘s selection of doughnuts is available throughout the week, and Nocelo said to look for intermittent specials like breakfast tacos soon.)

Going forward, Nocelo plans to add al pastor tacos, cooked traditionally, on a vertical spit. Oui’s pastries are seasonal, and the current floral-inspired doughnut lineup features agave-chamomile, hibiscus, and lemon-poppy seed. Look for “rainbow fruit flavors” this summer.

On a recent Sunday midafternoon, Si was a quiet oasis off the bustle of Third and Race, but Nocelo intends to cultivate a “brunchy, lounge-y vibe” with cumbia music and more greenery as the weather improves.

“It’s just fun,” Nocelo said.

Si‘s menu is available Friday through Sunday at Oui, 160 N. Third St., from noon to 6 p.m.

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The past few years have been a renaissance for French pastry in New York. Not only are more shops serving better croissants, but ambitious upstarts like Dominique Ansel Bakery, Bien Cuit, and Lafayette have injected some much needed excitement into a pastry category that at times feels staid and dull.

This is great news for all kinds of pastry fans—all this competition has boosted both quality and creativity. But it’s gotten near impossible to keep track of who makes the flakiest croissant, the softest brioche, and the crunchiest canele. And what if you’re craving something esoteric, like the perfect kouign aman or the most whimsical religieuse? That’s where this guide comes in.

Below you’ll find our recommendations for the finest French-style pastry shops in the city, with notes on what they do best. Not all of these bakeries are French specialists, but they do offer at least three destination-worthy French items.

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Best for: Croissants, macarons, mille-feuille, and fine desserts.

Almondine’s pastry chef and owner Hervé Poussot worked at Le Bernardin and Payard, and is partly responsible for bringing French pastry to New York back in 2004. Ten years later he’s kept the quality just as high, despite Hurricane Sandy totaling the DUMBO shop.

Though not typically in the canon of French pastry, we’d be remiss not to mention Almondine’s excellent chocolate chip cookies. These beauties have a crispy exterior, a slightly soft interior, and huge dark chocolate discs along with a hint of salt.

85 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

map 718-797-5026‎ Website

Photograph: Kathy YL Chan

Best for: Croissants, brioche, seasonal tarts, and puff pastry.

Balthazar’s croissants are something of a New York institution. They’re large but very light with just the right amount of air between their buttery layers. And with a large wholesale bakery in New Jersey, Balthazar churns out what may be the most consistent line of high-end viennoiserie in the city—almost exactly the same whether you buy them from the Spring Street storefront or one of the many coffee bars and restaurants that stock their items.

The seasonal tarts, such as fig or apple, are beautiful to look at (a great gift for any dinner host), feature perfectly ripe fruit, and are encased within buttery crust or base of puff pastry. And don’t miss their Linzer tart—its concentrated berry flavor is unmatched.

On the sweeter side, try the profiteroles when they’re available: tiny, perfectly baked choux pastry filled with vanilla pastry cream and dipped in caramel or chocolate. Chocolate lovers can’t go wrong with the (expensive) classic flourless chocolate cake. It’s just slightly denser than a soufflé but delivers the same dark chocolate flavor, and can easily be split between 2 or 3 people.

In the “less fussy” category, Balthazar’s plain brioche, pain au raisin and palmiers are consistently fresh and perfect for a quick treat.

80 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012

map 212-965-1414 ‎ Website

Photograph: Robyn Lee

Best for: Croissants, tarts, and fine desserts.

This bakery is known for its spectacular bread, but if you haven’t tried their croissants and dessert pastry you’re missing out.

One look at Bien Cuit’s croissants and you can tell these guys know what they’re doing. The croissants have a unique dark brown crust that shows all of the wound layers of laminated dough. If it’s available, I strongly recommend the crunchy multi-layered twice-baked chocolate-almond croissant. A croissant is split and filled with frangipane and dark chocolate, then baked and brushed with a mix of brandy and simple syrup. Smaller sweet items like the diamond-shaped chocolate chip shortbread cookies are also great for when you need a quick sugar fix.

For dessert for yourself or a gift to wow your dinner hosts, Bien Cuit’s tarts (I recommend the dark chocolate) have a beautiful mirror-like finish and delicate buttery shells. They’re expensive, and worth every penny. Finally, if you’re in the mood for something decadent and showy, or need a flashy gift, try their St. Honore cake. Available in small and large sizes, these cakes feature multiple, pastry creme filled choux pastry on top of a pedestal of puff pastry.

120 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

map 718-852-0200 Website

Best for: Croissants, caneles, Paris-Brests, macarons, and fancy single-serving desserts.

Best for: Croissants, caneles, and tarts.

Though not technically a French bakery, Breads sells at least three categories of finely executed French pastry in addition to their superb baguettes. Plus, everything is baked throughout the day in ovens that are about 50 feet from the counter. Their popular canele is sweet, aromatic, and always fresh. Copious use of real vanilla beans make this tiny treat a special experience.

Though many visit Breads for their chocolate babka, the viennoisorie selections—though pricey—are also worth a look. Their almond croissant is well baked and offers myriad layers of extra-crunchy laminated dough. Their rich, buttery, chocolate croissant separates itself from the pack with the use of a nice high quality dark chocolate. Like the canele, there are multiple bakings of croissants throughout the day.

Their range of seasonal fruit tarts are always oven-fresh and crusts are buttery, supple, and maybe a bit too easy to enjoy. Order one made with a fruit currently in season as Breads gets their produce straight from the nearby Union Square Farmer’s Market. Recent favorites include pear, raspberry, and mixed berry tarts.

18 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003

map 212-633-2253 Website

Best for: Caneles, puff pastry, pear tarts, and apple turnovers.

Adventurous pastry lovers travel from near and far to this excellent French bakery in a Queens strip mall, and with good reason. Not only does it offer great desserts, but it does so at half the price of comparable bakeries in Manhattan.

On weekends, no matter what else you order, try at least one of their crunchy, custardy canele for only $2 (they cost $3 or more in Manhattan). Fall-friendly desserts like apple turnovers and pear tarts are other can’t miss items. The turnover’s puff pastry comes with beautiful thin layers and a shiny egg wash finish.

All of Cannelle’s viennoiserie items are worth a look, and the buttery, flaky croissants and pain au chocolate go for just $1.70 and $1.90 respectively. Richer items like a chocolate praline (chocolate lover’s dream filled with dark chocolate ganache and crunchy puffed rice) and an airy St. Honoré (two stacked cream puffs coated with a caramelized sugar glaze) dare you to pass them up.

It’s certainly the best French bakery in Queens, but there’s much to love if you’re coming from another borough as well.

75-59 31st Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY 11370

map 718-565-6200 Website

Best for: Croissants and fruit tarts.

Ceci-Cela is best known for their excellent croissants (which are sold throughout the city at Joe the Art of Coffee, among others). But their almond croissants may be their top offering. They have a well-baked exterior layer with flat slivers of toasted almonds, and a slightly moist interior with just the right amount of aromatic frangipane filling.

55 Spring St, New York, NY ‎10012

map 212-274-9179 ‎ Website

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Best for: Kouign amanns, caneles, apple tartes tatin, fine desserts and novelty desserts.

Although most famous for creating the Cronut (and other whimsical treats like the cookie shot), Dominique Ansel offers a wide selection of excellent classic French pastries. One of his best items—and what you should order instead of a Cronut or anything else—is the Breton kouign amman–or “DKA”, a dense, flaky pastry resplendent with butter and coated in a crackly sugar crust. (Ask nicely and they’ll fill it with ice cream for you.)

Speaking of caramelized pastry, the bakery’s canele, also one of the city’s best, are superb. And like the kouign amann, the canele are baked multiple times throughout the day for guaranteed freshness. The apple tarte tatin—a single-serving round of crust topped with an inch-thick ring of deeply caramelized apple—keeps the theme going.

Despite his newfound success, Ansel doesn’t rest on his laurels; the bakery rolls out five to ten new pastries every two months or so, and a few join the permanent menu. None seem more French than the seasonal religieuse, usually creatively decorated to reflect a theme or holiday. These showy treats feature choux pastry puffs filled with two different types of pastry cream. Finally, peanut butter lovers won’t want to miss the Paris-New York, a take on the classic Paris-Brest pastry but with peanut butter, chocolate, and caramel between rings of choux pastry.

189 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012

map 212-219-2773 Website

Different types of baguette

When ordering your baguette, take care to note that there will actually be several different types of baguette for sale, some of which are tastier than others. The standard baguette is known as ‘baguette ordinaire’ and will be the cheapest, though you can instead opt for the ‘baguette tradition’.

Baguette tradition is baked in accordance with a traditional recipe and tends to have a chewier crust and fluffier interior. This baguette tends to be 10-40 centimes more expensive than its cheaper counterpart but is more than worth the extra price tag in my opinion.

Depending on where you are (with Paris- check here for our guide to the best bakeries in Paris– being more expensive than bakeries in the countryside), a baguette ordinaire will cost between €0.90 and €1.30.

The other thing to know about purchasing a baguette in a French boulangerie is that you can actually choose how cooked you want your bread to be. If you prefer a better baked, firmer loaf, then you can ask for bien-cuite whereas if you prefer something a little softer you can opt for a baguette pas trop cuite.

As you can see, ordering a baguette at a French bakery may well be a little more complicated than you originally expected! The main takeaways are that you can order a baguette normal or a baguette tradition (again, I highly recommend opting for tradition) and you can order less cooked or more cooked depending on your personal preferences.

Whatever you choose to opt for, be sure to only purchase enough baguette for what you’ll need that day. Baguettes which are baked to traditional recipes can go stale fairly quickly and so it’s normal for French people to head to the bakery on a daily basis to get their baguette for the day.

As of the 30th November 2022, the French Baguette has been given UNESCO World Heritage status. The foodstuff has joined the list of “intangible cultural heritage” alongside things such as traditional tea making in China and a Korean mask dance known as “talchum”.

On the subject, president Macron said that the baguette is “envied around the world” and offers up “250 grams of magic and perfection in our daily lives”.

What is the difference between ‘vienoisserie’ and ‘pâtisserie’?

Though the term ‘vienoisserie’ and ‘pâtisserie’ may be used interchangeably for some things sold in the French bakery, this is not the case for all goods. Whereas pâtisseries are desserts such as cream cakes, éclairs, and the like, vienoisseries originate from Vienna in Austria and are the kind of baked pâtisserie that bridge the gap between bread and pâtisserie. As such, examples of vienoisseries include brioche and croissants.

What is sold at a French bakery?

Known as ‘boulangerie’ in French, you can expect to find all manner of ‘baked’ goods at a French bakery. The most common things, which are sold in all boulangeries, are various baguettes and classic pastries, which are known as ‘vienoisseries’ or ‘pâtisseries’ (both terms are translated into English as ‘pastries’).

If you’re a particular fan of baked goods, then you should also bear in mind that there are some baked goods and pastries which are only available in certain regions of France, aka regional specialities.

For example, the Kouign-Amann comes directly from Brittany and, though it has grown in popularity over the past few years, is still harder to find outside of the Western-French region.

Other breads at a French Boulangerie (Pain de Campagne)

As well as baguettes, there are a mouthwatering array of other breads which you can purchase at a French bakery, most notably a farmhouse-style loaf which is known as Pain de Campagne.

There’s a wide range of terms to describe the various breads, including pain de camapgne (an oval shaped loaf which is made using both white and wholegrain bread flour) pain de mie (a rectangular loaf of wheat bread), pain au levain (sourdough bread), and pain aux céréales (grain bread).

Loaves of bread will not come automatically sliced and so you’ll have to ask for your bread to be ‘tranché’ if you want it sliced (I really recommend asking for this option as it’s easier to store and consume later).

You should also note that boulangeries are often a popular lunch option among locals as many sell quiches and sandwiches which are typically made fresh on a daily basis. If you want to opt for a pastry, sandwich/ pizza slice/ quiche, and drink then you’ll want to ask if there is a ‘formule’ available as this will often give you a lunch deal for a reduced price.

Bread etiquette in France

One of the more curious French habits that you may never have heard of before is the custom of eating the end crust of the baguette on your way home. The end of the baguette is known as ‘le quignon’ and is what is munched on on the way home.

This habit greatly amuses me, though my boyfriend grew up doing this as it’s normal in France to eat the quignon of the baguette while it’s still warm.

Bread is traditionally served with all meals in France. No side plates are given and instead the bread is consumed directly off of the table cloth or table if there is no cloth present. At the end of the meal, the bread crumbs (known as ‘miettes’ are swept off the table and onto a plate for disposal).

Bread is also a staple of the French breakfast, with popular options being a tartine (where you slice a piece of baguette in half, toast it, and serve it with jam, honey, chocolate spread, or French butter) or a vienoisserie (the two most common being croissants and pain au chocolats).

Things to know before ordering in a French boulangerie

Whatever the time of the year, there is almost always a queue to visit the bakery in France first thing in the morning. This is especially the case in smaller villages and towns where there is only one location where you can buy baked goods! As such, don’t be put off by the queue and be prepared to wait.

If I could give you just one France tip, it’s that you should always say hello ‘bonjour’ when you first enter the bakery (or any other business establishment for that matter). Not doing so is considered to be the height of rudeness and can result in a less than desirable customer service experience.

Next, you should know that many businesses close in France for the month of August. This is when most French residents take their summer holidays and you’ll find many of the larger French cities devoid of people. Many clothing shops, specialist food shops, garages, and even bakeries close up shop for most, if not all, of the month of August.

In some towns, it’s not uncommon to discover that every bakery in the area has closed up shop for August at the same time, meaning that you may have to go another town over in order to acquire baked goods! At the end of August, the period when people return from their summer vacations is known as la rentrée.

Though English is widely spoken in touristic areas (such as Paris and on the French Riviera), it’s only polite to learn a few words of the local language, which in this case is French. Simply learning how to say ‘hello,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘please,’ and ‘sorry’ will help you go a long way. Pick up a simple French phrasebook like this one to help you on your travels.

Last but not least, if there’s one thing I could tell you it’s that, if you’re a carb-lover, then you simply must take the time out of your trip to head into a French boulangerie, if only to sample a baguette, or at the very least, a croissant.

Enjoyed reading this French bakery guide? Pin this article now, read it again later:

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.

Epicerie Boulud

Best for: Croissants, eclairs, canele, and fancy desserts.

Almost no one has a wider selection of French bakery classics than Epicerie Boulud. And nearly everything here is excellent, from their crunchy palmiers to their large buttery pain au chocolat. But there are some true standouts, like a beautifully caramelized canele and a light and buttery croissant.

For something more substantial, head over to the refrigerated pastry case. Start with the precision-executed mini-tarts, especially those made with seasonal fruit. Also: eclairs! The classic fillings are all here, but the coffee version is exceptional.

If you happen to visit in January, seek out their rich, layered, frangipane-filled king cake (also known as galette de roi)—it’s one of the best versions I’ve had. (And in December, splurge on a bouche de Noel.)

1900 North Broadway, New York, NY 10023

map 212-595-9606 Website

Best for: Macarons, fine desserts, and caneles.

When Ladurée, the global purveyor of fine macarons, opened their Soho location, they also began offering a new line of excellent French pastries that are made in-house right here in New York. But recommendations for Laduree have to start with their macarons, generally recognized as the best in New York despite being flown in from Monaco every day. The shells are always light and their fillings are more flavorful than the competition. Fans of softer-shelled (Pierre Herme-style) macarons are the only people who may not swoon over these.

For something really showy (and French), try Laduree’s excellent religieuse pastry. The choux is crisp and eggy and the pastry cream inside is not overly sweet. They also bake a very good canele with a crisp exterior and custardy interior.

398 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012

map 646-392-7868‎ Website

Lady M Cake Boutique

Photograph: Alice Gao

Best for: Mille crêpe cake and eclairs.

Their éclairs (I like the green tea) feature an exacting attention to detail, and the filling—though still a classic pastry cream—is only lightly sweetened. Additionally, their petit chocolate individual cakes, when available, are a chocolate lover’s fantasy. They’re rich with a very dark chocolate flavor that reminds me of a good dark chocolate souffle.

Lady M Confections

Best for: Croissants, eclairs, canele, tarts, and cookies.

Lafayette is the most visually striking bakeries on this list, with tall vaulted ceilings and rustic wooden racks of baguettes. It also has three can’t miss categories of sweets.

The first is Lafayette’s entire selection of viennoiserie items. Look for the “Croissant Du Jour” like the superb crunchy banana chocolate coconut croissant. If that day’s special croissant doesn’t sound like your thing, grab a fresh pain au chocolate. After biting through the slightly crispy, buttery layers, you’ll be rewarded with a ribbon of decidedly high-end dark chocolate.

In the tart category we like the alternating mousse layers and cocoa nib crunch inside the accrue de caramel tart. Lafayette’s cookies, mini-canele and macarons are also excellent and are baked throughout the day for consistent freshness.

380 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012

map 212-533-3000 Website

Photograph: Courtesy of Mille-Feuille

Best for: Croissants, puff pastry, macarons, and mille-feuille.

It’s easy to miss the original location of this small, low-ceilinged bakery in the West Village (they now also have a location on the Upper West Side). But it’s worth seeking out, because Mille-Feuille bakes some of the best croissants and puff pastry around. If it’s available, order one of their excellent raspberry almond croissants, which feature house-made raspberry jam and rich frangipane filling. Their macarons, which were ranked just outside the top three in our citywide tasting, are also worth exploring, especially the caramel or salted caramel.

Mille-Feuille is also, unsurprisingly, known for their namesake pastry. In fact, it’s one of pastry chef Olivier Dessyn’s specialties, with beautiful crunchy sable layers and flavored buttercream and pastry cream. I like the chocolate, but others may prefer custardy vanilla bean or pistachio.

Best for: Apple turnovers, croissants, and tarts.

Kathy YL Chan, Serious Eats’ dedicated dessert correspondent of five years, was a huge fan of Petrossian, so if my word isn’t good enough for you, take hers too.

Their croissants, one of our favorites in the city, are characterized by a particularly flaky dough. Eat their perfect plain croissant with some berry preserves for best results. If you’re in the mood for something more involved, try the excellent almond or crunchy pistachio croissant. The latter is filled with chopped pistachios, almond paste, and apricot preserves.

On first glance, Petrossian’s fruit-filled tarts don’t look like much, but they’re buttery and have a soft crumb (the mixed berry is the best). I also highly recommend the apple turnovers. They don’t have the light flaky crust of, say, Cannelle Patisserie’s, but their buttery, flaky crust and perfectly cooked apples make them a keeper.

911 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019

map 212-245-2217 Website

Runner and Stone

Photograph: Niko Triantafillou

Best for: Apple turnovers, croissants, and caneles.

Runner and Stone in Gowanus is known for baking superb bread, but they’ve slowly been adding to their repertoire of classic pastry. Though their menu in this area is smaller than most on this list, the three items below are all in the mix for the best of New York.

Their canele (available on weekends only) with its distinctive matte finish is a must-eat, by far the city’s crunchiest. Their chocolate almond croissant is also an unusually crunchy frangipane-filled treat that’s worth a special trip. Finally, Runner and Stone’s apple turnover is as tasty on the inside as it is beautiful on the outside. The strikingly pretty pastry, with its shiny egg-washed finish, features light, flaky layers of puff pastry and a perfectly cooked apple filling that’s not too sweet. The only better apple turnover I’ve had is at Cannelle Patisserie in Jackson Heights.

285 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

map 718-576-3360 Website

What is the difference between a pâtisserie and a boulangerie?

A boulangerie is a bakery and a pâtisserie is a pastry shop, though most boulangeries and patisseries sell both various baked goods and desserts (pastries). As mentioned, any reputable boulangerie will sell various basic pastries, though it’s worth noting that there are some high-end patisseries which only sell desserts.

In more rural locations, the boulangerie will also act at the pâtisserie! Pâtisseries denote both the type of establisment, as well as the goods sold within. Therefore, a pâtisserie will also sell pâtisseries. Some of these include the chic pattiseries in Paris of Pierre-Hermé and Ladurée.

In both Belgium and France, the law is very strict in that only licensed and well-trained pastry chefs are only about to be employed as such. The term in French is maître pâtissier (master pastry chef).

In order to be classed as a boulangerie, the bakery must bake bread on their premises and their prime goods for sale must be various types of breads (more on this in a bit). It should be noted that French supermarkets also sell most of these products, but they are typically not of as high quality.

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