Favorites: Places in Paris to cure a sweet tooth

Friday, March 8, 2013

There's no shortage of sweet shops in Paris.  If you've got a hankering for sugar, you could probably find what you need to cure your sweet tooth down at the corner boulangerie.  My favorite places to go, though are those cozy, little hideouts on some of Paris' busiest rues where you can step in and grab a slice of something sweet and take a pause from the street hustle.

I could probably start an entire blog dedicated to Paris' best sweet spots, but I'd rather just tell you where in the city we like to go when we need our sugar fix.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be able to make the trip to every single place on this list because ever since I've left France, I've had a craving at least once for something from all of them.

1.  L'Oisive Thé : I can guarantee this will be one of our first stops after we touch down in Paris.  Not only to see Aimee (the awesome owner who I'm lucky enough to call a friend) and browse her luscious yarn collection, but for a perfect cup of tea and a slice of the tarte du jour.  Or maybe the gateau du jour because it's been too long since I had myself a piece of chocolate heaven.  Gui will likely take a chocolat chaud in place of tea because the milk-and-cocoa-powder we find 'round these parts just doesn't compare to the velvety hot chocolate Aimee serves up.  There's so much I love about this place that I would stay all day if I could - aside from tea, scones, cookies, cakes and tarts, they also do a mean brunch (something that's rather hard to come by in Paris).

2.  Pom' Cannelle : When it comes to the famous glacier Berthillon, the only place to head to is l'Ile Saint Louis. But, rather than stand in line with all the other tourists and locals-playing-tourists, we go straight to this place, our favorite café on the island.  Here, we can indulge in the popular, seasonally-flavored ice cream, or nurse that sweet tooth with something else.  I'm usually a gourmande and get a couple of scoops (especially if mirabelle is in season) plus a café leigeois.  Gui isn't much more conservative than I am and generally orders the most delicious-looking thing on the menu (like this salted-butter caramel french toast with a scoop of ice cream). When it comes to sweets, he always wins.

3.  Le Loir dans la Théière - This place. It's perfectly situated on the always-bumpin' rue des Rosiers in the Marais, which means it's nearly always busy. If you come as a couple, though, the wait is usually minimal, and after you've seen the assortment of tarts, you'll soon find that it's worth it, too. Don't expect to be cordially welcomed, though because you won't find any chatty waiters in this busy hipster hangout. And, although they won't rush you out, they're pretty mindful of tables who've overstayed their welcome during the peak lunch rush. Despite it all, their mile-high meringue pie is pretty much out of this world, as are every other tarte I've ever tried from their eclectic dessert table. We always walk in, have a gander of what's available and then promptly order. They're open on Sunday (a rarity in Paris, although common for the Marais), but I think we'll try to stop in at an off-time during the week so we can be sure to nab a spot with our babe. I'm feeling full just thinking about the tart(s) and tea I'll have in my belly after leaving this place.

4.  La Durée & Pierre Hermé - Macarons.  I have a love-hate relationship with these things.  Being American, I feel it's my duty to pay homage to the quintessential French dessert by grabbing a box from one of these  spots, but honestly, they aren't my favorite.  I like macarons as much as the next person, I think, but more as a souvenir than as a dessert.  If I have a choice, I'll opt for a Pierre Hermé creation, but there's something to be said for the ambiance at La Durée - so elegant and extravagant; so French.  The great thing, too, is that we're bound to walk past one of these shops en route to someplace else, so there's no harm in stopping in for a quick macaron fix before carrying on with day.  Right?

5.  GromPozzetto - Yeah, I know Berthillon is the ice cream king in Paris, but there are just some things that, in my heart, Italy will always be better at doing than France, and ice cream is one of those things.  It's likely we will stop at both Grom and Pozzetto for a cornetto, and I am definitely not sad about that.  They're both so different, but so perfectly delicious that I honestly hope we'll be able to go back more than once.  You just can't beat the eccentric seasonal varieties on offer at both spots.

[Sidenote:  These are all old photos from previous visits to these places, so menus and such may have changed. If possible, check out their websites for more info, or wait until I come back with an update!]

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