While the baguette tradition still rules as the bread king in Paris (320 are consumed every second in France!), the past five years have seen a variety of new breads join the scene — sourdoughs, rye varieties, ancient grain creations, and savory brioches, to name a few.
This bready evolution finds its home in Paris’s nouvelles boulangeries —establishments that, besides boasting Instagram-friendly aesthetics and an urbane clientele, distinguish themselves through an exciting array of diverse flavors and innovative techniques.
Noteworthy is the fact that many of these modern bakeries and patisseries — such as Mamiche, Ten Belles Bread, Fou de Patisserie, and Des Gâteaux et Du Pain— are owned and led by women. It’s also interesting that women are at the forefront of the most diverse bakeries in the city (Maison Aleph, with its stunning Syrian, Egyptian, and Lebanese-inspired creations, and Petite Île, an exquisite French Taiwanese bakery in the Haut Marais, are inspiring examples). Paris has wholeheartedly embraced a new era of bread—marked by experimentation and the embrace of global flavors. This selection presents some of its finest current offerings.
Located in the lively Lamarck neighborhood just north of Montmartre, Atelier P1 caters to organic sourdough enthusiasts, prioritizing extended fermentations and quality, fair-trade ingredients. The bakery’s charm derives from its homely yet chic space, with minimalist wooden accents and earthy tones. The extensive counter is genuinely inviting with a multitude of treats, from glossy sourdough cinnamon rolls to delicate seasonal fruit tartlets, alongside a rotating selection of loaves. Must-try breads include the ancient grain flour boule, the spicy piment-infused kalamata olive bread, and their indulgent nut and chocolate studded loaf. Note — if there’s a special bread on, grab it while you’re there, as it might not make a repeat appearance! Don’t overlook the commendable coffee, which is excellent paired with the homemade bread featured in their mammoth lunchtime sandwiches. While indoor seating is unavailable, the nearby Square Léon Serpollet is an ideal spot for enjoying an alfresco bite.
157 Rue Marcadet, 18th
For those seeking a taste of French baking with a twist, Petite Île is where to be. With its peachy façade and large inviting windows, this boulangerie is a fun mix of traditional French bakes such as pain de campagne (country loaf) and baguettes, alongside Taiwanese bakes that include melon pain—a melon-flavored brioche with a cookie crust. Petite Île’s creative flair comes to life in the fusion of these two culinary traditions, showcased in special delights such as the chocolate and black sesame-seed pain au chocolat. Every detail is meticulously considered, from the beautiful, floury scoring atop the sourdough boules, to the plump and juicy dried fruit in their seigle (rye) loaves.
8 Rue des Filles du Calvaire, 3rd
On Montmartre’s cobbled Rue des Trois Frères, you’ll find Shinya Pain, a modest hole-in-the-wall boulangerie that could easily be missed were it not for the bustling queue outside. Run by Shinya, a Japan native, you’ll catch him zipping between the oven and the fold-out table at the front of the store, laden with goodies, ready to serve customers. His bread flies off the shelves, and it’s no surprise — crafted with natural levains and unique grains, the loaves have a distinctive flavor profile that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere. Shinya’s Instagram feed, a sea of hand scrawled post-it notes, gives you a glimpse of what’s available each day. The pain à levain caramélisé is a regular favorite, offering a moreish mix of salty and sweet. They also have tangy focaccias, soft brioches, sourdough scones, and rich brownies with great depth of flavor.
41 Rue des Trois Frères, 18th
As its name suggests, Fermentation Générale, tucked away in the uber-trendy (and foodie haven) of Folie Méricourt, specializes in all things fermented. The standout offerings in this petite épicerie are their sweet and savory sourdough breads: herb-crusted focaccias, rye bread made with flour from near the Pyrenees, buttery brioche, pompette du pays d’Arles (a floral almond and orange bread), and more. In addition to loaves, you can discover a curated collection of trendy and fermented goodies: natural wines, kombucha, kimchi, kefir — this little store certainly appeals to the hipster crowd!
37 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 11th
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Run by Franco-British owner Abigail Munier, Norma, with its welcoming yellow awning, is a lively spot celebrated for its seasonal pastries and sandwiches. Inside, the décor is simple yet inviting, with exposed walls, a wide glass counter, and a collection of impeccably crafted pastries displayed behind it. Influenced by Anglo-Saxon flavors, their offerings include sticky caramel shortbreads, fluffy scones, strawberry jam doughnuts, and retro, dusty pink iced buns. For heartier choices, delve into their savory bakes and sandwiches. The cheese and ham bun, featuring homemade milk bread with sesame seeds, is a standout — so too, is the loaded pastrami on sourdough. Norma also takes pride in serving excellent coffee, conveniently available for takeaway from a charming hatch.
34 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 9th
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Lead photo credit : Bread in a boulangerie window, Boulevard de Grenelle, Dr Bob Hall/Flickr