The Best Croissant in Paris, Look No Further

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013

So you’re going to Paris. You’re on a pilgrimage to find the holy grail of croissants. You’re thinking, sure, there must be especially incredible bakeries but croissants should be pretty tasty everywhere in the city, right? That is not so, my friends. Not all croissants are made equal.

Best croissants in Paris France Le Grenier à Pain by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Only the best croissants for these eager mouths

After my last trip to Paris, I was convinced that I could not eat another croissant outside of France again. It’s not so much the craftsmanship (because there are skilled bakers everywhere) but it’s the flour, yeast, and sweet sweet butter that cannot be substituted. I know certain bakeries in large cities import their butter and yeast from France and I commend them for it.  (Eating local doesn’t really apply in this situation.)  So on this trip, I was in search of not only an excellent croissant, but the best.

We did manage to check out other bakeries on Paris by Mouth‘s list of best butter croissants. We also happened to eat croissants everyday at breakfast during our stay. Sure, they’re all pretty good but once you go to Le Grenier à Pain, you can never go back. It’s like eating the perfect bowl of ramen in Japan. Once you’ve had the real deal, everything else will drastically pale in comparison. Consider yourself warned. (Personally, I cannot bring myself to eat another croissant until I come back here. Woe is me.)

We were jet-lagged and have been tossing restlessly in bed since 2am. By 5am, we pulled ourselves up and headed towards Sacre Coeur to catch the sunrise. We didn’t realize there were so many stairs leading up to the church. I was thrilled because it was the only exercise that I’d be getting that whole trip. The Mr., on the other hand, was not as enthused.

Best croissants in Paris France Le Grenier à Pain by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

The mister and I at Sacre Coeur, looking not too shabby at 7 in the morning

Nevertheless, we trekked onward, led by music drifting from afar. When we reached our destination, there was a live concert happening at the bottom of the church where a large crowd gathered. It was only 7am at that point so it was a curiously marvelous experience.

We toured the church (truly stunning) and admired the breathtaking view of the waking city.

Best croissants in Paris France Le Grenier à Pain by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Beautiful sunrise over Paris

We weren’t kidding ourselves though. It was croissant time.  After a 10 minute walk, we reached our raison d’etre: Le Grenier à Pain. It’s a humble little bakery with pastries near the cash register and sandwiches, tarts, and cakes along the side. Their quiches looked appetizing for an early bite too but we have set our eyes on the prize.

Best croissants in Paris France Le Grenier à Pain by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Our first purchase at Le Grenier à Pain

We ordered 2 butter croissants for 1€ each (no kidding!), a chausson aux pommes, and a brioche chocolat.

Best croissants in Paris France Le Grenier à Pain by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

The chausson aux pommes was loaded with a sweet and tart apple filling

Best croissants in Paris France Le Grenier à Pain by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

High quality chocolate chips dotted the brioche chocolat, which was also filled with more chocolate

We headed to a nearby bench and chowed down. The other pastries were good but I know you’re here to read about the croissant.

At first bite, the crisp outer flakes snowed all over my shirt and pants. It’s a sign of a well-crafted croissant. The interior was moist and airy but still had a bit of give. What set this croissant apart was how sweet the butter was. The luxurious butter coated my mouth and drew me back in for bite after bite. Before long, we devoured everything on hand.

Best croissants in Paris France Le Grenier à Pain by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Tada!  Le Grenier à Pain’s croissant.  The best I’ve had in Paris thus far.

We headed back to the bakery and the lady at the register asked if something was wrong. I replied, no, we just needed more croissants. We grabbed a few more for our friends, along with their painfully delicious pain au chocolat. (The quality of their chocolate was superb. I loved that the muted sweetness didn’t overshadow the butter).

So what more do you wanna know? If you have all the time in the world, go ahead and hit up one bakery after the next. But I assure you that if you make Le Grenier à Pain your first stop, all other croissants will appear mediocre in comparison.

 

Le Grenier à Pain (website)

Address: 38 Rue des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France
Phone:+33 1 46 06 41 81
Hours: opens at 7:30 AM. Closed on Wednesday.
 
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  • Greedy Guts

    I’m so happy that you posted this! I leave for Paris in about 3 weeks and I will definitely add a visit to Le Grenier a Pain to the itinerary.

  • http://www.gourmetfury.com/ Melody Fury

    Sweet! There are a few more recs on http://instagram.com/gourmetfury. Have a great time, dear!

  • Greedy Guts

    Thank you – I have spent the morning stalking your travels for ideas :). I already have Le Timbre and Verjus on my list – do you recommend Verjus over Le Timbre (I want to try both but just in case we run out of time)? Does Bistrot Paul-Bert from your 2009 post still rate? Do you have any recommendations for Italy too?

  • http://www.gourmetfury.com/ Melody Fury

    Verjus & Le Timbre are very different. Verjus focuses on seasonal, farm to table approach. Timbre is traditional brasserie food, similar to Paul Bert (which still reigns). Make recs!
    Italy… hmmm it’s been so long. I relied on Timeout guide last time and it did not fail me!

  • Rachel

    Mmmmmmm… Hungry NOW and no travel plans. C’est triste, non?

  • http://www.gourmetfury.com/ Melody Fury

    Dans le temps :)

  • Greedy Guts

    Great – thank you!

  • Veronica Meewes

    yumyumyummmmm! *salivating*

  • http://www.gourmetfury.com/ Melody Fury

    *muah*