Going to Paris and not indulging in pastries and local delectables should be a sin. On a recent trip to the City of Light, I knew I wanted to finally experience biting into a buttery, flakey croissant at a boulangerie. I had been to Paris two times before and never stopped to enjoy this iconic pastry. This is why my first time eating a croissant while in France had to be authentic and unforgettable. In a quest to find the most authentic boulangerie, I decided a full-on Parisian pastry tour was needed. 

Photo Credit: Kelsey Marie

Eager to get the day started, I got dressed and met my tour guide for the Devour: Paris Pastry and Chocolate Tour by City Experiences. The walking tour, which launched in March, takes pastry lovers to traditional boulangeries to experience classic Parisian pastries in the Marais and Quarter Montorgueil districts. We also visited a few contemporary chocolatiers and boulangeries that are continuing the tradition of ensuring that Paris remains a top pastry lover’s destination. 

Strolling Like a Local 

I felt like a local while my tour guide took me through the city’s iconic passageways that date back to the 19th century. These covered passageways are hidden throughout Paris, which made walking through them feel extra special. 

At each stop, I learned about the history of the treats I was indulging in and how to tell if they were authentic. One of my biggest takeaways is that if you’re not covered in flakes of pastry after eating a croissant, then you didn’t have a real croissant.

We also visited Stohrer, the oldest pastry shop in Paris, founded in 1730 by King Louis XV’s pastry chef, Nicolas Stohrer. This pastry shop is famous for its incredible macarons that put Ladurée to shame. 

Paris pastry and chocolate tour
Photo Credit: City Experiences

Although I stuffed my face with crêpes, croissants, flan, chocolate, and macarons, the star of the show was the Paris-Brest. This dessert was more like a work of art. The classic French pastry features a gorgeously crisp, baked ring of choux pastry accented with sliced almonds, split in half and generously filled with a rich, creamy praline-flavored filling. It’s topped off with an angelic dusting of powdered sugar — definitely one of God’s gifts to Earth. As I reveled in each bite of this decadent dessert, my tour guide explained that this pastry dates back to 1910 to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race. It’s named after the race route, which forms a circular shape resembling a bicycle wheel. 

Photo Credit: City Experiences

At the end of this tour, I saw Parisian pastries as more than delicious treats. They are part of the city’s history, with a story behind each dessert. They are works of art and the pastry chefs creating them are true artists. 

Enjoying Paris at Sunset, with Wine and Cheese

After a day filled with sweet treats, I knew I had to enjoy a Parisian sunset with wine and a few savory flavors. I loved my previous food tour, so I partook in the Paris at Sunset: Aperitif, Food & Wine Tour. This tour took place in the city’s Latin Quarter where I walked through Paris’s legendary streets and learned more about how French history has impacted the way Parisians eat today. We started the tour in a Roman amphitheater dating back from the second century BC. 

wine and apertifs in paris
Photo Credit: Kelsey Marie

During this tour, I enjoyed small bites of local cheese, bread, wine and more. Each place we visited was locally or family-owned and run. We ended the tour at a bar across the street from Ernest Hemingway’s former home. I sipped on an absinthe while savoring the moments of a Parisian sunset.