THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
The Best Baguette in Paris
Every year, Parisians anoint one baguette the best in the city. In a country where 99 percent of the population eats bread every day, that's saying something.
In the 'hood: In the heart of the Latin Quarter, La Parisienne is near the sprawling gardens of the Jardin des Plantes and the mosaic-tiled tearoom of the Paris Mosque. The market street of Mouffetard is just a few minutes away by foot.
BOULANGERIE 134 RDT, baker Benjamin Turquier
134 rue de Turenne, 3rd arr. Nearest Métro stop: République (lines 3, 5, 8, 9, 11). Open 7:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. on Saturdays; closed Sundays.
Baguette awards: Second place in 2009.
Beyond the baguette: The addictive Schwarzbrot (black bread) from this bakery is a standout and is especially nice paired with cheese or salmon. The pavé des près, dotted with flaxseed and sunflower seeds, is a lovely alternative.
In the 'hood: The northern Marais is filled with independent designer shops, especially on rue Charlot. Chocolate junkies should be sure to hit the Jacques Genin boutique and tasting salon—it's directly across the street from the bakery.
LA BOULANG'EURY, baker Stéphane Eury
98 rue de Meaux, 19th arr. Nearest Métro stop: Laumière (line 5). Open 7:15 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; closed Sundays and Mondays.
Baguette awards: Third place in 2009 and Ninth place in 2008.
Beyond the baguette: The round loaves stuffed with figs and nuts are the perfect accompaniment for cheese. Eury's apple tart, which won third place in the Meilleure Tarte aux Pommes-de d'Ile de France apple tart competition, is a treat nobody should miss.
In the 'hood: This bakery is perfectly situated between two prime picnic spots: the Parc des Buttes Chaumont and the Bassin de la Villette. It's also a short walk from the Parc de la Villette, where you'll find an open-air film festival in July and August.
BOULANGERIE RÉGIS COLIN, baker Régis Colin
53 rue de Montmartre, 2nd arr. Nearest Métro stop: Sentier (line 3) and Étienne Marcel (line 4). Open 6:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Friday; closed Saturdays and Sundays.
Baguette awards: Seventh place in 2008 and second place in 2007.
Beyond the baguette: Colin has picked up a pile of awards for his croissants beurre, or plain butter croissants. The bakery's galette des Rois—a traditional tart with almond frangipane—is arguably the best in the city.
In the 'hood: The Palais Royal, with its secluded interior garden, is just a short stroll away. You can reach this bakery from the Louvre in less than 10 minutes.
BOULANGERIE ALEXINE, baker Alexandre Planchais
40 rue Lepic, 18th arr. Nearest Métro stop: Abbesses (line 12) or Blanche (line 2). Open 7 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sundays. Closes at 8 p.m. on Saturdays.
Baguette awards: 10th place in 2008 and eighth place in 2007.
Beyond the baguette: This bakery's famous baguette aux céréales is a delicious departure from the traditional white baguette. The whole-grain loaf is decorated with a confetti of seeds—a sort of long and lean "everything" baguette.
In the 'hood: A few doors down from Le Grenier à Pain, this second top bakery in Abbesses allows you to compare and choose your favorite baguette. Alexine is near the spectacular Montmartre cemetery, as well.
ARNAUD DELMONTEL, baker Arnaud Delmontel
39 rue des Martyrs, 9th arr. Nearest Métro stop: Saint-Georges (line 12) or Pigalle (lines 2, 12). Open 7 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Monday; closed Tuesdays.
Baguette awards: First place in 2007.
Beyond the baguette: Try Delmontel's pure-rye round loaf called tourte auvergnate or his Kougelhopf, a sort of Alsatian coffee cake. You can celebrate the neighborhood by ordering the SoPi (named after the South of Pigalle district): a towering red and black cake erected from chocolate and piment d'Espelette (hot peppers).
In the 'hood: SoPi is a trendy stretch along the rue des Martyrs and includes a good number of boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. It's a great area for exploring on foot and only a 10-minute walk from Montmartre.
GOSSELIN, baker Philippe Gosselin
258 blvd. St.-Germain, 7th arr. Nearest Métro stop: Solférino (line 12). Open 7 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. on Saturdays; closed Sundays.