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.
Baguette awards: Fifth place in 2010.
Beyond the baguette: Desserts like the Everest—a small mountain of cake topped with bright-red gooseberries—are even more tasty when taken and nibbled at one of the nearby monuments. The pain au levain, or sourdough bread, is a simple but delicious option.
In the 'hood: The Musée d'Orsay is just around the corner, and the Esplanade des Invalides and the Seine River are only a few minutes away by foot.
LA PRAIRIE DE COQUELICOT, baker Thierry Racoillet
50 rue de Douai, 9th arr. Nearest Métro stop: Blanche (line 2) or Place de Clichy (lines 2, 13). Open 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m on Saturdays; closed Sundays.
Baguette awards: Seventh place in 2009 and sixth place in 2007.
Beyond the baguette: Racoillet's baguette de tradition is the one that takes home the ribbons, but locals also adore his Picolla baguette. This hand-worked loaf has a denser and chewier crumb than the fluffy traditional baguette. A second location in Montmartre, called simply Coquelicot, features an upstairs dining room where you can pair the baguette with eggs and bacon.
In the 'hood: The prize-winning location in the 9th is just around the corner from the Moulin Rouge.