If the first thing you want to do when you land in Paris is buy bread, then let’s be friends. This is the best bread in Paris. The experts agree. Folks cross town to shop here. But you don’t need to; you’re staying around the corner.
The location housed its first boulangerie in 1889, and current owner/baker Christophe Vasseur made the spot famous when he launched Du Pain et Des Idées in 2002. Vasseur is a former fashion industry white collar guy who, like Jesus, switched careers at 30. He trained hard. We’re reaping the benefits of his vision.
The space is immediately appealing, with gilded mirrors and antique counters and accessories, without being self-consciously hipster. We’ll go with authentic. You look at the tempting displays of Les Escargots (viennoisserie pinwheels curling around pistachios, candied pralines, citron nougat, and more), croissants and seasonal tarts while queuing for bread. Order sweets if you must, they’re a delight, but we just keep coming back to their perfect product, the signature: Pain des Amis. It’s chewy yet soft, springy, subtly nutty with a slightly-blackened, perfectly crunchy crust. You can order it by whole, half or quarter. It’s normal to ask them to cut it.
There no seats inside. Sit at the communal wooden kitchen table outside. Go back inside to order more because your kids ate the first hunk. Repeat the exercise the next day.
34 Rue Yves Toudic, dupainetdesidees.com