patisserie Sadaharu AOKi paris / Facebook
The moment you step in, sweet smells of sugar and chocolate overwhelm you as you stare in awe at glass cases displaying rows of colorful treats intricately designed that look almost too pretty to eat — almost. An éclair, sprinkled with just the right amount of powdered sugar and filled with green tea custard, is set before you — a pretty pastry to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Sticky cinnamon buns, torte cakes, salted caramel cronuts, and banana split waffles are among the delights available to customers at some of the world’s most famous pastry shops. It’s no wonder treats like these are so widely beloved. In the United States alone, over 173,000 people are employed as bakers; the largest percentage of them resides in California. We’ve compiled 12 of the most famous pastry shops worldwide; every one of which is worth stopping by, even if you’re only in the city for a 24-hour layover.
Read on for 12 of the most famous pastry shops around the world and learn why they’re so popular.
Additional Reporting by Haley Willard
Adriano Zumbo Patissier / Facebook
Taste 40 shades of “zumbarons,” — what pastry chef Adriano Zumbo calls his colorful macarons — including, yes, a “Vegemite on Toast” zumbaron, at Adriano Zumbo. The décor is modeled after Adriano's philosophy on food: that it should be fun, textural, and appealing to the eye, and should taste incredible. His decorative pastries like passion fruit tarts, salted caramel “zonuts,” coconut cream lamingtons, and apple maple cheesecake can’t be beat.
Bear’s Paw Bakery / Facebook
The wait staff at this historic pastry shop, which dates back to 1786, still serves its iconic desserts, including candied violets, cat tongues, and the Eduard-Sacher torte cake from a glass display. Tea biscuits, fruitcakes, chocolates, and other desserts can be purchased in decorative boxes or ordered to-go from Demel’s downstairs pastry shop.
Flour Bakery+Café / Facebook
Founded by Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner, Max Brenner invites you to “experience [its] chocolate love story.” Although it has locations around the world, the original one is definitely worth the visit. Everything on the menu, from fresh fruit and pastries to waffles and cookies, is topped with layers upon layers of melted chocolate. Whether it’s the chocolate hazelnut milkshakes, banana split waffles, or the s’mores fondue, these treats are likely to make you drool.
Momofuku Milk Bar / Facebook
One of the 10 best bakeries in America according to the Daily Meal, New York City’s Momofuku Milk Bar is unique in its own right. The bakery and pastry shop pushes the limits when it comes to ingredients, even incorporating passion fruit into a chocolate chip cake. Customers really can’t go wrong with this menu, but the b’day truffles are a standout item, as is the bestselling Crack Pie, which is made with toasted oat crust and gooey butter cake. They are made with vanilla rainbow cake with white chocolate and rainbow sprinkles.
Mila Pasteleria / Facebook
Nearly every treat at Pastelería Mila is covered in smooth, creamy chocolate — from brownies to pancakes to cupcakes to pies. One of its signature desserts is a thick brownie topped with a glob of dulce de leche. Melia’s hot chocolate, served with steamed milk and a few chocolate bars thrown in, might be the best cup of hot chocolate you’ve ever had.
patisserie Sadaharu AOKi paris / Facebook
Your sweet tooth is in for a cultural treat at Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI, where Japanese pastry chef Sadaharu Aoki makes cross-cultural creations, like éclairs filled with green tea custard; macarons filled with Earl Grey cream; and “Japanese s’mores” made of marshmallow cream, thin chocolate wafers, and azuki red beans. Displayed in glass cases full of rows of colorful macarons, cakes, and elaborately decorated pastries, Sadaharu’s desserts are almost too extravagant to eat.
Pierre Poilâne’s pâtisserie is famous for its “Punitions,” which are small butter cookies that pair perfectly with tea or coffee. They are named after a game Poilâne’s grandmother used to play with him when he was young. While these cookies are a classic treat, Poilâne’s apple tarts, spoon biscuits, jams, gingerbread, and other sweets shouldn’t be overlooked.
Tartine Bakery / Facebook
Yelp / Victoria J
Valhallabageriet, a small pastry shop in Sweden with seating for just about eight people, is said to serve possibly the best cardamom bun — called “kardemummabulle” in Swedish — in the country. The traditional breakfast pastry is baked here with sweet dough, flavored with fresh ground cardamom, and smothered with butter and cream.