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The Best of the Best French Pastries

French pastries - image of French macarons

When you think of France, you may notice your mouth start to salivate. That’s because France might as well be synonymous with “mouthwateringly delicious pastries”. While we strongly encourage trying any and all French pastries and desserts you come across, we realize that calories, sadly, do count on vacations. Here are our five can’t-miss pastries to say “oui” to.


The buttery, flakey goodness of this pastry might be the pinnacle of French baking. While its roots are distinctly Austrian (the kipferl), it came to France in the 1800s where it received its crescent shape that earned it the croissant name. Another popular version of the croissant is the pain au chocolat, which is stuffed with, are you ready for this? CHOCOLATE.

Image of French croissant


Is it pronounced mahk-ah-rohn or mack-ah-roon? If you want to sound American, it’s the latter. If you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, it’s the former. No grudge will be held for pronouncing it either way though. If you like sugar, sugar, and more sugar filled with jam, ganache, or buttercream- this is the dessert for you. Be sure to take a picture before devouring them because these treats are too pretty to go unphotographed.

French pastries - image of French macarons


When it comes to éclairs, size matters. The bigger it is, the more deliciousness you get! You can’t go wrong with the traditional goodness of a custard-filled pastry with chocolate topping, or mix it up with the many variations that include pistachio-flavored custard, fruit-flavored fillings, or our personal favorite, caramel.

Image of French eclair


While this treat might arguably be more popular now in the US’ New Orleans, there’s no denying it’s French heritage (just look at the name). Whether eating it as breakfast, dessert, or an afternoon filler (damn you 3pm hunger pains), this deep fried dough covered in powdered sugar goodness is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Image of French beignets


Depending on where you’re from (pretty much just not from France), you might call this tasty treat a Napoleon. So what exactly is this? Vanilla slice, custard slice, vanilla slice, custard slice, vanilla slice, custard slice, topped with icing or sugar. Variations include using whipped cream or jam instead of custard and brown icing on top for that chocolatey taste we all love.

Image of Mille Feuille