I’m going to start my list of Top Parisian Patisseries & Boulangeries with a place dear to my heart. Bruno Solques’s Boulangerie is a small artisanal shop right across from where I went to classes and where I went for breakfast every morning. The shop’s charm, Monsieur Solques’s smile, and his delicious pastries were what made me go back each day. It’s the boulangerie’s unique artistic character that has had a lasting impression on me and I miss the few minutes that I spent each morning getting distracted in there.
I spotted the boulangerie for the first time when I was walking to class one day. The dim interior makes it easy to miss, but even from across the street I could see the enticing display of brightly colored tarts at the window. With a few minutes to spare, I walked into the boulangerie where a frizzy black haired man was smiling from behind the counter and greeted me with a cheerful “Bonjour!”
It always took a while for my eyes to settle on one thing each time I entered his store. You’ll know what I mean when you see his clay pieces hanging on the walls and sculptures of animal heads in-between his pastry display. Picking what to get is another obstacle altogether. Usually Monsieur Solques was busy chatting with his customers, (and usually would take his time) which gave me the opportunity to look at the daily display.
The first few times I went into his store, I would pick something new to try each time and after trying almost everything that Monsieur Solques had to offer, I found my favorites! The tarts that initially lured me into the store were just as delicious as they appeared to be. If you can’t pick between them, go for the berry tart (a crispy, buttery crust covered with raspberries and blackberries.) Simple, but the sweet, sour and buttery combination made me smile with satisfaction every time. Closer to the end of July, Monsieur Solques started making rhubarb tarts which became my new favorite, (it had a strong sour punch that was strong enough to wake me up in the mornings.) He’s generous with toppings which worked especially well with the chunky rhubarb tart allowing its fibrous texture to really shine.
berry tart and fig and almond tart at the window!
If I wasn’t hungry enough for a tart, I would always go for his light and fluffy Brioche, which had a subtle floral essence. The first time I noticed the unique scent, I looked down at my average looking Brioche and walked back into the store to ask him what it was. Monsieur Solques told me that he adds flower extract to his Brioche to give it that extra something which makes them so heavenly and delightful to eat.
Another one of my favorites is his delicious, custardy flan. I stopped by the boulangerie one afternoon to reward myself after a test and noticed the flan sitting by the window. I never saw them in the mornings so I bought one without even thinking twice about it. They were absolutely to die for. The caramelized top held an incredibly soft custard that jiggled when it moved (just as the ideal flan should!)
I adore Monsieur Solques’s boulangerie not only for its amazing pastries but also because it offered me a little break in my day. I didn’t even know what the name of his shop was until my friend and I went to say goodbye and he gave us his business card. After I looked him up on the internet, I realized that Monsieur Solques’s small boulangerie is popular with food bloggers like David Lebovitz and many have written about the joy that this “hidden treasure” has brought them too. So, next time you’re near the Pantheon, take a short detour and walk down Saint Jacques ( all the way down) until you see the smiling man with the crazy hair standing behind the counter. Trust me, it’ll make your day. Watch out for his strange hours! He closes to do some more baking in the afternoon from 1:30 to 4:00pm but is back in business until 8:00pm from Monday to Friday!
Must try: Flan, Brioche and Fruit tarts
243 Rue Saint-Jacques 75005
+33 1 43 54 62 33
Closed on Weekends