If there’s one thing we can count on the French to always deliver, it’s food. Fine wines, out-of-this-world fromage, our favourite sparkling tipple—you name it, we have the French to thank for it.
If there’s anything, however, than can make us get out of our seats faster than you can say eclair-au-chocolat, it’s got to be French baking and patisseries. Thankfully for us Aucklanders, some fine french folk and francophiles have set up shop to cater to our sweet teeth. Bon appétit mes amis—it’s time to eat your way through our picks for Auckland’s Best French Patisseries.
It’s no haphazard that La Cigale is one of Auckland’s top destinations for the best french food in town. With oodles of freshly baked baguettes and breads, choices of cheese galore up for grabs every weekend, it comes as a surprise to no one that it’s practically Auckland’s French food mecca. Every Saturday and Sunday, this Parnell hotspot comes alive with stalls selling fresh produce and baked treats alongside the pastries and patisseries served up by La Cigale’s very own bistro and cafe. What's more, you can also delight in La Cigale at Britomart on Saturday mornings. Grab a seat and prepare to enjoy a pain au chocolat or two in a lively setting that’ll have you dreaming of French markets.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve gone to French-speaking heaven as soon as you set foot in Philippe’s Chocolate. Baskets of freshly baked breads and pastries line the walls, cabinets dripping with handmade chocolates, a line-up of perfect cakes and the lingering smell of freshly baked bread make this Grey Lynn boutique a feast for all senses. The stars of the show are easily their line-up of authentic (and ridiculously gorgeous) patisseries, which feature classic favourites like Opera or Trianon cakes, alongside the more innovative matcha and yuzu ‘Kyoto’. You’ll also find a seriously good religieuse cake, taken to the next level with two types of chocolate and a lemony spin.
If you consider yourself an Aucklander who loves a good croissant, then you’ve obviously paid Pyrenees a visit. And you’ve most definitely devoured their most fantastic creation; the croque croissant—a croque monsieur/pastry hybrid jammed with cured meats, cheese galore and oozing béchamel sauce. Next time you pop in to Pyrenees on your weekend baguette run, take a look at their patisserie cabinet because you’re not going to want to miss the chance to sink your teeth into some of Auckland’s best French patisseries and cakes. You’ll find the most perfectly stacked millefeuilles known to Auckland, as well mini mousse gateaux and a stellar selection of sweet tarts and tartlets. Come Christmas, you can pick up a Gallette De Rois cake here and celebrate the festivities the French way.
The Little French Pastry Cafe
The Point Chev locals might loathe us for this, but we simply couldn’t resist sharing this little gem with you. Little French Pastry (i.e. the folks supplying some of Auckland’s best cafes with authentic french treats) have officially opened up shop in a beautiful and bite-sized bakery on Point Chevalier Road. Home to a short but incredibly sweet selection of the mother company’s French baked treats, The Little French Pastry Cafe boasts an ever-changing rotation of goodies like macarons, cakes and petit fours (aka little baby tarts). Not only that, but this bakery brews up amazing teas and coffees to enjoy on the go, or while devouring an eclair on their brasserie-esque outdoor seats.
There’s no driving around Cheltenham without popping into the charming little Chateaubriant. An iconic art-nouveau style facade gives this cute little cafe, patisserie and foodstore a distinctly French touch—as do the garlands of tricolour flags and rustic knick knacks decorating the cosy interior. Here you can pick up some of Auckland’s best baguettes and breads, as well as an ever changing range of beautifully buttery pastries and tarts, as well as the spongiest far bretons and madeleines you’ll ever sink your teeth into. If you want more than a grab-and-go french treat, pull up a seat and dig into their cafe dishes while you soak up the authentic atmosphere.
While all things loafy, baked and wheatey are Rocket Kitchen’s—quite literal—bread and butter, they also have a mighty fine range of French treats on offer. You won’t find just any pieces of pastry here, however. You’ll find a spectacular array of the most splendid French treats, courtesy of the talented team at Ma Cherie. With master French patissier Guillame Nicoli as the mastermind of these fanciful creations, you can be sure that each treat is as authentic as it is beautiful. From the eclairs and macarons right through to the tartlets and petit gateaux, each cake is made from the highest quality ingredients and simply bursts with flavour—and did we mention they’re ridiculously beautiful?
Come for breakfast pastries, stay for lunch, stay on for afternoon tea treats—that’s how a visit to La Tropezienne is done. Just one glance at their cake and pâtisserie cabinet is enough to have you cancel your days plans and spend them in the company of an eclair or gâteaux or two at this Browns Bay hotspot. It’s the perfect place to treat yourself to a goûter de quatre heure (the Frenchies’ answer to afternoon tea), as you’ll be spoilt for choice for some of the most delightful creamy, sugary, chocolatey and buttery French treats. Chances are you’ll find your favourite fruit in tarte form here too.
A French family sharing their heritage with us Aucklanders in pastry form. Is there anything more wholesome? Enter Paneton, a family run French bakery that dishes up some of the very best French baked goods in Auckland. From tartlets to brioches, croissants to pain au chocolats, every bite of their creations will 1) leave your tastebuds yearning for more and 2) will have you on French cloud nine, dreaming of cobbled stone streets and Eiffel Tower views. Make sure to nab a pack of bake-your-own croissants on your way out—you won’t regret it when your kitchen is filled with the sweet smell of buttery doughy goodness next lazy Sunday morning.
La Petite Fourchette
Wynyard Quarter and Britomart
City dwellers, this one's for you. When the 3:30 sugar craving hits you hard and your office tea supply won’t cut it, take yourself down to La Petite Fourchette and make acquaintance with their delicious sweet treats. There’s pain au chocolats, croissants, brioches and all the pastries you and your sweet teeth could ask for. Not only that, there’s a stellar range of traditional and uniquely modern French pâtisseries, each impeccably decorated and brilliantly sculptural, made from only the finest ingredients. We’re talking the chicest Black Forest gâteau you’ve ever seen alongside Le Sphere—a decadent hazelnutty creation resembling a Ferrero Rocher. We’re not giving it all away just yet, so you’ll have to hop skip and jump to their city locations to see the pâtisserie magic for yourself.
For fine celebration cakes, a fabulous sugar fix and everything in between, Parnell hotspot Vaniye Patisserie is your saving grace. You won’t just find the best French patisseries in Auckland here, you’ll find a cabinet full of the most elegant and beautiful cakes in town—or the world, for that matter. Layers upon layers of soft sponges, sumptuous mousse and fresh fillings and impossibly buttery pastry have been lovingly arranged using only la crème-de-la-crème of ingredients to create these edible works of art. Choose between mini single serves or share the love and take home a celebration cake (or keep it to yourself, we're not ones to judge).
La Voie Francaise
Freshly baked baguettes, golden pastries and some beautiful patisseries call La Voie Française home. Made with love—and lashings of butter—the croissants, pain au chocolats and pain au raisins here are out of this world. So too are the patisseries and gâteaux, which feature everything from gravity-defying tartlets, sumptuous eclairs and religieuse as well as chestnutty favourite, Monblancs. With all this available alongside a selection of breads just like you’d find in the motherland, it’s easy to see why we rate La Voie as one of Auckland’s best French patisseries. But don’t just take our word for it, the out-of-the-door queues here each Sunday do all the talking.
You've done breakfast and lunch, now seek out Auckland's best French restaurants.
Image credit: Anastasiia Ostapovych, Pyrenees, Vaniye Patisserie