Top 5 French Bakeries in Houston: Bon Appétit
One of my fondest memories of traveling to Paris was buying a baguette that was nearly as tall as I was. My mother and I gathered slices of prosciutto, pont-l'Évêque cheese, apples, strawberries and grapes from a farmers' market to make a picnic lunch behind the Eiffel Tower -- all we needed was some bread. As soon as we walked inside the bakery, we were hit with the smell of freshly baked bread. The baguette was warm and soft on the inside yet crispy and crunchy on the outside. It was absolutely perfect. And it was nearly five feet long.
Photo by Molly Dunn You won't find these exact pastries in Houston; they're from Paris. However, there are fabulous French bakeries in Houston.
When made properly, French pastries, breads, sweets and cookies can make everything seem right. For that brief moment when you bite into a buttery, flaky croissant or pain au chocolat, you are in heaven.
In an ideal world, I would travel to Paris any time I wanted a macaron, éclair or warm hunk of baguette spread with butter, but alas, that is impossible. Thankfully, Houston is home to some outstanding French bakeries. So, without further ado, here are the top five French bakeries in our fair city.
5. Bite Macarons
Photo by Molly Dunn These macarons are almost too pretty to eat.
Bite Macarons opened just a few months ago, but is already making quite an impression on Houstonians looking for a beautiful, sweet and delicate macaron. The store features a wide variety of flavors, including the classic pistachio, rose and lemon, as well as more exotic ones such as blood orange, Earl Grey and salted caramel. Executive Pastry Chef Sandia Horng creates perfect macarons -- the crust on each meringue is crispy on the outside, soft and sticky on the inside; each filling, no matter which flavor, is creamy, smooth and decadent. Horng is also introducing other types of pastries, including classic French tarts. The simple, fresh fruit tart has a sweet and delicate crust with a vanilla bean custard filling and is topped with fresh seasonal berries. The honeycomb pecan tart is the ideal fix for your sweet-tooth craving; it's filled with crunchy pecan pieces. While Bite Macarons currently offers only two classic patisseries, it nails each of them. We can't wait to taste the new additions to the menu.
Photo by Molly Dunn You can't go wrong with a palmier or almond croissant from French Gourmet Bakery and Cafe.
4. French Gourmet Bakery
This adorable French bakery off of Westheimer stands out to those driving through River Oaks. The light-orange building with bright-blue window coverings is home to some of the best croissants, palmiers and quiches in the city. Upon entering the bakery, you will instantly smell fresh pastry dough baking in the back and salivate over the marvelous display of croissants, cookies, éclairs and tarts. Stay for lunch and enjoy a sandwich made with one of the bakery's croissants, baguettes or country French bread, or grab a pastry and cup of coffee to go for your morning commute. The bakery also makes French and American cakes suitable for any birthday or holiday celebration.