Travel

9th Arrondissement Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
À la Mère de Famille
35 Rue du Faubourg, 9th
The exterior of À la Mère de Famille—an emerald-green storefront with more windows than walls—looks like a jewelry box, or rather, a chocolate box; you can see the cakes and chocolates and towers of beautifully packaged bars from down the block. Open since 1761, one of the many pleasures of this particular confectioner is the breadth of old-world caramels, nougat, boiled sweets, and marshmallows. And nothing much has changed inside, either. Taking in the old tile floor, the floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with preserves and syrups, and the elaborate table displays as you make your way to the ice cream counter (go for the chocolate) is an exercise in both nostalgic pleasure and calorie control.
Pierre Hermé
Galeries Lafayette, 40 Blvd. Haussmann, 9th
Parisians swear Pierre Hermé's macarons are the best in town, and we're inclined to agree. After all, the pastry wunderkind (he began his career as an apprentice to Gaston Lenôtre at the age of 14, before becoming the pastry chef of Fauchon when he was only 24) is known for infusing his ganaches with interesting (and foolproof) combinations, like his famous Ispahan, which blends rose, lychee, and raspberry. The chocolates shouldn't be missed either, and neither should the croissants.
La Ferme Saint Hubert
36 Rue de Rochechouart, 9th
The variegated marble walls, cow figurines, mosaic tile floor, and checkered apron staff sure are charming—but it's all totally unnecessary, too, as we'd happily visit a broom closet for the cheeses here. Sitting on top of a hilly street in the 9th, you'll find a country's worth of varieties—both stinky and delicate—and the know-how behind the counter to point you to something you're going to love. For those who are just passing through, they can vacuum pack fragile cheeses for travel.