9th Arrondissement Specialty
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.
22 Rue des Martyrs, 9th
Both the original in the 9th and the new Tea Room are the kinds of Parisian pastry shops you might dream of, with pretty tiled floors, powder-blue walls, old-world display cases, and dainty packaging. Both spots are great for stocking up on everything from molded chocolates to macarons, as well as traditional sweets, jams, and marmalades to take home as gifts—you’ll also want to grab a cream-filled pastry for the ride.
51 Rue des Martyrs, 9th
Organic cakes, gluten-free treats, Coutume coffee and market-fresh ingredients are the name of the game at this sweet, homey café. It’s a fixture of the brunch scene on the weekends, while on weekdays it’s the laptop crowd who dominate the space. Should you get hooked on their muesli, cookies, or cakes, you can pick up a few pre-made packs to bake at home, too.
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.
71 Rue de Provence, 9th
This is so much more than a grocery store: In fact, in true French fashion, they do simple clothing—streamlined totes, striped tees—really, really well. And at prices you’d expect from a supermarket. The baby selection is particularly sweet. Other locations: 4th Arrondissement, 6th Arrondissement, plus others around the city.