Pastries are the joy de vivre in France, where the mouth-watering scent of freshly baked desserts is ubiquitous in nearly every major metropolitan city. If a plane ticket to Paris isn’t in the budget, you can satisfy your craving for authentic French pastries — including crunchy macarons, decadent éclairs, buttery croissants, and more — at these local bakeries.
Cannelle by Matt Knio
After graduating as a master artisan from the prestigious Academie de Versailles in France more than 25 years ago, Beirut-born chef Matt Knio decided to bring his love of authentic French pastry-making to the metro Detroit community. In addition to a wholesale bakery that partners with countless local restaurants and hotels, Knio operates full-service bakery-cafés in both Birmingham, Detroit and Ann Arbor, where guests can indulge in authentic French macarons, croissants, éclairs, chocolates, and cookies. The cafés offer more than just sweets — freshly baked breads, salads, sandwiches, coffee, and espresso are all available as well. Cannelle by Matt Knio, 45 W Grand River Ave., Detroit; 159 N Eton St., Birmingham; and 110 E Washington St., Ann Arbor; cannelledetroit.com.
Josef’s European Pastry Shop
Since 1971, Josef’s European Pastry Shop has served authentic French pastries, treats, decadent custom cakes, and specialty foods in the Grosse Pointe area. Owned by Montreal natives and master pastry chefs Anthony and Jimmy Cavallo, the neighborhood bakery promises to offer the most authentic éclairs, napoleons, and tortes outside of Europe. Enjoy a coffee and a flaky, buttery croissant at one of the café’s charming bistro tables, or choose from an extensive selection of jarred spreads, gourmet cheeses, and expertly seasoned vegetables. The bakery also offers deli sandwiches, freshly baked breads, quiches, and seasonal salads. Josef’s European Pastry Shop, 21150 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods; josefspastryshop.com.
Chez Pierre et Genevieve
Imported ingredients are the secret behind the authentic flavors at this Bloomfield Hills bakery. In addition to crowd-pleasers like macarons and éclairs, you’ll find lesser-known authentic French delicacies such as guimauve — a fluffy, French-style marshmallow — and St. Honoré, a puff pastry dessert topped with pastry cream, profiteroles, and caramelized sugar. If you favor the savory taste of Europe, the bakery offers a menu of quiches, pizzas, and sandwiches. The location also stocks a selection of imported French grocery items, including aiolis, Dijon mustards, and pâtés. Chez Pierre et Genevieve, 6525 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills; pgfrenchbakery.com.
This Dearborn-based bakery is known for its posh, Parisian-style interior and its jaw-dropping custom wedding cakes. But the pastries here should not be overlooked — authentic macarons come in a rainbow of colors and flavors along with petit fours, crème brûlée, opera cakes, European-style coffee, and much more. For the icing on the cake, the almost-too-pretty-to-eat treats are served on highly photogenic gold-rimmed china sets. Your Instagram feed will thank you. Gateaux Patisserie, 1006 S Military St., Dearborn; gateauxpatisserie.com.
French, Algerian, Eastern European, and Asian techniques collide at this inventive Detroit bakery. Inspired by the owner’s international travels, the spot offers traditional French delicacies like financiérs and frangipane tarts alongside Japanese-style matcha desserts, west Asian halvah cookies, and Russian honeycomb cakes. The bakery has reduced its hours since the start of the pandemic and is currently only open on Fridays and Saturdays, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly. Warda Patisserie, 70 W Alexandrine St., Detroit; warda-pasterie-midtown.site.
This post was originally published in 2021 and is updated regularly.