You’re probably wondering why I’m sharing the best bakeries in Aix en Provence when I have shared so many times that I don’t like dessert. But pastries in France are an entirely different matter.
You cannot travel in France without embracing your sweeter side.
With only two days in Aix en Provence I didn’t have a lot of time to explore food on my own. I had a full guided itinerary and while it included much of where locals eat in Aix en Provence it didn’t include much provencal food.
But it’s tough to complain when you’re in France…because you’re in France.
The Sunday activities didn’t begin until mid-morning so I decided to get an early start and visit the local bakeries.
It was nice to be up early and just explore on my own. It’s helpful having a guide to share the intricacies of a city and point out things I wouldn’t notice.
But many times it’s just lovely to walk in silence with my own thoughts.
I researched the best bakeries in Aix en Provence; however, bakeries in English aren’t the same as in French.
While a bakery in North America could have an extensive bread selection and dessert options most often in France it’s divided into two categories boulangerie and patisserie.
I really missed Dave this morning as he has such a sweet tooth. In Italy he had a cornetto with chocolate or Nutella every day for five weeks.
He would have loved this morning but France isn’t going anywhere and I know there will be a return trip.
Best Bakeries in Aix en Provence
Perhaps the most popular patisserie in Aix en Provence, it’s on the corner overlooking the daily market. It’s lavender exterior is instagram perfect.
It was quiet Sunday morning, I sat next to a father with his young daughter while she had hot chocolate and he had cafe au lait.
Castel is one of the most popular desserts here, an Algerian cake made with hazelnut filled with caramel cream butter. It is delicious but also very sweet – I think best shared between two people.
2 Rue Chabrier, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
This patisserie has a prime location on Cours Mirabeau – often referenced as the Avenue des Champs-Élysées of Aix en Provence.
It rivals Weibel as one of the best bakeries in Aix en Provence and the item to get is the tarte de pommes. I’d love to weigh in on Weibel vs Béchard but alas Béchard is closed on Sundays.
Someone please go and report back!
12 Cours Mirabeau, 13100 Aix-en-Provence 2
Located diagonally from Maison Weibel, Lavarenne has a much different vibe. There are only a few seats outside but inside people line up for the bread.
The pain au chocolat was delicious and I also picked up a savoury pissaladière and quiche.
The only downside was that while the man serving me was quite accommodating with my broken French, the two female bakers laughingly mocked me for asking for the l’addition.
I left a bit confused wondering what was so humorous.
1 Rue Maréchal Joffre, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
La Tarte Tropézienne
The original location is in Saint Tropez but is so popular with locals it’s worth visiting. It’s basically a sponge cake filled with cream with an epic story.
A polish soldier arrived in France with the allied forces, he started this business in Saint Tropez using his grandmother’s recipe. The tart was named by actress Brigitte Bardot who was in town filming.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive meal there is a lunch special with a sandwich, drink and tart for dessert.
15 Rue Gaston de Saporta, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Only a few doors down from Weibel, the modern minimalist design might initially seem cold and sterile but people were so warm. I stopped in for an espresso and they suggested the Trianon bûche de noël with chocolate mouse, praline, almond and dark frosting. Very light but also deliciously rich.
At Lavarenne they poked fun at me (in French) for incorrectly asking for the l’addition instead of the ticket but at Riederer they explained to me that if you are somewhere to sit down to eat like a cafe it’s l’addition but for a shop it’s just a ticket.
I travel often so when people poke fun of my attempts to speak a language it doesn’t bother me but it can be really intimidating for others. I really appreciate their kindness in explaining the difference.
26 Rue Vauvenargues, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Paul is a chain bakery that you can find throughout France, including train stations but it is widely believed as one of the best in France. A high quality establishment that started in 1889, locals still consider it one of the best bakeries in Aix en Provence.
51 Rue Espariat, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
A new patisserie in town specializing in chou pastry, which is the light pastry used for eclairs, gougères and profiteroles. There are both sweet and savoury options with interesting flavours like mojito, black forest and guacamole.
50 Rue Cardinale, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Calissons du Roy René
This shop specializes in calissons. which is the most traditional food I ate in Aix en Provence. Calissons are small almond sweets with a simple icing but Roy René takes it to a new level by also offering different flavours. Calissons are one of the traditional 13 desserts of Christmas in Provence so you’ll find them everywhere. However, Roy René has been around since 1920 and offers beautiful tin boxes that are great souvenirs.
330 Rue Guillaume Du Vair Pole, 13290 Aix-en-Provence
Best Bakeries in Aix en Provence that I Missed
There are only so many you can visit in a morning but I was also hoping to check out.
8 Rue de la Fourane, 13090 Aix-en-Provence
Farinoman Fou – run by French-Canadian Benoît Fradette
5 Rue Mignet, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Pin it For Later: Aix en Provence Patisseries
Disclosure: I was a guest of Atout France for a Festive France food campaign. However, I explored the bakeries on my own and paid for the sweet treats.
Additional Image (c) (c) Yuichi Sakuraba