On our trip to Paris, we had the chance to visit the famous Cédric Grolet’s Pâtisserie near Opera and it lived up to all of the hype.
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Who Is Cédric Grolet?
One of the leading Parisian Instagram stars is, of course, a pastry chef. Cédric Grolet is a 37-year-old executive chef at the Dorchester’s Le Meurice. He operates two patisseries in Paris including one inside Le Meurice, a restaurant that’s earned a two-Michelin star rating.
He’s famous for transforming finished pastries back into the source of their ingredients in a fun and unique way. His work is, of course, photogenic. But it’s also delicious and his welcome approach has made his patisseries unmissable and to a certain extent, unobtainable.
He also oversees a location at the Berkley in London and welcomes paying guests into a private Parisian apartment for three-hour classes a few times monthly. Those experiences sell for €890/person.
While Cédric Grolet has a few locations, we chose Grolet Opéra for our visit. The patisserie was booked solid for dine-in during our stay and, in fact, for a month following our visit. Smarter (or more intentional) visitors might try concierge services through their hotel (though not this one) or premium credit cards like American Express Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
For those who might want to get breakfast items like croissants, guests will need to arrive before 9 AM to queue for a limited number of items. We were at breakfast at our hotel early that day but made it over on a chilly afternoon to grab a mango and vanilla tart and a massive chocolate chip cookie (€15) served warm.
We were welcomed inside where a chef walked us through the items and was excited to speak with us in English. On the counter, a mix of burrata, truffle, and pork sandwiches as well as signature Grolet pastry items. The menu is limited for both click and collect as well as purchasing in store.
Did It Live Up To The Hype?
Some internet hype doesn’t deliver in person. While the line was a long wait (families move to the front), the staff was welcoming, personal, and friendly. We tried a pair of items and they both delivered. Serving the cookie warm was a comforting way to spend an afternoon.
I would have loved to try the sandwich as well but I’ll come back for it on a future visit.
On a trip to Paris, we had a chance to visit one of the patisseries of famed pastry chef and Instagram celebrity, Cédric Grolet. Lines can be long and smart travelers will book well in advance if they want to dine in but the line out front still gave us a chance to try it out and it was excellent. My family would highly recommend adding a visit to your list, even if it’s not the Opéra location.
What do you think? Have you visited a Grolet patisserie? How was your experience? Have you tried the food from other famed chefs?
It is waaaaaaaaaay overhyped!! I walked by this place when I was in Paris last October. It is the meeting spot for Instagramers. A bunch of Asians in line streaming live waiting to overpay for a pastry that they don’t even know what it is. Yes, the guy is famous on Instagram and his pastries may be good but there are 100’s of amazing patisseries in Paris where you can eat equal if not better stuff. Seriously, social media people just got dumb by the minute. I was at a restaurant in Paris where you share a long table with people sitting next to you so you end up talking to strangers which is fine. I was recommended to that restaurant by a friend that lives in Paris. Everyone around me were there because they saw something on Instagram. They said they booked months ahead and one couple from NY arrived at the place with their luggage since they had just landed in Paris but said they couldn’t miss that place. And of course, instead of enjoying their meal they had to be posting every bite online. Weird generation for sure!!!
I apply a simple rule – if you have to book a table months in advance, or you have to stand in line more than half an hour for a table, it’s overrated. No matter how good the food is, it’s never going to measure up to that kind of effort. Yeah, I know, this from the guy who once drove 200 miles for brisket. I would have called said brisket overrated if I had to wait in line for an hour.
It is all about marketing. The more people line up to pay a fortune for a pastry, the more audience the guy gets. Seriously, I saw people waiting hours on the line to enter his store. The shelves were all empty, there was almost nothing to buy but again it is that need to buy whatever is left just to post on Instagram. Not with my time and my money.