Edinburgh may well be known as the Athens of the North, but the Capital’s love affair with French cuisine is well-established with dozens of ‘boulangeries’ offering the very best in authentic Gallic sweet treats to satisfy any craving.
Here are our recommendations on the best places to chew on a croissant, eat an éclair and munch on a macaron when out and about in the Capital.
With its Italian restaurants and Swedish bakeries, the West End of Edinburgh already has an international flavour, but among the bustling streets, Pâtisserie Maxime has carved out a reputation as one of the Capital’s favourite pastry shops.
Owner Cyril Barthelme arrived in Edinburgh from Strasbourg as a student and set up the cafe in Queensferry Street in 2012 to widespread acclaim.
With smooth French jazz playing over the radio, customers tuck into a vast menu of cakes, pastries and freshly brewed coffee that is guaranteed to bring them back through the door.
La Barantine, Bruntsfield
Master boulanger Vincent Aplincourt opened the first La Barantine in Bruntsfield in 2011 and since then, the smell of freshly baked breads and pastries wafting through Edinburgh has forced the baker to open another two in the city. The workings of the bakery are open to view, allowing customers to see the process from start to finish.
Manna House, Easter Road
Easter Road is littered with a number of cafes bringing an international flavour to the area, but the Manna House stands out for its in-house bakery alone. Everything is made on site to a high standard, with the cafe usually bustling at breakfast and lunch, while the sweet treats are in an extremely moreish league of their own.
Marie Délices, Morningside
Bringing a slice of Brittany to the Capital, Marie Délices has become a firm favourite in Morningside with its bright and quirky interior featuring antique French furniture. Owner Marie-Claire uses buckwheat flour to make pastries and cakes the unique Breton way, giving them sweet and savoury fillings to suit all tastes.
Patisserie Florentin, Stockbridge
Since opening in Stockbridge over 20 years ago, Patisserie Florentin had became an institution in the area long before the current crop of artisans moved in.
The dog-friendly cafe is renowned for having ‘the best tarts in town’ and its off-the-beaten-path location means it is mainly frequented by hungry locals.