Macarons from Clafoutis
This French cafe-bakery is always packed, and with good reason: the French owners have brought a real taste of France to Santa Fe. While it’s hard to go wrong with any of the offerings, they’re notably one of the few places to get a great, authentic macaron in town—all the more impressive for having been successfully baked at high altitude. ($1.50 each.)
Clafoutis: 402 N. Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (map) (505) 988-1809.
Almond Croissant from Chocolate Maven Bakery & Cafe
Although this is not technically a French bakery, they do a very nice job on the iconic French breakfast treat. Choose from plain, chocolate, almond, and raspberry croissants, noting that they’re all rather large; probably twice the size of a croissant you’d find in Paris. The almond ($3) is a particularly pleasant specimen: there’s plenty of almond filling, ensuring you get some in every bite. The pastry lightly crackles as you bite into it, giving way to a soft, buttery interior.
Napoleon from The Swiss Bakery & Pastry Shop
The Napoleon ($4.50) contains layers of flaky pastry nestled between a generous swaddling of pastry cream, all topped with a pretty frosting. They’ll change up the flavors from time to time, and on the day of my visit, I got one filled with strawberry and kiwi. As odd as that might sound, it was truly delicious, with the tartness of the fruit adding a little added interest to each creamy bite.
Clafoutis from Chez Mamou
It goes without saying that you must try the clafoutis at Clafoutis, which is well worth a taste. But they’re not the only clafouteur in town: Chez Mamou also boasts a delightful array of house-made French sweets, including a cherry dotted and marzipan-rich clafoutis ($6.00 each).
Chez Mamou: 217 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM, 87501 (map); (505) 216-1845