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.
Montmartre from The French Pastry Shop and Crêperie
Beautiful red strawberries standing proudly at attention, gleaming under an apricot glaze. Thick whipped cream. Spongey cake. A rich layer of pastry cream. More cake to keep it all in place. That, my friends, is the magical and wonderful Montmartre ($4.00) a totally sweet pastry named after a Parisian neighborhood.
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