La Boulangerie is an amazing artisanal bakery and lunch spot in Uptown that’s a Francophile’s dream come true. Sure, there are plenty of places in town that have a French influence, but La Boulangerie (whose proprietors came from France) truly captures the spirit of a Parisian storefront bakery — along with the friendly hospitality of the South.
On the corner of Magazine and Cadiz streets, La Boulangerie bustles early in the morning as folks swing by for coffee, croissants or baguettes. When you enter, it might be hard to take your eyes off of the huge patisserie cabinet in front. Although the pastry selection can be a bit overwhelming, go ahead and get in the queue alongside the display right away. There you’ll have the best view (and even the great scents!) of the dozens of pastries, sandwiches, quiches, cookies and tarts available for eat in or take-out service. As you near the cash register, big bread baskets tower behind the back counter showing off an extensive collection of large loafs and baguettes – all freshly baked and ready for picnics, home cooked meals, or a bit of late afternoon snacking.
It’s hard to go wrong at La Boulangerie. The cinnamon rolls are gigantic, the Swiss brioche pastries are full of rich confectioner’s custard, the croissants are flaky and buttery, and the fruit turnovers are tart and crispy. For lunch, try the Parisienne sandwich: a fresh, crusty baguette smothered with butter, and topped with ham, cheese, and sweet French pickles. The savory quiches are a perfect size for a solo lunch meal and come with a variety of fillings. Also on the menu are fresh green salads and a wide selection of cold and hot sandwiches, including favorites such as Croque Monsieur (grilled ham & cheese with béchamel sauce) and Le Fromager (triple-cream brie, ripe tomato & lettuce). If tarts, cookies, cheesecakes and cream puffs have not already satisfied your sweet tooth, La Boulangerie also features a great selection of gelato flavors.
During the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, La Boulangerie offers both yeasted King Cakes as well traditional Gallette des Rois — a puff pastry filled with almond cream. Locals have very strong opinions about King Cake composition and style, but here you can give various flavors a try. Traditional style cake comes in cinnamon, cream cheese and chocolate flavors, and both styles come with a porcelain trinket inside the cake!
In a city known for cranking out gallons of café au lait drinks, the La Boulangerie staff carefully craft each coffee brew creating one of the best versions in town. With a few large tables indoor and a couple of tables outside, you can savor your coffee, read the paper, and watch the local scene go by. La Boulangerie is open from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm, is closed on Tuesdays. All selections are first come, first served, so get there early for the best selection of some of New Orleans’ tastiest baked goods.