This post on French bakeries in Santa Fe was first published in 2013. It was updated on 4/15/2016
Santa Fe has a French connection. It seems that a lot of French people have settled in The City Different. Perhaps it’s the similarities to the South of France, the soil is good for both grapes and lavender here. Whatever the reason, they are here and we are better for it. Bakery/cafes with French or European flair seem to thrive here. Whether you want a croissant, a Croque Monsieur, a piping hot bowl of onion soup or a decadent dessert, one of these places will have it.
French bakeries in Santa Fe
Chez Mamou, 217 E Palace Avenue shares a space with Noëlla, a high-end bead and jewelry boutique, is the latest French bakery/café to sprout up in town. The bright interior brings a feel of contemporary Paris to Santa Fe. Paul Perrier, a popular fixture in town from the now defunct Café Paris, is the baker here. He learned his craft as an apprentice to a boulangerie in Paris and he’s been perfecting his skills for years. The shop is separated from the kitchen by a glass wall so you can watch Perrier at work. In addition to a mouth-watering assortment of pastries and more, they serve breakfast and lunch, dinner and a patio may be on the horizon for summer.
Clafoutis, 402 North Guadalupe (505) 988-1809, is owned, Anne-Laure and Philippe Ligier, a Parisienne couple who owned an Albuquerque bakery for years. After a brief return to their native France they returned to New Mexico, this time to Santa Fe. They opened Clafoutis in 2007 and caught on almost from day one. It was the first of the new wave of European bakeries that sprung up in town. Anne- Laure works the counter and greets customers with a cheerful, “Bonjour.” It makes you want to speak French. Philippe, a classically trained baker, is tucked away in the kitchen plying his craft and he’s a master at it. This little slice of the French countryside offers breakfast, lunch and an array of fresh baked goods from Madeline’s, to baguettes to decadent French dessert. Walk if you can. Parking at peak times can be challenging.
The French Pastry Shop
The French Pastry Shop If you’re in the Plaza area and you get a craving for a French patisserie, pop into the granddaddy of Santa Fe’s French bakeries. They’ve been in the venerable La Fonda on the Plaza for over 35 years. In addition to baked goods, they serve breakfast and lunch including a selection of savory and sweet crepes.
Whether you want a French-inspired casual meal, a cup of café au lait or some bread or pastries to take home, stop by one of the French bakeries in Santa Fe for a taste of the Old World in the new.