The madness of donuts in Paris

Soft and regressive, donuts delight gourmets since their creation in the nineteenth century. As society evolves, the round donuts dear to Homer Simpson abandon their classicism of yesteryear and arrive in the Parisian capital, strong of inventiveness... and taste!

This is one of the events of the fall. At the beginning of November, the American brand Krispy Kreme, world leader in the sale of donuts (1.5 billion dollars in sales), will open its first shop in Paris. Nestled in the heart of the Forum des Halles on a 550 m space, this new temple of greed is particularly expected. Krispy Kreme has over ten million followers on social media alone. After several recent international openings (Costa Rica, Jamaica, Chile, Switzerland, etc.), it is now France’s turn to succumb to the brand’s famous donuts. In addition to the iconic Original Glazed, which represents 50% of sales, Parisians will be able to enjoy a dozen recipes. With Nutella, chocolate or sprinkled with sweet chips, Krispy Kreme’s donuts are about to invade the capital. By 2028, the brand plans to open eight stores in Paris if it is successful. In recent years, the number of shops dedicated to donuts has multiplied. True regressive pleasure, the small round donut does not always have good press. Too greasy, too chemical, too industrial, it struggles to get rid of its junk food label. To combat this misconception, Henry Gnanou, founder of The French Donuts, launched the first artisanal donuts in France in 2013. Until then, there were only industrial versions on the market. Like refined desserts, the brand’s donuts, which have two shops in Paris and four in the suburbs, are made every morning by a team of pastry chefs to be tasted the same day. All with a card that changes every month.

PonPon Café

21, rue Molière, 1er
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1, rue Cherubini, 2e.
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The French Donuts

58, rue La Bruyère, 9e.
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The French Donuts

68, avenue du Maine, 14e.
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When the donut becomes hybrid

If the donut seduces so much, it is also because it is full of surprises. And that, some have understood it well like the chef Raamin Samiyi (former pastry chef of the restaurant Pilgrim). In 2020, during the second lockdown, he launched his “gourmet donuts” which he offered in click and collect. The success was such that a year later, he opened his own sweet donut shop, Momzi. Here, donuts are real delicacies. Prepared from a sourdough brioche dough three times fermented, they are then fried in coconut oil and glazed by hand. Over quantity, quality is preferred with a menu including four permanent donuts as well as two seasonal creations that evolve each month.

Taking the donut off the beaten track is also the ambition of PonPon Café. Opened in January 2022 by three friends (Hélène Zeng, Wenxu Wang and Céline Chung), it is the first place specializing in mochis donuts in France. A true link between Asia and America, this light and elastic specialty is available in both sweet (matcha or pink/raspberry/lychee) and salty versions, like the “ponger” (contraction of PonPon and burger) with fried chicken or potato pancake. In twisty, artisanal or classic version, the donut has not yet revealed all its secrets!

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