A Taste of France in Northern Virginia


Some of the tasty cakes made by Tous Les Jours.

Prior to leaving on my trip for the Normandy International Youth Leadership Summit in Le Havre, France this past November, I was told by everyone I knew who’d been there before how amazing french desserts were. Although I had always dreamed of visiting France and trying their food, I didn’t want to be let down by unrealistic expectations, so when I tried some of the best pastries I’ve ever had my first day there, I realized that it truly did live up to the hype.

Since returning home, I haven’t been able to get the varieties of fresh confections off my mind, and have been searching high and low for a taste of them, so here are some local places with some of the best french baked goods.

Paris Baguette-

Paris Baguette is a cafe chain specializing in french pastries, however they also serve a couple of Korean-style sweets since the chain is based in Korea. Nonetheless, they serve more “traditional” french treats than most of the places on this list.

One of my favorite baked goods from France was their Pain Au Chocolat, not to be confused with the chocolate croissant. Although they are sold in some stores and coffee shops, they don’t compare in the slightest to the fresh ones from France, but the ones from Paris Baguette definitely got close! Pain Au Chocolat are made with croissant dough, however, they are sweeter, in a rectangle shape, and have two long pieces of chocolate inside, making for a delicious breakfast treat.

Various pastries from Paris Baguette including their Pain Au Chocolat, Very Berry Pastry, Strawberries and Cream Croissant, and Chocolate Croissant.

Strawberries and cream is a relatively common treat, as the tart fruit mixes perfectly with the smooth and rich cream, which is a match made in heaven. However, the Paris Baguette strawberry cream croissant takes that classic dessert to the next level. Filled to the brim with fresh strawberries and homemade cream, their fresh, large, house-made croissant was the best of both worlds, and came very close to the quality of the classic French croissant!

As I took my first bite of the “Very Berry Pastry,” I felt as if I were at a French tea party. The flakey dough, lemon bavarian cream, and varied dark berries complimented each other beautifully. This was definitely the star of my trip to the bakery, and I would go back just for that!

The Paris Baguette Chocolate Croissant truly takes the cake for richest filling and largest croissant I’ve ever had. The croissant is covered in a hard-shell chocolate, and filled with a thick chocolate cream. Unfortunately, it was the low point of my visit to the bakery, as I was simply not a fan of the filling because it lacked flavor and there was just too much of it. 


8344 Broad Street

McLean, VA 22102

Magnolia Dessert Bar and Coffee-

While Magnolia Desert Bar and Coffee is not a classic French restaurant, it has an incredibly creative and fun menu. Many of their menu items, (including their croissants and crepes) are inspired by classic french foods, but have unique twists on them, making for a sensational experience. Owned by the same owners of Sisters Thai, Magnolia has many Thai-inspired dishes.

The Holiday-themed strawberry waffle at Magnolia Dessert Bar and Coffee.

I was only able to try two desserts during my first visit to Magnolia Dessert bar: their Nutella Strawberry Croissant and their Strawberry Waffle. Although neither of the desserts were traditional French treats, they were extremely tasty. The croissant was filled with strawberries and nutella, and came with scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. The holiday-themed strawberry waffle was delicious, with plenty of strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and amazing strawberry ice cream. The cafe was beautifully decorated, making for a very enjoyable ambiance. My only qualm was that the desserts were pretty high priced, so going to the dessert bar is more of a special occasion thing rather than a casual, everyday event.


431 Maple Ave, Suite A, 

Vienna, VA 22180

Tous les Jours-

Tous les Jours is a chain of cafes serving drinks, baked goods and cakes. Their cafe is separated from the bakery section, and the cafe has a central fireplace which creates a very cozy atmosphere. 

During my visits I’ve tried a few desserts, their Blueberry Yogurt Cream Cake, Mango Cloud Cake, Apple Jam Mont Blanc Pastry, and Strawberry Croissant. Both cakes were very tasty, and had a great balance between the sweetness of the cake and tartness of the fruit. My favorite of the two was the Blueberry Yogurt Cream Cake. 

Inside of the Tous Les Jours Cafe, there is a wall with decor playing off of the name of the Cafe, which means “every day” in French, alluding to their pastries that are “freshly baked every day.”

Of course, like at every bakery I go to, I had to try the strawberry croissant. I was not disappointed. Although it was a pretty basic treat, it was still very satisfying and worth the price. Prior to this visit, I had never tried an Apple Jam Mont Blanc, however, I will definitely be grabbing another in the future. The Mont Blanc is composed of a flakey pastry dough topped with glazed apples and jam, and is reminiscent of a classic apple pie.

I will definitely be heading back to Tous Les Jours to try some more pastries from their lengthy menu, and would strongly recommend it. 


14452 Chantilly Crossing Ln,

Chantilly, VA 20151

A Tous les Jours location will also be opening up around May of this year inside of the Lotte Supermarket located in the Countryside Marketplace Shopping Center.