Revealed: Where to find the best baguette in France

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
Revealed: Where to find the best baguette in France
This picture shows 'baguettes de tradidion' that won last 2020's 'Grand prix de la meilleure baguette de tradition parisienne' (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

After an intense three-day competition judges have delivered their verdict and declared which town has the best baguette in France.


Patrick Baillet, a baker in the Aÿ, a town outside of Reims in the Marne region, has won this year's competition for the best baguette 'tradition' - a baguette made to the traditional recipe with just flour, yeast, salt and water.

The competition is organised by the National Confederation of Bakeries and Pastries as part of the bread festival (which took place this year from May 16th to 18th).


The actual concours itself happens on the square of Notre-Dame in Paris, taking place over the course of three days. 

The contest's rules are quite particular: each contestant must present 40 identical baguettes, with each measuring between 50 and 52.5 cm in length and weighing between 250 and 262.5 grams. If the contestant exceeds those limits, they could be deducted 10 points in penalty.

READ ALSO 320 eaten every second: What you need to know about the baguette

Then, the judges evaluate the baguettes based on five criteria: smell, appearance, crumbs, taste, and colour. 

"Every detail counts: the time of shaping, of pause, of kneading. We all had the same ingredients and we all came out with a different baguette," explained winner Patrick Baillet to French daily Le Parisien 

For baker Patrick Baillet, now the winner of the 8th edition of the Best Traditional French Baguette competition, it has been exciting to be recognised for his hard work. As the son of a baker, Baillet actually worked as a chocolate maker before, and this year was the first time he participated in the competition.

Describing his excitement, Baillet remembered what that special day was like for him: "When I knew I had made it to the final, I was really in the spirit of finishing first. In the morning around 5:30 am, I went for an 11 kilometre run in the streets of Paris to get ready!" 

READ ALSO French bread rituals explained

The winner of the competition receives a special certificate, as well as lots of public visibility (and bragging rights, of course).

If Reims is too far to travel, most towns and cities in France run their own 'best baguette' competitions and winning boulangeries proudly display the awards in their window to ensure that customers know they sell superior bread.

The winning of the Paris contest gets something a little more tangible - a year-long contract to supply the Elysée, so the president is always sure of getting the best bread. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also