Bob’s Bake Shop

Bob's Bake Shop in Paris

Although people don’t hug in France, and to be honest, it kinda gives me the willies now, too – there are some people who I just can’t resist giving the ol’ wrap around to. (Which probably explains why a number of people back away when they see me coming.) One is a baker in San Francisco, who always seems to have a big smile on his face. I’m not sure what it is that makes me want to hug him, but perhaps I am hoping some of his good cheer will rub off on me — along with a touch of flour. Or else I’m still, hopelessly, Californian, and will never shake the body-bonding habit of hugging.

Bob's Bake Shop in Paris

But another target, for some reason, is Marc Grossman, here in Paris. Marc is the owner of Bob’s Juice Bar, a hugely popular vegetarian joint. But lest you think it’s full of kooky Californians getting their juice fix, it’s primarily Parisians who work in the neighborhood, obviously as attracted to Marc’s good food as the rest of us, who try to find a seat at the communal table in his café/juice bar.

Bob's Bake Shop in Paris

For years, the unspoken secret was that Marc makes the best bagels in Paris. And lest people think it’s odd to feature, or even talk about bagels in Paris, consider that they likely originated in Eastern Europe, not too far from us. So they belong in Paris just as much as they do in New York and Montreal.

Bob's Bakeshop in Paris

Marc spent a number of years tinkering with bagel making, slipping them onto his menus whenever he had the time to make them.

Marc Grossman

But he’s recently gone full-on and opened Bob’s Bake Shop, a modern, spacious café, where not only can you get hand-formed bagels, but on display are other baked goods, like knishes, chocolate-swirled babka and authentic rugelach, made with dough enriched with cream cheese.

Bob's Bake Shop

Glass jars around the shop also tempt with Mexican wedding cakes (or cookies), and there’s Honey pie studded with pecans. (But it’s still Paris. So don’t touch!)

Bob's Bakeshop in Paris

However, not to worry. If you think it’s all carbs, canoodling with the owner, and cream cheese, there’s a kaleidoscope of cleansing Bob’s cold pressed juices, in a variety of flavors, which might include watermelon, cucumber-spirulina, kale, fresh ginger, and fennel.

It was raining pretty heavily the day we arrived, and we ran through the 18th arrondissement, looking for the somewhat elusive Halle Pajol, an écologique building, where Bob’s Bake Shop is located. (If you’re unfamiliar with the area, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the route from the bus or métro stop before setting out. It’s also just a block or so from En Vrac café and wine shop. So tote along an empty bottle to fill up, while you’re at it.)

Bobs Bake Shop rugalach

The trip made me feel the need for a little pick-me-up, which I had in the form of a carrot-pineapple-maca juice, that was gone in a flash. Along with a smoke whitefish sandwich on a still-warm bagel that I made quick work of.

smoked whitefish sandwich

Parisians are flocking to the bake shop, but are still a bit unfamiliar with things like the house-made bialys, which get a bit of help in the signage that says “Non poché,” or without holes (or pockets), so they can reference their cousins, les bagels.

Bob's Bakeshop in Paris

Ya want pickles with that sandwich? What does he look like…a pickle man? Get the hell outta here!

That was just in case you wanted a bit of authentic New York atmosphere. Marc isn’t making his own dill pickles yet, but we had some crunchy spears of pickled organic asparagus he had put up, in his precious few spare moments between rolling and shaping bagels morning, noon, and night..

Bob's Bake Shop

In case you want to just come in and hang out, Bob’s Bake Shop is featuring Belleville Brûlerie coffee.

Bob's Bake Shop

I sipped a terrific café noisette after my cold-pressed juice. Which I hope didn’t negate the effects of it, because I want to hang on to the good vibes I get when I go to Bob’s, as long as possible.

Bob's Bake Shop

Bob’s Bake Shop
Halle Pajol (map)
12 Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute (18th)
Tél: 09 84 46 25 26

Bob's Bake Shop sign


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44 comments

  • September 13, 2014 3:07pm

    Looks like the perfect place to get a culinary New York style fix.

  • September 13, 2014 3:21pm

    Everything looks amazing. Those rugelachs? And the juices? Definitely on my list next time I’m in Paris (which will be who knows when, but a girl can dream)!

  • September 13, 2014 3:41pm

    I would give my left…uh, let’s just say I’d probably give something on the left side of me for a bagel where I live in Spain. Ideally, I should just have to give a few coins in my left pocket for the privilege but bagels haven’t caught on here yet. We’ve seen a bunch of new boutique bakeries open in recent years so bagels can’t be far behind.

  • September 13, 2014 3:46pm

    Bob’s looks to be “the bomb” (as the kids say…maybe not).

    I too, do not know about this ‘hugging’ thing. I do it. But afterwards I always ask myself in voiceless thought, “Why did I do that?” And then take another semi-vow to not do that anymore.

  • Lyn
    September 13, 2014 3:49pm

    Mmmmm….love Mexican wedding cookies!

  • Marilyn from Montreal
    September 13, 2014 4:07pm

    I hope, one day, David, you’ll try one (or more) of Montreal’s bagels, baked in a wood-fired oven, which begs the question as to how Marc’s bagels are baked. I particularly like the caraway seeded bagel from Fairmount. Any other Montrealers out there?

  • September 13, 2014 4:27pm

    How cool is that? It’s kind of mind blowing to see such a cool American-style cafe in Paris of all places. I say that since Bob is channeling the American food spirit, is OK for you to feel like hugging him. :)

  • September 13, 2014 4:50pm

    David, now you’ve got me craving bagels and bialys (non poche). If I ever go to Paris, I’ll go there. My problem is, it would be a sidetrip from England and I would be very surprised if I were ever in England and willing to leave it for a sidetrip! sigh

  • Lorraine Simoneau, San Jose, California
    September 13, 2014 4:57pm

    Ahhhhhhh Montreal Bagels ! I was raised in Montreal and left in 1999 for Vancouver, B.C. where Montreal style bagels were present thanks to an Orthodox Jewish baker in North Vancouver. Presently living in San Jose California where a bakery in Palo Alto makes decent bagels. However, nothing beats Montreal bagels ! Some say it has something to do with the water.

  • September 13, 2014 4:59pm

    I want such a bagel – now!

  • cheesepuff
    September 13, 2014 5:03pm

    Marc/Bob does indeed look huggable.
    Been wondering of late how all these Americans are opening businesses in Paris. Are there not legal/bureaucratic impediments to non-Euro citizens doing commerce here?

  • September 13, 2014 5:17pm

    Love a good bagel, not to mention a hug…anytime I can get them. Can’t remember the last time I had one – probably when stuffed with sauteed spinach w/garlic and olive oil – traditional lunch with my mom…yum!

  • LaMesaKate
    September 13, 2014 5:28pm

    I can see why you want to hug him….he’s so Califorian hippie….I would too.

  • G. Brown
    September 13, 2014 5:54pm

    you had me at Bialys (non poche)

  • Cyndy
    September 13, 2014 6:15pm

    Marc looks divine! I would want to hug him too.

  • ClaireD
    September 13, 2014 6:21pm

    I got on a pickling craze this summer and did garlic dills, bread and butter, pickled okra and pickled jalapenos. The pickled asparagus really intrigues me. Got a recipe?

  • CallmeEllie
    September 13, 2014 6:40pm

    How about a recipe? I’ve been using a good one out of Cook’s Illustrated, Sept/Oct 1997; authentic, boiled, then baked. But I wouldn’t mind trying something different. I have to enjoy Paris vicariously via David’s comments.

  • September 13, 2014 7:30pm

    Oh, dear David, never lose hugging. It’s a good thing :)

  • September 13, 2014 7:33pm

    I def like the look of BOG :) I would have no problem to hug him too, repeatedly ….
    As a Swiss I can’t talk about the perks of American food but I can say with all certainty that every single item in your photos look absolutely convincing.
    Just back from Switzerland where I had more or less a huge smoothie every single day – every day a different one – pure juices (and quite a bit cheaper too, as amazing as this sounds) with all the summer-goodness(es); my mouth watered with great appreciation while my eyes ‘ate the food’
    Thanks a lot for this great post – we shall be eating in the 18th tomorrow!

  • September 13, 2014 8:11pm

    What was in the smoked whitefish sandwich besides cucumber and sprouts?

  • Shelley
    September 13, 2014 8:33pm

    Yummm, bialys. It’s funny, the bagel shops around here never have them.

  • September 13, 2014 9:00pm

    Looks amazing! I’m a bagel fanatic and got to say, hackney’s beigel bake is amazing!

  • September 13, 2014 9:02pm

    I translated “non poché” as “not poached” (as in oeufs pochés, poached eggs), as I understand bagels are poached first before being baked, and perhaps bialys are not?

  • Linda
    September 13, 2014 9:18pm

    Does David’s Bake Shop have Parisian style bagels and does he shipped out to other state? I’m also a bagel fanatic and would like to find some good bagels with a crispy crust and soft inside. Do you sell Parisian style french bread with the crispy hard crust and soft inside? Hope to hear something back. I would like to hear if someone that knows of someone that will ship to any state with the above items mentioned.

  • johanna
    September 13, 2014 9:33pm

    what an awesome café-
    what an awesome face-
    hugging rocks-for people you feel affection for
    i wonder if he makes that amazing poppyseed roll that i grew up with-hard to find that on the west coast..

  • Kathy
    September 14, 2014 3:32am

    The very best bagels- -absolute in NYC

  • September 14, 2014 8:32am

    Mmm, who doesn’t love a good bagel! What a cute (and tres Americain) place in Paris!

  • September 14, 2014 9:37am

    Fabulous! I’m spending the next week staying in that neighborhood and have been meaning to try his bagels. And he makes bialys too!

  • mm
    September 14, 2014 12:41pm

    I think non-poché means not poached, non? As opposed to bagels, which traditionally are dunked into hot water before baking. As the bialys usually have an onion topping (I don’t know if these have the topping).

  • VinXpert
    September 14, 2014 3:26pm

    But, David, that looks suspiciously like a pickle next to your whitefish salad sandwich on an everything bagel, does it not? I guess he has pickles for special people, such as you!

    • September 14, 2014 4:04pm
      David Lebovitz

      Marc is hoping to be able to make his own pickles, but because he’s hand-rolling all those bagels (and running a bakery!) he isn’t able to make pickles quite yet, so he is buying them. The asparagus is something he had made a small batch of to play around with, which he gave me to try. btw: I paid for the rest of the meal here : )

  • VinXpert
    September 14, 2014 6:18pm

    Love pickled asparagus…it’s also delicious in a bloody Mary if it’s crispy and spicy! Prefer half sour pickes, myself. Can’t wait to go there on my next trip! Lucky, Lucky you in so many ways; I so love Paris!

  • ron shapley(NYC)
    September 14, 2014 11:18pm

    I want a bialy now……….Going to Kossar’s

  • ParidBreakfast
    September 15, 2014 3:35am

    Since I moved to Paris 18 months ago I cannot bring myself to eat American food here. So far no hamburgers, cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies or bagels. Maybe it’s time to make a change. I do wish someone would make a New York cheese Danish like the kind sold on the corner of 60th and 5th. I’d walk a mile for that!

  • ParidBreakfast
    September 15, 2014 3:38am

    The Polish Herring guy at marche Bastille has the Best new pickles in Paris if you have a hankering.

  • September 15, 2014 8:01am

    Loved the photos on this post.

  • Linda
    September 15, 2014 7:50pm

    Does Bob’s Bake Shop in California or anywhere in the U.S. ship out their products such as the Bread items. Bagels and the Parisian style Bread which has a crusty outer crust and a soft inside? I have been looking for this for a long time, can you help me? Thanks and will be waiting for your reply. Linda

    • September 16, 2014 1:53am
      David Lebovitz

      Bob’s Bake Shop is located in Paris and they don’t ship to the US. However you might want to check Zingerman’s as a source for mail-order bread.

      • Linda
        September 16, 2014 5:31pm

        Thanks for the advice. It looks promising.

  • Nancy
    September 15, 2014 8:26pm

    Nice bialys!!!

    Was hoping the recipe for Rugelach would magically appear in your blog!!!

  • Ariel
    September 17, 2014 11:46pm

    I have fond fond dreams about the green tea chocolate chip cookies from Bob’s Juice Bar.

  • Rus
    September 18, 2014 2:21am

    Live two and a half hours from Montreal and we try to get up there several times a year to replenish our stock of frozen Montreal style bagels. Our favorite shop is St. Viateur Bagels in the Mile End neighborhood. Crazy about their sesame studded matzos as well. Living in the wilds of Vermont would be a lot harder without one of the world’ stop food cities so close. We like the Montreal bagels because they’re thinner and have no top or bottom–there are seeds on both sides. That, and not too chewy.

  • September 22, 2014 10:18am

    Thank you very much for this adress that I will try. I like so much experiences that permit me to better discover the gastronomy and the culture. If you want, you may go inside to the temple of the foods (and others) :
    In the category “visites privées à Paris”, you may have informations to visit Rungis.
    I have already made it. It was a very very great experiment. You have to visit it to understand and appreciate all that you eat.

    • September 22, 2014 10:35am
      David Lebovitz

      You can visit Rungis, but you need to go with an organized group as it’s not normally open to the public. There’s some information at my post on Rungis, on how to tour the market.