Café Madeleine - Boston's Hidden Taste of France

Tucked away on the corner of a brick lined street in the South End, Café Madeleine brings the delicate taste of fresh French pastries to Boston. From chocolate almond croissants to chausson aux pommes, the intricate pastries are made fresh each day.

“I love it all, the spirit of the café, the ability to control the quality of our product by choosing the best ingredients, setting our high standards, and above all, respecting the artisanal process,” says owner Chef Frederic Robert.

Photo by contributor Sarah Taub.

Photo by contributor Sarah Taub.

Chef Frederic first trained at Maison Lenôtre, one of the best known patisseries in Paris. He has a James Beard award for his book, Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries, a 400 page tome on the art of French pastry. Now, he brings his passion and excellence to Boston.

“The most challenging part of perfecting a recipe is to know the ingredients and elevate them in a way that lets them shine while still keeping it simple. It is difficult to know what works and what doesn’t work until you try it.”

Even after four decades of experience, Chef Frederic continues to strive for perfection daily. Everything at Café Madeleine is made fresh each morning, including their flaky croissants, cinnamon rolls, and their infamous chocolate eclair: A buttery pâte á choux shell filled with bittersweet Valrhona dark chocolate pastry cream and topped with the traditional chocolate fondant. The sweetness of the fondant complements the bittersweet chocolate filling. *

Photo by contributor Sarah Taub, * description of Eclair provided by the Café

Photo by contributor Sarah Taub, * description of Eclair provided by the Café

Inspired by his mother, an artisan painter in the south of France, Chef Frederic values the challenge and the journey of perfecting each pastry or dessert. He opened Café Madeleine two years ago, and named it after his mother, Madeleine. Every detail of the café is filled with thought, from the hexagon-tiled floor, to the French restroom sign and of course the lovely paintings lining the walls painted by Madeleine herself. 

“My whole life, my mom has instilled in me the love of being an artisan, to create a high quality product and to share your vision. This love of excellence and artistry has defined my whole career. To quote Winston Churchill “My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best."

If you’re looking for an escape without actually leaving the bustling city of Boston, Café Madeleine is the place to go. The delicious aroma of the pastries themselves are enough to take you overseas.