Got a craving for authentic French baked goods? Look no further than Pitchoun, the fun Parisian-style bakery that opened up on Olive Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Whether you crave baguettes, gougeres, chouqettes, beignets, madeleines, palmiers, Paris-a-Brests, or croissants, Pitchoun is the place to head.
My favorite treat is their chocolate eclaire that I would argue is LA’s best chocolate eclaire.
Pitchoun is reflective of the rejuvenation of Downtown Los Angeles. The idea of a hip Parisian-style sidewalk cafe where urban hipsters could indulge in one of their favorite French patisserie treats and sip a Café Au Lait while sitting outside might have been something reserved to Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, or West Hollywood. But in downtown, this would have been unthinkable only ten years ago. But today, Pitchoun stands a monument to downtown’s unexpected revival.
Yet to me, Pitchoun is an homage to old LA. Many are unaware that at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Los Angeles boasted a massive French and French-Canadian immigrant population. French was the most commonly spoken foreign language in Los Angeles and these immigrants left their mark. There was once even a separate Frenchtown (where Chinatown exists today – You can read about it more here).
Frenchtown is long gone but a little piece of Paris is now back in downtown Los Angeles with Pitchoun. And better yet, it’s a place for me to splurge on my favorite chocolate eclaire.