The Korean Starbucks

No more boring breakfast pastries

Forget the baguette: What Paris Baguette stakes its reputation on is Franco-Korean pastries–and they're now available in Manhattan.

With more than 1,700 branches in Korea, Paris Baguette is as ubiquitous there as Starbucks is in the U.S., only coffee isn't the main attraction. Instead, fans flock to PB for its steady stream of fresh-baked goods.

Some, like croissants and chocolate-laced puff-pastry twists, are familiar, but the real draw are those with Korean accents, like a bear claw stuffed with red-bean paste or the sweet-potato square, puff pastry amended with glutinous rice and a gingery potato-paste filling.

PB also excels in deep-frying, turning out nongreasy versions of the classic doughnut (here with ginger glaze) and chewier rice-flour-based concoctions such as a pumpkin-and-black-sesame ball or a missile-shaped oval filled with molten cream cheese.

If you're looking for lunch, skip the refrigerated ham sandwiches and opt instead for the hot croquettes, which are essentially savory doughnuts with warm fillings. Or try a more traditional treat, like "scorched Korean rice bread," an addictively crunchy cracker with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor, or hwa gwa ja, dense domes of lightly sweetened almond, coffee or red-bean paste.

So grab some tongs and go crazy: Nearly everything at Paris Baguette is $2 or less.

Paris Baguette, 6 W. 32nd St.; 212-244-0404 or parisbaguetteusa.com