Choux is a new French cream puff shop in San Francisco.

Choux is a new French cream puff shop in San Francisco.

A block in the Lower Haight will get a bit more French with the planned opening on Tuesday of the Choux bakery shop, specializing exclusively in le Choux ala creme, or French cream puffs.

The tiny shop is the baby of Laura Athuil, a native of Nice, France, who studied architecture but decided to pursue her passion for baking pastries. It was during a research trip to San Francisco where Athuil fell in love with the city and decided to make it the home of her first pastry shop.

Today I went to a soft opening of the store, which is on the same block as the popular Three Twins ice cream store at Fillmore and Haight. Athuil’s cream puffs look like tiny jewels when you seem them all lined up in the display counter. Each one is unique both in look and flavor, and they all have names of friends who inspired the bite.

In fact, one of the choux is named Ben. Made with a salted caramel cream filling, it was the only one of the 12 flavors that was not available when I visited. Yes, story of my life.

I did try three other flavors:

  • Emilie filled with rum custard with a glamorous crispy caramel icing top.
  • Lara, a passion fruit custard with white chocolate and sugar flowers.
  • Berny, a coffee custard with coffee icing.

My favorite of the three was the Lara with a definite passion fruit flavor, capturing the sweet-tartness of the fruit. The other two were nice too, but the rum (in the Emilie) and the coffee (in the Berny) weren’t as prominent.

I felt the filling was more interesting than the choux shell itself, which was decent but didn’t seem as flaky or airy as you would imagine.

Still, you can’t get away from the beauty and creativity of Choux’s little puffs. Selling for $2.50 each, you can be sure you’ll see a lot of boxes of these colorful cream puffs as hostess gifts or party favors. They’re just that precious.

The deets: Choux, 248 Fillmore St. (at Haight), San Francisco. For information email yummy@chouxsf.com or visit chouxsf.com.

The tiny shop on Fillmore Street.

The tiny shop on Fillmore Street.

Cute details around the shop.

Cute details around the shop.

Choux cream puffs look like little jewels.

Choux cream puffs look like little jewels.

Choux owner Laura Athuil. She holds one of her cream puffs. Each has a name and this one is inspired by herself, which is why it's called "The Frenchie."

Choux owner Laura Athuil. She holds one of her cream puffs. Each has a name and this one is inspired by herself, which is why it’s called “The Frenchie.”

The ceiling had a roadmap graphic of France.

The ceiling had a roadmap graphic of France.

Chouquettes, which are puffs without the cream, instead sprinkled with sugar or chocolate chips.

Chouquettes, which are puffs without the cream, instead sprinkled with sugar or chocolate chips.

Photo of Athuil baking at home.

Photo of Athuil baking at home.

View of the tiny kitchen and freshly made cream puffs.

View of the tiny kitchen and freshly made cream puffs.

Two of the cream puffs I tried: the Lara (passion fruit filling) on the left, and the Emilie (rum custard) on the right.

Two of the cream puffs I tried: the Lara (passion fruit filling) on the left, and the Emilie (rum custard) on the right.

A selection of cream puffs. They'll see for $2.50 each when the store opens on Tuesday.

A selection of cream puffs. They’ll sell for $2.50 each when the store opens on Tuesday.

More colorful cream puffs

More colorful cream puffs

Choux opens on the block that already includes a Three Twins ice cream shop and Estrella.

Choux opens on the block that already includes a Three Twins ice cream shop and a sandwich shop.

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7 Responses to French Cream Puff Bakery Choux Opens in Lower Haight

  1. Brenda Ton says:

    They do look like jewels! How divine. I’ve got to try the Lara and see how these puffs compare to the others that I’ve had in the city.

    • Ben Ben says:

      I haven’t tried a lot of cream puffs around town, you have to let me know where’s the best in your mind.

      • Brenda Ton says:

        I love Pacific Puffs. The texture is spot on for the dough and cream filling. It’s nothing fancy, just simple and tasty.

        • Ben Ben says:

          I agree, Pacific Puffs have a good shell and filling. They’re also larger than the ones at Choux. But Choux does win on variety of flavors and looks.

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    What an adorable place! Well, you MUST go back and try the “Ben.” Life isn’t complete until you do. 😉

  3. You were a literally a block away from my house! I’ve seen this place but haven’t ventured in yet.