When a Taste of France Comes to Brookhaven

In the era of mass-produced Girl Scout Cookies and Little Debbie snacks, it seems the masterful art of the dessert may be lost to time. Thankfully, Henri’s Bakery & Deli continues to carry the torch of sugary French excellence into the future.

Founded in 1929, Henri’s has stood as one of Atlanta’s premier establishments, serving up French delicacies for the past 94 years. The recent opening of Henri’s Brookhaven branch of at 2163 Johnson Ferry Road has drawn major interest from students, parents, and faculty alike.

Naturally, I had to give it a try myself.

Henri Fiscus immigrated from France after WWI and first opened his bakery in Midtown. After numerous moves, Henri’s Bakery settled in the East Andrews neighborhood of Buckhead. Henri passed away and left the business to his children, who expanded the restaurant to four total locations today.

While traditionally a Buckhead staple, the launch of Henri’s Brookhaven exposed the Marist community to Henri’s delicious sandwiches and pastries.

Wedged between two major thoroughfares, Henri’s parking lot is notoriously difficult to navigate. A hired parking director stands outside during business hours to guide customers through the narrow lot.

Upon entrance to the store, your eyes bounce from the subway tiles and the glistening white and green signs to the display cases filled with every imaginable French delight.

Despite my early arrival at the store, it was already bustling with patrons: moms picking up petit fours for the swim & dive banquet, a senior grabbing a po-boy during study hall. All were captivated by the bakery’s charm and authenticity.

Frankly, they should be. Rarely do restaurants make cream puffs and Napoleons like Henri’s. Their cream puffs are stuffed with a wild amount of cream, all hidden under a mysterious chocolate shell. The Napoleon, composed of layers of puff pastry, pastry cream, and raspberry jelly, is elegantly dusted in powdered sugar.

The flakes of the napoleon counters the smooth texture of the pastry cream in a manner that makes up for the extra effort of using a knife.

Other standouts include the eclairs, cannolis, and a unique dessert called the Black Russian. Henri’s Black Russian is made of a single layer of Black Russian cake, typically a rich, stand-alone chocolate cake, stacked high with pastry cream and shavings of white chocolate.

The most traditional Henri’s classic still is the shortbread. Lining the top row of the display case, the legendary cookies are what Henri’s was built on. They certainly still deliver; the quaint, silver dollar-sized cookies melt in your mouth with a timeless butter taste.

As for the deli, there isn’t a bad order on the menu. From the meaty French dip to the original roast beef po-boys, Henri’s Deli delivers sandwiches stacked high with the finest meats outside of Paris.

True to its name, Henri’s is perhaps the only authentic piece of France in Brookhaven.