The Best Croissant in Toronto
The best croissants in Toronto take into consideration the delicate balance of butter and air that makes the classic French pastry so famous. The yeast-leavened dough is layered with butter and rolled and folded many times, similar to puff pastry (the technique is called laminating), which results in tiny air pockets that contribute to its flakiness. The classic crescent shape gives us its name and makes it easily spotted on buffets, breakfast nooks and bread counters around the world.
Its origins go back as far as the 13th century in Austria and the development of Viennese bakeries, but the exact style we've come to know and love was conceived around 1839 by an Austrian artillery officer. I'm wondering what he'd think of the croissant's recent heathen child - the cronut. I think he'd just be glad there are so many shining examples of the original croissant still around, and find the cronut more of a celebration than a threat.
Here are the best croissants in Toronto.
Come for brunch, stay for the croissants. This Queen East institution has a variety of croissants, the deeply buttery plain, a bittersweet chocolate, lemon and pain aux raisin, all around $1.90. Having been perfecting the croissant for the last 16 years, it’s no wonder they're highly sought after.
Leave it to Nadege to the push the boundaries of croissant-making in both flavour, and price. The plain croissant has a beautiful golden glisten, which forms the basis of all the other wilder flavours- pistachio chocolate, Brie and ham or pineapple or other combinations of fruit, chocolate, nuts, cheese and meat. Those speciality flavours are around $3.20. Get them at their Rosedale location or across from Trinity Bellwoods.
Stop by Pain Perdu on St. Clair, pick up some croissants and feel like you are stepping into a Parisian cafe. The plain croissant is buttery, flakey and surprising light, or you could try the pain aux raisin and pain a la cannelle or the Jocelyn (a maple and raisin combination.) Depending on the type they run a little over $2 each (Almond is $2.40. Raisin is $2.80).
Patisserie 27 blessed Baby Point with fine French baking back in 2012, and the neighbourhood has really taken to their version of the croissant, a combination of French technique and Japanese ingredients. The prices are reasonable too, now if they would just get a few more tables inside so we could enjoy them more.
French chef Marc Thuet sure knows how to make a name for himself in Toronto, the best of which may be his achievements in baking. The croissants at his King East and Rosedale shops around the city are flavourful and fresh, served plain, with jam or baked with chocolate or almond for about $2.50 each.
Mount Pleasant area Thobors is a classic French bakery, and their croissants have that French patisserie style. Simple yet sinfully delicious. Prices range from $1.95 to $2.30 and run the gamut of traditional flavours including plain, croissant aux amandes, pain au chocolate and a pain aux raisin.
Roncesvalles coffee shop Cherry Bomb has a (somewhat) hidden secret. They make great baked goods too, especially croissants. Plain, chocolate, and an exceptionally delicious almond croissant, and sometimes you’ll find they’ve made a rosemary ham and cheddar version that makes for good light lunch on the go. Prices are about $2.25 per croissant.
With four locations to service the Toronto city folk (the Distillery, the Beach, Financial District and Leslieville) Brick St. Breads makes croissant eating easy, but they frequently sell out, so elbow your way in early. Butter, almond and chocolate are best sellers.
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