Montreal’s poutine and bagels are legendary, but also notable is the city’s superb selection of bakeries, boulangeries, and patisseries, where everything is house-made from-scratch daily. Here’s our guide to the city’s top croissants; for it can be argued that a well-made viennoiserie is the true mark of a pastry chef’s skill and dedication.
This Le Plateau bakery’s owner is dedicated to using local and organic ingredients, and founded the city-wide La Fête du Croissant. Possibly the best in the city—so-crowned by the newspaper La Presse—Fous Desserts’ classic croissant is a dense yet flaky treat with a buttery and slightly sweet taste. There is also an organic option, and, if you have a serious sweet tooth, almond-crusted and chocolate-filled croissants that are sure to please.
Les Co’Pains d’abord
Small-ish and relatively compact, Les Co’Pains d’abord’s signature croissant delivers a lot of flavour and crunch. Jacques Preschoux opened the first location on Avenue Mont-Royal in 1999, and now there are three locations across Montreal, making breakfast pick-up a more convenient affair. Their artisanal croissants, which are made with real eggs and butter to the “Viennoiseries 100 per cent maison” standard, are also available in indulgent lemon, pistachio, and chocolate versions.
The dark-golden croissants at this pretty, light-filled pastry shop and cafe on Avenue Laurier Est are both well-priced and decadently buttery. Chef Stéphanie Labelle also makes showier treats like wild blueberry éclairs and mille-feuille pastries at the pâtisserie, but this is the place to go if you’re looking for a flaky, generously-sized croissant that could almost pass for dessert.
La Petite Boulangerie Fleury
Located just outside of downtown Montreal, this small boulangerie in the northern neighbourhood of Ahuntsic offers classic, perfectly-caramelized croissants that aren’t too sweet and made with real butter onsite: ideal for making sandwiches and pairing with savoury dishes (it’s won accolades for its traditional baguette, too).
Owner and baker Jeffrey Finkelstein apprenticed at restaurants including elBulli, Noma, and French Laundry before becoming a wholesale baked-goods supplier to some of Montreal’s top restaurants. In 2013, he opened this Mile End retail outlet, where you can find flaky, airy croissants alongside excellent bread, and Jewish pastries such as challah and babkas.
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