HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >

Discussion

Chocolate Croissant in the Twin Cities?

I *may* be going on a gluten-free diet starting in a week, so I'm on a goodbye tour to all of my favorite gluten-ful items. What's your vote for my last chocolate croissant in the Twin Cities? I'm willing to drive... but I live in Uptown. Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. New French Bakery on 26th ave and 26th street. Their croissants are THE best! The almond one is heavenly

    1 Reply
    1. re: cooknKate

      Hmmm... Have you been to the New French Bakery lately? I stopped going last spring because the quality had plummeted.

      The croissants were never my favorites, but the last ones I tried were were greasy, heavy shadows of their former selves. Worse, the bread had gone downhill, and they stopped making their best pastries (I adored the pear-almond tart, but it's no longer available).

      My impression was that the NFB had scaled way back and gone corporate at the expense of quality. But if that was just a brief fluke, I would love to know.

      Thanks,
      Anne

      P.S. I would check out the croissants at Rustica. Although I haven't tried them, everything else they make is fabulous, so the croissants must be wonderful, too.

    2. I'll put in a word for Turtle Bread ... 48th and Chicago or ... uh ... Linden Hills somewhere. 47th and Franceish? Fabulous croissants, including chocolate and almond ones.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jordan

        The Linden Hills location of Turtle Bread is on 44th Street, farther down the alphabet from France Ave. Abbott, I think.

        (For folks who are reading along from someplace else, most of Minneapolis is laid out in a grid and in some sections the avenues are named in alphabetical order. So very, very orderly....)

        1. re: KTFoley

          I third the Turtle Bread reco. I think their croissants are excellent.

      2. what about Franklin St/Ave Bakery? I have not had them there, but everything they have seems to be awesome, so I would imagine their pain au chocolat (as my mom used to call them) would be great too. Anyone had them?

        1. I'd recommend the regular or chocolate croissants at A Baker's Wife, on the corner of 28th Ave and 42nd St in south Minneapolis - they're amazing.

          1. With all the choices already mentioned, you probably won't need to drive to St. Paul, but I'm just finishing off the croissant I bought this morning at Trung Nam French Bakery at 731 W. University Ave in St. Paul. $1.25

            Weird, the phone number is 612.883-0887--isn't that a Mpls area code? The croissant part of the croissant is heaven--I wish there were a bit more chocolate inside, though. Their other croissants are good, too.

            I picked up a bahn mi sandwich for lunch, too. Not bad for $2.00.

            ~TDQ

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Trung Nam's croissants are great, but if you want one, be sure to get there early! They close at 1:00PM, and if you get there after noon, don't count on any croissants being left. The most popular flavors dissapear pretty early in the day, so get there early, or forget about it.

            2. Have you been to Butter (3544 Grand Ave. S/Mpls)? Stacy Sowinski is a pastry goddess, known more for chocolate eclairs, but turning out all sorts of yummies, including croissants.

              You should also go to the Colossal Cafe (E. 42nd St./Mpls) and say goodbye to their flips and flappers: pancakes wrapped around fresh fruit and whipped cream...

              1 Reply
              1. re: sporkgirl

                I will have to try a croissant there. I never get past that voice in my head telling me, "Éclair... must have an éclair.... get a dang éclair. Now! "

              2. Lucia's bakery by far has the best croissants with or without chocolate as well as the double baked almond which unforunately they only make occasionally.

                A second option is Patrick's but that requires a little driving to either the Bachman's location or to Richfield.

                14 Replies
                1. re: uptowner

                  A few updates/bits of information, mixed in with my opinion on non-chocolate croissants:

                  Butter doesn't have croissants, or so I was told when I sought one there.

                  New French Bakery -- the big outlet location on 26th and 26th -- is a mess of construction currently. They're selling bread out of a tent on the sidewalk outside. One of the staffers recently told me they "stopped making" croissants.

                  Patrick's -- good for lots of stuff, surprisingly not good for croissants. At this point, I should note my preferred criteria for croissants -- crispy/crunchy shell, rich/buttery/chewy inside. Interior can't have any dry, "bready" quality -- should be moist and a little bit elastic. Patrick's are like eating bread and the shell isn't crispy. They're also ridiculously huge.

                  Rustica Bakery -- good croissant but inside can be on the bready side. Plus, it's far and away NOT the best item there. Still my favorite bakery in MSP.

                  Turtle Bread -- also pretty good. Extra crispy outside, one of the better ones, but again, inside still kind of bready.

                  Again, I interject a caviat -- most of my consumption is done over the lunch hour and some of the bread-like nature may be if they were baked early in the morning. Aside from Rustica, I'm not in these neighborhoods much early in the morning.

                  In my estimation, (without having tried Trung Nam, A Baker's Wife or Lucia's, which is always out of them when I'm there) the best croissant in town right now is at Cupcake on University Ave.

                  Regarding chocolate croissants, I have a hard time finding one that gives me that "ah ha!" moment. It's rare to find one that isn't either a hard chunk of chocolate or a dried up, burned around the edges blob of chalk. If someplace could offer one that's still crispy, flaky, chewy and pillowy with a nice, soft and warm high quality chocolate, it might renew my interest in the species.

                  1. re: MSPD

                    MSPD, my criteria for a decent croissant are a lot like yours. It saddens me how many of the offerings are like a dinner roll inside.

                    The ones at the Franklin Street bakery do not disappoint.

                    http://www.franklinstreetbakery.com/

                    1. re: KTFoley

                      Since I haven't seen it mentioned yet, I will voice my fandom of the chocolate croissants at Cupcake, on University, just west of KSTP.
                      The almonds are good. The chocolates much better.

                      1. re: KTFoley

                        I haven't been over to Franklin St. Bakery for a while....I'll have to get back. Too many great bakeries, too little time!

                        p.s. to the original poster, there's a 100% gluten-free bakery in.....(drum roll).....Eagan, MN! Bittersweet Bakery on Cliff Road between Cedar Ave and 35E (tucked into a small strip mall). No croissants but...

                        www.bittersweetgf.com

                      2. re: MSPD

                        MSPD, you're a true croissant resource! Now that you remind me of Cupcake's croissants, I remember thinking that they're the best I've had outside of France.

                        cmk000, give Cupcake a try! (But call first - they don't always have croissants.)

                        Cupcake
                        3338 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis
                        612.378.4818

                        Anne

                      3. re: uptowner

                        We went to Patrick's for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We tried three different breads and five different desserts. We threw all of it away. Each item was just junk. Never again. Their bread is the worst.

                        1. re: MIKELOCK34

                          My experience with Patrick's is very different than that. Granted, I haven't been there in several months, so perhaps they've had a fast descent since my last visit. But I've been there many times before that, and they breads, cakes and desserts have been incredible, actually.

                          What exactly about these items was bad? Junk in what way? Which location? I just can't see Patrick's devolving to the point of junk.

                          1. re: pgokey

                            Sorry about the previous mean post about Patrick's, but we were really disappointed. We got an olive loaf which was absolutely tasteless. The bread had no air pockets in it at all. It was just a wad of dense, gummy, tasteless gunk. We also got a baguette which was tasteless and had a texture like sawdust and talcum powder mixed together. We got a passionfruit cake which had no passionfruit in it. It was made with that terrible passionfruit syrup that is sold at Asian markets. It tasted like very old lemons. We got a chocolate trio cake which was equivalent to one of those square frozen cakes from the supermarket, I do not remember which brand that is. We also got a Sarah Cake which had no taste and was just a mushy cake mixture. The green cookie on the Sarah Cake was good though. How is that for a bashing!

                            1. re: MIKELOCK34

                              It is certainly detailed. Which location was this? What time of the day did you go?

                              I can certainly say that the Richfield location at least used to be a far cry from what you described. Perhaps I'll revisit. Maybe their expansion caused them to spread themselves too thin. Morelos used to be good at one point, too.

                        2. re: uptowner

                          Has anyone tried the croissants at May Day? Annamarie Rigelman (baker at Lucia's) claims in a Rake interview that the croissants at May Day Cafe are the best around. Better than the ones she makes, she says.

                          1. re: clepro

                            I tried to try one on Saturday, but they were out. Everyone must have read the same article at once.

                            1. re: clepro

                              Yes - the croissants at May Day are delicious. They are on a big platter on the counter early in the morning, and they are hard to resist. Very buttery and flakey - and they do sell out fast, so it's best to go early.

                              1. re: egusto

                                Got it. I have a plan for tomorrow, and will report back. Thanks!

                                1. re: egusto

                                  yes i remember them being divine. i once lived a short 3 min walk away. haven't had them since, though.

                            2. It's been a very long time since I've been there, but it seems to me that I used to get really good chocolate croissant at Bread and Chocolate in Victoria Crossing on Grand Ave. Parking's never fun over there, but it might be worth checking out...

                              And thanks to the posters who mentioned Cupcake. I'll be sure to give them a try next time I'm in the neighborhood! ! !

                              Uncle Ira

                              1. i remember my family used to get croissants from the bakery in hotel sofitel. does that exist any more?

                                1. Personally I love the chocolate croissants at Rustica (46th & Bryant). Haven't tried them at other places, but I like the thick vein of good bittersweet chocolate that runs through Rustica's.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: fendel

                                    OK, I'm really late to this topic thread, but this is a hot topic of mine.

                                    I travel and try the chocolate croissants everywhere I go.

                                    The best croissants I've had anywhere are Patisserie Claude in the West Village, Ken's French Bakery in Portland and Tartine in San Francisco. Flaky crunchy skin, dense chewy interior with generous amount of dark chocolate. Claude is like the Croissant Nazi, if you ask for four he'll give you two and grumble at you.

                                    I haven't found a comparable croissant in the twin cities.

                                    Rustica has good croissant, though I find very little chocolate in their pain au chocolat. Same with Turtle Bread.

                                    I second the previous comments on Patricks, they have some great items, esp tarts and danish/soleils, but the croissant are too large, doughy not flaky.

                                    New French used to have in nailed when they were baking downtown.

                                    Franklin St generally doesn't have pain au chocolat in their retail location on Franklin.

                                    I haven't tried Lucia's or Cupcake's croissants...yet. Been there for other items at lunchtime.

                                    If you're ever in Coos Bay, Oregon, try

                                    1. re: scotterob

                                      scotterob -- thanks for that. Now I'm dying to know what's in Coos Bay, Oregon...your post got cut off.

                                      Again today, the allure of croissants sucked me in and I stopped in at Cupcake. The best one yet. They had a full tray of them -- they weren't warm but I was wondering if they made them later in the a.m. today. Usually, there are only a couple left if any at noon. The chocolate croissants looked fantastic but I opted for a small, carrot cake cupcake which was perfect. I'm officially hooked on this place and their croissants -- thank God for spin class.

                                  2. not close to uptown,but we are very fond of the chocolate croissants at the roseville bakery on larpenteur avenue....in a strip mall just west of lexington. nice amount of chocolate and when they are on the crispy side (not always), they are heaven. the bakery also has excellent kolaches on saturdays.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: carolita

                                      Does anyone know where Surdyk's gets their baked goods from? I am pretty sure they don't make their own; they source them from a local "name" bakery. Their "pain au chocolat" is terrific there, wherever it comes from. It's flakey, buttery, and the chocolate is a rich, intense dark chocolate. You can buy 'em there, or right from the source, wherever that happens to be.

                                      1. re: pgokey

                                        I think they get their baked goods from Rustica (46th & Bryant Av S)

                                        1. re: Josie

                                          That's actually much easier for me to get to - I live in Uptown, and the drive through downtown can be tedious. I in fact drive past it all the time. This is both good and bad news. :)