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Celestin bakery

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I was doing a search for favorite bakeries and this one never came up. I'm quite surprised because I've enjoyed everything I've had from there and it seems pretty popular, judging by the lines and the fact that they run out of stuff late in the day. The chocolate croissant is killer and the fig bread is amazing (I could probably eat a whole one by myself :-P ).

Any thoughts?

I'm going to try Patachou and Wanda's pies soon...maybe today...

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  1. currently working on a croissant tour and celestin is one of the 7 we've tried to date... probably have about 7 more places to go... anyway, we found that it tasted very lardy rather than buttery, fairly dense through the centre, and a very thick crust. not impressed and amongst the worst of the bunch. i still can't get past the lard flavour... it was just left a film in my mouth.

    5 Replies
    1. re: pinstripeprincess

      I recently had yummy croissant at Balzacs in the Distillery District..very buttery.
      Also,my kids and I have been doing the same thing(tour) but we go each weekend and search out Toronto's best Jelly Doughnuts!

      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        You know what the Celestin croissants taste like? Frozen Costco croissants! I am not saying they're not making their own but who knows.

        1. re: Hans Brinker

          They taste NOTHING like that. Costco frozen croissant arent even made with butter.

          1. re: qtxniki

            Costco is known for changing suppliers regularly and I don't know what croissants they sell today. Several years ago they sold amazing frozen croissants that some restaurants admitted they were using.

            (That said, I seriously doubt that Celestin is selling Costco croissants.)

            1. re: qtxniki

              "Costco frozen croissant arent even made with butter".... THAT WAS MY POINT!!!! They are made with LARD! The pinstripeprincess remarked (her words, not mine) "i still can't get past the lard flavour... it was just left a film in my mouth". OK? You take your guess.

        2. a croissant tour...nice! let us know what you discover along the way. any recs so far? :-)

          3 Replies
          1. re: ctl98

            well my posts keep getting axed so in short i'll say that so far the top marks go to the following in this particular order:

            patisserie cigogne
            clafouti
            wagamama

            based on good crisp exterior (not too thick), buttery flavour (incl. hints of sweetness/salt) and a good chewy inside that can pull the rolled pastry nearly apart.

            maybe i had an off one at celestin, but it was distinctly lardy flavoured rather than buttery. it left a filmy taste that was less so rich and more so oily and greasy.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              I very much liked the pastries and cakes at Patisserie Cigogne. They have tasty stuff!

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                wagamama has great mini cookies - a MUST try!

            2. i hear pain perdu is excellent! good luck on your journey and enjoy!

              1. all i can say is that my husband eats something from Celestin for breakfast about three days a week- although we benefit from proximity.

                4 Replies
                1. re: nummanumma

                  I live near Mt. Pleasant too, and prefer the service and products at Jules Patisserie a block away. Not only are the croissants, pain au chocolat, pastries and baguettes awesome, they are not as pretentious as the Celestin staff.

                  1. re: bogie

                    ohh this just in- he informs me he has mostly switched to Jules- I wouldn't know as Im generally lounging in bed :)

                    1. re: bogie

                      I just tried Jules on your rec. It was very good. For some reason, whenever I'm around Mt. Pleasant/Eglinton (which is a lot) I NEVER catch Celestin when it's open. I gave up, and then half an hour ago, went to Jules and saw Celestin open - but I didn't bother going in based on the lard comment...

                      Anyway, Jules was very good, but I think Pain Perdu on St Clair is better. Jules was still a bit crispy for my taste. As well, small just like all the other "high-end" croissants in this town. Someone brought me back a croissant from Paris - okay, by the time I ate it it was almost day-old, but it was huge!

                      1. re: sweetspotlee

                        The pain au raisin at Pain Perdu is heavenly!

                  2. One factor about the croissants at Celestin is that they're kind of artisanal. By that I mean that the appearance can vary as can the degree of doneness. I think that they're baked in smaller quantities than those of many other bakeries. Not sure about the 'lardy' flavour--I think that can happen if you don't wash it down with a hot drink (melts the fat!). I've certainly never experienced that at Celestin.
                    I will agree that the French guy that works there is pretty unfriendly, especially when compared to the staff at Jules, just down the street.
                    My family's current favourite croissant is to be had at La Bamboche, on Manor Rd. at Yonge St.

                    1. Went back to Celestin today (Sunday) and found plain croissants in the late afternoon! They do indeed leave a buttery feeling in the mouth, but they are very light and flaky, though perhaps a little too crispy on the edges. Celestin's mini salmon and caper quiche (which the young man graciously warmed for me) was quite salty but delicious.

                      1. We did a taste test on Sunday with plain croissants from Celestin, Jules and La Bamboche. C and J were of equal size and price ($1.25, I think), while La B was tiny and expensive ($2.00). It leads me to believe that consistency is the most difficult factor to manage due to staff changes etc. The Celestin croissant was by far the richest--flaky, almost crumbly pastry. Jules was a bit chewier (not in a bad way), but flaky on the outside. There was no real consensus among my family members, although we were disappointed by the La B product.

                        I can't believe that qtxniki hasn't made it to Jules yet, since it's only about 25 steps from Celestin.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Yongeman

                          I also agreed that La Bamboche is overpriced. I once bought a tiny piece of cake ($5) and a croissant ($2). The cake was too sweet, and it just tasted not much difference from other ordinary bakeries, and the croissant was again so-so.

                          1. re: Yongeman

                            Well, Celestin is just so darn good, that I always pop in there first, and forget to head to Jules.

                            I walk south along Mount Pleasant, and I cant help but be sidetracked by it =).

                            1. re: qtxniki

                              Qtxniki, that's too funny--I can't really blame you, but next time why don't you get one at each place and compare.

                          2. We had a party for my birthday this year and the cake was from Celestin - I thought it might be called Royale or something like that. I actually posted about it as it was one of the best cakes I've ever tasted. I've since bought it a couple of times and it's always a huge hit. It freezes really well too. Never tried their croissants, though.

                            1. My vote is Pain Perdu for pain au chocolat & croissants. Their tarte aux oignons is also incredible. Lived in Montreal for 10 yrs and find everything they have excellent(awesome baguette too!).

                              1. There is a wonderful little pastry shop at the corner of Dupont and Madison which has delicious onion/cheese and onion/cheese/proscuitto tarts, always fresh. Their pain au chocolat also excellent, as are their patisserie, viennoiserie and assorted cookies and cakes. Reasonable prices, too - at least in the particular stratosphere that is occupied by high-end bakeries in Toronto !

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Bigtigger

                                  I have been wanting to try Frangipane bakery for months! Thanks for the review.

                                2. I live near Mt. Pleasant and love Celestin and Jules both. I also like them for different things, depending. I find the Celestin croissants buttery, rich, flaky and with a lovely crisp outer layer. Never experienced the lard effect. The Jules croissants are a bit lighter. Depends what you like. Both have good pain au chocolat.

                                  Both have good baguettes. I am extra impressed with the Jules multigrain baguette. I have generally despised whole wheat baguettes as they just seem wrong and dry. But Jules' multigrain baguette is crusty, moist and makes a fantastic sandwich (nice for those avoiding white bread but still want to enjoy their baguette).

                                  I prefer the other pastries, cookies and quiches from Jules. The Celestin truffles however are wonderful with intriguing flavours (lavender, ginger, etc.).

                                  I adore the staff & owners at Jules. They are so friendly and warm. Celestin Comptoir staff are polite but a bit cold.

                                  Jules takes cash only - good to know if you are going there to buy lots of things to take home.

                                  I also like Patisserie La Cigogne & Rahier on Bayview, too, though my favourite overall is probably Jules. How lucky to be located between four wonderful French bakeries.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: balthazar

                                    We must be neighbours, balthazar. I also love both Celestin and Jules, in different ways. Have you tried La Bamboche on Manor, just east of Yonge? It's pretty good too, although not up to C and J, I think.

                                    1. re: Yongeman

                                      Yes, we must be neighbours! I've never tried Bamboche but it sounds great, must do that someday.

                                  2. My vote goes to Clafoutti-both regular and fig croisaants were great! They also pour a decent cup of coffee

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: montreal traveller

                                      clafoutti has excellent coffee (balzacs) and its their almond-chocolate croissant that I find to be unbeatable.

                                    2. I had a cake by Celestin a few months ago, and it was wonderful. Everyone raved about it. It had pistachio cream and wafers.