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Are you making a specialty food? Tell us about it

Just back from Quebec weekend. Other than Clafouti, who elsa in the G.T.A. has a great crossiant, Quality, Flakiness and Great Quality Butter as an ingredient.

Porto Jul 3, 2007 11:37 AM

I would love to find the best in the G.T.A

  1. b
    bou Jul 15, 2007 05:35 AM

    I was visiting for a few days and got to try Rustic Bakery!!! YUMMY, oh lordie... it was that perfect balance of crispy/chewy/buttery... the gnutella one was goooood.... and what an amazing latte.

    oh sigh... i'm gonna miss 'em.

    1. j
      jkmanosque Jul 7, 2007 05:57 AM

      hidden secret - Rustic Bakery just north of lawrence off of Keele Street has amazing croissants - including some amazing flavours - nutella, almond, plain, etc. While you're there grab an excellent espresso, latte or cappucino at prices that liftetime espresso drinkers are used to (not the pilfering prices of the nouveau bistro/cafes). Torontonians from the pre nineties Keele and Eglinton area will know what I mean. B.t.w. the best croissants were the ones made a the now closed Tournaryre Patisserie (in the Beaches) - Mark, Sandra and Manu save us!!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: jkmanosque
        Snarf Jul 9, 2007 05:11 AM

        Read earlier post - the Tournayre's are back, and behind Jules on Mount Pleasant.

        1. re: Snarf
          jkmanosque Jul 9, 2007 06:40 AM

          Brilliant - Jules - Mount Pleasant - I can't wait. Thanks Snarf.

          1. re: jkmanosque
            Snarf Jul 9, 2007 09:09 AM

            It's four doors south of Celestin, same side of the street.

            Once you've sated that craving, walk a block and a half north to Il Gelatiere. The earth will move.....

      2. m
        Moonsammy Jul 6, 2007 05:48 PM

        Though they're hard to get (usually sold by mid-morning), Alchemy Bakery on Augusta in Kensington has fantastic croissants.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Moonsammy
          mrbozo Jul 7, 2007 03:28 AM

          Yes! I had forgotten about them. Kirk at Alchemy does indeed make wonderful croissants. Also love his Afghan (nigella) bread. Thanks for the reminder. In fact I think I'll head out shortly to grab a couple.

        2. 2
          2equis Jul 5, 2007 03:26 PM

          Pain perdu is my favourite. Buttery and delicious. Wonderful chocolate and almond croissants.
          THe Fromagerie on College at Ossington carries Pain Perdu's croissants and baguettes every day.

          3 Replies
          1. re: 2equis
            littlegreenpea Jul 5, 2007 06:58 PM

            College and Ossington???? That makes me sad - I used to live right there, prior to moving from Toronto. But I am in total agreement with you 2equis. I'm very suprised that some consider them over done.

            Has anyone tried the Patachou croissant? Any thoughts?

            1. re: littlegreenpea
              missmu Jul 6, 2007 12:47 PM

              Patachou chocolate almond croissants always put me on cloud 9. I used to live right by their St. Clair and Oakwood location (near Pain Perdu) and would get them frequently. They could very well be my favourite food treat in the whole city. I've tried Pain Perdu and Patisserie La Cigogne, and Bonjour Brioche, they were good but not as good. I've never tried Rahier or Celestin.

            2. re: 2equis
              mrbozo Jul 6, 2007 05:53 AM

              Good to know as La Fromagerie is in my neighbourhood. They also carry an excellent selection of Québec cheeses, albeit at a pretty good markup.

              A good plain croissant is nicely crisp and flaky on the outside, soft and buttery inside, with butter leaving a film on your fingers when you squeeze it, and eating just one should satisfy your calorie intake for the morning. A bad croissant is any or all of the following: dense, chewy, dry, bread-like, sweet, made with a minimal amount of butter or worse yet margarine, lard, hydrogenated oil, etc.; in effect nothing more than some kind of unauthentic and often over-worked dough shaped like a crescent.

            3. thenurse Jul 5, 2007 02:48 PM

              I used to get Clafouti croissants at Niche cafe on the Danforth, but they no longer have them. They always had cinnamon, chocolate and almond croissants. I loved the cinnamon and went to the West End, straight to Clafouti and they didn't have them. I was sad. I am by no means a connoisseur of croissants - I used to hate them, only because the only ones I had were pillsbury or the croissant sandwiches on the VIA to Kingston when I went to University - nasty.
              I've had them from Bonjour Brioche and find them salty, and a little too airy. Same with Zane in the Beach.

              1. d
                dxsnyder Jul 4, 2007 02:36 PM

                We did a croissant smackdown in City Bites magazine last year. Clafouti placed last. Top: Rahier, Pain Perdu, Bonjour Brioche.

                2 Replies
                1. re: dxsnyder
                  HarryLloyd Jul 4, 2007 02:40 PM

                  What other croissants were participants in this battle royale?


                  1. re: HarryLloyd
                    ace123 Jul 4, 2007 05:07 PM

                    Rahier, Dessert Trend & Pain Perdu(except the choco croissant).

                2. HarryLloyd Jul 4, 2007 01:50 PM


                  I used to quite enjoy a clafouti croissant from time to time, but a few months back they changed their formula. Presumably to make more profit $$$. And since then they have tasted like Wonder Bread.

                  So , I guess I am Wondering if you have had one recently?


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: HarryLloyd
                    erly Jul 4, 2007 01:52 PM

                    I must add a thumbs down for thuet.
                    First time I bought six, and at their prices, I expected perfection.
                    They were bland and tasteless.
                    So bad, that four went to the birds.

                    1. re: erly
                      acd123 Jul 4, 2007 01:57 PM

                      Third Pain Perdu

                      1. re: acd123
                        erly Jul 4, 2007 01:59 PM

                        What about Rahier?
                        Have not been for some time, but really liked their croissants in the past

                  2. m
                    MartiniGirls Jul 3, 2007 04:48 PM

                    Bonjour Brioche on Queen Street east of Broadview has the most authentic French pastry I have tasted in Toronto.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MartiniGirls
                      Porto Jul 4, 2007 06:04 AM

                      Thank you everyone, great info!! I have my plans on making a run through two or three of your suggestions this Saturday. Looking forward to it. Thanks again

                      1. re: MartiniGirls
                        HarryLloyd Jul 4, 2007 01:47 PM


                        Can you provide more info as to where else you have been in the Tdot? How does it compare to say Pain Perdu?

                        TIA and Chow!

                      2. littlegreenpea Jul 3, 2007 02:07 PM

                        Definitley check out Pain Perdu on St. Clair West. I think it's superior to the croissant at Clafouti.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: littlegreenpea
                          mrbozo Jul 3, 2007 04:09 PM

                          Second Pain Perdu.

                        2. s
                          Scary Bill Jul 3, 2007 12:51 PM


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Scary Bill
                            Snarf Jul 3, 2007 02:04 PM

                            I would agree that La Cicogne does very good croissant (especially the almond). I recently tried Jules on Mt. Pleasant and found it to be surprisingly good as well.Very light, not overdone. The owner used to be in partnership years ago, when they were in the previous location.

                            1. re: Scary Bill
                              HarryLloyd Jul 4, 2007 01:44 PM


                              Thuet? Are you kidding? I love their breads but the croissant just tastes like bread, not a croissant.


                            2. pinstripeprincess Jul 3, 2007 11:52 AM

                              after visits to about 15 or so bakeries in toronto with a little bit of documentation http://tongueandcheek.ca/2007/06/21/c... , my pick for best is cigogne on bayview. the butter has sweet and salt in a great balance with a good crust that isn't too thick and great texture.

                              i found celestin to taste lardy and burnt... the greasiness was just not butter like.

                              but for that just rolled out of bed dont' want to fight traffic for a croissant... pick up a bunch of frozen ones from saint honore on bloor west and proof them the night before for an intense buttery infusion.

                              clafouti isn't on my list at all though. they lack any flakiness and their malformed croissant plus ill-mannered service is an utter turn off. the last one i tried there was supermarket quality and i'd rather go the extra distance to bayview for a croissant even though i'm nearly just a block away from clafouti.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                Splendid Wine Snob Jul 5, 2007 02:15 PM

                                I have tried them all (and on multiple visits); Rahier, Pain Perdu, Clafouti, Thuet, Patisserie La Cigogne, Bonjour Brioche and Celestin.

                                Personally, I don't understand how you could interpret Celestin's as "lardy" and/or "burnt", although to each their own. I am a reqular there and have never experienced either of those textures. A lardy pastry adds weight, and they are as close to perfection as I've experienced; light, flaky, and buttery. This was solidified for me during my recent 2 week foodie vacation in Paris.

                                I would agree that Cigogne's are also excellent, although not buttery enough for my taste. Rahier's are good as well but I prefer their apricot danish over their croissants. Pain Perdu's are overdone (as are Bonjour Brioche's IMO). Pain Perdu's specialty is the "Pain Perdu" and Bonjour Brioche makes delectable shortbread/walnut cookies.

                                Clafouti's are dense and chewy; they certainly don't taste bad IMO, but I would not define that as a croissant.

                                And Thuet's specialty are his artisanal breads; by far the BEST in town (blowing away all competition). His croissants are ok, but I would agree with other postings that they're kind of bland/boring.

                                1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                                  pinstripeprincess Jul 5, 2007 02:30 PM

                                  char is char. i can see it and i can taste it. burnt it is, the photo says it enough and that's no "interpretation".

                                  i was hesitant that i had a first bad experience but after a couple more tries i really can't be bothered to purchase a croissant that lacks any sweet or salt, feels and tastes oily rather than butter and is burnt! clear as day burnt. after all the rave reviews i'm surprised myself but experience is experience and that's what i was given.

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                    Splendid Wine Snob Jul 5, 2007 02:48 PM

                                    Honestly, I'm shocked. I have NEVER had a burnt croissant there. Every visit they were burnt???

                                    Bizarre, indeed... What day of the week did you go??

                                    1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                                      pinstripeprincess Jul 5, 2007 03:21 PM

                                      i gave up after about three visits and it would usually vary between a thursday or friday in the morning/late morning.

                                      i'm surprised they would serve it but that's what i got. c'est la vie... i'm perfectly happy with cigogne or getting some frozen st honore to satiate intense butteriness.

                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                        Snarf Jul 5, 2007 03:49 PM

                                        Sadly, can confirm the crispy critters my last few times, on successive Saturdays. No change in excellent breads, though.

                                        Four doors south at Jules, they've been consistently good.

                                    2. re: pinstripeprincess
                                      ddelicious Jul 6, 2007 07:35 AM

                                      I have had burnt from them too, maybe way overbaked would be a better description but burnt is fair enough. Greasy too.

                                      1. re: ddelicious
                                        Splendid Wine Snob Jul 6, 2007 10:26 AM

                                        This is so completely bizarre to me??

                                        It's almost like we're not even talking about the same place. I gather this is the problem of inconsistency rearing it's ugly head again.

                                        Have any of you complained?? Personally, I would never even accept a burnt pastry.

                                        I'm surprised on two levels:

                                        1. That they sold you a burnt croissant in the first place
                                        2. That you would actually purchase it and not say anything?

                                        And if you did complain, what was their response?

                                        1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                                          pinstripeprincess Jul 6, 2007 11:24 AM

                                          mine were usually the last in the basket barring any future baking that day. they would get popped in a bag to go and then i would notice the burn after i had left celestin and wasn't exactly in a place to complain about it since i just don't physically get myself out to them thar parts that often as i am sans car.

                                          no complaint was voiced but i didn't really feel the need since i have lovely options for baked goods near me.

                                          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                                            ddelicious Jul 9, 2007 12:09 PM

                                            They were in a box so didn't notice until we got home.

                                      2. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                                        HarryLloyd Jul 13, 2007 07:35 AM

                                        One of the reasons Celestin is not as good as say Cigogne is in the way they make them. As seen in the Priness' photo there are many thin layers not unlike baklava. They have formed a very hard outer shell unlike what a croissant should be. This rolling process they seem to use also forces the butter to be thin and melt too early (as in the preparing stage) and separate leaving a "greasy" result. A perfect croissant will have chunks of butter between pillowy layers of dough allowing the flour to stay glutonous and the butter to melt and created beautiful pockets of airiness.


                                      3. re: pinstripeprincess
                                        food for life Jul 6, 2007 11:56 AM

                                        Saint Honore is good and the bakery at the distillery comes a close second.
                                        I've also tried it at Pain perdu, can't quite remember, guesse it didn't leave a lasting impression with me.

                                      4. kawarthagirl Jul 3, 2007 11:38 AM


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