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Croissants in St. Paul

The searches I've done have turned up mostly places in Minneapolis, but what do you guys recommend for someone who doesn't feel like taking a trip across the river.I'm looking for real croissants at a reasonable price.

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  1. Cupcake is in Minneapolis, but it's on the St. Paul side of the river and is only a few blocks inside the city border. Their croissants are pretty good. The cupcakes are even better.

    Anne

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    Cupcake
    3338 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    1. I really like Trung Nam's croissants. They're on University Avenue in St. Paul, the place with the chain link fence and the sign with the Eiffel Tower. I think they're $1.40 each.

      EDIT: the $1.40 price is for the chocolate ones. They also come in blueberry and strawberry and some other flavors I can't recall. I'm sure the plain ones are cheaper.

      ~TDQ

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      Trung Nam French Bakery
      739 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104

      8 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        TDQ - thanks for that info - I see that place all the time and wonder if its worth a stop.

        I had a single good croissant at the french place - on Randolf near the intersection of snelling - can't recall the name. But the second time I got one it was just average.

        1. re: St Paul Susie

          Yes, Trung Nam is totally worth the stop! They are open Mon-Sat from about 8am-1pm, but get there early--11am is pretty safe-- because once they run out, they're done for the day. I was there at 11:30am on a weekday recently and they only had one bahn mi sandwich left. He told me that they sell their sandwiches for resale to all kinds of restaurants and groceries up and down University Ave (I asked which ones, and he rattled the names of about a zillion Vietnamese places so quickly I couldn't retain any of them...) and the restaurants often just buy them completely out.

          When I'm running late for work in the morning (meaning, it's near to 8am when I leave the house), I often stop by Trung Nam to get a croissant for breakfast and a bahn mi sandwich for lunch. The sandwiches are premade and wrapped in butcher paper. They only make one variety of sandwich every day, but they are very good (not as good as Saigon) and are only $2.25.

          Their super crusty baguettes are good, too. Again, they supply baguettes to restaurants all over town.

          Their Vietnamese coffee is good, too, though, I'm not a coffee expert, so who knows.

          The French place on Randolph just East of Snelling is called Patisserie, if you're thinking of the same place I'm thinking--I haven't had much good luck there, either, but, I'm stingy, I guess, and have only given them a couple of chances. AnneInMpls said they had a pastry chef in (from Germany?) for awhile and that it was good then...

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Want to also cast my vote with Trung Nam and say that I've stopped by the last couple Sunday mornings and they've been open so they may have extended their hours since this thread was first posted.

            1. re: apolis

              That's terrific to know! Thank you so much.You can often find their croissants and sandwiches at Shuang Hur on University, just a few blocks away, if they are closed by the time you get there.

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                A number of years ago (maybe 3 or 4), I made a special trip to Trung Nam. Their banh mi were good, but we were told they didn't use butter in their croissants. Has that changed?

                1. re: prasantrin

                  I can't comment on your past experiences, but, yes, they use butter in their croissants.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    OK! I'll add it back to my list of places to visit.

        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          100% second on Trung Nam. Their croissants are so light and flaky and buttery - so good!

          I've only eaten a croissant (strawberry filled) from La Patisserie once, and it was when they just opened, but I recall enjoying it quite a bit. But Trung Nam's better and cheaper.

          I guess if you want ambience to eat your croissant in, La Patisserie might win out though - Trung Nam is pretty stark.

        3. Another vote for Trung Nam. They are wonderful; the owner are great too. I stopped by at 7:30 on a weekday to get some croissants for an early meeting, not realizing they don't open until 8:00. The owner let me in through the kitchen door and I got my croissants. Try the coconut ones. All are $1.40,
          The croissants at Bread and Chocolate are very good if you are on Grand Ave. (It's at Victoria Crossing).
          I was not impressed by the one time I tried them at the Patisserie on Randolph.

          1. I'll have to try trung nam after all that praise. I find I have to drive to Turtle in Minneapolis to get good ones. (and I think they're good enough that they are worth the drive.)

            3 Replies
            1. re: stpaulbreadman

              ooo i get to add a link!

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              Turtle Bread Co.
              4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              1. re: stpaulbreadman

                I wish I had photos of croissants to post for you, but I do have some bahn mi sandwich photos (and not very good ones, alas)... Nevertheless, I took them awhile back, so I might as well post them. stpaulbreadman, are you a baker or just an afficionado?

                ~TDQ

                 
                 
                 
                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Just an afficionado and amateur home baker. but.. passionate eater.

              2. It's wonderful to read this thread. I live at Eagan and am willing to travel a bit to get a good croissant. In addition to Trung Nam and Turtle bread, any places else? Thanks.

                2 Replies
                1. re: gardenia9

                  If you're willing to try both sides of the river, here are two suggestions.

                  I have always liked the croissants at the Franklin Street Bakery.
                  http://www.franklinstreetbakery.com/

                  And in this month's Rake magazine the baker at Lucia's says that the croissants at the Mayday Cafe are "flaky and perfect." Cannot confirm that, though: they were out when I tried to get one on Saturday.

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                  Franklin Street Bakery
                  1020 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                  May Day Cafe
                  3440 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                  1. re: KTFoley

                    I can confirm, now:

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/440661

                    May Day Cafe makes terrific croissants!

                2. My favorites come from Patisserie Margo located near Hwy 100 and 50th.

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                  Patisserie Margo
                  5133 Gus Young Ln, Minneapolis, MN 55436

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: shoo bee doo

                    I am a fan of Patrick's but stopped by Patisserie Margo on this recommendation (unlike Patrick's, Patisserie is on my way to work). I picked up 6 croissants, 4 chocolate croissants, and 2 of their morning rolls (a croissant prepared in a muffin tin and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar). I only had a chance to sample the plain, but I'd say that Patisserie handily beat Patrick's.

                    I'm looking forward to going back there. The croissant holds up very well on it's own. It's a wonderful mix of flakiness and substance that's a touch sweet and sour. I think it would hold it's own with some ham and brie or (although, to be honest, I'm more interested in having it with some melted brie and apples).

                    I'm going to have to make a point of trying out Trung Nam now.

                    1. re: DawnAndBen

                      If you're willing to drive around town, as it appears you are, I would repeat my recommendation of Cupcake on University Avenue. I've eaten far too many croissants in the last couple of years and none (including Patrick's, Rustica, Patisserie Margo, Trung Nam, and most of the others mentioned on this board) were as good. Again, this is in the plain croissant category -- no fillings, toppings, cheeses, fruits or otherwise.

                      1. re: MSPD

                        Yes, I prefer Cupcake's too. But they're difficult to come by, as Cupcake seems to make a very limited number. Or else I'm just not getting there at the right time. Cupcake's croissants are the right combination of tender insides with a just slightly crispy exterior, and a flavor that is just lightly buttery, how I think a good croissant should taste. .

                  2. The almond croisaants at Piece Of Cake on Selby are excellent. They also serve them at Bon Vie, the fine cafe down the street.

                    1. My sister and I recently drove around the cities to try a side-by-side croissant taste test. I'd like to give an anti-recommendation to Bread and Chocolate--a mushy, over-the-top chocolate pastry that hardly resembles a croissant. The most authentic croissant--fluffy, flaky, buttery, French-y--was from Patrick's Bakery. But, as I've heard here, our hands down favorite was Trung Nam. I like the lightly sweetened glaze on the crust and the soft, buttery layers inside. And the coconut croissant is positively inspired--southeast asia meets french bistro. I had no idea what to expect, but when I bit into a nest of lightly toasted coconut flakes I actually gasped. It's worth mentioning that croissants at other establishments ranged from $2.45 to $2.95, while Trung Nam croissants are only $1.40. When we walked out of Cupcake and back to our car (parked on the street after circling the block once) my sister said, "I feel robbed." I agree. One more thing about Trung Nam--it's an old Popeye's restaurant and I love the down-to-business sense of industry inside. All around a fun find!

                      1. Bumping since....

                        I finally went to Trung Nam today & It was amazing. I tried both the plain and the coconut and I foresee many many trips back!

                        Truly the best in the TC

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: St Paul Susie

                          I second that. I've tried the almond, chocolate, plain, apricot and strawberry. I keep striking out in trying to get the blueberry ones. They are all fantastic. Best in town.

                        2. The best croissant in St. Paul is a Rustica croissant from Minneapolis available without the drive (perish the thought of heading way over there) at Kopplin's Coffee near the intersection of Hamline and Randolph. Without a doubt you'll also find the best milk handling barristas, your choice of espresso beans (usually at least three) with differing flavor profiles, Clover coffee, excellent chocolate drinks, and by the way don't tell anyone because no one goes there the place is always jammed. Certainly don't come all the way from Minneapolis.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blowphishery

                            The Rustica croissant is excellent - no flaws at all - but Trung Nam beats them. Once you hit that level of excellent at either place, any difference is just gravy.