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Best Croissant in SF/Bay Area?

Can any croissant the Bay Area has to offer come close to anything in Paris? My favs are those carmelized "almondine" croissants in Paris... so heavy and dense, with the edges and bottoms carmelized, filled with sweet almond paste, inside those flakey and crusty and buttery crosissants... ahhh... any you have had come close? Regular, chocolate, almond, etc. are fine! Im just lookign for those crisp/flakey shells, with light, soft airy interiors, and a delicate crumbly texture. C'est possible ici, non?

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  1. Tartine gets a lot of favorable mentions for their croissants.

    I'd recommend Petite Patisserie on Portrero Hill.

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    Petite Patisserie
    1415 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

    2 Replies
    1. re: grishnackh

      The almond croissant at Tartine is quite different from what the OP asked for, but the ham & cheese is appropriately heavy and dense.

      Delessio's croissants are worth trying -- not as heavy or big as Tartine's, and flakier.

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      Delessio Market & Bakery
      1695 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      1. re: grishnackh

        Agreed. Tartine as a whole is the only place in the bay area that comes close to a *good* place (i.e. not just any place) in Paris.

      2. Le Croissant in San Rafael has lovely Croissants. They are jumbo sized and one with a cafe au lait will do you for breakfast.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Sharuf

          "jumbo sized" sounds more American than Parisian.

          I like the croissants made by the Bay Bread empire - they use butter; are flaky, not bready; have a nice crust that shatters and the almond croissants are as good or better than any almond croissants we had in Paris.

              1. re: chompy

                Thank you. You've enhanced my mornings -- hope they have terrific butter ones, no almond paste for me!!

                1. re: Sarah

                  Not crazy about Bay Bread's plain croissant, but the almond ones are my favorite of the genre.

        2. I second Bay Bread and Tartine is a close second. Bay Breads Almond Croissants are too die for. They sell them at the Burlingame Farmers Mkt on Sunday. I grab a Peet's, an Almond Croissant and grab a spot in the sun with the Sunday paper. Heaven.

          1. Bay Bread is amazing. I dream of their croissants!

            2 Replies
            1. re: citygrrl

              I agree, want to 2nd (or 3rd) Bay Bread pastry. Yesterday had a pain au chocolat with hazelnut topping and frangipane filling (or was it hazelnut too?). Got it at the Montclair Farmer's Market where Bay Bread has a stand. Not something that you would see in France, necessarily, but the crisp pastry and the ribbons of chocolate were outstanding, and amazing with the nut filling. They have an orange morning bun (typically San Franciscan, not français) that is really robustly flavored. But to answer your question, the regular croissants are great too. They're not too "jumbo", are crisp, flaky and buttery.

              1. re: Kimba2000

                I have to disagree -- I had a plain Bay Breads croissant this morning from the Montclair market and I was disappointed. It was mushy and bland, with no crispness to the crust and no distinct butter flavor. The custard raisin bun was better (or at least the couple of bites I got -- as I was typing this, my dog stole the rest of it off the table behind me!).

            2. I have to put in a vote for Liberty Cafe Bakery's Pain au Chocolat. It's remarkably close to the Pain au Chocolat we would get at this tiny patisserie on Rue St.-Dominique in Paris. Not too big with a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture. We get them every Saturday when we go get our bread in the back bakery, and they are often still warm when we go around 8:30 AM.