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Sep 3, 2007 05:28 PM

Providence: Where to find a good croissant?

Anyone have the inside scoop?

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  1. Seven Stars? Or does that not do it for you?

    7 Replies
    1. re: celeriac

      Those are the best I've found. There used to be a real French bakery on Hope St -- does anyone remember that? -- but that I believe has long since gone. Their croissants were to die from. As good as any as I had in France.

      1. re: ccferg

        Maybe they closed because too many customers ordered croissants. (No seconds.)

        1. re: ccferg

          Do you mean the one that used to be where Not Just Snacks is now? It really was good, if I'm remembering correctly. When we moved into that neighborhood around 1999, or so, I remember being excited that we were within walking distance. I didn't end up going as much as I wanted, though, and then, not too long afterwards, it was gone. Seven Stars probably is the best bet nowadays, at least as far as I know.

          1. re: jgl

            Yeah, it was there for a while, but in its hey day it was further down Hope St. They used to make bread and croissants -- and the people who ran it were very French. I can't remember the name anymore.

            1. re: ccferg

              That was the perfectly named French Pastry Shop. Great-aunt Pearl used to take us in there for petit fours: mini-eclairs (chocolate AND coffee, this being RI after all), napoleons, and little fruit tarts (pear, apricot, pineapple, mandarin orange...). And let's not forget they also had Hall of Fame quality palmiers. And little tins of pastilles on the counter.

              In short, simply the best. We didn't know from croissants back then but I'm sure they were spectacular.

              Childhood memories don't come much better than this!

              1. re: Bob W

                I only knew about croissants back then (early '60s) because my parents made the mistake of sending me to France for a summer in high school to live with a family. I came back with a taste for Gauloise cigarettes (I was 15 at the time), wine and croissants. (And I insisted on having my morning coffee in a bowl with hot milk.) Sadly, my French didn't improve much. I think my parents always regretted that investment in my education. But I became devoted to the French Pastry Shop (how did I forget the name?).

              2. re: ccferg

                the name was Le Petit Four - and they the best croissants and petit fours I ever had - miss them.

        2. We find the Seven Stars croissant disappointing, actually, mainly because at 8 in the morning they don't feel as fresh as they should. The dough is too tight and old tasting. This is based on a multitude of tastings, not a one-time flop. We keep going back because it is still better than anywhere else, and it's in walking distance, and you can sit outside -- funny reasons ;-) Heard from a friend/neighbor that a small Portuguese bakery off of Ives St. has excellent croissants but apparently you need to grab them really early in the morning -- too early for us so far.

          7 Replies
          1. re: madgee

            I agree on 7 stars. They just don't do it for me, and I feel that there are much better options there. Which bakery on ives?

            1. re: 02903

              I think it is Silver Star Bakery on Ives. If you do try their croissants, let us know your impressions! We have yet to try them simply because of schedules...

              1. re: madgee

                Hmmm. Silver Star is a Portuguese bakery and makes a good (not great) sweet bread... I definitely don't recall their other pastries being worth eating. I would be happy to be wrong about that though.

                1. re: celeriac

                  Right. As I said, we've never tried their croissants (or anything there for that matter) but have heard from a neighbor that those are good. Only one way to find out!

                  1. re: madgee

                    oops. sorry, i somehow missed your original post...

                  2. re: celeriac

                    celeriac: In your esteemed opinion, who makes the best sweet bread these days in Providence? I'd like to pick up a loaf on my next visit to Prov. Last time I swung by Silver Star but it was a Sunday and they were closed.

                    As a RI old-timer my point of reference for sweet bread is, of course, the late lamented Fariah's on Wickenden St.

                  3. re: madgee

                    25 years ago, I used to own a condo in the building next to Le Petit Four on the East Side of Providence, on the last cross street between Hope and Blackstone. I would wake up EVERY morning to the fresh aroma of the baking from that wonderful place, and I must have bought stuff (either croissants or quiches) every 2-3 days. That place was a gem. I'm sorry to hear that it's no longer there - that place, and Big Alice Ice Cream were my two favorite hangouts in Providence. I also used to get sweet bread from Faria's

              2. Having spent considerable time in France, I can tell you that you won't find a true French croissant here in Providence. But with that said, I've actually really enjoyed those from Olga's - they're fresh, nice and buttery - but light at the same time.

                1. If you are ever in Westerly Vesta bakery has a very good croissant.