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French-style Almond Croissants in TO

shelleypascual Apr 25, 2010 09:28 PM

I'm currently obsessed with almond croissants. In particular, the French-style almond croissants that can only be found at patisseries or French-style bakeries in Toronto. So far, with the help of you Chowhoundian folk in an older thread, I've found some decent LITE almond croissants, http://bit.ly/9gWsiQ at Patachou, Rahier & Jules. But now I'm on a mission to find French-style almond croissants that are HEAVY on the almonds.

To date, I've tried the heavy almond croissants at Jules, Thobors and Patisserie la Cigogne. Any other places you can recommend? I still plan on checking out Pain Perdu, the Cafe at the AGO (do these places even carry an almond croissant???) and Petite Thuet. In any case, if you guys can recommend a bakery (or supermarket or wherever) that carries an almond croissant worth trying, I'm down to hear it. Thanks!

http://shelleypascual.com

 
  1. b
    BeachHeath Apr 26, 2010 06:40 AM

    Just had a fantastic one yesterday from Brick Street Bakery. It was the Beach location but I'm sure their others make them as well.

    -----
    Brick Street Bakery
    55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

    5 Replies
    1. re: BeachHeath
      p
      poppygirl Apr 26, 2010 07:07 AM

      I love the almond croissants at Ma Maison (Dundas West near Royal York). I don't know if they would qualify as light or heavy, but I think they are delicious.

      -----
      Ma Maison
      4243 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M8X, CA

      1. re: poppygirl
        l
        lilaki Apr 26, 2010 09:09 AM

        i agree with poppygirl ... not sure what light or heavy means but the ones at ma maison remind me of the ones i had in france.

        1. re: lilaki
          bunnylicious Apr 26, 2010 06:36 PM

          Another vote for Ma Maison. I'm not the biggest fan of almond croissants, but my mom loves theirs! And everything else I've had there has been great.

          -----
          Ma Maison
          4243 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M8X, CA

        2. re: poppygirl
          shelleypascual Apr 27, 2010 08:57 AM

          Thanks guys! I've never heard of Ma Maison... I need to try their almond croissant now! And I never even knew Brick Street Bakery carried an almond croissant, guess 'cuz whenever I visit the Distillery location they've sold out of it?

        3. re: BeachHeath
          c
          chalenegirl Apr 26, 2010 08:16 AM

          i had one from their Logan/Queen location and really enjoyed it as well!

        4. p
          peppermint pate Apr 26, 2010 07:19 AM

          Hmm, I never knew there was a distinction but I'm by no means an expert. In fact, I'm not generally a fan of almond croissants but I LOVE the ones from Jules - they taste different to me, more of a paste inside, less sickly sweet, more almonds, etc. In your ideal croissant, it would have just more almonds? More almond paste too? Anything different in the pastry or just the filling?

          2 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate
            shelleypascual Apr 26, 2010 07:57 AM

            Haha, me too! Glad to know there are other Jules fans out there. But I've been going crazy lately 'cuz everytime I visit Jules, they've run out of croissants. The kool thing about Jules is that they have 2 kinds of almond croissants - lite and heavy. I like their lite version better than their heavy version, simply because the latter has almond cream inside rather than almond paste. And I'm not a fan of almond cream :(

            I guess I'm open to trying different styles of almond croissants, but a nice, satisfying balance would be best. If it's almond paste inside, it has to taste like real almonds, and preferably isn't too terribly sweet. I think I prefer a light, flaky pastry over a dense, moist pastry. It's all subjective to taste, really. What would your ideal croissant taste like?

            1. re: shelleypascual
              b
              balthazar Apr 27, 2010 09:28 AM

              I too am a Jules fan and adore their almond croissants. I usually get the light one, but the heavy is a nice treat too. I also like them at Rahier & Thobor's (and Cigogne). Each place is a bit different.

              -----
              Rahier
              1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

              Cigogne
              1626 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

              Thobors
              627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

          2. Manybears Apr 26, 2010 07:26 AM

            I sort of feel like I've (almost) never met an almond croissant I didn't like but I had a reeeally nice one from Nadège on the weekend. The filling was a little more like paste inside as well (more almond, less butter? I'm not sure).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Manybears
              shelleypascual Apr 26, 2010 08:00 AM

              Awesome. I should give it a try. Last time I was at Nadege, the person behind me bought the last almond croissant. It was a Saturday — go figure. And you're right, it's hard to dislike any almond croissant, but I find that when they're too rich and sickly sweet, it's no longer an enjoyable experience.

            2. juliaschildathome Apr 26, 2010 08:41 AM

              Zane Patisserie Boulangerie at 1852 Queen Street East bakes some of the best.

              1 Reply
              1. re: juliaschildathome
                shelleypascual Apr 27, 2010 09:05 AM

                Haven't been to the Beaches in a while... this patisserie will give me a reason to go. Do you remember any details of what Zane's almond croissant was like? Light and flaky or dense and sweet?

              2. r
                ravilall Apr 26, 2010 02:51 PM

                Rahier - way better than permiere moisson
                in fact the little bakeries Bathurst S of Eglinton.

                -----
                Rahier
                1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                11 Replies
                1. re: ravilall
                  shelleypascual Apr 27, 2010 09:53 PM

                  I'm not a big fan of the almond paste in Rahier's almond croissant http://bit.ly/9gWsiQ. However, I absolutely j'adored their hazelnut danish! Maybe I haven't had a hazelnut-flavoured pastry in a while, but this thing's just dope. The hazelnut filling made me reminisce of Ferrero Rochers. It's definitely a rich pastry, but the sweetness isn't overbearing. Have you tried any of their other pastries? They carry a variety of pastries that I'm anxious to try...

                  1. re: shelleypascual
                    TorontoJo Apr 28, 2010 04:15 AM

                    The custard square at Rahier is yum. It's basically a square of puff pastry filled with custard. Very messy, very simple, very good and not too sweet. And I'm addicted to their little pistachio cream cookies. They are two little meringue cookies around a pistachio cream. Slivered almonds on the outside and dusted with powdered sugar. Chewy, crispy, creamy. Sort of like a macaron, but not as delicate.

                    -----
                    Rahier
                    1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                    1. re: TorontoJo
                      Full tummy Apr 28, 2010 08:54 AM

                      O.K. those custard squares are my favourite, but they don't do them all year, boohoo. The ones at Zane are pretty excellent, too.

                      1. re: Full tummy
                        TorontoJo Apr 28, 2010 09:09 AM

                        Really? I wonder why? It doesn't seem like a seasonal type of pastry. I know they sell out pretty early in the day. The one I bought last week at 1pm was the very last one.

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          Full tummy Apr 28, 2010 10:48 AM

                          I don't remember what time of year, but I know I've been disappointed at them not having it and they explained they only make it during such and such time of the year. I live much closer to Zane and head there for them these days!

                          1. re: Full tummy
                            shelleypascual Apr 28, 2010 04:27 PM

                            I've never been to Zane. I'm curious to know what other pastries they carry... anything with hazelnuts by any chance? Ouuu I wonder if these custard squares y'all are talkin' about taste anything like Portugeuse tarts???

                            1. re: shelleypascual
                              Full tummy Apr 28, 2010 06:10 PM

                              No, not like the Portuguese tarts. More like puff pastry or croissant pastry squares filled with pastry cream, sort of sandwich style.

                              Zane has lots of great things... financiers and other cookies, wonderful cakes and tarts, breads-what you'd expect in a French bakery.

                              Don't remember about hazelnut... sorry.

                        2. re: Full tummy
                          b
                          BeachHeath May 4, 2010 09:32 AM

                          Was at Zane on the weekend and was totally unimpressed. Didn’t enjoy their croissants (they were heavy, like you were biting into bread) and the fact they were training someone on cash on a Saturday morning didn’t impress me either. Also bought one of their baguettes which quickly ended up in my “to be made into croutons” pile. I could have gotten a better one at a low end grocery store. The pastries look amazing but I won’t be going down that road after this experience. Very disappointing.

                          1. re: BeachHeath
                            Full tummy May 4, 2010 10:44 AM

                            That's too bad!! I have never had such a bad experience there, but I haven't been in a while. Wonder if this is typical.

                        3. re: TorontoJo
                          shelleypascual Apr 28, 2010 04:24 PM

                          You've sold me on trying these pistachio cream cookies! I'm curious to know whether they're authentically French. I don't remember seeing them in any patisseries in France. Were there any other flavours perhaps?

                          1. re: shelleypascual
                            TorontoJo Apr 28, 2010 06:48 PM

                            I have no idea whether they are authentically French, but they are very tasty. They also carry true macarons, but I tried them once and they were not good, so haven't risked them again. But Rahier has a lovely assortment of little bite size cookies that you should try.

                            The best macarons I've had in Toronto so far are from Ruelo, up in Markham. It may have been a fluke of perfect timing, but they had just the right texture and weren't sickly sweet like so many places seem to do.

                            The good news is that Toronto has a surprisingly large number of pastry shops producing quality goods. It's fun to tootle around and try them all to find your favourites.

                            -----
                            Rahier
                            1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                            Ruelo
                            550 Hwy 7 E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B, CA

                    2. Crispier Crouton Apr 26, 2010 09:45 PM

                      Petite Thuet at Yonge and King.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Crispier Crouton
                        shelleypascual Apr 27, 2010 08:52 AM

                        Petite Thuet's almond croissant is next on my hit list. It looks quite large... do you remember how it tasted? Sweet? Light? Flaky?

                        1. re: shelleypascual
                          i
                          ivxu Apr 27, 2010 09:14 AM

                          I have a Petite Thuet almond croissant recently. It was very dry and crumbly. Not what I would think an almond croissant should be like.

                          I also recently had a good cinnamon croissant from Clafouti. My friend adores their almond croissant, and says they are the best. If Clafouti's almond croissants are anything like their cinnamon ones, they should be much better than Petite Thuet's.

                          -----
                          Thuet
                          609 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                          Clafouti
                          915 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                          1. re: ivxu
                            shelleypascual Apr 27, 2010 09:48 PM

                            Everytime I visit Clafouti, they've run out of croissants. Just my luck. I need to get there early in the morning I guess. I had a raspberry croissant from Clafouti once, and remember thinking "this is the first time I've ever had a croissant with pieces of fruit in it!" I remember it tasting unusual but overall, I enjoyed it! And I had no idea they had a cinnamon croissant!!! Sounds interesting... duly noted, thanks.

                            1. re: shelleypascual
                              m
                              mikefly Apr 30, 2010 08:24 PM

                              I found the regular croissant at Clafouti to be uninspired - and have had the almond one twice - once excellent (end-of-day) and once mediocre - fresh in the morning. Not sure if time of day played a role (if so, I'd expect the opposite) ..

                              -----
                              Clafouti
                              915 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                          2. re: shelleypascual
                            Crispier Crouton Apr 27, 2010 09:27 AM

                            My croissant at Petite Thuet was neither dry nor crumbly. It was moist, appropriately sweet, and flaky. I don't remember it being too light or dense. It was, in recent memory, the best almond croissant I've had. I had it very early in the morning, so it was definitely very fresh. I've gone to the mid-town location for one in the late afternoon, and it was not nearly as good. The varying opinions may depend on how close you eat your croissant to the time it was made.

                            1. re: Crispier Crouton
                              shelleypascual Apr 27, 2010 09:56 PM

                              Haha, you're right. Throughout the course of the day, especially if the croissant is left out in the open and uncovered, the crisp, flaky exterior tends to soften. I'll be sure to try Petite's almond croissant in the morn.

                        2. thenurse Apr 27, 2010 06:21 AM

                          I've been enjoying the almond croissants at Sweet Tooth on the Danforth and also at Coffeehouse, at Broadview and Withrow. Definitely lighter than the ones at Jules (which I had a long time ago).

                          1. Royaljelly Apr 28, 2010 08:48 AM

                            Has anyone come across a banana-chocolate croissant yet in GTA? I had one in Montreal at Fous Desserts not too long ago that was amazing. Trying to re-live that moment...

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: Royaljelly
                              Manybears Apr 28, 2010 09:59 AM

                              Nadège has made banana-chocolate croissants in the past as well but they don't have it every time I go in... you may want to call first.

                              1. re: Royaljelly
                                t
                                tree25 Apr 28, 2010 02:24 PM

                                I think Clafouti has banana-chocolate croissant, but I didn't try one.

                                -----
                                Clafouti
                                915 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                1. re: Royaljelly
                                  chocabot Apr 28, 2010 06:42 PM

                                  clafouti also has a banana chocolate peanut butter one on occasion...
                                  i'm not the biggest fan of clafouti but haven't seen that combo anywhere else.

                                  1. re: chocabot
                                    shelleypascual Apr 28, 2010 07:20 PM

                                    Whoa, seriously? How recently did you see that flavour there? Mmmmm.

                                    1. re: shelleypascual
                                      c
                                      Colibrius Apr 30, 2010 07:06 AM

                                      Rahier and Thuet make the best almond croissants/croissants/pains au chocolat in the city. Hands down. Trust me, I'm an expert, being French and all. Nadège's croissants are also tasty. One piece of advice, though: stay away from Clafouti.

                                      -----
                                      Rahier
                                      1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                                      Thuet
                                      609 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                      Clafouti
                                      915 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                      1. re: Colibrius
                                        shelleypascual Apr 30, 2010 07:30 PM

                                        I will have to try the croissants at Petite Thuet and Nadege to have an opinion on this one. I'm curious to know what you think a French-style croissant should look like/taste like. Please do tell, as I never tried any croissants when I was in France. Is an authentically French croissant lighter and flakier than the norm? I find it hard to determine which patisseries in TO make the "best" croissants, as each patisserie has such a different take on the lowly pastry.

                                      2. re: shelleypascual
                                        chocabot Apr 30, 2010 12:22 PM

                                        the time i tried it was very late last summer but i did see it later.

                                        unfortunately i'm not much help since i prefer the ganache filled (oppose to chocolate baton filled) chocolate croissants at oh so good on college

                                        1. re: shelleypascual
                                          chocabot May 7, 2010 05:56 PM

                                          shelley - I was at Clafouti today around 9:15am and saw the banana choc peanut butter croissants!

                                          I got a ham and cheese croissant and it had WAY more in common with a ham and cheese bun from a mediocre chinese bakery than to a croissant. Very disappointing. I've only had this particular croissant once before probably 3 or 4 years ago and that time it was amazing - the quality of ham/cheese as well as the flakiness and crispness were completely different.

                                          -----
                                          Clafouti
                                          915 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                          1. re: chocabot
                                            shelleypascual Jun 3, 2010 10:14 PM

                                            Ahahaha! Woo-peee!!! Thanks, chocobot. Now I know Clafouti does indeed carry 'em, I must check it out. It's probably a summer thang. Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Croissants! Do you know if they use Nutella in these croissants at all?

                                    2. s
                                      Sarah Cat Apr 30, 2010 02:21 PM

                                      My favourite almond croissants are at Cherry Bomb on Roncesvalles.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Sarah Cat
                                        Full tummy Apr 30, 2010 05:35 PM

                                        Do they bake them themselves or bring them in from another bakery?

                                        1. re: Full tummy
                                          s
                                          Sarah Cat May 1, 2010 02:34 PM

                                          I'm not sure, but their baking, generally, is pretty well-regarded in the neighbourhood.

                                          1. re: Sarah Cat
                                            b
                                            BloorWestie... May 4, 2010 01:36 AM

                                            I used to like the almond croissants at "La Maison de Croissants"...is that what you mean by Heavy???...if so I really miss them...thought they were awesome!!

                                            1. re: BloorWestie...
                                              s
                                              Sarah Cat May 4, 2010 02:19 PM

                                              Those almond croissants were SO good!!! How terrible that that place closed. I find the ones at Cherry Bomb to be comparable, though.

                                        2. re: Sarah Cat
                                          d
                                          danieljosef Sep 15, 2010 09:58 AM

                                          I second this. Cherry Bomb's almost crossiants are delicious. They bake them in-house, usually you can snag a hot one between 9 and 10am (at least of the weekends). Very very good.

                                          Heavier almond paste on the inside, light, rich and buttery pastery.

                                        3. t
                                          torontofoodiegirl May 4, 2010 04:34 AM

                                          This is no help to the OP (who mentions having tried them already) but I have to mention Thobors on Mt. Pleasant. I haven't tried the plain almond croissants, but the pain au chocolat with almonds is absolutely to die for. It's quite heavy and decadent, but isn't overly sweet. I highly recommend it.

                                          -----
                                          Thobors
                                          627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                                            shelleypascual Jun 3, 2010 10:17 PM

                                            I have tried the Chocolate Almond Croissant at Thobors, and you're right, it's definitely heavy and decadent. I guess it's just not my cup of tea. I think I'm sensitive to sweet things. Hmmm... I scoped out their macarons not too long ago. Have you tried their macarons by any chance? I wonder if they're any good...

                                            1. re: shelleypascual
                                              t
                                              torontofoodiegirl Jun 4, 2010 06:33 AM

                                              I haven't tried the macarons. So far, only the croissants and coffee. Unlike you, I (unfortunately) have quite a taste for sweet and rich things, so I love them...

                                          2. t
                                            tearingmonkey May 5, 2010 02:44 PM

                                            If your in the Leslieville area try the croissants at Bonjour Brioche they are too addictive, they may be what you consider lite on the almond paste but really buttery and almondy. My cheeks are flushing with the richness just thinking of them

                                            bonjourbrioche.com
                                            812 Queen Street East
                                            Toronto, Ontario
                                            M4M 1H7

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: tearingmonkey
                                              shelleypascual Jun 3, 2010 10:19 PM

                                              Thanks, tearingmonkey. I think a few other peeps in this convo recommended Bonjour Brioche as well. Too many places to try, so little time.

                                            2. foodyDudey Jun 3, 2010 11:37 PM

                                              The best almond croissants I've had this year are at a new place on Yonge just about 10m south of Castlefield, on the east side. I think the name is "Bohemia" Almost everyting else I've eaten there is quite good also.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: foodyDudey
                                                t
                                                torontofoodiegirl Jun 4, 2010 06:34 AM

                                                I think it's La Boheme.

                                                -----
                                                La Boheme
                                                2481 Yonge St, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                                                  foodyDudey Jun 4, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                  Yes, that is the place. The almond croissants are great.

                                                  1. re: foodyDudey
                                                    m
                                                    mapotofu Aug 19, 2010 10:39 PM

                                                    Those almond croissants are pretty good, as are the mini tarts! I asked the staff at La Boheme once, and I'm 99% sure that they said the croissants are from Jules Bakery. Incidentally, I brought almond croissants yesterday from both Jules and Thobors and the latter were thoroughly disappointing: an oddly chemical tasting dough enclosing dry, pasty almond filling. The madeleine and chocolate almond croissant also underwhelmed. It was my first visit to Thobors. I'll go back maybe one more time to try their breads, but the combination of snooty service and overpriced mediocrity makes me hesitant about buying pastry from them again.

                                                    -----
                                                    Thobors
                                                    627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                                                    La Boheme
                                                    2481 Yonge St, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                    1. re: mapotofu
                                                      Royaljelly Aug 20, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                      The owner of La Boheme is apparently the girlfriend/SO of the head pastry chef of Jules. Thus the influx of their baked goods at La Boheme.

                                                      http://www.blogto.com/bakery/la-bohem...

                                                      -----
                                                      La Boheme
                                                      2481 Yonge St, Toronto, ON , CA

                                              2. s
                                                Sacherboy Aug 20, 2010 04:00 PM

                                                Patisserie D'Or in Oakville. My Favorite. If you are lucky enough to be there on a day they have the chocolate/almond ones, go for it!

                                                1. bitkit Aug 21, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                  Patisserie St. Honore, right by the east exit of Royal York subway station.

                                                  Heavy, and heavy on almonds. We get these once a year at Christmas and they're a great treat.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: bitkit
                                                    shelleypascual Sep 14, 2010 04:04 PM

                                                    ouuu.. heavy and heavy on almonds, eh? I gotta have me one now. Thanks bitkit.

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