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French-style Almond Croissants in TO

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

 
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  1. 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.

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: BeachHeath

      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.

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

      1. re: poppygirl

        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

          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.

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

        2. re: poppygirl

          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

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

        4. 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

            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

              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.

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              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. 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

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: juliaschildathome

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

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                Rahier
                1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                11 Replies
                1. re: ravilall

                  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

                    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.

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                    Rahier
                    1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                          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

                            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

                          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

                            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.

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                            Rahier
                            1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

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