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Best croissants in San Diego?

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something with a nice flaky/crispness to it

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  1. THAT's a tough one. There was once a little pastry shop in a strip mall in El Cajon called The Sweetzerland Pastry shop. Best damn croissants on this continent. But they're gone.

    I've tried Bread & Cie- yech. I've yet to get up to Opera, but they may be good.

    I'm obsessed with pain au chocolat myself....

    2 Replies
    1. re: Fake Name

      Were the Bread & Cie ones from their Washington St. location or elsewhere? I've always found them, when fresh, to be the right blend of crispness and flakiness.

      1. re: Josh

        Yes from the University Ave retail location, and I was not pleased.

    2. Opera's croissants very flaky and buttery, not as crisp as I want. Very good but not outstanding. I have only had them at lunchtime, so perhaps they are improved in the mornings assuming they are made for breakfast.

      I prefer their almond croissants over the plain. They do have pain au chocolat as well. I like those, too, but want more chocolate in them.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Divamac

        And that's part of the issue. The half-life of an excellent croissant is very short. They can be made to be more durable- that's what you'll find at Starbucks, but they are not worth the calories. They have to be fresh, and one needs to get them while they are warm.

        And most Americans would prefer Krispy Kremes anyway.

        1. re: Fake Name

          As far as fresh, K sandwich makes them daily. $1 each for the plain, $1.25 for the filled ones.

          Arely in the Clairmont Shopping center makes wonderful plain and almond ones daily, as does Opera. Excellent at both places.

          For freshest, the frozen dough (plain and chocolate) from Trader Joe's - has to be proofed overnight - is excellent.

          1. re: Cathy

            Gotta agree with you about the bake at home choc ones from Trader Joe's freezer section. There's nothing like warm from the oven!

            1. re: Cathy

              I second K Sandwiches! You'd never guess if from the outside but I've not found one better tasting or priced in San Diego.

              K Sandwiches
              7604 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92111

            2. re: Fake Name

              Totally warm are the best, KK?? gag me with grease! IMO, a waste of calories!

          2. We had some pain du chocolat from the French Gourmet in La Jolla a few weeks back. Pretty decent and quite fresh. Can't exactly remember the flaky/crispy ratio (not as crispy as Payard's), but it definitely wasn't the doughy stuff at Starbucks.

            French Gourmet
            960 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109

            1. I love the croissants from Loic's Patisserie at the Saturday Little Italy farmer's market. They're like buttery air.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mimosa

                I liked the ones at Opera when they still had the location downtown, especially the almond ones. One of the girls that worked there told me they purchased the raw from the French Gourmet, then baked them off at the store. I also love the ones from Loic's Patisserie - flaky and buttery and huge!!

                French Gourmet
                960 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109

                1. re: sdnosh

                  Loic's at Hillcrest FM on Sundays now, too. I love them... had one of the best strawberry tarts of my existence from that stand.

              2. This will sound strange, but I believe that K Sandwiches has the best in the area. They have croissants that are filled with chocolate, cream cheese and fruit flavors, ham and cheese and plain, but thye do not offer jam or butter to go along.

                K Sandwiches
                7604 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92111

                1 Reply
                1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                  Petite Madeline Bakery in Oceanside by far. They have a cinnamon roll that is very similar to the one at Bread and Cie but I think its better. its a croissant rolled in the shape of a cinnamon bun with cinnamon sugar.

                2. You guys owe it to yourself to make the trek to Escondido and try the croissants and baguettes at A Delight of France. They are something quite special. Major Market in Escondido serves decent baguettes and croissants as well...certainly as good or better than many supposed "French" restaurants. But A Delight of France's offerings will surprise you I think. Most of their other stuff is decent...not spectacular imo.

                  1. Had a chance to try a croissant at Bread on Market yesterday.

                    I'm going to try Opera and any of the other places mentioned in this thread.

                    1. Big fan of Influx's croissants, pain au chocolat, cupcakes, and everything from their bakery case. Definitely my favorite croissant in SD.

                      The breakfast croissant with black forest ham, melted brie, and a side of strong dijon and sliced apples is probably my favorite morning food in all of SD.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cookieshoes


                      2. was very pleased with the croissant that I tried today at Opera; will probably go back Saturday morning for another round...thanks for all of the suggestions

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: ibstatguy

                          They're my favorite - personally, I think they're as good as any I've ever had! Certainly the best in SD. :)

                          Incidentally, they still sell them downtown at the Cafe de l'Opera at 5th and Ash - even though Opera no longer runs the place. I pick them up occasionally on the way to work.

                          1. re: Alice Q

                            Alice - thanks for that last bit of information as I go through that intersection frequently.

                            1. re: Alice Q

                              If you are ever in Santa Barbara try a croissant at Renaud's Patisserie. Some of the best I ever had including Paris. (Disclaimer for some people on this board: That doesn't mean that you can't get good croissants in SD or that you have to fly to Berlin to get the best.)

                              1. re: honkman

                                Concur on Renaud's on upper State in SB..very much like in Paris.

                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                  Interesting - will have to check that out. We did stop at a French bakery on Upper State on our last trip thru SB, but I didn't think it was very good... don't think we had croissants though.

                          2. Had a Pain au chocolait today at Cafe Champagne.

                            I'll continue to try the other places listed here.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Fake Name

                              2nd to chocolate croissant at Champagne. I was recommended by a local French family. I like the almond one too. I prefer Champagne croissants over Opera.

                              Champagne French Bakery & Cafe
                              7523 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

                            2. I thought there's was pretty bad, both at the Farmer's Market and at their shop in RSF. (Beautiful looking shop, FWIW...) Originally I just tried their FM location, but due to some of the positive reviews I've heard I decided to check out their RSF location, and unfortunately it was just as bad there. No delicacy to the crumb with an unusually tough crust, and overall dense in feeling than what I would expect in a good croissant.

                              I hoped that the baguette I picked up at the RSF location would be better, and initially it seemed very promising. It had the right amount of give it had when I tested it with my fingers and "looked the part". But unfortunately I found it to be absolutely bland and tasteless. Not sure what kind of flour they're using, but it's not doing them any favors as far as I could tell.

                              I don't know what's going on on these boards with respect to croissant recs. Darsahn Bakery in Encinitas is supposed to be the great as well, but I've found there's to be terrible. Is it just me? I'm still looking for my SD croissant...

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: cgfan

                                Try West Gin bakery in San Marcos. All butter croissant, pretty decent. Don't know if I'd put it in the "best in" category, but it very good. Probably not worth the drive up from SD, but you're sort of half way there already.

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  Thanks DD. At this point I'd settle for "just decent", a good honest croissant that doesn't have to blow my socks off... BTW do they do a baugette as well?

                                  1. re: cgfan

                                    I don't know if they do baugette, but they do bake some bread. The croissant won't knock your socks off, but it is all butter and it is tasty. I like their Danish. Generally, their items with puff dough are pretty good.

                                2. re: cgfan

                                  cgfan - you were talking about Loic's croissants, right?

                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                    Yes, but I also mentioned briefly Darshan Bakery as well... I really want to like them, given that he's from Paris and all, but honestly I just don't get it.

                                    1. re: RB Hound

                                      Yeah I also had some random pastry from Loic's that had some meringue baked into it, which caused the dough in the middle of the pastry to be raw (or seemingly raw).

                                      1. re: karaethon

                                        My wife got a lemon pastry there that had the same sort of problem. It tasted like raw flour. What gives?

                                  2. Hands down, Delight of France in Escondido - either for their plain and the life-altering almond ones, or Loic - either their restaurant on Del Dios or at one of their locations at Farmer's Markets.
                                    I'd put the ones from Delight of France up against anything I ever had while living in France - in fact, these days, they're better than much of what's available in Paris.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: keyscook

                                      With respect to your Loic recommendation, how recent is your experience with their croissants? After an initial spate of enthusiastic recommendations, lately I've mostly heard of bad experiences, including my own at both locations (LI Mercato and the RSF shop).

                                      Just curious, and puzzled to boot...

                                      1. re: keyscook

                                        I'm curious to know if the experience is recent as well. I thought of recommending them based on when I had been there with my mother. Back when I as in high school, my family lived up in North County. My mom found this place and would go once a week - my mom is a French, born and raised, immigrated in the 70s. She absolutely loved getting croissants there, and I thought they were fantastic at the time, but (without giving away my age) clearly that was some time ago.

                                        1. re: foodie bride

                                          It was a few months ago, early in the morning, and we also had breakfast. Croissants were very fresh, light, and crispy. (Restaurant location, not a farmer's market site). And I do admit to wanting to like them - I love hardworking people like they are, but I wouldn't go there just to support them....
                                          Overall, I'd have to again say that my hands-down favorite is Delight of France. The main baker is French, and after living in France and returning recently, I still maintain that their croissants are as good or better. Easy to get to in Escondido on Grand. Parking (free) behind the building in the city parking area.) The almond ones are often sold out if you go too late. They also have simple meals, and terrific pastries, but the croissants are addictive.

                                          1. re: keyscook

                                            I've been to Delight of France and though it's been awhile, the patisserie and croissants were on par with my fave place in the 7th in Paris..
                                            Merci beaucoup for the reminder of this great little gem.


                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                              Just had one yesterday and my sister one of the almond ones. Both delish.

                                            2. re: keyscook

                                              Another vote for Delight of France. Hadn't been there in awhile and this thread reminded me to make a stop today on the way to the Farmer's Market. They were all out of the chocolate croissants I love, bummer, but the plain are still delicious and also huge!

                                        2. Great. Now I have to drive to Esco.
                                          Fine, just fine.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Fake Name

                                            Well - have you done it yet? And??

                                            1. re: keyscook

                                              Nah- driving to what is essentially Riverside/Inland Empire requires a certain amount of resource marshalling and I'm not yet up to the task.

                                              <the previous comment is meant purely in a satirical fashion, with the lightest of heart and greatest of humor. If I failed to convey that, I apologize in advance of any offense taken. Check with a law professional initiating suit.>

                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                Anyhow, it's closed on Mondays.