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6 Best Croissants in Boston

Ariane Vigna | February 25, 2021 | Food & Drink

best croissants in boston

Name a more iconic French pastry than the croissant. We'll wait.

As modern chefs experiment with new recipes around the world, the traditional, puffy croissant keeps making waves, and for good reason. There’s nothing more comforting than some warm, buttery goodness. With travel plans on hold, your local bakery is your ticket to a charming Parisian neighborhood via the taste of a freshly-baked, golden-brown treasure.

Making croissants is an art few truly master. Before taking the flaky pastry out of the oven, bakers might spend up to two days making the dough which needs resting, deflating, rolling out, buttering and folding. If quarantine baking hasn’t brought you to tackle the meticulous task, you can count on these six Boston coffee and pastry shops to offer delicious croissants and a great café au lait to dip it in.

See also: The 10 Best Coffee Shops in Boston

Cafe Madeleine

517 Columbus Ave. / Website

Cafe Madeleine isn’t the place to get your coffee and pastry in a morning rush. If you plan to visit the South End landmark, save time to enjoy a special kind of show. Sweet pastries are prepared behind glass walls, giving you a glimpse of the chef’s diligent craft. The French spot has plenty of croissants to offer, from the traditional, buttery croissant to a sweet pain au chocolat — the French name for a chocolate croissant — or a savory ham and cheese masterpiece oozing with tasty gruyère.

Clear Flour Bread

178 Thorndike St. / Website

The Brookline attraction, which finds its inspiration in French, Italian and German pastry-making, is known for its daily, hand-rolled, plain, chocolate and gruyère croissants. Clear Flour Bread’s weekend menu draws even longer lines. Oastry aficionados are willing to wait for a German-style Pretzel croissant and a treacly raspberry or apricot croissant. If you want to bring home some more European treats, we recommend the cannelé de Bordeaux. The caramel touch makes for the perfect Sunday breakfast special.

Tatte Bakery & Cafe

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Various locations / Website

Founded by Tel-Aviv native pastry chef Tzurit Or in 2007, Tatte has quickly grown into a Beantown favorite with beautifully-decorated, Instagrammable locations in Boston, Brookline and Cambridge. Each shop bustles with lines of loyal customers eager to get their coffee and pastry fix, and friendly baristas work hard to brew precious drinks. Shelves and counters of croissants, cookies, brownies, cakes and bread give everyone a chance to admire the chain’s crown-jewels. It can be frustrating not to leave with everything on display in your Tatte tote bag. A variety of croissants await, from plain to chocolate, ham and cheese, almond and pistachio. If you need more than a snack, the Croissant Sandwich with eggs, tomato, arugula, avocado and Vermont cheddar will do the trick.

See also: The 8 Best Croissants in NYC

Sofra Bakery & Cafe

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1 Belmont St. / Website

If you’re looking for an original take on the French pastry, this Middle Eastern-influenced bakery prepares delicious chocolate buckwheat croissants and orange blossom-glazed morning buns made with cubed croissant dough. For a complete afternoon delight, add a powdered sugar-covered Earthquake cookie with dark cocoa fudge filling and a cup of strong Turkish coffee to your order.

Thinking Cup

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Various locations / Website

Thinking Cup’s cozy atmosphere makes it the ideal spot to enjoy a mouthwatering almond croissant or a yummy chocolate Nutella croissant on a long weekend afternoon. Pair it with one of the Stumptown Coffee shop’s signature drinks: a warm hazelnut, vanilla ginger or honey cinnamon latte.

Japonaise Bakery

1020 Beacon St. / Website

Japonaise Bakery has earned the affection and admiration of Brookliners with its soft, white bread loaves with milk (or Shoku Pan), but its creative pastries inspired by Hayao Miyasaki’s films — Totoro and Keroppi bread, anyone? — have also garnered attention. We recommend you go for the shop’s croissants. From Azuki, Matcha Azuki and Ichigo Cream, to apple, almond, chocolate, blueberry or ham and cheese, there truly is a scrumptious option for everyone.

Photography by: Terrance Barksdale from Pexels