Ever since I came back from France, I have been trying to find a halfway decent croissant to compare to the amazing ones I had in Paris. And since I’m currently in the Boston area, I figured I would go on a quest (with the help of some recommendations from this Chowhound discussion).
I tried places in Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Cambridge, and Boston itself (although I didn’t make it to the North End), and here are my top places so far.
Past the main drag of Jamaica Plain, right when you reach the point of “wait, where are we?” is this haven of pastry: Canto 6. You walk inside and are welcomed by the smell of baked goods made with real butter and greeted with the sights of mouth-watering goodies.
While all of the pastries in there looked completely delicious, I decided to pick up a salted chocolate chip cookie, a whoopie pie, and, of course, a pain au chocolat. I saved the dessert foods for later (which were both delicious) but ate the chocolate croissant immediately, and I had an immediate flashback to walking down the streets of Paris. The texture was right, the shape was right, and the chocolate was real chocolate. Although it was a little breadier than the finest of croissants from France, it was definitely a very close competition to the best croissant I’ve had in the US.
Not only were the croissants good and the rest of the pastries equally delicious, but also the people working there were SO NICE (not something you always find in a high end bakery)! The place was charming (albeit few places to sit) and it had a fun, hipster-y atmosphere that comes with the location of Jamaica Plain. I highly recommended finding your way out there, it is worth the trip!
Centrally located, just off of Coolidge Corner in Brookline, this bakery is known for its prowess in breads. The sour dough bread is actually tangy (a taste that is sorely missed by Californianites), the country bread is nice and hearty, and the baguettes look authentic (which is a sight for sore eyes). But the best part is the row of pastries that stands right behind the register, gorgeous, tantalizing, and just so correct.
The pain au chocolat here is lovely, and with three batons of chocolate in the chocolate croissant, it’s positively decadent. I also loved the cannelés as a fun treat. And while I haven’t tried the morning buns myself, I read that they are made with the croissant dough, so I’m positive they will be delicious 🙂
I highly recommend this place. A delicious stop, although you have to come in early because a lot of things sell out before noon on busy Saturdays! Also, there’s no place to sit, but you probably won’t need to be sitting down to snarf one of their delicacies.
Both of these locations (one in Brookline and one in Cambridge) are sweet boutiques that are a pleasure to look at before they are a pleasure to eat in. Just to step into one is like stepping into a jewelbox filled with delicate pastries and dainty decorations.
The pastries they prepare are also delicious. We picked up a couple of “roses” and a croissant based tart with eggplant, red pepper, and goat cheese as well as a croissant. All were yummy and exquisite to look at.
In addition to pastries, they also sell Jeni’s homemade ice cream (at a fair price), which as a foodie is hard to find! I would definitely recommend this place, even to just come in and gawk at the beauty of the food. For a nice big seating location, the Kendall Square location is bigger and close to some of my other favorite places (Voltage Café and Area Four)
All in all, it seems possible to find a decent croissant, as told by a croissant lover stuck in the North East!
3346 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
Clear Flour Bread
178 Thorndike St, Brookline
Tatte Fine Cookies and Cakes
1003 Beacon St, Brookline
318 3rd St, Cambridge