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Battle of the Croissants

Battle of the Croissants

Who makes the best croissant in New York?

Great question, right? Emily, Brie and I brought in our nominees for “Best in NYC” last week for a battle. Of course, we decided to let a total expert (Garance) decide which one tastes the most like you got in from a boulangerie in Paris.

The nominees…

Alex: Mine is from a bakery in Harlem, Patisserie Des Ambassades, and I have no problem getting up extra early to snag one when they open at 7am. It’s light, flaky and just buttery enough. They also have a very good pain au chocolat…or so I hear…

Emily: The croissants at Balthazar just smell like Paris! And have the perfect balance of butter and flake.

Brie: Ceci-Cela croissant. Buttery, soft, flaky, light delicate layers, it’s a perfect croissant straight from the case. And, did I mention voted #1 in NYC (by Serious Eats) or also that I had two yesterday??

The results…

Garance: These croissants were all okay, but I dont think any of them really qualify as the best.
I know you’re going to yell at me, but too bad, here goes: my favorite croissants in New York are the ones at Prêt-À-Manger. They’re always served warm, they melt in your mouth, but are crunchy at the same time, and it’s impossible not to drool like Pavlov’s dogs every time I pass one of their signs, and…gulp: there are a lot of them.


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62 comments

Add yours
  • Mallory March, 18 2014, 11:42 / Reply

    When I lived in New York, my favorite one were from Prêt à Manger too !

  • andreea March, 18 2014, 11:42

    all this talk of food…. :P

    http://littleaesthete.com

  • Josephina - Josephina Collection March, 18 2014, 11:46 / Reply

    Yum! This is good to know. Now I want to try out all these places to see for myself how these croissants compare!!

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    Josephina

  • sandy March, 18 2014, 11:56 / Reply

    Balthazar, j’adore…et puis “dévorer” son croissant dans ce décor, on se croirait vraiment à Paris Paris :)

    http://www.taimemode-fashionblog.com

  • justine March, 18 2014, 12:02 / Reply

    Super relevant topic! To my heart at least – I might love croissants more than anything… I have been to patisserie des ambassades, and also Balthazar… but haven’t tried Ceci-Cela! Weekend priority #!

  • Rafaela March, 18 2014, 12:28 / Reply

    I just love croissants they seem very tasty!

    http://fashionwalkinbrussels.blogspot.com/

  • Nico March, 18 2014, 12:41 / Reply

    Seeing that I live in Italy I prefer a cornetto with nutella… :D :D :D

    New flash trend on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • Elo March, 18 2014, 12:47 / Reply

    C’est fou car on trouve plus de croissants artisanaux à NYC qu’en France…! Nous sommes envahis de boulangeries industrielles ici, et 80% des boulangeries se font livrer le matin par des usines. Tout fout le camp :-/

  • Dominique March, 18 2014, 12:53 / Reply

    this is really hard!
    xxxxx
    http://www.dominiquecandido.com

  • Delphine March, 18 2014, 1:05 / Reply

    THE BEST croissant of NYC…
    comes from TARALLUCCI E VINO…
    I know Italians… BUT TRUST THE FRENCHY ;-)

  • GlobeModeuse March, 18 2014, 1:16 / Reply

    Jveux juste dire que les croissants ne se vendent pas qu’à paris ;) ( No rage inside)

    A plus

  • Sabrina March, 18 2014, 1:16

    Complètement d’accord!!!

  • cilou March, 18 2014, 1:16

    idem ;)

  • Roslyn March, 18 2014, 1:24 / Reply

    Patisserie Claude, 187 W. 4th St., just east of Sheridan Square?

    More recently I’ve become attached to what they call, inexplicably, a pretzel at Sant Ambroeus (corner of Perry St. and W. 4th St.). An Italian place, yes, but to me this is a croissant–loads of butter and the proper combination of softness, crunch, and flakiness. Of course I defer to a true French person like Garance. If she says Prêt-à -Manger, I’m on my way.

  • Janis March, 18 2014, 1:33 / Reply

    I’m headed to Paris in May. Garance (or anyone else)… where can I get the best croissant in Paris???

  • Victor Stonem March, 18 2014, 1:34 / Reply

    So, this post just made me hungry… great.

  • Lisa March, 18 2014, 2:05 / Reply

    The BEST I’ve had outside of Paris

    The Petrossian Cafe
    911 Seventh Ave
    (between 57th and 58th St.)
    New York, NY 10019

  • D March, 18 2014, 2:27 / Reply

    I can’t believe no one tried “Patisserie Claude” on west 4th street in west village! Hands down the best croissants in New York, specially when like me, you known them for years and get them fresh from the oven! Seriously must try this :)

  • H H March, 18 2014, 2:41 / Reply

    As commenter Lisa says above: Petrossian! (But the ones from Pret a Manger are damn good, too. As are Ceci-Cela’s.)

    The thing about the Petrossian croissants: they make me, a fairly discombobulated, messy, always slightly un-put-together girl from humble origins in the Midwest (gasp!) feel chic. As if my hair is always beautiful, as if I live in a beautiful, light-filled, tastefully yet personal and stylish apartment, with the perfect life. You see, these croissants are light, and buttery, and flaky, and yet– and this is key– they DO NOT flake all over your clothes. I had a croissant this morning (from Macchiato on 52nd) and by the time I was done, by plate (and let’s be honest, the table) was littered with what I have come to think of as croissant dandruff. And so, the rest of the day, I wander around town picking small buttery pieces of pastry off my clothes. But, the Petrossian croissants do not do this. No croissant dandruff. It is as if I am this perfect, elegant Frenchwoman (like Jeanne in the other post), a woman who was sent to Croissant Camp as a youth, and who eats such pesky pastries with elegance and aplomb.

    Like I said, Petrossian’s croissants. They are magical.

  • tigre March, 18 2014, 2:45 / Reply

    Ben en fait moi j’aime pas trop les croissant français un peu ecoeurrant à mon goût. Moi j’aime le croissant suisse!

  • Adeline March, 18 2014, 2:57 / Reply

    Ce billet m’a fait doucement rire… Ah les “vrais croissants d’une boulangerie PARISIENNE” :)

  • Erin March, 18 2014, 3:25 / Reply

    Seriously: iCi
    Go in the morning.

    http://www.iCibrooklyn.com

  • sandrine March, 18 2014, 3:36 / Reply

    Il y a une pâtisserie française à 2 minutes de chez moi (Montréal) et ils sont délicieux! J’aimerais bien aller en France pour pouvoir goûter aux vrais croissants!! xx

    http://www.iamsandrine.com

  • Manon March, 18 2014, 3:52 / Reply

    En tant que française vivant en France, mes dimanches matins sont consacrés aux croissants et aux pains aux chocolats!! Et c’est alors que je me dis que j’adore habter à Paris ;-))

  • Annika Tibs March, 18 2014, 4:01 / Reply

    Garance this is tooo funny! I have been also on the hunt for the best croissants in New York as well.. because in this foodie town, I think this is the one thing that is still lacking…! Shocking, right?

    The closest thing I have found to the “best” croissant in NYC, is at Piccolo Cafe. They have 2 or 3 locations in the city. When I use to work at DVF in the garment district, I would go to the 8th Ave/ 40th street location (right across from the TIMES building and Dean & Deluca at street level). The croissants are deliciously flakey, crisp on the outside, light & buttery, with a touch of sweetness and soft inside. It’s the closest I’ve found thus far…

    That said, I recently found this article and I am making it a mission to taste test my way through the city to find one that can surpass Piccolo… http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/10/the-best-croissant-in-new-york-city-best-croissants-in-nyc-manhattan-brooklyn-queens-ceci-cela-petrossian-payard.html

    Try Piccolo and lmk what you think!!!

    xo

  • Debrah March, 18 2014, 4:30 / Reply

    I immediately thought Pret! I’ve eaten more than my fair share of them…and now I want one.

  • Cristi March, 18 2014, 4:46 / Reply

    Croissanteria on Ave. A in the East Village – a hidden gem with the BEST croissants in the city!
    Life-changing pain au chocolat so light it tastes like eating chocolate-flavored pillows. <3

  • Dedel31 March, 18 2014, 4:47 / Reply

    En tous les cas de visuel, celui du milieu fait le plus envie….celui de droite est vraiment trop bizarre!

  • jessica March, 18 2014, 5:43 / Reply

    As Kanye always said, “HURRY UP WIT MY DAMN CROISSANTS!”
    Your Friend, Jess

  • confidential March, 18 2014, 5:55 / Reply

    Brooklyn bakery Bien Cuit.

  • JR March, 18 2014, 6:22 / Reply

    Ceci-Cela is noting short of incredible. Way to pick em Brie ;)

  • Anna March, 18 2014, 6:27 / Reply

    Ceci-Cela chocolate almond croissant is so good!
    Balthazar is just ok, but their sticky toffee bun is to die for!
    What about the recently opened Ladurèe? Has anyone tried it already?
    Of course, as an italian expat, I love Sant’Ambreous, feels like home!

  • Carole March, 18 2014, 6:29 / Reply

    Brie…. Ceci Cela i live around the corner…for years the best …..the most delicious is at Lafayette bakery cocoanut choc banana…u must share…with 4 friends…soooooooooo delicious

  • mimi March, 18 2014, 8:27 / Reply

    Lafayette is the best! Their croissants du jour has banana, chocolate and coconut inside, sooooo yum and best ever!

  • Cay March, 18 2014, 9:18 / Reply

    Bien Cuit in Boerum Hill!

  • Blair March, 18 2014, 11:24 / Reply

    I love the pretzel croissant at City Bakery. Albeit, it’s not your typical french croissant, but the whole wheat inside – salty outside…drool!

  • Fashion Musings Diary March, 19 2014, 1:20 / Reply

    Good to know in case I should crave them during my next stay in NYC!
    http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr

  • Séraphine March, 19 2014, 3:52 / Reply

    et à Paris, Garance, c’est lequel votre préféré? Je suis une GRAAAAANDE amatrice de croissants, et absolument addict de ceux des “Pains d’Alexis”, dans le 5ème. Rien que d’y penser, j’ai l’eau à la bouche, c’est un feuilletage si fin, si croustillant, avec un gout de vrai beurre, un peu comme dans les crêpes gavottes… Le tout pour un budget tout à fait abordable pour l’étudiante que je suis. Je vis actuellement à Barcelone, et je n’ai pas encore réussi a trouver un croissant mangeable …

  • Sophia March, 19 2014, 4:49 / Reply

    Haha I can’t believe everyone bought in delicatessen style baked goods and the croissant-crowning went to Pret – go figure, right!?

    http://www.girlinmenswear.com

  • Bb de la Branche March, 19 2014, 5:01 / Reply

    Mais mon dieuuuuuu aucun de ces trois là, n’a la forme d’un vrai croissant parisien ! Garance, il te faut leur en ramener ou mieux, les amener à Paris !

  • SPaLondres March, 19 2014, 8:49 / Reply

    Ah warm croissants from Pret a Manger, croustillant a l’exterieur et tout moelleux a l’interier!
    I was a bit ashamed that they were my favourites in London, but if a french person also approves ;)

  • Maja March, 19 2014, 12:21 / Reply

    I´ve never been to New York, but I love croissants, I´ve had a few in France, when I was in Strassbourg. Yummy.

    http://artsyshimmer.blogspot.com/

  • charlotte March, 19 2014, 1:53 / Reply

    “Pas de pitié pour les croissants!” ;-)

  • Olivia March, 19 2014, 4:17 / Reply

    Almondine in Dumbo! Plus you can eat it in Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoy the view!

  • kelly March, 19 2014, 4:21 / Reply

    Garance! PLEASE oh PLEASE go and try the croissant at Petrossian. I got the tip from Martha Stewart and I know she has done due diligence on the topic! They are the best. And, for an over the top experience , try the Almond. xoxo

  • daniela March, 19 2014, 4:28 / Reply

    Taralluci e Vino.

  • Kahena Ben Achour March, 19 2014, 5:48 / Reply

    En région parisienne, on a le choix. C’est vrai qu’un bon croissant avec un feuilletage fin et cuit à point, ça n’est pas forcément évident. J’ai la chance d’avoir une boulangerie Eric Kayser et une Gontran Cherrier à deux pas de chez moi. Et pour le croissant, il n’y a pas photo : les croissants de Gontran sont excellents (et leur petits sandwichs itou). En revanche, pour la baguette de pain classique c’est Eric Kayser qui remporte la mise.

  • Marie March, 20 2014, 5:58 / Reply

    What about London? We have a lot of Pret A Manger, Paul, etc… as well but would really love to finally find that real, independent, good boulangerie. Any tips?

  • Le Bazhaar March, 20 2014, 6:54 / Reply

    Garance je suis totalement d’accord avec toi! Pour avoir goute des croissants dans plusieurs endroits a NY, celui de Pret a Manger est le meilleur pour moi, les pains au chocolat sont bon aussi. Comme quoi on peut être une chaine et faire de bons produits de qualité!
    http://www.lebazhaar.com

  • Katie March, 20 2014, 7:34 / Reply

    Croissants used to be my favorite food until my dr. told me not to eat them anymore. Does anyone know if there is such thing as gluten free croissants in New York? Or in the world for that matter? Any one who can put me in touch with a decent gluten free croissant is my new best friend for life.

  • Theresa March, 20 2014, 10:36 / Reply

    Yes to Pret! The almond croissant is to die for!

  • Ça te regarde pas March, 27 2014, 2:53 / Reply

    Ceux vendus à côté de chez moi sont excellents – sauf quand c’est mon mec qui y va et me ramène les croissant aux blé complet ! Quel idiot ! voire meilleurs que ceux de chez kaiser … Habitant dans l’Upper east side, j’ai donc abandonné kaiser pour les viennoiseries et vais dans le petit coffre shop à deux pas de chez moi. Je suis sur que chez kaiser, ils sont indus, vu la tête qu’ils ont deux heures plus tard. Tout secs ! D’ailleurs, je ne vais plus la bas que pour les pâtisseries et un pain, en sortant de chez citarella quand j’achète du fromage.

  • SINGLEGIRLDIN March, 31 2014, 12:37 / Reply

    I second Patisserie Claude. You must try it, Garance! I had a pain au chocolat battle with an ex of mine and wrote about it here: http://singlegirldinner.com/favorites/2012/10/14/pain-au-chocolat xo

  • Julia June, 17 2014, 6:18 / Reply

    the best croissants in NYC are from lil bakery in Downtown Brooklyn called “Ben Cuit”. Their double baked chocolate almond croissants are my slice of heaven!

  • Nina June, 18 2014, 2:49 / Reply

    When I was living in Copenhagen – which has some of the best bakeries and pastry shops in the world – I swear the best croissants where the ones made fresh at 7-11 every morning. So I’m not surprised you’re drooling over the Pret croissants, Garance :)

  • sara June, 18 2014, 7:10 / Reply

    Garance, seriously? I am AMAZED.

    Last time I was in NYC, I ran into the Pret store, and was shocked. This is a British product.
    Since when do Brits export food? ;)

    Now I was recently in Paris, and ran into…. a Pret shop…. WHAT?! WHAT?!!!!!!

    If you think Pret makes the best croissants, then you are telling us, the British have finally gotten the hang of food? Nice :)

  • William June, 19 2014, 10:17 / Reply

    Please try the croissants at
    http://www.millefeuille-nyc.com
    Its like croissants I had in Paris in the 80′s!

  • Gia June, 20 2014, 4:16 / Reply

    Bien Cuit!

  • Cella June, 21 2014, 8:53 / Reply

    My favorites are at La Maison du Macaron, http://www.nymacaron.com, 132 W. 23rd between 6th and 7th — also love their brioche and brioche au sucre!

  • ariel June, 22 2014, 8:32 / Reply

    I love the croissants (and all pastries) as well as the baguettes, sourdough, and brioche from Runner and Stone in Gowanus. Really the best, and the baker, Peter, is the sweetest guy. I volunteer selling his bread on weekends and my pay is meeting awesome customers, hanging out with his awesome staff, and BREAD! :-)

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