Let me unbutton my jeans whilst I write this post…
Over the past week I’ve been spending my mornings researching a post that I’ve been intending to write for some time – a croissant crusade. I’ve undertaken the incredibly hideous task (ahem) of visiting local patisseries and bakeries in search of Vancouver’s “best” croissants. I have sacrificed myself (mostly my thighs and ass) so that you, dear reader, may enjoy some of the wonderful croissants that Vancouver has to offer. For consistency, I sampled the croissants around the same time every day (about 11am) and only on weekdays. Whilst most of the places also offered other types of croissants, such as almond croissants, I was only interested in researching the traditional butter croissants.
I sampled five different croissants from five different places; Beaucoup Bakery, Ganache Patisserie, Cadeaux Bakery, Thomas Haas, and Faubourg.
Alternative orders: Anything!
Beaucoup’s offering is probably my favourite croissant (tied with Ganache) that I tried over the week. The reasons for this are:
- It is smaller than the others that I sampled so it didn’t get the doughy insides that some of the others fell victim to.
- It was slightly crunchy and shattered into flakes when I ate it. This is how I prefer my croissants.
- The crunch gave way to a tapestry of pastry layers inside.
- It was buttery and at times you could smell the butter on each bite.
- There were very obvious thin layers of flaking pastry, as evident by the photograph.
Alternative orders: Their beautiful individual-sized cakes.
Ganache was the dark horse of the race and I wasn’t expecting that from a place that I don’t hear much about. Ganache, and the croissant from Beaucoup, would be tied as the “best” for me. It was different to Beaucoup’s in a few ways:
- It was much darker than the rest that I sampled but this didn’t take away from the taste.
- It had a good amount of crunch, particularly on the bottom, but not necessarily flaky.
- The pastry seemed almost sweet once you reached the inside.
- The inside of the croissant had many layers and had a light and airy honeycomb-like structure (check it out in the pic below)
Alternative orders: The bacon twist croissants!
- This one was bigger in size than those from Beaucoup and Ganache but it wasn’t unreasonably large.
- There was a good amount of crunch from the base and the ends.
- A little buttery on the outside but not too much.
- Spongy on the inside but then gave away to too much dough towards the middle, which I don’t like.
- The flakey layers were satisfactory on the outside but I would have like to have seen more fluffiness and chew on the inside.
Alternative orders: I’ve been told that the almond croissants from Thomas Haas are da bomb!
Thomas Haas is well-known for his croissants so I was a little disappointed with the one that I ordered as I know that I’ve had better from Thomas Haas in the past. Unfortunately I have to review it on the one that I ordered so it was:
- Medium sized.
- Quite flaky on the outside, golden, and shattered slightly (evidence on the plate).
- The inside was quite moist and slightly dense.
- I found the inside was similar to Cadeaux’s in that it was too chewy and there was a lot of damp pastry as you moved towards the middle of the croissant, rather than fluffiness.
Alternative orders: Their baguettes are some of the most authentic that I’ve had in the city. The tri-chocolate decadent pastry was also memorable.
This was the furthest that I travelled for a croissant and it was good but that isn’t what I would travel back there for (see “alternative orders”).
- A little too big for my liking
- A little dry and it didn’t taste overly fresh, although I’m sure it was baked that day.
- Minimal flakiness and it lacked obvious pastry layering.
- The bottom was buttery and toasted, which was a plus in my books.
- Quite underwhelming.
Boy, am I glad this post is over – no more pastries for me for awhile! I need to get back onto my “avoid wheat” goal but this was fun whilst it lasted. I’m confident that there are other places in the city offering good butter croissants but I went with my instincts and from recommendations. The places that I have listed above are a good place to start to help you find your own favourite croissants. As with anything that I eat, my preferences might not be what you find the “best” so happy hunting!