brooklyn croissant taste off: an unexpected winner

i’ve been wanting to do this for ages, and finally i did with much help from the hubby — a croissant taste test of the the best brooklyn bakeries/coffee shops that make their own.   i ruled out the spots that bring them in from elsewhere — like café regular du nord, cafe grumpy and gorilla coffee — to focus just on the “homemade” stuff.  contenders included sweet melissa’s ($2.50), colson patisserie ($2.25) almondine ($2.15), root hill ($2.25) and trois pommes (2.75).  j and i collected the goodies sunday morning and munched our way through a pile of dough.  for the most part, we were definitely underwhelmed, even with ones like almondine that we would have expected to have come out on top.  and while all of these happen to have locations in park slope, i do think that this list captures the best “french” bakeries in the borough (marquet patisserie, for example, didn’t make the cut).

to our great surprise, as we’re not such a fan of their baked goods (though i am addicted to the morning roll) and the croissant was huge, colson’s totally ruled.  their croissant was flaky, buttery, had that lovely chewy flavor and was by far our winner.  as an added bonus it was the middle of the pack pricewise.  next up, but probably a mile behind, was the root hill croissant, again another surprise.  root hill just started baking their own recently (they had been getting their goods from colson’s), and fresh out of the oven they’re pretty good, but an hour or so later they are still crispy but the underlying flavor has a slightly unpleasant taste.   the worst option for me sadly was from trois pommes. an unreasonable $2.75, these were virtually tasteless, seemed somewhat stale and had a spongy bland interior.  while i love some of trois pommes’ other goodies (the donuts especially), the croissants didn’t cut it.   sweet melissa’s was j’s starbuck’s nominee, though i liked it a little better than that.  and right in the middle of the pack was almondine.  light and fluffy, pretty decent texture but i at least thought it was too dense.

so if you, like us, are continually looking for that perfect combination of the croissant and coffee in brooklyn,  i would head first to colson’s (last year they improved their coffee tremendously) and then to root hill.

almondine bakery: 442 9th street, just west of 7th avenue, 718.797.5026.

colson patisserie: 374 9th street at 6th avenue, 718.965.6400.

root hill cafe, 262 fourth avenue at carroll street, 718.797.0100.

sweet melissa patisserie, 175 seventh avenue between 1st and 2nd streets, 718.788.2700.

trois pommes patisserie, 260 fifth avenue between garfield and carroll streets, 718.230.3119.

[photos above, croissants from left to right: colson's, almondine, root hill, sweet melissa and trois pommes.]

6 Responses to “brooklyn croissant taste off: an unexpected winner”

  1. Interesting! Sorry to hear that about Trois Pommes — I’m a big fan in general, though it’s true that I rarely get a croissant there. I thought her bread and croissants came from Balthazar…. Anyway, I’m partial to Almondine myself — and will look forward to trying Root Hill. It’s been on my list for a while now. Thanks for the intel!

  2. Anne says:

    I love this test! And also lookwise the Colson’s one wins by far!

  3. cherrypatter says:

    Yes. Definitely too bad about Trois Pommes. I do like lots of the treats in that shop, and have had their croissants plenty of times but they just don’t measure up. I do love their amazing donuts though! It is worth visiting them on weekends just for those.

  4. Looks and sounds like a lot of fun – I could picture the whole endeavour. : ) nice to have so many choices, though. When I was growing up, all our croissants came from Costco! Do you think the Root Hill one tasted bad after it cooled because they’d used some margarine? In Paris these days, you have to make sure you ask for the “pure butter” ones bc even the best Paris bakeries will offer a cheaper croissant that uses a mix of butter and margarine.

  5. cherrypatter says:

    yes, there are definitely amazing options here. it’s hard to believe five options within a mile of our apartment. growing up, we didn’t have croissants any where. instead we got the frozen bagels. and i’ll have to ask root hill about the margarine. i would be surprised if they did as they usually use very high quality ingredients in their usual stuff but you never know. and who knew the french did that!

  6. eg says:

    I like Colson’s and the bar next door (Barbes) is fabulous. My brother plays there occasionally.

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