Taste: In Search of … Croissants

We blind-tasted 10 samples with the area’s most exacting French chefs. See their picks inside.


To find the region’s best, butteriest croissants, we blind-tasted 10 samples with the area’s most exacting French chefs: Michèle Haines of Conshohocken’s Spring Mill Cafe, David Ansill of Pif and Ansill, and Eddie Hales, executive pastry chef at Four Seasons. Here are the flakiest — and the simply flaky.

Recommended

Metropolitan Bakery
Various locations; metropolitanbakery.com
MH: Generally good, though a little too sweet for me. I don’t like a sweet croissant.
DA: My favorite. Good and flaky. The sugar in the glaze gives it a nice pop.
EH: The outer crust is great. I would just eat that for breakfast.

Aux Petits Délices
162 East Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, 610-971-0300; auxpetits.com
MH: Lots of butter. You need a napkin to eat it, which is a good thing in this case.
DA: Very good and buttery. Makes me want coffee, and I’m not a coffee drinker.
EH: The color and glaze are excellent. And I like the small size. You can actually eat the whole thing.

Le Bus
Various locations; lebusbakery.com
MH: Wonderfully greasy. You actually want to see grease on the bag.
DA: It doesn’t look good, but it’s actually very surprising. The butter really comes out.
EH: The texture and the layers are perfect. There’s no mass of uncooked dough inside.

Not recommended

Miel Patisserie
204 South 17th Street, 215-731-9191; 1990 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, 856-424-6435; mielpastry.com
MH: It’s a strange shape, and much too dense. Just an average croissant.
DA: There’s not much going on here. It’s a little doughy.
EH: It’s just barely acceptable. Very heavy.

French Bakery
8624 Germantown Avenue; 215-247-5959
MH: It looks pretty, so the faults are hidden. Something really went wrong here. It seems that all the butter was put in on one layer. It all wound up on the bottom.
DA: I just don’t like this one. They used too much dough.
EH: The presentation is good, the color right. But the inside is too bready.

Elegance French Bakery
82 East Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, 610-640-0404; elegancecafe.com
MH: Oh no, what have they done here? It tastes like Wonder Bread.
DA: No salt. No butter. Unoffensive but bland.
EH: Too dense. Very doughy. Doesn’t resemble a croissant at all.

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