The chocolate croissant can sometimes be overlooked. The big favourite of the family, and the star for many, is the butter croissant. However, when you have a plate of the choccy ones at a gathering, they're the ones that usually go first! Here are our favourite chocolate-filled croissants you'll find around the Girona region.
Can Baldiri isn't just one of the most historical bakeries in Palafrugell (it was founded in 1856), but it's also the place to find some of the best croissants in the Girona region, both butter and chocolate versions. We're not exaggerating. Their success might well have something to do with the fact that, nowadays, more than 150 years after opening, they still create and knead their bread using artisan methods, and continue to use a family recipe. In 2014, the town council awarded the bakery the Diploma of Citizen Merit for its trajectory. If you go, as well as devouring one or three croissants (if they're just out of the oven, you'll experience a moment of pastry paradise), you should also buy one of their country loaves ('pa de pagès'). Impressive.
After years of producing daily aromas of deliciousness on C/ de la Creu, this landmark patisserie has opened another space close to the Parc del Migdia where you'll find all the products that have made Tornés so popular – an incredible range of top-quality cakes, biscuits, chocolates, 'bunyols' (deep-fried doughnuts), 'panellets' (small almond-based cakes made for Tots Sants on November 1), home-made small pastries ('rebosteria'), and, of course, delicious chocolate croissants. Spongy, delicious and with the ends that are just the right amount of crispy. Get ready to open the treasure chest, and... it's farewell diet!
Created in 1901 by Pere Bellsolà, this 'fleca' (bakery), which used to be located in the now-extinct C/Canaders, became the seed that created an empire that has seen the Bellsolà brand spread around the world to Europe, North and South America and the Caribbean. Since 2003, and renamed Antiga Casa Bellsolà, the bakery has gone back to its roots thanks to Mireia Oliveras (the wife of Robert Bellsolà). It focuses on quality, artisan bread that's made with top-quality primary material. This is a bakery that will take you back to the good old days. But let's get to the point: the chocolate croissant. It's a truly fluffy gem of a pastry that will bring joy to dark chocolate addicts, as well as aficionados of butter croissants.
The Santagloria familiy has dedicated itself to artisan bread and cakes for more than 150 years. Since 1963, when the first Santagloria was opened, their aim has been to bring together experience and innovation, tradition and the avant-garde. They've created a sweet universe where croissants sit side-by-side with cronuts, and 'xuixos' (a typical Girona pastry) are arranged by the 'holes' (small fried doughnuts that are the middle part of ring doughnuts). As the people at the bakery say, 'it's the union of the best ingredients that gives us our strength'. The chocolate croissant is an unmissable treat. Good texture, good dough and perfect for fans of chocolate spreads like Nocilla and Nutella.
Can you smell it? It's the aroma that comes from the display cases of pastries, cakes, meringues, 'coques' (traditional Catalan flat cakes) and all sorts of bread in the Café Moner on C/Migdia - one of four that the company has in Girona - and that will draw you in, sit you down and see you make your order. The products, which are top quality, will fill all your senses - you won't know whether to choose a croissant, a pretzel, a muffin, a sandwich, a capuccino, a Viennese coffee (espresso with cream), coffee with condensed milk, hot chocolate, hot chocolate with cream, a herbal tea... Tempting, right? Well the dark chocolate croissant will just add to your (pleasurable) agony: it's not only got chocolate in the middle, but the ends are also dipped in chocolate. But it's not too cloying: in fact, the flavour is smooth and delicate.
Can Xapa is a well-kept secret that deserves to stop being one. Located inside a 13th-century castle, the owners of the cake shop will show you around the workshop and interior garden if they're not too busy. You'll find a range of products that's clearly inspired by France, such as the impressive Saint Honoré cake, along with more contemporary recipes, including a gin-and-tonic cake. The real star, however, is the chocolate they sell in bulk. It's made in bars of 1.5kg into which they crumble pieces of 85-percent cacao and candied dried fruits. To get there, you should take advantage to enjoy a bike ride from Girona, which will also relieve some of the guilt you may feel at trying some of their products. And even better, at Can Xapa they promise to use only the minimum sugar necessary for all their products.