A classic, irresistible treat that's never gone out of style, the croissant is that crescent-shaped puff pastry that, unlike what many of us think, doesn’t have its origins in France. It was born in Austria, but its fame is so universal that it has unintentionally lost its true nationality. In Madrid nearly every bakery serves up this treasured pastry, but some are a step above the rest when it comes to the croissant. These are some of our favourites.
This bakery’s awards are well-deserved. The experts have spoken: in 2014 they recognised Oriol Balaguer as making the best artisan butter croissant in Spain. With various boutique shops in Barcelona, they also wanted to make their mark in Madrid, and so they have in this shop on the elegant C/ José Ortega y Gasset, where you can find geniuses of the pastry world and, of course, the best croissants in Spain.
It’s impossible not to be drawn in by the sweet aromas that delight anyone who passes by on the central C/Barquillo. Using high-quality ingredients, this is an artisan bakery the likes of which few exist in Madrid. Pomme Sucre offers a wide variety of pastries, including croissants that are well worth getting to know. You'll find quality pastries that melt in your mouth and are the ideal complement to any breakfast or snack.
Haute French pastry has found its perfect spot next to the Parque del Retiro. Fresh from Fontainebleau, the locale at C/Castelló, No 12, is a café, patisserie and bakery that invites you to spend long hours enjoying the creations made by Marie Valdez and her enthusiastic team. It's ideal for breakfast, snacks with friends, sampling their delicious brunch and even having a light lunch. The decor is lovely, with its interesting blue tiles and the large window that affords you a look at how they make the tarts, millefeuille (head over on a Saturday to get them just-made), semifreddos and canelés, the best in Madrid!
Possibly the most famous café-bakery in Madrid's city centre, Mamá Framboise was one of the first to capture a vintage style and the trend of large tables you share with people you've never seen before. It's a place where you can have breakfast and grab a snack, but it's also a shop where you can get lovely things to go, like theire macarons, mini tarts, biscuits and cookies. The tables are always full of groups of friends meeting up for breakfast or executives who work in the area who pop in for a mid-morning coffee. The 'boulangerie' has another establishment now in C/Goya, and they have a shop online.
Your palate knows best, so treat it to a fiesta in Moulin Chocolat. Founded in late 2006, this gourmet bakery is an indisputable favourite among lovers of all things sweet, and their aim is to make each visit full of memorable experiences and sensations. Considered the kings of making macarons (the delight typical of France) in Madrid, among all of their offerings of course they've also got rich croissants made with care that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Horno de San Onofre is classic Madrid pastry and confectionary shop. The original began its run in 1972 on the street with the same name, but it was such a success that the business has now expanded into five other locations throughout the city. Their offering is immense, and among some of the most important pastries are the variety of traditional croissants, such as those with chocolate, cream and other gorgeous fillings. Whether you like sweet stuff or not, Horno de Onofre is well worth the visit.
Their slogan is a mission statement: ‘El arte de la pastelería’ (The art of pastry-making). And they more than meet their goals. With two locations in Colmenar Viejo, another in Tres Cantos and a fourth in C/ Conde de Peñalver, they've made it easy to try their ‘manolitos’, delicious mini croissants made with butter or bathed in the chocolate that has made them famous in Madrid. You'll definitely notice their more than 25 years of experience when you dive in to their quality products.
While the bakery downstairs supplies box after ribbon-tied box of flaky 'ensaïmada' pastries, croissants and 'napolitanas' to what seems like half of Madrid, the upstairs area crackles with the animated chat of 'madrileña' blue-rinses and savvier tourists. Windows overlooking the Puerta del Sol make this an unbeatable central spot for breakfast.
Flavour, history and tradition all come together in El Riojano, an establishment that has been delighting locals since 1885. Their meringues, 'roscones', cakes, pastries and 'torrijas', impeccably arranged in the window, are an invitation to have breakfast inside, where you’ll find a small café whose original decoration will take you back to the 19th century. This is a Madrid classic that deserves at least one visit and a photo.
At MiMé, they love pampering their customers, and the best pampering comes with a touch of sweetness. Their croissants are the highlight of their menu, and each one is an experience for anyone clever enough to pop in when strolling through the Salamanca neighbourhood for a break with one of these flaky treats a good cup of coffee. You'll find a variety of choices, so you really can't go wrong.
This small business would practically go unnoticed if it weren’t for the fact that it boasts some of the best croissants and ‘manolitos’ in the Prosperidad neighbourhood. The ovens are constantly baking up pastries since they never last long under the display glass. These two specialities are the best of the bunch, but you've also got to sample their other delicious and ample offerings for a very sweet day indeed.