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Olive et Gourmando
Photograph: Olive et Gourmando / @olive_et_gourmando

Where you’ll find the best croissant in Montreal

Hurry up with my damn croissants—here’s where to find the best croissant in Montreal from master bakers and pastry chefs

Written by
Colin Rier
Isa Tousignant

What better start a day than biting into the best, freshly baked croissants in Montreal made by of the city’s best bakeries? While other cities may devote their breakfast carbs to less finessed goods like donuts or scones, the first move in Montreal is always the croissant. Then coffee. When done well, the crackle from the layers of golden dough emanate a sweet buttery aroma from the pastry’s soft interior. While it is difficult to find a bad one here, this guide will help you to find the best croissants. 

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Where to find the best croissants in Montreal

1. Le St-Louis Café

A true neighbourhood haven in the east Plateau, with comfy colourful seating, a magical hidden bookcase bathroom and weekly events like tarot readings, Le St-Louis is a coffee shop that holds a secret: proper French inhouse pâtissiers. Yes, they make a perfect cappuccino, but the regulars also go for the veritable cornucopia of mouth-watering pastries that greets them every morning. The croissants are bar-none: real great crisp in the peak and points, fantastic lamination, a satisfying pull in the middle and a rich, buttery, caramelized flavour like none other.

Hof Kelsten
Photograph: @sabin_hwang

2. Hof Kelsten

All conversation surrounding croissants in Montreal include the illustrious Hof Kelsten bakery. It is a textbook croissant in every sense of the word: The quality of the golden sheen of their crisp exteriors is rivalled only by how soft and fluffy the interior is, the whole package radiating the scent of quality butter. 

Olive et Gourmando
Photograph: Olive et Gourmando / @olive_et_gourmando

3. Olive et Gourmando

Finding quality food of any variety in Old Montreal can be a tough task without the right reservation, let alone finding croissants on demand. Many bakeries looking to take advantage of over-eager tourists are hawking baked-from-frozen croissants, some even being made—we’re not kidding—without butter. That makes it all the more remarkable that Olive et Gourmando continues to serve an amazing croissant amongst other fine food.

Boulangerie Jarry
Photograph: Boulangerie Jarry /

4. Boulangerie Jarry

You’ll be welcomed with a yeasty aroma that screams “authentic!” and this French-forward Villeray bakery where the breads are hearty and the croissants are judiciously balanced. Their flavour is deep, clean and fresh, buttery without being excessively rich. The delicate, crispy, flaky exterior holds itself together nicely until you get home, but it’ll flake away perfectly at first bite—and let’s not even talk about the delectable crunch of the tapered ends.

Au Kouign Amann
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Randy F.

5. Au Kouign Amann

The menu here is quite short, with much of the menu devoted to croissants or variations on the croissant. Their croissants boast the buttery aroma, as well as the one million layers you would like to see in such a pastry. Their namesake pastry the kouign amann has come into vogue in the past couple of years in North America, but they have been executing mastery of the form for years both in the eponymous pastry and their croissants.

Photograph: Patisserie Rhubarbe / @patisserierhubarbe

6. Rhubarbe

Upon walking into Rhubarbe your eyes will most immediately be drawn to the towering piles of eye-candy pastries staring back at you from the glass case by the cash. While it would certainly not be a bad idea to opt for one of those, the croissants that chef Stephanie Labelle makes are also incredible. Why argue? We suggest going for one of both!

La Bête à Pain
Photograph: La Bête à Pain / @beteapaingriffintown

7. La Bête à Pain

Marc Andre-Royal has built himself quite the empire in the city with his flagship restaurant Le St-Urbain, and now three locations of his fantastic bakery. The location in Griffintown sports a chic warehouse space producing croissants with an irresistible lacquered crust. If you’re craving something stronger than coffee with your croissant, this bakery also has an excellent natural wine list—not a bad way to start the day.

Automne Boulangerie
Photograph: Automne Boulangerie / @automneboulangerie

8. Automne Boulangerie

This Rosemont bakery does not hide its obsession with quality. They are so proud of their commitment to using the best ingredients that they place their stone flour mill right in the middle of their dining area. While owner and head baker Julien Roy has made his name more for his bread—among the best in the city!—it would be unwise to skip over this bakery’s croissants.

La Croissanterie Figaro
Photograph: La Croissanterie Figaro / @LaCroissanterieFigaro

9. La Croissanterie Figaro

We all have that dream of spending our morning reading a novel, sipping a cafe latte and pulling at a croissant in a quaint French space. Few places can provide that fantasy as completely for us as Figaro does, especially with its fantastic service. If a name that conjures a croissant singing with flavour isn’t enough reassurance, trust us when we say the croissants themselves are reliably delicious—amongst a spread of other lovely café fare.

Le pain dans les voiles
Photograph: Justine Marc-Aurele

10. Le pain dans les voiles

Due to the overwhelming quantity & quality of bakeries in Montreal, it is easy for places like Les pain des voiles to fall under the radar. It truly can be a shame because this bakery from two lifelong friends is producing some of the city’s best baked goods, and that most certainly  includes croissants. Luckily for us, they are located just north of Jean-Talon Market, so you can grab your morning pastry here before doing your weekly shop.

Chez Fred
Photograph: Claude Rigaud Photographie

11. Chez Fred

A lawyer emigrating from France may not be the most likely candidate to turn out one of the city’s finest croissants, but that is certainly the case with Chez Fred. While the croissants here lack the burnished crust produced at places like Hof Kelsten, the generous size & rich dough more than make up for it. Note that while the croissants are great, the true golden grail at Chez Fred is the sheer perfection of their chocolatine.

Mamie Clafoutis
Photograph: Mamie Clafoutis / @mamieclafoutis

12. Mamie Clafoutis

Despite having spread with more and more locations, Mamie Clafoutis has retained a commitment to quality that is immediately recognizable in its croissants. Unique to Mamie Clafoutis is their pistachio croissant, filled with a glowing green paste of rich pistachio. Few alternatives to the classic butter croissant get as luxurious as that.


13. L’amour du pain

The pure-butter, hand-rolled croissants at this bakery bring all the boys to the yard. They’re the perfect textural contrast between crisp and yielding aeration, and the Griffintown branch of this small bakery chain is a lovely place to be—all black and white decor and packed with goodies you’ll want to bring home. Word to the wise, the croissants (among other viennoiseries) are also sold raw and frozen, perfect for baking chez vous.

14. Croissant Croissant

So nice, they had to say it twice. This spot at the eastern end of Mont-Royal Avenue sees queues most Saturday mornings because their croissants are THAT good. And what a selection: the simple crispylicious butter croissant sits beside chocolatines, cheese croissants, lusciously stuffed almond croissants, apricot viennoiseries, kouign amanns… basically, if it’s laminated, they’ve got it. Stop in for a quaint snack onsite, or fill your coffers for later.


15. Les Co’pains d’abord

They sell nearly 1,000 croissants a day between their three locations, and you know numbers don’t lie. The traditional, overstuffed bakery vibe of their shops says plenitude from the get-go. We challenge you not to buy everything. The draw of the plain butter croissants is their lacquered outer and crackley crisp: they’re better-baked, as in more baked, than in some other places, ensuring the slight caramelized flavour of the butter within shines irrepressibly through.

16. Le Paltoquet 

Continually atop best-of lists—and this, for the span of this Outremont bakery’s three-plus decades of business—Le Paltoquet is synonymous with French refinement, and that starts with their croissants. They’re petite and perfect. Take a half-dozen to go, but maybe also make time for one of their popular sandwiches, a fruit tart or an éclair while you’re there.

Farine & Vanille
Photograph: Farine et Vanille

17. Farine & Vanille

Big and beautiful, light with flaky crispy ends but a softer middle section than some, all bursting with deep flavour perhaps in part because they’re made with local flour and butter… you know croissants that are perfect for making a ham and cheese sandwich? These are they. This pleasant Ahuntsic bakery also puts on a nice lunch for the local professional set, including—but not restricted to—croissant sandwiches.

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