Few foods can credibly whisk eaters to a Parisian sidewalk café. But the best croissants immediately call up memories of devouring a morning pain au chocolat with cafe au lait, a foreign treat so good it leaves the customer blissfully unaware of a haughty waiter's disdain. The D.C. area has seen a boon in outstanding bread and pastry in the past few years — and that includes places turning out quality croissants. Some spots, like Bread Furst, stick to impeccably-done classics like plain, almond, or chocolate croissants. Others, like Sidekick, roll out modern, whimsical fare stuffed with matcha cream or potato chips. Here are some of the best bakeries and restaurants that offer the flaky, buttery pastry.Read More
Where to Find Next-Level Croissants Around D.C.
From sweet to savory, and classic to matcha cream-filled
Sunday Morning Bakehouse
This chic North Bethesda jewel focuses on crafting quality, small-batch croissants and other pastries. Their croissant menu covers savory and sweet, ranging from a stuffed ham and Swiss cheese to traditional butter, chocolate, and matcha green tea, varieties (plus cruffins).
Fresh Baguette (Multiple locations)
The name is all about bread, but Fresh Baguette also has a nice selection of croissants and related pastries. The selection includes plain, almond, and chocolate croissants, plus blueberry-cream cheese kouign amman and French apple turnovers. Mini croissants are also available.
Owned by James Beard award-winning baker Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst satisfies the sweet tooth with plain, chocolate, and almond croissants that rival any top bakery in France. A savory variety comes with an egg on top.
The Cup We All Race 4
The scene-y Line Hotel’s morning coffee bar also turns out pastries and croissants worth racing for, including the “cretzel,” a croissant-pretzel love child. Pastry chef Beth Bosmeny’s croissants are the real deal. Get there early — pastries often sell out before the 2 p.m. close.
Snag a coveted seat on the couch at this perennially busy Adams Morgan café while savoring the almond or chocolate croissant. Or splurge on the popular ham and cheddar sandwich on a croissant.
Gluten-free Rise Bakery fulfills croissant cravings for people with allergies or sensitivites. Made with rice and tapioca flour, the twice-baked croissants come with fillings like almond puree, Swiss chocolate, or ham and Gruyère cheese.
The Georgetown outpost of the Baltimore-based bakery offers a savory ham and cheese croissant and a sweet variety stuffed with almond paste and topped with an almond glaze.
Firehook Bakery (Multiple locations)
Go ahead and dig into a plain, chocolate, or almond croissant — or a chocolate almond croissant, because why choose? The bakery has eight locations, in Virginia and D.C., including Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill.
Pluma by Bluebird Bakery
This tiny but mighty pastry shop bordering Union Market boasts some of the best croissants in town. Choose between plain, almond, pistachio, chocolate, smoked ham and Gruyère, or trendy, croissant-adjacent kouign amann.
A croissant made from 100% whole grain may not seem decadent, but one bite of Seylou’s flaky, buttery plain or chocolate croissants will change your mind. The bakery even mills its flour on-site.
A Baked Joint
A Baked Joint has been packed from Day One. In addition to full breakfast, lunch, and bread menus, the Baked & Wired sibling shop makes plain, almond, and chocolate croissants, plus kouign amann and pain aux raisins.
Bayou Bakery (Multiple locations)
Owned by Louisiana native David Guas, Bayou Bakery naturally serves killer beignets. But it doesn’t neglect its French cousin, with freshly baked croissants filled with chocolate or almond, ham and cheese, and a special everything croissant (like the bagels).
This Ted’s Bulletin spinoff in Ballston serves some of the area’s most creative croissants. Try the caramel butter pecan, apple cider cinnamon, or stoner-friendly “Frostee + Fries,” which involves chocolate malt, dark chocolate glaze, and potato chips.
The rather unfortunate name implies an industrial baking convention instead of fine pastries. But this Merrifield cafe has a variety of quality croissants like cinnamon almond, chocolate, ham and cheese, za’atar, and plain.