Where to get the flakiest, butteriest noms in San Francisco
You can’t throw a stone in San Francisco without hitting a cafe, or someone with a laptop working in one. There’s already been a strong, and warranted, reputation for coffee and beer snobbery around town, but it doesn’t often extend to the pastries you would have with your cold brew or artisanal latte. But a good croissant, if the lines at Tartine are anything to go by, can turn your day around, and have you coming back for more.
But if you’re not interested in spending most of your morning or afternoon waiting in line, then don’t! Here are some of the crispest croissants we’ve ever had, in all corners of the city, for you to scratch that crescent-shaped itch.
If you don’t live near the croissant hubs that are the Mission and Hayes Valley, no worries. Arsicault has multiple locations to fill the gaps in croissant access. The McAllister location has a bit more variety, but you’re guaranteed a classic croissant at either spot.
Recommend: Chocolate almond croissant
Parisian Influencer Vibes
The tiled floor out front of Le Marais says “Bonjour,” and you’re definitely going to feel like Emily in Paris walking in, because everything is in French. Their croissants are nothing short of the European standard with expertly crafted air bubbles and flakes for days. They also offer a large assortment of savory dishes with croissants incorporated if your palate prefers something besides sweet.
Recommend: Avocado croissant toast (I know!)
On the Go Vibes
You know it’s good if they don’t even have a functioning website! This unassuming bakery tucked on the corner in SoMa is known for very expensive bread, but their croissants are worth the splurge every now and then. Owned by a French family, Les Gourmands has a pretty narrow menu, but one made with intention every day.
Recommend: The almond croissant (thank me later!)
Cutty Community Vibes
At Destination Baking Company, let your tastebuds take a journey to a croissant with a salty twist, or maybe just a cheese twist? This Glen Park alcove bakes their goods fresh daily, and it shows.
Recommend: The ham and cheese croissant with mustard, please
Sugar Rush Vibes
Let the college kids eat cake! Or, rather, croissants, and maybe cake too. Ambrosia Bakery has been making deity-worthy confections since the 1980s and their croissants are no exception, with special twists that might have you saying “sacré bleu!”
Recommend: The raspberry croissant
Italian Grandma Vibes
Okay, so these croissants aren't exactly French, but they're just one of the many scrumptious offerings this family-owned business has been cooking up for generations. In fact, maybe take a raincheck on the croissants and check out Dianda’s Bakery’s cannoli instead.
Recommend: All the cannoli, all the time
Cool, Calm, and Cute Vibes
Brew fiends, rejoice! This Bernal Heights hideaway is serious about their caffeine, and what you eat with it. Pinhole Coffee doesn’t make their own pastries in house, but partner with a rotation of local businesses to bring an eclectic offering of sweets that pair deliciously with their custom house drip coffee.
Recommend: The “everything bagel” croissant from Kahnfections, but also the mochi muffin by Third Culture