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Croissants from the Midwife and the Baker
Midwife and the Baker

The 15 Flakiest, Butteriest Croissants in SF and Beyond

From classic butter to everything spice, these are the pastries to order

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Croissants from the Midwife and the Baker
| Midwife and the Baker

Is it even the weekend without a coffee and a croissant? Before you brave a long (spaced out) line, and start wondering if you’ll fade away before you get a latte, know what to order. The best croissants are always worth the wait: satisfying with an explosion of crisp crumbs and a soft and airy interior. Fortunately in the Bay Area, there are many places where you can get your pastry fix. Here are the flakiest and butteriest croissants in San Francisco and beyond, called out by the best one to order off each menu.

As of publication time, some of these restaurants offer seated, outdoor dining. However, their inclusion should not be taken as endorsement for sit-down dining, as there are still safety concerns. Studies indicate that COVID-19 infection rates are lower for outside activities, but the level of risk involved with outdoor dining is contingent on restaurants and their patrons following strict social distancing, face covering, and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Butter Croissant at Pâtisserie Rotha

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1051 San Pablo Ave
Albany, CA 94706
(510) 529-4704
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Patisserie Rotha is the stuff of croissant rumors and legends in the East Bay, and it’s broken many hearts — the Albany bakery draws long lines on the weekends, and when they sell out, they’re out, closing up shop early. They’re known for big butter croissants, golden and puffed up to reveal the distinct layers. But fans also love the kouign amann, with that crunchy sugar crust, and the pasteis de nata, the jiggly Portuguese eggs tarts.  

box of croissants from Patisserie Rotha Luke Tsai

2. Ham and Egg Croissant at Fournée Bakery

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2912 Domingo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 549-9434
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The East Bay refuses to be bested when it comes to croissants. Try to tell someone from Berkeley to go to Tartine, and they’ll say they have Fournée. Frank Sally is a former instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute, and his layers are textbook. Several varieties sell out fast, but the ham and egg croissant, shaped like a cup and sprinkled with chives, is a heavenly one-handed breakfast.

Fournee

3. Almond Croissant at Le Marais Bakery

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2066 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 359-9801
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Owned by a French person and inspired by Parisian bistros, Le Marais is a classic option on this list, if you’re looking for fresh juice, milky coffee, and a morning pastry. The almond croissant is the sweetheart, and they do it right: It takes three days to make, with Normandy butter and freshly ground almonds (no artificial flavors allowed). During the pandemic, they introduced take-and-bake frozen croissants, a very tempting option for breakfasting in pajamas.

Almond Croissant at Le Marais Bakery
Sonia Goldberg

4. Kouign Amann at b. patisserie

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2821 California St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 440-1700
Visit Website

Kouign amann swept the city a few years ago, when everyone seemed to discover the charming little pastry from Brittany, which is similar to a croissant dough, but crackles with layers of caramelized sugar. Thank Belinda Leong, award-winning pastry chef and queen of kouign. Flavors vary by season, but for a very SF twist, try the pandan and black sesame variations, only available during Lunar New Year.

Kouign Amann at b. patisserie
b. patisserie

5. Smoked Salmon Croissant at Maison Danel

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1030 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 685-5900
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This Parisian-inspired patisserie and tea salon opened at the beginning of 2020, with an oversized chandelier hanging over a sparkling pastry case. Husband-and-husband partners Danel and David de Betelu previously owned Baker Street Bistro, and Danel is the chef, who takes pride in his slow-simmered beef stock, while David comes from brand marketing, and designed the pretty packaging. The croissants are blonde and crisp, with a honeycomb interior and clean taste of butter. The indecisive can pick up a box of assorted minis, filled with everything from chocolate twists to raisin snails. But the smoked salmon sandwich is the standalone favorite, spread with whipped mascarpone and layered with lox.

6. Buckwheat Chocolate Croissant at Jane The Bakery

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1881 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 658-7971
Visit Website

Pac Heights residents know the deal at their beloved coffee shop and award-winning bakery, setting their alarms early, to snag a buckwheat chocolate croissant still warm from the oven. Whole grains adds a surprising depth of flavor, and yes, there’s Valrhona chocolate involved. Jane has several different locations: The bakery itself is on Geary near Japantown, but it’s also possible to order pastries online and pick them up from either of the coffee shops on Fillmore or Larkin.

Buckwheat chocolate croissant
Jane

7. Butter Croissant at Arsicault Bakery

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397 Arguello Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 750-9460
Visit Website

A beloved neighborhood bakery way out in the Richmond, with a new in-post at Civic Center, Arsicault has been hopping every weekend since Bon Appétit named them best new bakery in the country in 2016, and during the pandemic, they even got around to setting up a website. Fans insist it’s the flakiest croissant in town. Go for the classic if you live for pure butter.

Butter croissant at Arsicault Bakery

8. The Triple-Chocolate Croissant at Les Gourmands Bakery

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280 5th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 872-9461
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Les Gourmands set up shop in SoMa a few years ago. The chef and owner is a fifth generation baker working with his family’s recipes, and his parents sometimes pitch in behind the counter. He partnered with a pop artist to create an edgy black-and-white space, and when it’s available, there’s a striking croissant is dedicated to the artist: a triple-chocolate creation slashed with white and dark chocolate.

Les Gourmands Bakery

9. Almond Croissant at La Boulangerie de San Francisco

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500 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 400-4451
Visit Website

La Boulangerie might be a chain, but it’s our chain. San Franciscans despaired when Starbucks acquired it, and rejoiced when it quietly returned to neighborhoods, one store at a time, under a slightly different name, and there are now five locations dotted around the neighborhoods. If you need a quick butter bomb on a coffee break, the overloaded almond croissant will not disappoint.

La Boulangerie

10. Almond Croissant at Thorough Bread and Pastry

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248 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 558-0690
Visit Website

Despite a prime location at Church and Market, this humble neighborhood bakery doesn’t get much buzz. But it has an impressive pedigree: Owner Michel Suas, originally from France and a partner in B. Patisserie, founded the San Francisco Baking Institute in the 90s. The offerings are simple, but the butter is French, the layers distinct, and you can taste the attention to detail.

Thorough Bread and Pastry

11. Morning Bun at Tartine Bakery

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600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 487-2600
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Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Pruiett have been crafting pastry for more than 20 years, winning awards and expanding locations, although they went into the pandemic struggling with worker unionization efforts. But even with more than a dozen locations across SF, LA, and Seoul, there’s still a line out the door at the original bakery on Guerrero. A Tartine croissant is exceptionally crisp, almost shattering on bite. But locals maintain the morning bun is the brunch champion: A knot of dough, it’s bathed in butter and brown sugar, with a whiff of cinnamon and orange zest.

Tartine Morning Bun

12. Everything Croissant at Neighbor Bakehouse

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2343 3rd St #100
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 549-7716
Visit Website

If you flip to the savory side of the brunch menu, head into Dogpatch, and get salty at Neighbor Bakehouse. Inspired by Austrian and German-style baking, they add toastiness and texture with a crunch of seeds. They were into everything spice before it was everywhere, and their bagel-inspired croissant is filled with scallion cream cheese. Of course, if you have a sweet tooth, the twice-baked pistachio with blackberries is pretty irresistible.

Eric Wolfinger

13. Butter Croissant at Kahnfections

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3321 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 525-3328
Visit Website

Kahnfections has been quietly putting out good pastry for a while, but finally opened a brick-and-mortar in the Mission a few years ago. Their sweet and simple butter croissant made it to the finals of a local competition. Old-fashioned and anything but fussy, it’s a freshly baked pleasure. And the quiche, biscuits, and egg sandwiches are also a butter-intensive experience.

Kristen Loken

14. Orange Blossom Za’atar Croissant at Vive La Tarte

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4026 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 780-5818
Visit Website

The Belgian team at Vive La Tarte closed up the big bakery in SoMa doing the pandemic, but they’re still serving croissants to the neighborhood in Noe Valley. They first gained some notoriety for the tacro (that would be a croissant-taco mash-up). But a popular menu item right now is the orange blossom and za’atar, which is sweet, savory, and unexpected, with a floral bloom.

15. Double Chocolate with Sunflower Seeds at The Midwife and the Baker

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846 Independence Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043

You may not have heard of the Midwife and the Baker, but if you’ve ever snagged a croissant at Saint Frank, you’ve bitten into one of these beauties. Working out of a warehouse in Mountain View, which is now open for walkups, they’re freshly milling their own flour—no small feat and a serious commitment to local grains. The traditional butter is the crowd favorite, but the twice-baked chocolate and almond croissant with sunflower seeds also has a cult following.

Midwife and the Baker

1. Butter Croissant at Pâtisserie Rotha

1051 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706
box of croissants from Patisserie Rotha Luke Tsai

Patisserie Rotha is the stuff of croissant rumors and legends in the East Bay, and it’s broken many hearts — the Albany bakery draws long lines on the weekends, and when they sell out, they’re out, closing up shop early. They’re known for big butter croissants, golden and puffed up to reveal the distinct layers. But fans also love the kouign amann, with that crunchy sugar crust, and the pasteis de nata, the jiggly Portuguese eggs tarts.  

1051 San Pablo Ave
Albany, CA 94706

2. Ham and Egg Croissant at Fournée Bakery

2912 Domingo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
Fournee

The East Bay refuses to be bested when it comes to croissants. Try to tell someone from Berkeley to go to Tartine, and they’ll say they have Fournée. Frank Sally is a former instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute, and his layers are textbook. Several varieties sell out fast, but the ham and egg croissant, shaped like a cup and sprinkled with chives, is a heavenly one-handed breakfast.

2912 Domingo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705

3. Almond Croissant at Le Marais Bakery

2066 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Almond Croissant at Le Marais Bakery
Sonia Goldberg

Owned by a French person and inspired by Parisian bistros, Le Marais is a classic option on this list, if you’re looking for fresh juice, milky coffee, and a morning pastry. The almond croissant is the sweetheart, and they do it right: It takes three days to make, with Normandy butter and freshly ground almonds (no artificial flavors allowed). During the pandemic, they introduced take-and-bake frozen croissants, a very tempting option for breakfasting in pajamas.

2066 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123

4. Kouign Amann at b. patisserie

2821 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Kouign Amann at b. patisserie
b. patisserie

Kouign amann swept the city a few years ago, when everyone seemed to discover the charming little pastry from Brittany, which is similar to a croissant dough, but crackles with layers of caramelized sugar. Thank Belinda Leong, award-winning pastry chef and queen of kouign. Flavors vary by season, but for a very SF twist, try the pandan and black sesame variations, only available during Lunar New Year.

2821 California St
San Francisco, CA 94115

5. Smoked Salmon Croissant at Maison Danel

1030 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

This Parisian-inspired patisserie and tea salon opened at the beginning of 2020, with an oversized chandelier hanging over a sparkling pastry case. Husband-and-husband partners Danel and David de Betelu previously owned Baker Street Bistro, and Danel is the chef, who takes pride in his slow-simmered beef stock, while David comes from brand marketing, and designed the pretty packaging. The croissants are blonde and crisp, with a honeycomb interior and clean taste of butter. The indecisive can pick up a box of assorted minis, filled with everything from chocolate twists to raisin snails. But the smoked salmon sandwich is the standalone favorite, spread with whipped mascarpone and layered with lox.

1030 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

6. Buckwheat Chocolate Croissant at Jane The Bakery

1881 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94115
Buckwheat chocolate croissant
Jane

Pac Heights residents know the deal at their beloved coffee shop and award-winning bakery, setting their alarms early, to snag a buckwheat chocolate croissant still warm from the oven. Whole grains adds a surprising depth of flavor, and yes, there’s Valrhona chocolate involved. Jane has several different locations: The bakery itself is on Geary near Japantown, but it’s also possible to order pastries online and pick them up from either of the coffee shops on Fillmore or Larkin.

1881 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94115

7. Butter Croissant at Arsicault Bakery

397 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
Butter croissant at Arsicault Bakery

A beloved neighborhood bakery way out in the Richmond, with a new in-post at Civic Center, Arsicault has been hopping every weekend since Bon Appétit named them best new bakery in the country in 2016, and during the pandemic, they even got around to setting up a website. Fans insist it’s the flakiest croissant in town. Go for the classic if you live for pure butter.

397 Arguello Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

8. The Triple-Chocolate Croissant at Les Gourmands Bakery

280 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Les Gourmands Bakery

Les Gourmands set up shop in SoMa a few years ago. The chef and owner is a fifth generation baker working with his family’s recipes, and his parents sometimes pitch in behind the counter. He partnered with a pop artist to create an edgy black-and-white space, and when it’s available, there’s a striking croissant is dedicated to the artist: a triple-chocolate creation slashed with white and dark chocolate.

280 5th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. Almond Croissant at La Boulangerie de San Francisco

500 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
La Boulangerie

La Boulangerie might be a chain, but it’s our chain. San Franciscans despaired when Starbucks acquired it, and rejoiced when it quietly returned to neighborhoods, one store at a time, under a slightly different name, and there are now five locations dotted around the neighborhoods. If you need a quick butter bomb on a coffee break, the overloaded almond croissant will not disappoint.

500 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

10. Almond Croissant at Thorough Bread and Pastry

248 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Thorough Bread and Pastry

Despite a prime location at Church and Market, this humble neighborhood bakery doesn’t get much buzz. But it has an impressive pedigree: Owner Michel Suas, originally from France and a partner in B. Patisserie, founded the San Francisco Baking Institute in the 90s. The offerings are simple, but the butter is French, the layers distinct, and you can taste the attention to detail.

248 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114

11. Morning Bun at Tartine Bakery

600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Tartine Morning Bun

Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Pruiett have been crafting pastry for more than 20 years, winning awards and expanding locations, although they went into the pandemic struggling with worker unionization efforts. But even with more than a dozen locations across SF, LA, and Seoul, there’s still a line out the door at the original bakery on Guerrero. A Tartine croissant is exceptionally crisp, almost shattering on bite. But locals maintain the morning bun is the brunch champion: A knot of dough, it’s bathed in butter and brown sugar, with a whiff of cinnamon and orange zest.

600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. Everything Croissant at Neighbor Bakehouse

2343 3rd St #100, San Francisco, CA 94107
Eric Wolfinger

If you flip to the savory side of the brunch menu, head into Dogpatch, and get salty at Neighbor Bakehouse. Inspired by Austrian and German-style baking, they add toastiness and texture with a crunch of seeds. They were into everything spice before it was everywhere, and their bagel-inspired croissant is filled with scallion cream cheese. Of course, if you have a sweet tooth, the twice-baked pistachio with blackberries is pretty irresistible.

2343 3rd St #100
San Francisco, CA 94107

13. Butter Croissant at Kahnfections

3321 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Kristen Loken

Kahnfections has been quietly putting out good pastry for a while, but finally opened a brick-and-mortar in the Mission a few years ago. Their sweet and simple butter croissant made it to the finals of a local competition. Old-fashioned and anything but fussy, it’s a freshly baked pleasure. And the quiche, biscuits, and egg sandwiches are also a butter-intensive experience.

3321 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

14. Orange Blossom Za’atar Croissant at Vive La Tarte

4026 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

The Belgian team at Vive La Tarte closed up the big bakery in SoMa doing the pandemic, but they’re still serving croissants to the neighborhood in Noe Valley. They first gained some notoriety for the tacro (that would be a croissant-taco mash-up). But a popular menu item right now is the orange blossom and za’atar, which is sweet, savory, and unexpected, with a floral bloom.

4026 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

15. Double Chocolate with Sunflower Seeds at The Midwife and the Baker

846 Independence Ave, Mountain View, CA 94043
Midwife and the Baker

You may not have heard of the Midwife and the Baker, but if you’ve ever snagged a croissant at Saint Frank, you’ve bitten into one of these beauties. Working out of a warehouse in Mountain View, which is now open for walkups, they’re freshly milling their own flour—no small feat and a serious commitment to local grains. The traditional butter is the crowd favorite, but the twice-baked chocolate and almond croissant with sunflower seeds also has a cult following.

846 Independence Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043

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