Named for its distinctive crescent shape, the croissant has long played a starring role at French bakeries and pâtisseries. Set apart by its layered, flaky texture, the perfect croissant is the result not only of skill in the art of pastry, but of patience. Because the dough needs time to ferment before being layered with fresh butter and baked to golden-brown perfection, some bakeries take the easy way out with pre-ordered frozen croissants. But we believe that croissants – and you ¬– deserve better. Behold our list of bakeries that roll, butter and bake their own croissants daily.
The Argentinean (Randburg)
These jumbo monsters take a whopping 72 hours to prepare from start to finish. Plain croissants sell at R15 each, while the cheese, almond and chocolate varieties go for R17 each. Sunrich cake flour, salted butter and Anchor yeast are the ingredients in these fabulous favourites.
Belle’s Patisserie (Sandton)
In addition to their shop at the Blubird shopping centre, Belle’s Patisserie also maintains a little kiosk inside Sandton City opposite the Edgars store. Their croissants are handmade daily with French butter (no pre-mixes or funny stuff) to produce good, light-as-air French croissants. Plain, almond or chocolate all sell at R22 each.
The Bread Basket (Sandton)
The Bread Basket’s croissants are not created on site, but are made at their factory and brought to their shops frozen, where a batch is defrosted, proofed and baked every few hours. Chocolate remains one of their most popular flavours, selling at R11 each. Other flavours (priced the same) include a French custard, cheese or almond marzipan croissant. Plain croissants sell for R10 each, and you can also buy special packets of 10 mini croissants.
Café de la Crème (Melville)
This institution continues to stand proud in an ever-changing restaurant scene. Their almond croissant, with marzipan inside and toasted flaked almonds outside, remains the most popular. The almond, cheese and chocolate croissants all sell at R10 each, while plain croissants sell for R9 each.
Liège Café (Sandown)
Fourth-generation French pastry chef Jean Francois has the art of croissant making in his DNA. The croissants at Café Liège contain Eureka Mills flour, fresh yeast and imported French butter. The choices (for now) are limited to a plain croissant (R28) and a pain au chocolat (R34).
Fournos (Dunkeld West Shopping Centre)
This Dunkeld bakery/coffee shop bakes some of the most talked-about croissants in Johannesburg, all made with Pastrex butter. Try the croissant with blueberry syrup inside and topped with white icing (R13.50); a hazelnut version with chocolate inside and a sprinkling of hazelnuts outside; and cinnamon-and-raisin croissants. All flavoured croissants sell at R10.50 each; the plain goes for R9.90.
Hobart Spar (Sandton)
These may be the most affordable croissants in Johannesburg. Their plain croissants sell at a very affordable R6.99 each, and the chocolate, almond and cheese variations at only R7.99. The croissants are all hand-made and are in high demand over weekends. The bakery also produces croissants with custard filling and a raisin and cinnamon option (both R7.99).
Brothers Lucky and Clifford make croissants with good old-fashioned off-the-shelf cake flour and 100% butter, skill, love and passion. The entire process of constructing these croissants is done by hand to produce all the variations – plain, almond, hazelnut, chocolate, marmalade, and cheese and ham. Plain croissants are R15, the rest are all R20 each.
Patisserie de Paris (Blairgowrie)
Paul Zwick is the man behind this French-inspired bakery that sells 150 to 200 croissants on Saturdays and 100 on Sundays. Having studied and worked in France, Paul is adamant about using only unsalted butter for baking. His cheese croissants are made with emmenthaler (R18); the chocolate with a mix of Belgian chocolate and Nutella with a drizzle of Barry Callebaut (R18); and the almond croissant encases a homemade frangipane filling and is topped of with a sprinkling of flaked almonds.
23 on Hazelwood (Hazelwood)
This brand new eatery in the Old East of Pretoria offers three options: their classic croissant (R15) is made with real butter; the chocolate is stuffed with dark chocolate (R17); their cheese version is made with aged cheddar (R17).
afro-boer (The Willows)
This café offers three types of homemade croissants, each one as flaky as the next. Their classic croissant (R15) is served with jam and cheese; the almond (R10) is made with homemade almond paste; and the chocolate (R10) is filled with couverture chocolate.
One of the Cs in their name stands for croissant, so you can count on fresh pastries handmade with real butter every morning (R17 for a plain croissant). They also make fabulous pane al cioccolato (chocolate bread) for R20.
Broodhuijs (Nieu Muckleneuk)
This small bakery offers croissants made with French flour and butter. Their classic butter and almond croissants (R15 each) are crisp and flaky while their pains au chocolat (also R15) are filled with rich 70% Belgian chocolate.
Ginger and Fig (Brooklyn)
At G&F they take the slow approach, making croissants by hand using real farm butter. The dough is left to prove overnight to develop flavour and is baked for a little longer to create a darker, deeper almost-caramel flavour (R17 each).
Along with their great pastries, Knead offers crisp and flaky croissants (R12.75) made in-house everyday with real butter.
Lucky Bread Company (Brookyln)
The winners of the 2013 Eat Out Produce Award in the baked goods category, Lucky Bread Company produces beautiful plain croissants (R15) hand-made from real butter and stone-ground flour every morning. They also have almond croissants (R20), lemon and cranberry swirl croissants (R20), and pain au chocolat (R20). Need pastries for an event? They bake mini versions of their croissants to order.
Ferrucci Classical Bakery (Granada Centre)
Ferruci have a reputation for their range of croissants, including bacon and cheese (R16); ham and cheese (R16); cheese (R12); chocolate (R13); and all butter (R10). Buy them to take home, or have a seat at an al fresco table and order toppings for open croissants for breakfast, ranging from tomato, mozzarella and basil pesto to mushroom, crispy bacon and brie (R40 to R64).
The Glenwood Bakery (Glenwood)
In the ‘burbs it’s survival of the quickest. The croissants at The Glenwood Bakery are plucked from the oven at 6am and locals arrive early to collect theirs. You can pick up regular (R16, or R5 for mini versions) or cheese croissants (R20), as well as pains au chocolat and pains au raisin (both R15). Alternatively, settle in at the communal dining table to enjoy one over a locally roasted coffee while browsing through bread recipe books.
Hollandse Bakkery (Durban city)
For decades, this quaint, family-run bakery has been producing textbook-perfect croissants (R5.50 to R9.50) displayed enticingly on large trays to lure shoppers inside. Find a table in the cosy café, which is adorned with clogs and gleaming brass pots, or simply stock up for home on flavours including cheese, cheese and bacon, chocolate, and almond. A nice addition is the wholewheat croissant, which manages to retain a light, flaky consistency.
Remo’s Originale (Durban city)
Remo’s Originale transforms homemade croissants into gourmet breakfasts – think toppings of Parma ham, Fontina cheese and basil pesto (R74), or smoked salmon and cream cheese (R60). Else you can pop past the open-plan bakery and take home a plain croissant (R12), pain au chocolat (R17), and even bread rolls made from croissant dough (R8). Remo’s is the only place in town to make cronuts (R30) in suitably rich and calorie-laden variations, but they sell out fast.
Vovo Telo (Umhlanga and Ballito)
It is mesmerising to sit at Vovo Telo and watch staff working on various pastries. The generous croissants are stacked in an old-fashioned display unit and include chocolate (R19), cinnamon (R19) and plain (R15). Pain au raisin (R20) and pain au chocolat (R22) also feature, and the cheese-and-ham slices made with croissant pastry (R26) are an indulgence. On the menu you’ll also find croissants filled with coppa ham, tomato concasse, bocconcini and rocket (R40), or gypsy ham and boerenkaas (R37).
Cassis (Newlands, Constantia, Gardens)
Baked lovingly by pastry chefs in the early hours of each morning, Cassis receives croissants fresh from their main bakery in Montague Gardens daily. Hand-crafted with delicate pastry and rich butter, their range includes classic French croissants (R13); pain au chocolat (R15); almond pain au chocolat and almond croissants (R16); and mature cheddar cheese croissants (R15).
This family-owned bakery is well-loved for their variety of homebaked pies and croissants. Take away a classic French butter croissant for R9 or treat yourself to something sweet with a dark chocolate, almond, creamy custard or banana and caramel filling for R10.90. The cronut – a croissant-donut hybrid – is also a massive hit and can be enjoyed with cinnamon sugar (R10.50) or cream custard, strawberry cream or hazelnut cream (R14.90). Alternatively, sneak a bite-sized cronut for R5.50.
Jason Bakery (Bree Street)
This bakery has Cape Town queuing around the block and their freshly baked croissants do not disappoint. Baked in-house every morning, their pastry selection includes a classic butter croissant (R12), almond (R18) and pain au chocolat (R20). The stars of the show are the famous bacon croissant (R18), and the doughssant (R35), a combination of croissant and doughnut, which is only sold on Saturdays. Keep an eye on baker Jason Lilley’s Twitter account, @CaptainBreadZA, for his latest inventions.
Knead (Sea Point, Gardens, Muizenberg, Newlands, Claremont)
A cosy, rustic setting coupled with the aroma of their warm, delicately flaky croissants makes Knead the perfect place for a morning pick-me-up. Slow-baked and laminated with high quality butter, croissants come in plain (R12.75), pain au chocolat (R16.95) and rich almond (R17.50).
Olympia Café and Deli (Kalk Bay)
In addition to delicious breakfasts and soul-warming coffee, Olympia Café and Deli is home to great home-baked croissants. Made with real butter and served fresh out the oven, the range includes classic butter croissants (R10.50) or rich chocolate or almond croissants (R12). Enjoy your pastry at home or seated in the sun outside.
Ou Meul Bakkery (Long Street)
Early birds enjoy a strong cup of coffee and croissants warm out the oven at this Long Street bakery. Ou Meul keep it simple with a limited selection of French butter croissants baked daily . Order pain au chocolat for R15, or almond croissant for R23.
Rosa’s Bakery (City Bowl)
The baker responsible for these croissants admits that one batch takes a whopping ten hours to prepare. Available in cocktail, medium or large sizes, the range includes the classic butter croissant as well as rich chocolate, marzipan, cheese or a savoury fillings of feta cheese and caramelised onions. Prices range from R6 to R14.40.
Sold warm and fresh every morning, traditional butter croissants go for R28 while those with a sweet tooth will fall for the rich Nutella croissants for R42. (Add nuts or fresh banana slices for R8 each). An array of savoury croissants is on offer for brunch: the Italiano (R44) is topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh tomato slices, and the Village (R58) is stuffed with scrambled eggs and crispy bacon.
Baked daily at the Bergvliet branch, these fresh, crispy pastries are best enjoyed with a rich Tribakery coffee roast. Savour a chocolate croissant for R18, or an almond croissant or cinnamon bun for R15 each.
The Bakery at Jordan (Stellenbosch)
Located on the spectacular Jordan Wine Estate, the bakery sells croissants on a made-to-order basis. Staff at the believe that every croissant they make is special and deserves individual attention – 12 hours per batch, to be exact. Pre-order a classic butter croissant for R18 each or a pain au chocolat – made with rich Valrhona chocolate – for R22 each.
De Oude Bank Bakkerij (Stellenbosch)
From the rustic interior to the homebuilt wood-fire oven, Fritz Schoon’s artisan bakery is testament to his passion for baking bread. His homemade slow-fermented dough is laminated with farm-fresh butter and set to bake in a traditional wood-fire oven. Butter croissants will cost you R15 while rich chocolate or almond croissants can be yours for R17 each.
Lust Bistro and Bakery (Franschhoek)
Jean Pierre Smith is recognised as a master croissant baker and his selection of artisan breads and pastries does not disappoint. His scotch batter is slow-fermented to give the dough a delicious yeasty, almost chardonnay-like taste and consistency before being laminated with high-grade butter and baked in a wood-fire oven. Arrive early – the bakery opens at 7.30 am and the classic butter croissants (R20) usually sell out within the hour. Classic butter croissants are available daily, but when the mood strikes, Jean Pierre has been known to bake white chocolate or marmalade and gruyère croissants. It may just be your lucky day!
While we have taken care to ensure the accuracy of our information, please note that prices and offerings may change without our knowledge.
Where do you buy your favourite freshly baked croissants? Let us know in the comments.