Finding the best croissants around has become one of our quests since the move to Melbourne. We were well-acquainted with Lune (Lune Lab takes croissant appreciation to another level), but wanted to check out the other options this foodie city offers. We had a good thing with our croissant supplier in Brisbane, Reno Fine Patisserie, but it’s quite a long way away now..
This is our summarised list so far. Some will have links to a longer writeup when we get around to it. There’s also a map at the bottom of the page for those who want the information sorted differently. Feel free to send us through more recommendations either in the comments, or via email (contacts in the header above).
The factors we consider are:
Delectability – are the croissants airy, flaky, buttery, transcendental morsels of deliciousness, or are they all promise and no punch?
Cost – we get that good butter is expensive, and croissants are labour-intensive, but if prohibitively pricey, they become only worth having as a rare treat.
Accessibility – there comes a point where how easy it is to actually get said croissants has to be factored in. Having to wait an hour in line or get up at the crack of dawn may not be frequently feasible.
Run by the same team behind Little Rogue, this bakery is just across the laneway. The flavours here have a Japanese lean (we’re still trying to get there in time to try the Almond and yuzu croissant). Though airy and light, their pastries are just buttery enough to hit the mark for us.
Address: 273 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne City
The bold blue awning is the giveaway of the location of this bakery, otherwise tucked away off Malvern Road. The pastries are much more bronzed than those from other croissanteries, and we bought them with some trepidation. Pleasingly, they avoided the flaw of burnt bitterness, and were instead gloriously crisp, with deftly buttery layers. They also have sourdoughs that look like they have been in the centre of the sun, but no doubt they have been daringly taken to the edge in just the same way as the pastries.
Address: 42 Errol Street, Prahran
By Garon supplies a number of stockists, but is also available from a dedicated location in Brunswick – Curve Cafe (though it may be a little confusing as it shares the space with a burger shop). The plain croissants have impressively tight layers and loft, and are richly buttery inside. Their twice baked croissants will sate any sweet tooth. They also have filled croissants (filled when you order), with flavours like matcha, chocolate, and strawberry. They are a little higher in price than some of the others, but worth it.
Address: Curve Cafe, 46 Lygon St, Brunswick East. Check online for other stockists.
Calle is a relatively new entrant to the scene (opened in June 2022), but has already seen its croissant wheels flying off the shelf (or counter) so fast that they had to limit them to one per person to keep them from selling out too quickly. Their other offerings are good too, layered and buttery and crisp, with good filling flavours. North Melbournites are certainly spoiled for choice.
Address: 649 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
The west side has comparatively fewer croissant options than the east, but this is a good one. The locals certainly know it, and if you’re not sure where it is, look for the line (it moves quite quickly though). The pastries are bronzed and crisp, and you can get flavours like Nutella-filled or tiramisu croissants. They also have a variety of delicious cake options to further feed your sweet tooth. As an additional plus point, they are reasonably priced in comparison to other places.
Address: 81A Hudsons Rd, Spotswood
This patisserie has less fanfare than many of the others, but we found a solid standard to their baked goods. The first time we visited, they were already sold out of most of their wares, but we were impressed by their plain croissants. They had a loft comparable to Lune, but at a pocket-friendlier price. We made it in time to sample other items the next time, and can verify their deliciousness as well. Their pistachio tarts and pecan tarts are also good.
Address: 175 Carlisle St, Balaclava
If you have an eye on social media, you would have seen the arched curve and tight layers of their crescent croissant. It is a little further out of town than many of the other bakeries on this list, and took us a dedicated trip to visit. They have a much larger range of pastries compared to others – the temptations run end to end on a very long counter. Some items sell out very quickly though, so you may have fewer options than you hope if you don’t get there early. The pastries are definitely photogenic. They are less buttery than other places, but they have well balanced flavours that deliver (the yuzu meringue and mixed berry and custard filled croissants we had were good). Be prepared to wait in line.
Address: 1/19 Scoresby Rd, Bayswater
Tucked away on a quiet street in Brunswick, this was a chance find. It is properly set up for baked goods, with a glass-fronted section through which you can watch the pastries being made. Their relatively small selection of viennoiseries includes the classics of an almond croissant and a pain au chocolate (which they call a chocolatine). The pastries were golden brown and glossy, crisp outside, and had a soft pull inside. The black sesame croissant was nicely done, with good flavour that wasn’t too sweet. The jalapeno, cheddar, and caramelised onion croissant packs a little heat, tempered with sweetness.
Address: 38 Breese St, Brunswick
This tiny viennoiserie has a huge following. Their croissants are more bronzed than most others, and they have interesting flavour combinations (though the taste payout is variable). Be prepared to wait a long time in line though.
Address: 585 Canning St, Carlton North
We bought a number of items from this bakery, as we couldn’t decide between the range of glistening goods in the glass counter. The chocolate croissant was airy, light, and crisp, with extra crunch from the chocolate stripes on the outside, though it was a bit less buttery than some other places. The almond croissant was not excessively sweet, and had a cookie-like frangipane on top. The morning bun looked like a cruffin, but was a softer, stretchier bread inside.
Address: 571A High St, Northcote
There isn’t much fanfare to this little local secret of a bakery tucked away in the central shopping area of Moonee Ponds. They also don’t have the most extensive range of viennoiseries – they have other baked goods like tarts and doughnuts too. But they are good pastries. Crisp, flaky, and lofty, and that Chocolate Hazelnut croissant will fix anyone’s sugar cravings.
Address: 28A Shuter St, Moonee Ponds
Ovens Street Bakery:
In a backstreet of Brunswick, the additional perk to this place is that you can order ahead to pick up at the store, so you don’t have to wait an hour in line. The croissants are crisp, airy, and just rich enough. The almond croissants have a generous frangipane and flaked almond layer on top, and a just sweet enough filling. The pain au chocolats have a good height, and a crisp, flaky exterior. You haven’t had kougin amans until you’ve had theirs..
Address: 19 Ovens Street, Brunswick
Penny For Pound:
They have a little store in Richmond, as well as a larger one with bakery on premises at Moorabin. We’ve visited both, and the offerings are consistent across the sites. They had quite the range of glossy pastries when we stopped in, with a number of both savoury and sweet croissant options. We couldn’t help ordering a range of treats. Standouts were the Chocolate hazelnut croissant, with its extra crisp chocolate stripes, and the almond croissant, with its not too sweet filling, and crisp outer layers. Note, however, that they have a weekend service charge of 10% – and that includes takeaways. Realistically, they should have a different price on the displays.
Address: 410 Bridge Road, Richmond and 7 Cochranes Road, Moorabbin
This small store is located in Preston Market’s Centreway, near other food stalls. The line snakes past a florist, and you may not initially be able to tell what you are queueing for, but you will get there. Because of the setup, you can’t actually see the options until it is your turn, which adds to the wait. Still, it was one of the better priced options we found, and the croissants were crisp and buttery.
Address: Shop N25, Preston Market, 30A The Centreway, Preston
(have to find our photos..)
South Melbourne Bakery:
This bakery, in a less hectic section of Clarendon Street, had quite a range of treats on offer. We settled on a chocolate croissant, and an almond croissant. The chocolate croissant was really a pain au chocolat. It had some heft to it. It had good loft and air pockets, and was buttery, with a good stretch and chew to the pastry. There was also a mildly tart glaze on the outside, a different twist from other similar pastries. The almond croissant had a good variety of textures in its components, from crisp to soft. It was not too sweet, and also hid a strip of chocolate.
Address: 356 Clarendon St, South Melbourne
Sucre du Jour:
We were surprised to not encounter a line here. This patisserie serves up some fine entremets as well as the viennoiseries. They also offer some interesting filled croissant flavours, like pandan or pork floss. We had a couple of their filled danishes (vanilla and raspberry, and matcha and strawberry), and found them to be a good combination of crisp pastry and creamy fillings with flavours as advertised.
Address: Shop 10, 436 Burke Road, Camberwell
We realise that Woodfrog Bakery isn’t just one store but many now. Though we have avoided chains, we were tempted in by the bronzed sourdough loaves in the window. We ended up being even more taken by their pain au chocolats and chocolate croissants. These were beautifully flaky and airy, and had just the right amount of extra components (chocolate).
Address: A number of stores, we went to the South Melbourne one – 301 Coventry St, South Melbourne
Worth A Test:
All Are Welcome:
We arrived relatively late in the day to this bakery, so ended up with just a plain croissant and a Blood orange, chinotto, and dark chocolate danish. The plain croissant had airiness and was crisp on the outside, but we would have liked it to be more buttery. The danish had interesting components, but once we took the blood orange slice off (you couldn’t really bite through it easily), it was really just chocolate flavoured, rather than more complex.
Address: 190 High St, Northcote
They have quite the range of pastries and other treats (more than many other bakeries), and the rows of goodies spanning the counter would tempt any sweet tooth. The variety of options when we were there included a Mango and coconut flower croissant, a baklava croissant, a pistachio croissant, and crostada croissant. They were quite crisp and light, but were more bready than the buttery croissant texture we prefer.
Address: 286D Tooronga Rd, Glen Iris
This new spot on the north side (as of September 2022) is tucked away in an industrial area, but worth checking out. It has a Japanese leaning, with offerings including shokupan and matchas and hojichas. Filled croissants are the thing here, and we can vouch for the strength of flavours in them. The pastry wasn’t as good on a return visit though. They may still be working the kitchen out. If you like a matcha croissant, you should certainly try theirs out.
Address: 22A Fraser St, Airport West
There was quite a queue for this dancefloor-themed bakery. The croissants were ok..but the pies were very good.
Address: 558 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Gordon Street Bakery:
This is one of the few croissant places on the West side, and you are likely to find a line on the mornings it is open (Thursday to Sunday). It turns over quite quickly though, so it’s not too long a wait. They have an even more indulgent than typical chocolate and almond croissant. We found the croissants a bit oily side though, and both the almond, and chocolate and almond croissants a little too sweet for our liking.
Address: 142 Gordon St, Footscray
Jour Cafe and Store:
This little cafe, tucked away down a street of Collingwood a short walk away from the main drag, is a cosy slice of France. We got there late on a weekend afternoon, so the options were limited. We bought a plain croissant, and were talked into getting a cinnamon roll as well. We found the cinnamon roll just alright (we’re not really fans of them anyway), but the plain croissant was one of the airiest, but buttery rich ones we have had around. They don’t seem to do particularly fancy pastry options typically, but they’re worth visiting for a plain croissant.
Address: 29 Keele St, Collingwood VIC 3066
We bought a pain au chocolat from this South Yarra bakery, as we happened to be in the area. It was quite good, with crisp, savoury pastry and a good chocolate strip. At $7.15 though, it was the most expensive one we had come across (prices aren’t listed, you only find out when you pay). The location likely factors into that cost, but given the other options around, we didn’t think it was worth testing out the rest of their range.
Address: 134 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
A little shop just off North Essendon Village, with promisingly lofty, shiny croissants in the window. We tried the plain croissant, pain au chocolat, almond croissant, and a fruit danish (pear).
The croissants were indeed light and well-aerated, but weren’t quite buttery enough for our taste.
Address: 19 Keilor Rd, Essendon
Sadly, this still remains disappointing. We decided to give the stall at the South Melbourne Market another try, and got a Pandan Croissant and an Earl Grey Croissant. Both lacked the promised flavours, as well as loft and crispness.
Address: 322 Coventry St, South Melbourne
Baker D Chirico:
Many items were already sold out by the time we got there, but we managed to get a couple of pain au chocolats and almond croissants. Disappointingly, the pain au chocolats were more bready than buttery, and were soft rather than crisp. They were very much like the pain au chocolats you get in a multi-pack at the supermarket. The almond croissants had a crunchy topping, but the croissant itself again lacked butteriness.
Address: 178 Faraday St, Carlton
They rated well, so we had high hopes when we visited. Our hopes were immediately dashed by the flat pastries we saw in the display case. We didn’t want to leave empty handed after going all the way there though, so bought a pain au chocolat and a couple of caneles. The pain au chocolat was dense, oily, and had no flaky crispness. There was no loft to the layers. It tasted like the supermarket packet ones. The caneles were somewhat better, but not quite as moist and springy on the inside as other very good ones we have had. The viennoiseries are also expensive compared to some other places ($6.50 for the small pain au chocolat), and then there was an additional 15% surcharge for the weekend (including takeaway).
Address: 40 Crockford St, Port Melbourne
We stumbled upon the stall while wandering through Preston Market. The striped Raspberry croissant in particular caught our eye, as it reminded us of a very good one we had had in Croatia. The goods we bought, however, turned out to be roundly disappointing. The Raspberry croissant, Hazelnut brownie delice, and Raspberry pistachio delice all tasted too artificially sweet. The pastry was chalky rather than buttery.
Address: Preston Market, 18A Cramer St, Preston
Let us know if there are other places we should check out!