France may be known for the best croissants in the world, but Brooklyn is home to bakeries boasting to-die-for croissants as well. To taste some of the many croissants of Brooklyn, we teamed up with food Instagram stars Jackie Gebel of @noleftovers and Dara Pollak of @skinnypignyc to embark on Extra Crispy’s first ever croissant crawl, which we’ve dubbed “Cro Crawl 2K16.” According to the internet, the five best croissants in Brooklyn come from Almondine Bakery, Bien Cuit, Mazzola Bakery, Meyers Bageri, and Caprices by Sophie. Equipped with a ravenous appetite and stretchy pants, we set out to investigate what made these croissants so special.
Voted Best For: Almond Croissants
Almondine Bakery, a bustling spot in DUMBO, feels like a French boulangerie. The cases are filled with pastries that look like they belong in the Louvre, and baguettes, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, stick up like matchsticks in deep baskets on the wall. The main attraction are the almond croissants. Thick almond paste lines the inside of this sweet croissant, and sliced almonds and a heaping of powdered sugar are sprinkled on top. There’s even a chocolate version––rich and sweet and nutty––that’s sure to leave you covered in crumbs.
Voted Best For: Ham & Cheese
Bien Cuit (meaning “well done” in French) is best known for its crispy bread, all made in house. Along with freshly baked breads, the intimate bakery boasts homemade sandwiches, tarts, and pastries, which of course includes croissants. The ham and cheese croissant is wrapped up––almost like a log of sugar cookies––but inside is melted Brie and strips of ham. It’s brilliantly crispy and flaky—a real savory treat.
Voted Best For: Chocolate & Whole Wheat Croissants
Mazzola Bakery sits on the corner of Henry and Union Streets in a tiny red brick corner shop that sees many visitors in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. The store supplies restaurants, delis, supermarkets, and butcher shops in all five boroughs with bread every day. Even though the bakery is famed for its lard bread with salami and provolone cheese baked right into the loaf, its chocolate croissants take the cake. Instead of classically sandwiching two strips of chocolate between soft, buttery pastry dough, Mazzola adds a dollop of chocolate spread for goodness in every bite. The whole wheat croissant was a delightful surprise as well.
Voted Best For: Flaky, Layered Croissants
Claus Meyer, one of the founders of Noma in Copenhagen, is responsible for this Brooklyn pop-up. Meyer brings pastries and breads to Williamsburg, with a Danish spin. The croissants are extremely flaky. Cutting into a plain one reveals its height and the many layers made from the intense lamination process. There are wonderful seasonal additions too––pumpkin and cinnamon fall-flavored croissants are available for purchase too.
Caprices by Sophie
Voted Best For: Soft, Pillowy Croissants
Caprices by Sophie is a small bakery tucked away in Williamsburg. A quaint back garden hides in the back, instantly transporting pastry-eaters away from city life. Although the shop is perhaps most well known for cream puffs, the croissants are soft, sweet, and often overlooked. These pillowy pastries instantly spring back up once touched, revealing a spongy, buttery center.