Until I started asking Yohann, our wonderful Head French Teacher, what his favourite bakeries are in Montreal, I never really knew the difference between a pâtisserie and a viennoiserie. I learned that a viennoisserie typically sells all things croissants including pain au chocolat (or “chocolatine” as they say in parts of France and here in Quebec) whereas a bakery mainly sells bread, small pastries and of course viennoiserie delicacies.
I also learned a little history about croissants and viennoiseries. Legend has it that back in the day, viennoiseries began in Austria, and apparently, Viennese bakers invented the croissant to celebrate the defeat of the Turkish army at the siege of Vienna in 1683. Viennoiseries only showed up in France with Marie-Antoinette once she married Louis XVI.
Having lived in Montreal for over a decade, Yohann who hails from Lyon, France, knows exactly where to go in the city when he’s craving a decent croissant. Here are his top five recommendations for the best viennoisseries in Montreal:
- Croissant Croissant. 2270 av. du Mont-Royal Est. Montréal (Qc) H2H 1K6. This little place is the only pure viennoiserie in Montreal offering up a delicious array of croissants including something called a croiffin. What’s a croiffin you ask? It’s a cross between a muffin and a croissant. The owner is also from Lyon so everything is certifiably French. https://goo.gl/GBrPw1
- Croissant Monkland. 5549 Monkland, Montréal, QC H4A 1C8. Located in Monkland Village, this place is a favourite among CLC teachers and staff. The service is friendly and the croissants are fresh with a capital F. Also, you must try their almond croissant. Heaven! https://goo.gl/FS0sSy
- Fous Desserts. 809 Avenue Laurier E, Montréal, QC H2J 1G2. Recognized by La Presse for making the best croissants in Montreal. The owner is from Lyon and uses local and organic ingredients. https://goo.gl/lZWL4q
- Les Co’Pains d’Abord. 1965, av du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2H 1J5. https://goo.gl/OnQoSA. This plateau gem is known for their buttery croissants and family friendly atmosphere.
- Arhoma. 1700 Rue Ontario E, Montréal, QC H2K 1T4. Famous for their pistachio croissants. You need to try one! http://arhoma.ca/accueil/
So the next time you’re thinking of treating yourself to a fluffy croissant, try one of these tried and true locations.
A la prochaine !