In the nearly three years since I wrote my first round-up of croissants to try in Houston, the number of businesses selling this iconic French pastry in H-Town have greatly increased. And while the croissant in its purest manifestation—infinite layers of buttery dough gently twisted into crescent form—remains this writer’s favorite, here are some establishments offering variations on the classic pastry worth nibbling.
At EggHaus, croissants are not an afterthought, i.e., merely the carbohydrate scaffolding for their delicious breakfast sandwiches. I first became acquainted with the breakfast spot's viennoiserie varietals when I tried its colorful, cream-infused Pride croissant. Most recently I've become obsessed with its matcha croissant. It’s dunked in a green tea glaze, whose mild caffeine content and soupcon of earthy sweetness prove very addictive.
Common Bond made our previous list for its magnificent plain croissant; however, those who dare deviate from the “regular” and try the pistachio type of this pastry will be richly rewarded. Gorgeous emerald green marbling on the croissant’s flaky surface belies an inside stuffed with fragrant pistachio cream. Wonder how Common Bond manages to create something so delicate yet with so much interior heft? Check out this video.
Oh, how many stanzas would I need to compose a fitting paean to Cafe Poetes’s par excellence pastries? (The answer: irrelevant because my mouth would be too full to be understand what I was crowing about anyway.) The chocolate croissant distinguishes itself for its thick dark cocoa filling, which boasts a bittersweet taste that perfectly complements the surrounding salty starch.
Almond croissants abound around town, and many of them lackluster indeed. Not so at relative newcomer Mademoiselle Louise, where the bakery team has elevated the legume version of the croissant via the use of unadulterated flavoring that gives rise to more natural nutty notes and a garnish of simple, sliced, blanched almonds.
Although We’re Dough may not yet have perfected its menu, one item that testifies to its powerhouse potential is its za’atar croissant. The breakfast goodie (a steal at just $2.75) is simultaneously supple and crispy in consistency, and intensely mouth-tickling thanks to a heavy dusting of oregano, sumac, and thyme seasoning. It’s a welcome spicy switch from more conventional sugary twists on the croissant, and its eye-opening flavor is (almost) as effective at rousing you to start the day as a robust latte.