Pain Perdu, Toronto

If you want to taste real french pastries, visit Pain Perdu. When we walked into this bakery, we forgot where we were for a second. There was charming French music playing in the background, we were greeted by soft spoken Parisian staff, and the majority of their menu was written in French such as tarte a l'oignon and croque monsieur.

I came here for one thing, and that was for their croissants. Their croissants were named Best Croissant 3 times by the Toronto Star, so I had to check it out for myself.

Croissants made purely from butter are much harder to work with than croissants made from a combination of butter and shortening. Croissants made from pure butter are not only tastier, but they are much flakier and crispier. As a result, it is very hard to curl them like what you see at the grocery store. As a rule of thumb, good croissants should never be curled.

There's so much more to a good croissant, and if I had the time, I could write a dissertation on the topic. The difficulty of making a good one should not be ignored. A good croissant should be delicate, but not too delicate. Although made from butter, it should never feel too greasy. Lastly, it should never be chewy, but flakey on the inside.

I was explaining this to my mom and she said that it is ironic because in Chinese, croissants are literally translated as 'cow horns'. And because a cow horn is curved, Chinese always look for croissants that are curled.

Enough talking, here is my croissant paired with a cappuccino.

I'm probably the most ungraceful eater there is. CK was shaking his head at me the whole time because every time I took a bite, the croissant would shatter all over my plate and lap, and bits of the flakey pastry would stick to and cover my lips. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it, and gobbled it down within seconds. Unlike CK, I had no self control. When I was done eating my croissant, he had taken only two bites. Oh! Mon dieu!

CK ordered the almond croissant and a café au lait.

Pain perdu is more than just a boulangerie. They offer other sweet pastries, and lunch plates such as duck confit, and quiches. They, of course, also offer pain perdu or "lost bread", which is similar to but not to be mistaken as North American french toast.

736 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 416-656-7246

Pain Perdu on Urbanspoon


Nice! Your post makes me crave a good croissant. Incidentally, along the "cow horn" lines, the word croissant simply means "crescent" in French. This suggests that the intended shape is in fact curved, and the croissants I've enjoyed in Europe fit that description. Your description of the texture of a good croissant is spot on -- so few bakeries seem to understand that!

Those look delicious! But, similar to Mark, I have never come across a croissant in France that is not a crescent shape! (I'm from Germany, but visit France often.)

that coffee and croissant combo looks amazing!! feeling jealous all the way from london. i've yet to find a really good croissant joint. anyone with suggestions? coffee, however, the best i've had is Monmouth in Borough market.

i've heard that gourmet croissants should always be curled. it's too easy to make straight croissants. the gourmet foodie needs more.

The word of the day is "cronuts" which are more or less croissant dough with a donut hole either baked or deep fried with a sugar coating and flavored icing on top. Will you be offering them for sale? I sincerely hope so. Please reply. Thank you.