Chowhounds Pick Northern California’s Best Croissants

It all began with a trans-fat-loathing Chowhound asking how to tell if the croissant you just bought was made with butter or some less innocent fat. All-butter croissants have a distinctive flavor and richness, Chi_Guy explains, while pastries made with shortening can seem lighter, with less flavor. If eating just one croissant leaves you feeling satisfied, it was probably the real deal.

Meanwhile, jaiko ranks the top three all-butter croissants within an easy drive of San Francisco. Nothing less than "incomparable" croissants are in Redwood City, of all places, at the Sofitel Hotel. They're followed by the ones at Parker-Lusseau Pastries in Monterey on the Central Coast (three locations), and in Napa Valley at Yountville's Bouchon Bakery.

Bay 223, Sofitel Hotel [Peninsula]
223 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City

Parker-Lusseau Pastries [Monterey County]
731 Munras Avenue, Monterey

Parker-Lusseau Pastries [Monterey County]
539 Hartnell Street, Monterey

Parker-Lusseau Pastries [Monterey County]
40 Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey

Bouchon Bakery [Napa Valley]
6528 Washington Street, Yountville

Discuss: How can you tell if a croissant uses real butter?

Photo by Flickr member under Creative Commons