Kids love croissant. Pretty much any will do, even those soggy grocery store messes. So why seek out the best? Because the perfect croissant is transcendent, and one day they will appreciate that you taught them to discern the finer things in life. National Pastry Day (December 9, you know) is the perfect time to  teach your offspring what the flaky, buttery pastry ought to taste like. These are the best our city has to offer, and all are worth a trip across town. Bon Appétit!

lamane

photo credit: L’amande Bakery’s facebook page

L’Amande
This bakery tops our list for kids, because as we tasted our way across the city, it got top marks from some jaded little eaters, who proclaimed it “the best.” Might be the variety (when you have two chocolate choices—Nutella and plain chocolate—kids are very happy) or it might just be the perfect combination of soft in the inside, crunchy on the out, with buttery taste throughout.

Every single item on the menu is made fresh from scratch, in-house, every day from traditional French recipes. That means the croissant your little ones scarfed in 72 seconds took over 72 hours to make. That doesn’t matter. What matters is the yum factor, and it’s high. But you’ll like that it ups the locally crafted ante; they like to say that everything is crafted fresh, from flour to plate, just like the bakeries in France. Speaking of flour, don’t forget to get some baguettes to go. They’re spectacular as well.  As is the pistachio croissant, which you should save for yourself.

While you’re here…
You’re right around the corner from three top kids attractions in Beverly Hills, so it would be a shame to dine and dash. First stop is the Paley Center for Media. Weekends all holiday season you can meet Santa and the Mrs. and catch some classic holiday TV fare. You can also walk to the Beverly Hills library, which is one of our top picks for libraries for kids in the whole city.

9530 S Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills (There’s a second location in Torrance, too.)
Phone: 310-734-8922
Online: lamandebakery.com


maisong

photo credit: Maison Giraud’s facebook page

Maison Giraud
The plain croissant here are divine, and deservedly have a cult following. Made by French chef Alain Giraud, they are a Goldilocks dream—not too big, not too small, not too crunchy, not too soft. They are just right. Must be why these croissants land on pretty much every list of best in the city.

They also use the amazing croissant dough for the pain au chocolat for that kids adore; or they would, if you’d let them get a bite. You see, the bittersweet chocolate balances out your coffee so well, it’s rather hard to share. Order them a Blueberry Danish instead. They’re so delightful that the kids will almost forget your stole their chocolate. Almost.

While you’re here…
Our favorite way to indulge in these pastries is by getting here early (has to be early, because these popular pastries sell out fast) on a Sunday morning, getting a big bag to-go, and then popping through the Palisades Farmers Market for berries and fresh squeezed juices. Then bring your impromptu picnic brunch to the nearby Temescal Canyon, where you can dine outdoors and hike off all that butter.

1032 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades
Phone: 310-459-7561
Online: www.maison-giraud.com


proof1

photo credit: Proof Bakery’s facebook page

Proof
The “proof” is in the tasting, and the croissant here are spot on in taste. Don’t try and share them, these aren’t the massive croissants from the grocery bakery. They’re more petite, and have an extra crunch. Which is a perfect contrast to the delicate center. They’re unassuming and delicious and you should definitely get one in every flavor. Since they’re not-too-big. They come in plain, chocolate, almond and ham & Gruyere. Nuts, meat, cheese, sweets—that’s a very balanced meal.  You’ll appreciate that nothing in the shop is overly sweet, every item striking the perfect balance. And even your frosted donut loving sugar fiend will be too happy with their treats to notice the sugar restraint.

While you’re here…
You’re right by the blossoming LA River scene. You won’t believe it, but right by Atwater Village and next to the 5 freeway, you can walk right down to the greening of the LA River to see ducks, geese, herons and other birds who have made this spot home. Bring some leftover bread from home (you can’t waste your Proof purchases!) and feed the local fowl.

3156 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village
Phone: 323-664-8633
Online: proofbakeryla.com


europane

photo credit: Euro Pane’s facebook page

Euro Pane
We are starting to sound repetitive, right? Buttery. Flaky. A crunch as you bite, then it melts on the tongue. Soft, almost spongy in the middle. You look down and your lap is covered in crumbs. You don’t care. That’s the essence of a great croissant. That’s what Euro Pane makes. Come early and get them fresh first thing in the morning. (And if you come for lunch, they’re justifiably famous for their egg salad Sandwiches. Follow that up with a macaron, and it’s a lunch fit for kings. Or les roi.)

While you’re here…
You can walk to a great little hidden museum—the Pacific Asia Museum. The tucked away courtyard with a koi pond delights kids and is a peaceful respite for grownups, while the upstairs exhibit and play space that takes you an a journey along the Silk Road is delightful.

345 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Phone: 626-844-8855
Online: facebook.com/pages/Euro-Pane-Bakery-Cafe

 

sweetbutter

photo credit: Sweet Butter Kitchen’s facebook page

Sweet Butter Kitchen
With a bakery called “butter,” their croissant have to be good. And they are better than good, they’re stellar. Buttery and flaky, they invite you to unwind and munch. There’s nothing precious or pretentious about these pastries, it’s more like if you had an aunt who baked perfect pastries at home fresh each morning. French or not, somehow, these remind you of childhood and home. Yum.

And if you happen to get here on a morning when the Dulce de Leche Sea Salt Croissants are still warm, well, you’re going to have a very good day. Starting with that first bite.

While you’re here…
Fill up on croissant and then head up the street about one mile. Now you’re at the COOP, one of the best indoor playgrounds in the city. Sip that coffee you got to-go while the kids work off the buttery breakfast and you relax and peruse your favorite magazine.

13824 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
Phone: 818-788-2832
Online: sweetbutterkitchen.com

-Meghan Rose

Where are your favorite croissant (or other pastry) shops in LA? Let us know in the comment section!