Sometimes the simple things in life are what bring us the most joy. A croissant with espresso in the morning is one of life’s simple pleasures that should be indulged as often as possible. Denver’s bakery scene is incredibly diverse. From Venezuelan panadería to German Bäckerei there is no need to want for baked goods from around the world. But for many the measure of a good baker is the humble croissant.
For those in search of the flakiest, butteriest, richest of baked goods, here is a list of our five favorite croissants in Denver and where to find them.
Location: 4901 S Newport St, Denver
Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Brunch Sun: 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Lowdown: This classically French bistro and bakery opened at Belleview Station in 2019. Run by two Senegalese French sisters Aminata and Rougui, Le French will transport you to the streets of Paris. Everything from the food, to the decor, to the music that greets you as you walk in the door is dripping with their French influence and style. Diners relax in wicker chairs lining the street as they bite into butter croissants ($4.25) that flake around the edges, or classic almond croissants ($4.40) that are soft and sweet in the middle. The sisters take pride in baking everything from scratch daily with local ingredients. If you are missing the boulangeries from your last trip to France, there is no better place to stop for a cup of local espresso and a croissant. And if you find yourself there later in the day, the place is converted into an African-influenced French bistro by night.
Black Box Bakery
Location: Black Box is a wholesale bakery. You can find a list of locations that carry their goods here.
Hours: Vary by location
The Lowdown: Black Box Bakery is a bakery devoted entirely to two things — laminated doughs and outer space. This out-of-this-world concept opened in 2019 by Arielle Israel and Megan Read and the two hope to have a storefront opening in Denver soon. The attention to detail with their high-altitude recipes is unparalleled, and their concepts entirely unique. Always willing to experiment, one can find croissant varieties like the Mother Planet ($5), a butter croissant dipped in raspberry glaze and topped with raspberry dust. Baked good enthusiasts are lucky to find a butter croissant ($4) to enjoy with their coffee at Hudson Hill before they are gone for the day.
Moon Raccoon Baking Co.
Location: Lakewood Commissary, 805 Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood
Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (pick-up and delivery only)
The Lowdown: Opened as a delivery-only bakery during the early days of the pandemic, Moon Raccoon Baking Co. started popping up at markets and bazaars around town before finally opening a way to pick up their baked goods directly from the Lakewood Commissary. Owners Kate and Zoe are no strangers to the Denver food scene, having worked at Watercourse and Uchi respectively before launching their own shop. When asked what makes the perfect croissant, Zoe responded, “It’s gotta be buttery, a nice shattering when you bite in, but a soft, almost chewy texture on the inside.” And this is a perfect description of their classic croissants ($4.50). Flaky enough to leave crumbs on your shirt and soft enough to soak up a bit of your morning coffee. Moon Raccoon is another on this list that emphasizes local ingredients and is known to collaborate with other local businesses. Their mocha babka ($4) features Moon Raccoon dough, The Boozy Botanist bitters and chocolate syrup from Fox U-bet.
Shamane’s Bakery and Café
Location: 2825 Wilderness Pl #800, Boulder
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7:30am – 3 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Lowdown: Shamane’s is the veteran on this list. Opened in Boulder over 15 years ago, this little café tucked away on Wilderness Place cranks out some seriously good food. “The quality of butter is key. You want the croissant to be decadent in flavor, but light on the tongue,” Shamane said. They use Plugra butter alongside an array of ingredients from local farms to bring out the richest flavors from the simple croissant. Lines can be seen out the door at breakfast and lunch with diners leaving with boxes full of plain croissants ($5), Mexican wedding cookies ($1.75) and chocolate molten cakes ($3). People travel from miles around after seeing Shamane’s on Thrillist’s 25 Best Pie Shops in America and Eat This, Not That!’s Best Croissant in Every State, but for many, it’s still a humble neighborhood spot on the east side of town.
Location: Opening soon at 6985 W 38th Ave, Wheatridge. Delivery available.
The Lowdown: GetRight’s are the new kids on the block, but don’t let that keep you from trying one of their delectable classic croissants ($10.50/pair) as soon as possible. Opened full time in June 2020, this cottage bakery/plant nursery combines the passions of owner Matt into a single concept — that baked goods and live plants inspire one to slow down and enjoy the moment. While they are currently delivery-only (you’ll see them at the occasional market as well, check here for details) they are opening a location in Wheatridge in late spring of this year. The croissants are unbelievable. The same patience it takes to nurture a plant are clearly applied here to the painstaking task of making a great croissant. It’s worth waiting for the delivery, and while you are at it take the time to sign up for a bread subscription ($37-$43/monthly) and keep your home stocked with the good stuff.