Monday is National Croissant Day and in honor of the calorie-laden holiday, Yelp put together a list of the top 30 spots across the U.S. and Canada to grab your own buttery pastry.
It’s somewhat of a surprise that the top five recommendations are all in California—but much less of a surprise that San Francisco’s own Arsicault Bakery clocked in at number five.
The Inner Richmond bakery has been all the rage since it was dubbed “the best new bakery” by Bon Appetit in 2016, leading to outlandish lines and prompting the outlet to open a second location Downtown.
The Arsicault croissant is delicious, no doubt—but there’s a San Francisco croissant that’s even better.
While I was out on assignment on a rainy day, I had the happenstance—and very fortunate—experience of ducking into Maison Nico in search of a hot cup of coffee and a table to type up my story.
Little did I realize that the storefront was a bakery, called Maison Nico, owned by none other than the Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Delaroque of Nico Restaurant fame.
The bakery’s front window is a veritable treasure chest of flaky, multilayered confections, with delicacies like pâté en croûte, brioche feuilletée and—of course—croissants.
They come in unusual flavors like chestnut, the flavor I happened to try on the day I took cover from the pouring rain. The gorgeous lines of the buttery delight were so beautiful—so photogenic—I almost didn’t want to eat the treat.
But that didn’t last long, and soon I was met with the most memorable flavor I’ve had in some time, the fluffy layers of nutty butter conjuring summers I spent with my Hungarian family eating chestnut puree out of tiny glass dishes.
The only way I could possibly improve on the experience would be to try one of the French bakery’s chartreuse cappuccinos to pair with the airy, buttery delight—and that’s exactly my plan for next time.
Julie Zigoris can be reached at email@example.com