For the High Park Rogue Runners, the idea of running to croissants first came up during a marathon taper. Since the long runs were so much “shorter” than usual, teammates Giana Baldassarra and Danielle would end their route at local bakeries. And with carbs on the table, other Rogue Runners weren’t hard to recruit, so “Run 2 Croissants” soon became a team tradition. FLEETSTREET asked the crew to organize a running food crawl in search of the best croissants in Toronto. Read on for where to find their favourite flaky, buttery, fresh-out-of-the-oven pastries.
The Running Crew
Active in Toronto’s ever-growing running scene since 2015, the High Park Rogue Runners is an inclusive crew based out of High Park. There’s no cost to joining this fun, social group, which meets at the High Park gates on Bloor Street three times a week: Wednesdays and Fridays for workouts at 6:30 p.m., and Sundays for long runs at 8:30 a.m.
The Rogue Runners organized a 16k route in the city’s West End, starting in High Park North, meandering down Roncesvalles and ending by Trinity Bellwoods Park. Along the way, they hit pause on their Garmins at the following spots in search of the best croissants:
- Ma Maison, 4243 Dundas Street West, Toronto, mamaisongourmet.ca
- Patisserie 27, 401 Jane Street, Toronto, patisserie27.com
- Fantail, 333 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, fantail.biz
- Cherry Bomb Coffee, 79 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, cherrybombcoffee.ca
- The Tempered Room, 1374 Queen Street West, Toronto, thetemperedroom.com
- Nadège Patisserie, 780 Queen Street West, Toronto, nadege-patisserie.com
The best croissants in Toronto’s West End, according to Giana and the High Park Rogue Runners:
“These guys know croissants. They have the perfect balance of a flaky crunch on the outside, and a soft, buttery inside, with just the right amount of ‘chew.’ Being able to see (and smell) the croissants coming fresh out of the ovens is tantalizing. You can’t go wrong with a classic butter or pain au chocolat, but trust me when I say if they have the apple ones out, you should buy two! With savoury and decadent options, they have all palates covered. Just get there early—they sell out.”
“No one in the group had been to this spot before, so this was such a pleasant surprise. The bakery atmosphere was wonderful and had the best presentation out of the six. There were so many different pastry and dessert offerings that people broke away from croissants to try some of the other delights. Incredible and interesting selection! Both the butter croissant and a more elaborate raspberry and chocolate checked all the boxes. We all left wanting to come back and try something else!”
“Nadège may be known mostly for macarons and very intricate and delicate French desserts, but they also have a very impressive offering of croissants. Raspberry and pistachio, what a delight! It was almost too pretty to eat—almost. The mini-croissants were a nice option, too, especially at the end of the run when our stomachs couldn’t really take much more gluttony.”