Where is the World’s Best Pain au Chocolat?

If you can suggest where to find the world's best chocolate-infused croissant, let us know!

Dec 3, 2009

Where is the world’s best pain au chocolat? Where is that incredible chocolate-infused croissant in its most magnificent and irresistible form?

For Alec Lobrano, one of our Paris-based correspondents, the world’s greatest pain au chocolat is at Rollet Pradier in the 7th arrondissement of the French capital (6 Rue de Bourgogne, 33 1/45 51 78 36). For regular contributor John McLaughlin, it’s at Lenoir Pâtisserie in the picturesque village of Valbonne (14 Boulevard Carnot, 33 1/04 93 12 07 52), not far from Nice. For Susan Weissman, the executive editor of Four Seasons Magazine, whose Swiss heritage demands exacting standards in all things chocolate-related, it’s at Patisserie Kouign Amann (322, Mont-Royal Est, 514/845-8813) in Montreal—where you must ask for a chocolatine.

Where do you think the world’s greatest pain au chocolat is? And most importantly, are you going to tell us?

The World’s Best Pain au Chocolat—Pursued!

We’d like you to realize what a sacrifice these people may be making in sharing this information. They’re taking the real chance that, as happened to Peter Mayle’s village more or less immediately after the publication of A Year in Provence, they’ll head to their favourite source of pain au chocolat only to discover their beloved, necessary morning pastry sold out. SOLD OUT! Instead of finding the steaming, delicately flaking pain au chocolat (pronounced “pan oh show-ko-lah”) so necessary to the start of the good day versus the poor one, they might find themselves in an expectant and possibly impatient queue vying for service.

That’s why we’re asking you to share the same, in the spirit of mutual generosity that impels the purpose of this web site.

The World’s Best Pain au Chocolat—Discovered!

Please tell us where you think the world’s greatest pain au chocolat is using the space provided below. If you have time to, do tell us why and what you like to have with those almost indescribably delicious pastries, what firmness you like the chocolate (whether firmer or more molten), what sweetness you like the chocolate (whether more bitter or more sweet), how crisp you like the pastry (more flaking or less), etc.

Yes, this is far from the most pressing issue the world faces. But if life didn’t have its pleasures, we think, we would be less willing and less able to face its pains.


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53 Comments about Where is the World’s Best Pain au Chocolat?

  1. Pingback: 50 Most Popular Articles - Luxury Travel & News - Four Seasons Magazine

  2. Sarah says:

    The best ever is at a little bakery called Les Refuge de Gourmet on the road to St. Paul de Vence from the A8. There’s a line out the door in the mornings well worth the wait for the warm Pain au Chocolats fresh out of the oven. Flaky and crunchy on the ends and melt in your mouth chocolate inside. I dream of them regularly!!!!

  3. Polly says:

    Having sample many, I would recommend the delicious Pain au chocolate at bakeries called Wolfisberg in Geneva, Switzerland. Glorious praline like chocolate filling, with light, but delicious pastry/bread. Whilst you visit, buy some apricot and pistache bread, heavenly too.

  4. axelskater says:

    On board the Queen Mary 2! The Princess Grill & Queen’s Grill serve them every morning.

  5. Britta says:

    Singer Christine Lavin has an obsession with pain au chocolat. She’s got a wonderful song about it, as well as a fool-proof recipe on her fun website. http://www.christinelavin.com/

  6. Bradley says:

    To second Andrea Jones- that’s not the first time I’ve heard that from people that have been to Andreoli. Their chef Giovanni Scorzo was the Italian Prime Minister’s favorite pastry chef – and had them flown in from Calabria to Milan every day. His chocolate croissant is better than sex and turns you into a snob that is never satisfied with any other again. Flaky, glistening, soft, and the perfect chocolate which is dark but never bitter (he’s a master chocolatier too) makes his second to none.

  7. Dr. Robert Elliott says:

    The best pain au chocolat can be found at Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates in Vancouver British Columbia. The quality of the chocolate and pastry is a gastronomic marriage that rivals that of D’yquem and fois gras from Marc Meneau. The light flakey crust blows away in the wind like dragonfly wings when eating Thomas Haas pain au chocolat. He makes the best. Second place goes to Hediard which is in the George V Paris.
    Robert Elliott
    Vancouver

  8. Prosy Abarquez-Dela Cruz says:

    The best chocolate croissant, by far, for me is at La Maison du Pain at 5373 West Pico Blvd. A good indicator of why is French-Americans who go on vacation in Paris – their first stop is La Maison when they get back to LA. and also, French consulate staff likes to eat here, including folks from Food Network. That says a lot about mature and highly sensitive palates.

  9. Remy L. says:

    There are some truly sad mentions here.
    Nowhere in LA, Arizona or any Au Bon Pain has the best in the world. If you have not had better, fine, but then just leave your ignorance off the list.
    Worse than the lack of knowledge is the arrogance to show it off.

  10. Emily Reyes says:

    Best Pain au chocolat = La Maison du Pain in Los Angeles, CA

    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

  11. Bettina Camoroda says:

    The BEST Pain au Chocolat is at a little French bakery in Los Angeles called La Maisin du Pain…YUMMMM!!!! They are exceptional!

  12. Adam Efimoff says:

    I need some suggestions on dining and sight seeing

    Food Tour Caprice
    Shopping Tour Lung King Heen
    Louvre Tallivant
    Ile de la City Musée National du Moyen Age/Thermes de Cluny (Musée de Cluny) Benoit
    Versailes
    Conciergerie &Champs; Elysees L’Ambroisie The Ritz Bar
    Orsay Senderens
    Cimetière du Père-Lachaise Sainte-Chapelle Laurent
    Musee Picasso Gaya Rive Gauche
    Musee de Quai Blany
    Pomidiou Center Hiramatsu
    Citi des Sciences Le Carre Des Feuillants

  13. Madiha Sultan Khwaja says:

    The one at Au bon Pain, particularly the one in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA is probably the best I’ve had to date. I would love to know if anyone else thinks Au bon Pain’s is the best one they’ve had.

  14. Cherie Hester says:

    Ethan Howard (Exec. Pastry Chef) at Cavallo Point , the Lodge at the Golden Gate makes the best Pain au Chocolate. You can order them for breakfast at Cavallo Point’s restaurant, Murray Circle. They are perfect in every way! Just try and eat only one…impossible

  15. Rosemary says:

    The best pain au chocolate is far from France, at Mary’s Bakery in Kyoto, Japan. The flakiest pastry, strong dark chocolate, firm, not molten. Simply amazing–better than any I have ever tasted, and I have tasted quite a few!!

  16. Lily Murphy says:

    My name is Lily and I am 9 years old. I am staying at four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru and the bestest ever pain au chocolat is here. It is made by Chef Thierry and i have one or two for my breakfast every day. they are sooooo yummy. love lily

  17. leon dolle says:

    Valbonne, Cote d’Azur, France. Lenoir Patisserie. makes the best ones. Confirmed.

  18. David Ardao says:

    Pierre Hermes on Rue Bonaparte!!!!! Nothing comes close!!!

  19. Kate Henry Gonzalez says:

    The petite pain au chocolates at the CuisinArt resort in Anguilla were truly amazing, and beat out the pain au chocolates I’ve had in Paris and Quebec. Eating them while looking out at white sand and turquoise seas didn’t hurt either :)

  20. Ray Ray says:

    Almondine. Brooklyn, NY
    Crafted by former Le Bernardin pastry chef Herve Poussot.
    THE best.

  21. Monique says:

    Hands down, the best pain au chocolate (and I believe I’ve done a definitive study!) is at Moulin de Paiou on the N98 between Ste. Maxime and St. Tropez in France. It’s a road side, drive-in bakery and it can’t be beat. Try the fig bread while you’re there.

  22. Susanm says:

    Thomas Haas in Vancouver makes the best pain au chocolat in the world. Better than any I have had anywhere. They are light and flaky and buttery with a soft molten semi sweet chocolate centre. They disappear in no time but leave a lingering memory of perfection. Thomas Haas has two locations; one in North Vancouver and one in Kitsilano in Vancouver.

  23. Snehal Khade says:

    My best Pain au chocolat was at the Four Season, Mumbai…. by pastry chef Thierry Matte… Just love it.

  24. Richard Cobden says:

    Believe it or not, at the cafeteria at Muji Department Store near the Ginza in Tokyo, along with the best of almost every other classic pastry

  25. nancy abbey says:

    I don’t know about “in the world”, but surely one of the best is the BOULANGERIE Du Pain et des Idees tucked away on the rue Yves Toudic in the 10th arrondisement in Paris. Du Pain is an exquisite boulangerie…exactly as you would picture it in a movie set…wood and glass cases, gilt mirrors, painted ceiling, the aromas of sugar and butter fill the air. The pain au chocolate is memorable.

  26. Graciela Real Plasencia says:

    Well. I have eaten quite a few good pain au chocolat but one I keenly remember is the one they serve for breakfast at The Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. It was fresh, delicately flaky, warm and simply delicious!

  27. Helen says:

    I was just in St Barth’s, and each morning my fiance and I walked to La Rotisserie in St. Jean to get their pain au chocolat. It was delicious – and after a few minutes in the Caribbean heat, it softened to perfection! My fiance didn’t think there was enough chocolate in it, but I thought it was perfect. Less chocolate just meant more room for butter :-). My fiance would probably say the best pain au chocolat are the bake-it-yourself ones from Williams-Sonoma :-)

  28. Christian says:

    All the pastries and especially the pain au chocolat at Four Seasons in Bangkok are worthy to stay longer or even to go there!

  29. Marc Wajsberg says:

    My fondest souvenir of a pain au chocolat are the ones I ate each morning at breakfast on fabulous Hayman Island (Australia). Breakfast started with some fresh blueberries (one needs some anti-oxidants). As soon as the Maître saw I had finished those, inevitably each morning he brought me a warm petit pain au chocolat. Just perfect. OK, the great Ocean view migh taint my memory. But so what?

  30. Alexandra Scheele says:

    This past summer I enjoyed a fabulous Pain au Chocolat in Gersham Palace FS in Budapest. It was just right! Only too often the butter is not properly processed into the pastry and one has a film of fat in the mouth. These however were crisp on the outside. One could savour individual layers of the puff pastry and the chocolat was superb and soft. I seldom eat sweet for breakfast but these could become a habit.:) The hotel atmosphere is also something to wrtite home about!

  31. elias wakim says:

    the best pain ai chocolat is served at la carette in paris facing the trocadero !

  32. David Hassan says:

    The best Pain au Chocolat is from the home of great patissiers and Swiss chocolate РGeneva. My favourite is source of Pain au Chocolat is Caf̩ des Arts located mid-way along the Rue des Paquis. The pastry is from a nearby bakery so time it well for hot pastries fresh from the oven. An alternative is a place called Cartier, less central on Rue Voltaire but their home-made pastries are worth the trip.

  33. Kate Bingham says:

    I’m seriously considering a sabbatical round the world tour based on the above recommendations. My favourite pain au chocolat are at the old Four Seasons in Giza, Egypt. I had to stay there with work and succumbed to their perfect pastries every morning for two months. Sigh.

  34. Catherine says:

    As a relentless pursuer of the tastiest pain au chocolat, I never miss out an opportunity to try the local bakeries wherever I travel. I have to say that the best one I’ve ever had was from a little bakery, just off the the main street, in the town of Vence. I dream of it everyday.

  35. Pamela says:

    There is a place near Islington Village in Toronto’s west end called ‘Ma Maison’ They make the very BEST croissant and pain au chocolat we think in the city. They could any place in Paris a run for their money I am sure.

  36. Katty Arguedas S. says:

    The best pain au chocolat…you must try Chez Christophe bakery and pastry in Costa Rica. There, between the little streets and the hills of Escazu, you can enjoy it with a fantastic cup of Costarican coffee!!

  37. Mark Korman says:

    Jackman & McRoss Bakery, Hobart, Tasmania

    Fresh out of the oven…so good

  38. Jetset Jo says:

    The best by far (and i have tried a lot!) is from Pret a Manger in the UK. Amazing!

  39. Dr. Andrea Blau, Esq. says:

    As a chocoholic for my entire life (and I will use my woman’s prerogative not to divulge my age), the best pain au chocolat in the world in my estimation is served daily in the Galerie or le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. I have had the luxury to spend at least a week at the George V annually since it became a Four Seasons property and renew my assessment annually. The flakiness of the pastry, embedded with double strips of bittersweet chocolate, is perfection itself.

  40. francoise says:

    My grandmother would always give me a petit pain au chocolat as my 4 heures in Paris, that makes me an expert. A real one must be very flaky, feuillete, nothing like a brioche, the chocolat has to be dark, just on this side of bitterness.
    Now, apart from the few still existing boulangers- artisans in France, the best ones are in……Japan … where the local pastry makers have learned from the French and have become even more rigourous than them regarding exacting standards of quality.

  41. Shaun Jorgensen says:

    My best pain au chocolate was at Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller in New York

  42. F. Quinn says:

    L’atelier Robuchon in Tokyo. Its pastry shop has the best pain au chocolat, better than in Paris!

  43. Michelle says:

    I just returned from the Four Seasons in Istanbul and had the best pain au chocolat delivered to my room each morning with a steaming hot pot of coffee. Heaven on earth!!!

  44. Andrea Jones says:

    You are not going to believe this, but I had pain au chocolat better than any I ever had in France (or anywhere else for that matter) at an Italian place in Scottsdale Arizona called Andreoli. The irony of all this does not escape me,- Italians are not exactly known for their desserts… I’m sure most of you will discount this post (your loss), but if you have the opportunity to try Andreoli’s “chocolate croissant” you won’t be disappointed…

  45. JE Arle says:

    There have been many – easy to lose track, but recently I had a fantastic one just at the lobby cafe at the Encore in Las Vegas – a surprise, but then, that’s often what makes it so good

  46. Mark says:

    Try the Common Loaf bake shop in Tofino British Coumbia Canada! they are amazing..

  47. Penelope says:

    The pain au chocolat that made me swoon were at a cafe on Ile Saint Louis: they were tiny — one didn’t have to take several bites to encounter the chocolate. Instead, each buttery bite also brought a burst of bittersweet chocolate. I sit here now longing for such pastry perfection…

  48. Ludwig Koch says:

    I am agrée with Alec Obrano! The great bakery & pastry Rollet Pradier does the best “pain au chocolat” I’ve ever taste! And living in Switzerland, I have to recognize good chocolate… But I just can advise you to taste it, a morning In Paris for a romantic breakfast!

  49. Katie says:

    Boulanger Patissier in Paris!

  50. Samantha Friedman says:

    My favorite Pain au Chocolat is at the Four Seasons resort on Maui! The climate there makes the chocolate in the center always perfectly melted yet the pastry is always deliciously flaky and crisp!

  51. Brian Rader says:

    Sitting in my robe as the morning sun streams thru the window of the Four Seasons George V, in Paris. With my 3 year old daughter, her face covered in chocolate and also in her little robe sitting across from me. I think she ate four of them, all mine!!

  52. tomas rickard says:

    I have not searched the world over, but when I am in Toronto I am always sure to visit Jules Cafe on Mount Pleasant. As well as the Pain au Chocolat, the quiche is exceptional!

  53. Adrian de Vries says:

    My best pain au chocolate was at Boulangerie Moderne, on a little street near the Pantheon in Paris. (16 rue des Fosses Saint Jacques)

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