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When we first started out with these Croissant Slop posts, we were at odds with our obsessive-compulsive disorder painfully/blissfully unaware about the sheer number of pastries that would be consumed, the kilometres travelled, the pounds added... all seemingly without an end in sight.  But you, dear readers, have submitted your choices for the city's top croissant, and we wouldn't dare skip out on any of them.  We might be having Tetris-brick type nightmares about our crescent-shaped friend, but we're not calling it quits until we've visited them all.  Here's two cafe-themed choices that you've thrown at us: Coco et Olive and Elysian Coffee.

Coco et Olive

Coco et Olive (Main St. location)($2.75)
3707 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V5V 3N8
(604) 568 7447

When we first visited Coco et Olive four years ago at its Broadway location, there was a little wallflower in her late teens/early twenties sitting by the window with her coffee and pastry, dressed in a striped tee and beret, jotting ideas down in a journal, presumably having discovered Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy, Truffaut films, the type you'd call 'delicate' (or, depending on your level of cynicism, 'overly precious').  To this day, that's still the image that comes to mind when one mentions Coco et Olive (though the Main Street location doesn't quite have the same joie de vivre as the Broadway location), a quaint French cafe replete with coffee, sandwiches and, of course, pastries.

  • Butteriness: 4 out of 5.  The husband and wife team behind Coco et Olive have both done solid time in France: Didier Facchin hails from the country, and Joanne Facchin went to culinary school there.  If their croissant wasn't as buttery as it is, they'd have a lot of explaining to do.

  • Flakiness:   3.5 out of 5.  The croissants are made from scratch on a daily basis...at Coco et Olive's Broadway location.  Since we bought our croissant from the Main Street location well into the afternoon, its flakiness had obviously suffered.
  • Lightness: 3.5 out of 5.  Maybe it was due to the time of day, but these croissants were heavier than one would've hoped.

Elysian Coffee

Elysian Coffee (Broadway and Ash location)($3)
590 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604)  874 5909

Elysian has always been well regarded in town for its coffee.  People swear by it, and the Broadway/Ash location reflects this.  The small cafe is filled with the aroma of fresh grind, filled with patrons on laptops that don't intend to move anywhere anytime soon, the baristas claiming the same social importance as bartenders of yesteryear's neighbourhood pubs (depending on the time of day and one's drinking habits).  And then there's the pastries, most of which are made fresh in-house, excepting the croissant.

  • Butteriness: 3.25 out of 5.  According to the barista, Elysian's croissants are made from frozen dough supplied from Lentia.  A few sites online have claimed that frozen dough can lose its flavour over time, and perhaps that's what has happened here.

  • Flakiness: 4 out of 5.  Having a box of frozen dough, ready for baking at a moment's notice has its advantages.
    • Lightness: 3.75 out of 5.  If one is savouring a croissant with a good solid cup of coffee, the last thing you'd want is a heavy weight to tie it down (donuts are more apt for that function).  The Elysian croissant, filled with little pockets of air, is a good accompaniment.  

    Joe.

    3 comments

    a. said... @ February 27, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Oh no no no. I don't know how old this post is, but the best croissants in Vancouver are definitely conceived at Baguette & Co. on West Broadway near Blenheim. They are relatively new and a great fan with all my French pals and I. Pain au chocolat is a must also :) You won't regret, I promise!

    Anonymous said... @ February 28, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Best croissants I have had are at Thomas Haas, even though I hate to give him yet more accolades.....

    Anonymous said... @ April 4, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Best croissants are at Marche St. George on the corner of St. George and East 28th! I'm not sure where they get them but they are fabulous!

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