Croissants are the new macarons!

Are croissants Chiang Mai’s new macarons, ask Citylife’s interns

By | Wed 7 Apr 2021

There is no doubt that Chiang Mai’s latest craze is croissants. Whether the plain classic or oozing with fillings, our city’s croissants serve up fabulous flavours and are crowned with crazy toppings and it seems like social media can’t get enough of these pretty pastries. Posts of picturesque croissants can rack up hundreds of shares with some businesses reporting waiting times of months for orders – we kid you not!

“They run out really quickly because it is really hyped up on the internet,” said my cousin Harry, 20, who said he woke up at a painful 8am, just to stand in line for the latest trendy croissant. “I got there as early as possible with my friends and we got every flavour available. I might not do it again, 8 am is early, even for croissants, but it was a fun experience and it is satisfying to know it was worth it.”

With rave reviews from my cousin, along with encouragement from our editor, my old school friend and fellow intern Jonathan Collins and I decided to take matters into our own hands and set foot on a Chiang Mai croissant Odyssey. We may not have woken up at 8am to forage for pastries but we travelled and traversed the city – and out – to test the best for ourselves. From hidden restaurants in small sois to fancy hotels, here are eight places that are known for their famous croissants freshly baked to feed the bottomless hunger of Chiang Mai’s latest craze.

Photo credit: Chez Nous

Chez Nous

This small and cosy bakery and café offers freshly baked croissants and other goods made artisan-style and using premium ingredients. Though cottage-like and quaint, this mighty bakery sells up to 400 croissants a day. The most famous flavours here are butter, almond, and milk lava which is an airy croissant filled with delicious fresh milk cream. On top of their bestselling croissants, there are around 10 other flavours to choose from with the promise of seasonal flavours to watch out for. These croissants may not be to all Thai tastes, as they are not as sweet and saccharine as others…which we think is a good thing.

Croissants to try: Butter, almond, milk lava

Uniqueness: Cozy artisan-style, seasonal croissant flavours

Open daily 9am – 5pm
Closed Wednesdays
Facebook: ChezNous

Krisp Cafe

Krisp is a hip and posh patisserie. Spanking new, the shop already has so many customers waiting in line to enter the shop that it’s been in the news because its neighbours have complained of traffic jams! According to one of its owners, Krisp gained its popularity on TikTok…before the cafe even opened. The large glass window allows customers waiting to enjoy the show of pastry chefs creating their crafts and there is a rather incredible selection very big and fresh croissants with exotic flavours such as raspberry pistachio and lotus cookie, from which to choose. More traditional flavours are also available like ham and cheese and almond. The cafe doubles as a gallery and has many pretty nooks and crannies for the selfie crowd, like the oddly photogenic empty swimming pool in the back yard.

Croissants to try: Raspberry pistachio, ham and cheese, lotus cookie

Uniqueness: On trend, luxury, gallery and BIG croissants (most days they run out by 2pm)

Open daily 8am- 10pm
Facebook: KRISP

Photo credit: Brecht Homebaked

Brecht Homebaked

Another relatively new addition to the croissant scene, Brecht offers up classic flavours such as the four cheese ham and cheese or tiramisu croissants. Baked fresh daily, croissants can be paired with their hand-pressed coffee creations such as the matcha almond croissant or dirty Thai tea. The store is unique looking with a dark interior, the black canvas allows for the vibrant colours of their beautiful creations to pop out. Brecht is a hidden gem.

Croissants to try: Matcha almond, tiramisu, four cheese ham and cheese

Uniqueness: Presentation, complimentary drinks, premium ingredients

Open daily 9:30am – 4:30pm
Facebook: BrechtHomebaked

Photo credit: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

Anantara Chiang Mai Resort has a unique wooden allure. Similar to a gift box, anyone who walks inside the resort will find themselves transported to another universe, Anantara style. Right by the Ping River, their bakery offers two unique and refreshing croissant flavours: yuzu and chocolate passion fruit – both perfect for the current Chiang Mai heat. Both of them are huge and have lots of buttercream-style fillings. And did we also say the location is stunning? Well, it is.

Croissants to try: Yuzu and chocolate passion fruit

Uniqueness: Two exclusive flavours and an amazing location

Afternoon tea: 2pm – 6pm
Facebook: AnantaraCroissants

Le Meridien

Croissants and Le Meridien have had a long history…when compared to the newer outlets which have recently popped up. The hotel has always made delicious croissants, but now that it is a THING, it’s stepping up its croissant game to keep ahead along with the crowd. Focusing on the fillings, Le Meridien knows what their customers want and have come up with nine delightful flavours, with more being added this month. Their classic French croissants ofte come with an added twists of Thainess. The most they’ve ever sold is 1,200 croissants in one day, but now the average is still a highly respectable 300-400 a day!

Croissants to try: Hazelnut nougat, cheddar cream cheese, almond

Uniqueness: Croissant cart, filling, humongous diamond-shaped size

Open daily from 6am – 11pm
Facebook: LeMeridienChiangMai

Four Seasons Resort

The Four Seasons is a bit of a drive out of town, but for we dedicated croissant connoisseurs, it is well worth the drive to dig into luxe croissants in a world class setting. Offering a total of seven flavours, the Four Seasons delivers pure quality and delightful presentation. Due to such high demand, a 24 hour pre-order is required. Some of the flavours include matcha, chocolate mousse, vanilla blueberry and ham and cheese.

Croissants to Try: Vanilla blueberry, ham and cheese

Uniqueness: Stunning scenery, excellent service, and gorgeous presentation

More information click

Shangri-La Chiang Mai

The Shangri-La hotel in Chiang Mai is without a doubt one of the go-to destinations for croissants. It is also one of the pioneers who put croissants on our foodscape map. A wide range of toppings and flavours are available including their new espresso and peach lavender croissants. Shangri-La’s use of truly top-of-the-line ingredients such as raspberries and peaches sets it apart from the competition. Not only are the croissants delicious, they are an incredible value starting at only 55 baht each. Choose between a traditional large croissant or decide on multiple ‘mini croissants’ in order to satisfy all your cravings. Other traditional flavours include ham and cheese, almond and Nutella. Some more unique options are also available such as salted egg yolk (delicious), lemon meringue and handmade Italian sausage. They also sell a massive 1,000 croissants a day.

Croissants to try: Raspberry and cream, peach lavender, espresso

Uniqueness: Incredible value, beautifully presented, lots of flavours, mini croissants

Facebook: Shangri-LaHotelChiangMai

Nakara Jardin Bistro & Salon de Thé

Nakara Jardin is set in a quaint and peaceful setting on the banks of the Ping river. Serving freshly baked warm croissants, we simply love the plain fresh classic croissant served with grilled chicken! Butter and fresh raspberry jam is also available. Compared to other croissants these pertain to the traditional crescent-shaped croissants rather than diamond. When served, they are warm, flaky, and soft. It is very buttery and the complimentary jam is very delicious.

Croissants to try: Chicken Caesar croissant sandwich or plain

Uniqueness: Crescent shape croissants, jam and butter compliments, location

Open Daily 11am – 7pm

Facebook: NakaraJardin