The best Croissants in Rome: from fried Croissants to Foresta Nera

Jun 26 2024, 13:38
From pain suisse to Venetian, Danish to fruit baskets: category by category, here are the unmissable croissants in the Capital

The world of croissants has gone wild with geometric and imaginative shapes. But it has also grown significantly: in Rome, for example, the quality of breakfast pastries is outstanding. Therefore, we decided to highlight the specialties not to be missed at each of the establishments that have stood out for their quality croissants and pastries. Without further ado, here are the must-try croissants in the Capital.

The best Croissants to try in Rome

Pain au chocolat – Forno Conti

A charming bakery with a Nordic feel that, in addition to delicious sourdough bread, offers excellent specialty coffee (espresso or filter) and top-level sweets. The viennoiserie items are exquisite: many original recipes rotate regularly, but the classics stand out. The pain suisse, for example, or the excellent pain au chocolat, with its crispy pastry, high-quality chocolate, and satisfying bite.

Forno Conti - via Giusti, 18 -

Custard Croissant – Cafè Merenda

If there’s one specialty in this delightful pastry shop in the Ostiense area, it’s the custard. Smooth, silky, rich: it flows happily through all the pastries and takes center stage in the classic croissant. For lovers of the genre, a taste of the most traditional morning treat is a must: the pastry is textbook perfect, the custard extraordinary, the filling generous but never excessive, perfectly balanced. Undoubtedly, the best custard croissant in Rome at the moment.

Café Merenda - via del Gazometro, 5a - 

Whole Wheat Croissant – Grani Farine e Caffè

Finding a good whole wheat croissant isn’t easy. The one from Grani Farine e Caffè (which also offers the Italian-style cornetto) is balanced, well-developed, and fragrant with good grain. Covered with plenty of seeds on the surface, it’s delightful to taste. This small bakery in Monteverde has stood out from the start for the quality of its pastries, and the whole wheat version is no exception, which can be filled, if desired, with excellent homemade bitter orange jam. In pairing, there’s high-quality specialty coffee, available as espresso or filter.

Grani Farine e Caffè - viale dei Quattro Venti, 152 c/d -

Plain Croissant – Le Levain

Today, finding a perfectly executed French croissant in Rome is easy, but when it opened in 2015, Giuseppe Solfrizzi was the first to bring the French boulangerie concept to the Capital. He is credited with introducing the beauty of the laminated croissant, so different from the Italian-style cornetto (which has almost disappeared from modern pastry shops). There are many viennoiserie items at the two locations, but the classic crescent, with its rich Isigny butter pastry, is unbeatable.

Le Levain - via Luigi Santini, 22/23 - via Piave, 8 

Cinnamon Bun – Marigold

Marigold, an Italian-Danish bakery near the Gazometro, offers delicious food at any time of day. Besides plated breakfasts, always served with carefully extracted specialty coffee, there are homemade laminated pastries, fragrant and delightful. The one filled with almond paste is a real delicacy in full French style, but the highlight here is the cinnamon bun: not a croissant nor a cornetto, but certainly one of the most famous modern breakfast pastries in recent years.

Marigold - via Giovanni da Empoli, 37 - 

Custard and Chocolate Chip Danish – Panificio Bonci

Bonci is the king of pizza by the slice and a master of baking, but his Panificio on Via Trionfale also offers a rich assortment of sweets. The croissants are delightful, offered in many variations: our favorite is the Danish with custard and large chocolate chunks, with soft, balanced dough and rich filling. Bonus points for the excellent quality of the chocolate, which is abundant.

Panificio Bonci - via Trionfale, 34 -

Pain Suisse – Love

From the start, this coffee shop in the Prati area declared its intention to focus on the pain suisse, the pastry that has been driving Italians wild since last year. The Moon Love, a coffee-scented croissant with an unusual shape, has become famous, but the truth is that promises have been kept. Beyond the most original pieces, it’s the pain suisse that rules the counter: a shell of crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth pastry, a light custard that maintains its softness even when baked, and high-quality chocolate chunks that make all the difference. Paired with a "Love" cappuccino with a double shot of specialty espresso, it’s simply divine.

Love - via Tunisi, 51/53 -

Maritozzo with Whipped Cream – Grué

A reliable address for refined sweets executed with great technique: at breakfast, Grué doesn’t disappoint with its array of perfectly crafted pastries, but the maritozzo is probably the real gem of the house. A tall, soft brioche, fragrant and split with lots of fresh whipped cream, indulgent yet light. There’s also a special version with a custard insert, perfectly dosed; a must-try.

Grué - viale Regina Margherita, 95/97/99 -

Savory Croissant – Tulipane

Tulipane is much more than a "simple" bakery: it’s a place where you feel at home at any hour. The pastry offering has been well-defined from the start, featuring great ingredients and impeccable technique. The viennoiserie section is beautiful and varied, with pain au chocolat and hazelnut swirls, but the star is the simplest croissant: French style, with fragrant pastry layers that, when filled with excellent cured meats and other carefully selected ingredients, become the perfect base for a delicious savory snack.

Tulipane - via del Pavone, 28 -

Fruit Croissant – Casa Manfredi

The basic croissant dough is squared, lower but still ethereal, and enriched with fresh fruit on top: these new pastries are increasingly common in contemporary patisseries, and those from Casa Manfredi are unbeatable. The basket with raspberry compote and fresh raspberries is perfect for those who love simpler, fresher flavors, with a well-balanced hint of tartness and sweetness. And then, the entire breakfast by Giorgia Proia will make any pastry lover happy.

Casa Manfredi - viale Aventino, 91/93 - via dei Conciatori, 5 -

Fried Croissant – Pasticceria Walter Musco Bompiani

Why settle for a croissant when you can have it fried? Walter Musco has never been afraid to experiment, and in his pastry shop in Tor Marancia, he decided to dip the croissant in hot oil. Not stopping there, he also filled it with delicious custard and coated it in granulated sugar: it sounds crazy, but despite the high fat content, the palate remains clean thanks to the quality of the ingredients and the artisan’s excellent technique.

Pasticceria Walter Musco Bompiani - Largo Benedetto Bompiani, 8 -

Special Croissant – Con.tro Contemporary Bistrot

With so many original shapes and extravagant flavors of croissants, it’s hard to be truly impressed. To really wow, one needs a deep knowledge of the craft and sophisticated taste: this bar-bistro in the Monte Mario neighborhood has succeeded with the Foresta Nera (Black Forest), a pastry that captures the essence of the classic German cake, full of chocolate, cream, and cherries. An experience to try for a delightfully indulgent breakfast.

Con.tro Contemporary Bistrot - via dell'Acquedotto del Peschiera, 156 -

Venetian – Caffè Hungaria

In this venue with a Mitteleuropean atmosphere and retro details, you’ll find elegant and flavorful pastry offerings. The breakfast selection doesn’t disappoint, with a wide and well-executed range: among the various pastries, the Venetian deserves special mention thanks to its soft dough with a dense and well-developed structure, and plenty of vanilla-scented custard. A lovely way to start the day.

Caffè Hungaria - Piazza Ungheria, 7 - 

Off the Charts

Ciavattone Romano – Nero Vaniglia

It’s impossible to categorize the ciavattone. It’s not a pastry, but it’s made of puff pastry; it’s a breakfast sweet but also good for a snack. In any case, it’s always present in the city’s pastry shops: it’s a large shell of puff pastry covered in sugar and filled with creams or jams, perfect with a cappuccino. The best is undoubtedly the one with ricotta and chocolate chips from Nero Vaniglia in the Garbatella area: a bite of pure happiness.

Nero Vaniglia - Circonvallazione Ostiense, 201 -

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