Mmmmm Montreal: A Bakery Crawl of Canada’s Pastry Mecca

Photography by Mickaël Bandassak for Patrice Pâtissier

Pâtisserie Au Kouign Amann | 514-845-8813   
322 Avenue Mont-Royal Est

Walking into this fragrant one-room bakery in Plateau-Mont-Royal is like stepping into an oven, in the most wonderful way. The place is warmed by the constant pumping out of a small, but superb selection of viennoiseries, i.e., morning pastries, which are rolled out by bakers in plain sight. The namesake kouign amann is a buttery yeast baked good from Brittany, France. Here, the pastry is sliced like a piece of quiche out of a single pie, and is so butter-logged that you can feel the dairy goodness coating your tongue when you take a bite. The kouign amann is excellent, but try not to overlook the croissant, one of the city’s best. It has the complex texture that you crave in a croissant—a flaky, peel-away crust, and a tender, buttery interior with so many bubbles that the pastry bounces back when you take a bite.

What to order: The oozing-with-butter kouign amann—there’s a reason the pâtisserie bears its name

Photography by Mickaël Bandassak for Patrice Pâtissier

Patrice Pâtissier | patricepatissier.ca      
2360 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest

Before opening this sleek pâtisserie-dessert café in Little Burgundy, Patrice Demers worked in some of Montreal’s finest restaurant kitchens, such as Leméac and Laloux. Now, he runs his own place, an upscale wood-paneled café with seating on one side, a takeaway counter for pastries on the other, and a window that peers into a kitchen where pastry production takes place. The delectable sweets to-go include a maple syrup-moistened buckwheat financière and a respectable chocolate chip cookie that’s so hunky and chunky, it’s hard to resist. But for the ultimate treat, order one of the delicately composed plated desserts that are made to order and served in the café. The offerings change with the season, but if you’re around during the summer, try the poppy seed sablé with cream cheese cream, blueberry compote, and cantaloupe sorbet.

What to order: The plated dessert of the day, which is the finest expression of the chef’s talent, or a buckwheat-maple financière, a treat that eats like a pancake in pastry form and packs in Quebec’s prized local maple syrup

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