“What’s the best French bakery in Brisbane?” As a French couple, we get asked this question almost weekly. We have our favourite local ones, of course. But when asked “is it better than [insert the name of another French bakery in Brisbane]?”, we sometimes could not answer as we hadn’t tried it. We’ve now tried the long list of French bakeries in Brisbane and can answer this question with assurance.
This article is not just a list of the French bakeries in Brisbane.
We’ve done our research for this article. We visited each bakery to buy a croissant and pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant), the two most traditional French viennoiseries, so that we could compare them. We love food so much that it was a fun challenge to keep us busy as we had a few rainy days in Brisbane!
Why should you trust our tastes for finding the best French bakery in Brisbane? We have more than 70 years of experience in tasting viennoiseries, most of it gained in France in both small villages and bakeries in Paris. I wouldn’t say I’m a foodie, but when it comes to viennoiseries, I surely have eaten more of them than most people you know!
But before I tell you which bakery in Brisbane has the best croissant and pain au chocolat, let’s be clear about something: all the French bakeries on our list are good.
They have delicious products and lovely staff. We felt lucky to live so far away from home and yet have access to French specialties we love so much. So actually, there’s one quick and simple answer to the question “What’s the best French bakery in Brisbane?”. Don’t worry, I’ll still talk about our experience and which one we preferred!
The best bakery in Brisbane is the one that’s close to you.
There’s one important thing to keep in mind while looking for the best French bakery in Brisbane: it’s often the one that’s closer to you. In France, traditional bakeries only do take-away food; they rarely have a cafe for you to sit and enjoy the viennoiseries. We’d often go on foot to buy bread and viennoiseries and bring them back home. So if you have to drive for a while to get to the bakery, it really has to be a lot better than the one next door.
Although some of the French bakeries in Brisbane are better than others, I don’t think any of them is particularly worth driving for a long time if you have an option closer to home. There’s a map at the end of this article showing where the French bakeries in Brisbane are located.
The best French bakeries in Brisbane – our review
We bought one pain au chocolat and one croissant at the following French bakeries in Brisbane:
- Christian Jacques (Kangaroo Point)
- Chouquette (New Farm)
- King Street Bakery (Bowen Hills)
- Le Bon Choix (Brisbane CBD)
- Banette (Paddington)
- Le Caprice (Boulimba)
- Crust & Co (Wilston)
- Lune (South Bank)
We lined all the croissants and pains au chocolat next to each other. We cut them in half to compare. And then we tried them one by one. First, plain. Then, dipped in our hot drink – that’s the French way of eating breakfast. It was delicious. Every single one of them was good. But which one is the best?
Christan Jacques (Kangaroo Point) and Chouquette (New Farm)
It wasn’t a surprise for us to see these ones as finalists when we were looking for our favourite French bakery in Brisbane. We’ve always been impressed by the quality of Chouquette’s products. And price is the only difference between Christian Jacques’ viennoiseries and the ones from an excellent bakery in France. Christian Jacques’ croissants and pains au chocolat are as good as they come in France. They’re generous in size (and in chocolate!), crunchy and tasty. And Chouquette is a very close second.
Note that you cannot eat in at Christian Jacques and you should be prepared to queue on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There’s a lovely park on the river nearby with coffee shops on the way, so it’s great for take-aways (don’t forget your reusable cup!).
You can sit at Chouquette and enjoy your viennoiserie with a coffee or juice. Also, don’t waste time trying to park on the road; they have a car park downstairs.
King Street Bakery (Bowen Hills)
Their viennoiseries are delicious and among my favourite in Brisbane. We went there for the first time for this test and were very surprised by the quality of their products. I like their setting for eating in too. Since I have already organised a few catch-ups at this bakery. There isn’t much traffic on King Street so you can enjoy the terrace, and they also have tables inside if you prefer.
Le Bon Choix (Brisbane CBD)
The bakery in Brisbane that reminds me the most of France when I eat there is Le Bon Choix. They’re located in a square with a nice terrace under a massive tree, and if you choose to sit inside they always play my favourite French music. They also make excellent walnut sourdough. However, parking is challenging as it’s in the heart of the CBD. Also, if you want the best croissant or pain au chocolat, it wouldn’t be my first choice. Viennoiseries are good at Le Bon Choix, but their specialty is their cakes. They taste as good as they look!
Paddington is a reputed spot for foodies so it wasn’t a surprise to find a good French bakery there. We really liked their viennoiseries. The croissant wasn’t crusty enough to become our favourite in Brisbane, but it was very tasty with a beautiful butter taste. There are a few sits to enjoy food and drinks on the terrace.
Le Caprice (Boulimba)
I was very surprised by the quality of the viennoiseries from Le Caprice. I would have expected to lose quality as we’d go further away in the suburbs. But the viennoiseries were really tasty! So if you’re nearby on the south side, don’t hesitate. We prefer Christian Jacques and Chouquette, but it’s not worth driving all the way to the City. Croissants and pains au chocolat from Le Caprice are delicious too. But I found their pain au chocolat a bit too sweet and with only one chocolate bar, it didn’t make it to the top list.
You can sit to enjoy your food at Le Caprice. There’s a small lane just near the shop that gives some charms to the area.
Crust & Co (Wilston)
We liked these ones for their price: $3.90 for a croissant and $4.10 for a pain au chocolat. Viennoiseries in French bakeries are really overpriced in Brisbane when you’re used to buying them in France. We didn’t find them as crusty as the traditional ones, but they tasted really good! The location is quite nice: Crust & Co is in a historic brick bakehouse. They only do take away food.
Lune (South Bank)
Considering Lune served the smallest products, were the most expensive ($6.20 for a croissant and $6.80 for a pain au chocolat), and they name themselves a “croissanterie” and not a bakery, I was a bit disappointed not to find the same taste as in France. We could see when we opened them that the consistency inside wasn’t as aerated compared to usual viennoiseries. It was so soft that it reminded us of milk bread a bit. It tasted good, but not like a traditional croissant or pain au chocolat. Their chocolate wasn’t our favourite one. But I don’t think they aim to be traditional. They had original creations on offer that I had never seen elsewhere.