Croissants are notoriously difficult to make. Even beyond the immense skill and patience required, you need to deal with the weather. A slight change in air temperature, humidity or even the heat in your hands can radically change your final product.

Whether they're yeast raised and prepped by a baker, or more patisserie in style and baked at high temperatures so steam separates the layers, there are a few things that mark a good croissant. It should be crisp but not overly crumbly. The dough within should be buttery and fluffy. When you pull at the sides, it should stretch rather than break.

This is the ideal, but even the best bakeries and pastry chefs have off days. These operators are the most consistent. They get closest to that dream every day. Just make sure to get in early – you'll never find a good croissant in the afternoon.

Lune Croissanterie

Cafe

Don't write Lune off because it's the biggest player in town – there's a very good reason why busloads of tourists (in more normal times) make a beeline to Lune directly from Melbourne airport. Kate Reid's croissants are flaky, soft and – most importantly – freakishly consistent.

119 Rose Street, Fitzroy

Q le Baker

Shop

French-born baker Quentin Berthonneau has trained at Vue de Monde and Chez Dre, and wants good bread to be as accessible as good coffee in Melbourne. And his croissants are some of the best you can find in Melbourne.

Shop 709 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra

Monforte Viennoiserie

Shop

Visit this tiny bakery for knockout sweet-and-salty croissants, hazelnut pains au chocolat and asparagus and goat's curd pastries. But get in early and be prepared to queue – it almost always sells out.

585a Canning Street, Carlton North

Chez Dré Patisserie Boulangerie

Cafe

This South Melbourne bakehouse does just about everything to a very good standard, and the croissants are no different. It's a great option to stop by on your way to South Melbourne Market.

Rear of 285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne
Book a Table

All Are Welcome Northcote

Cafe

Boris Portnoy's baked creations are influenced by classic recipes and by his time cheffing in some of the world's restaurants. You might find anything from gianduja babka buns to Czech honey cakes here. Add in coffee by Everyday and some of the best sourdough in town, and it's no wonder it's always so busy.

190 High Street, Northcote

Agathé Pâtisserie

Shop

Agathe's market stall has been a South Melbourne Market staple since it opened. Understandable – the crowd-pleasing roster of French treats here, including some stellar croissants, are baked by an owner who attended Paris's most prestigious baking and patisserie school.

322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne

Agathé Pâtisserie Petite

Shop

This spin-off to Agathe's South Melbourne Market HQ has every treat from the original – including those sensational croissants – just in a smaller CBD package.

Shop 49/A Royal Arcade 335 Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne

Lune Croissanterie CBD

Cafe

The second outpost for Melbourne's most revered croissants. Expect to queue for at least 15 minutes, if not longer.

Shop 16 161 Collins Street (enter via Russell Street), Melbourne

Loafer Bread

Shop

A sweet little bakery in North Fitzroy making artisan cakes, biscuits, pastries and loaves of bread. Bread is the star here – except at Easter, when the hot cross buns fly off the shelves – but don't look past the croissants.

146 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North

Ned’s Bake

Cafe

Ned's Bake is well known for being a bakery that also does killer brunches. But its takeaway pastries, including the croissant and all its spin-offs, are well worth trying, too.

134 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Austro

Shop

An Austrian-inspired bakery serving pretzels, sachertorte and unmissable croissants.

147-149A Cecil Street, South Melbourne

Florian

Cafe

This Rathdowne Village cafe has an old soul: with a relaxed, unpretentious feel reminiscent of the pre-Instagram era. It's got a pared-back, produce-driven menu that looks different day to day (but the standout gravlax and signature riff on eggs Florentine aren't going anywhere). Co-owner Dom Gattermayr's mother runs Austro, so this is a great way to get Austro's pastries northside.

617 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

Candied Bakery

Cafe

An Aussie bakery with a sweet American twist on the west side. It's better known for its made-to-order cakes and pies, but trust us, the croissants are well worth a look-in.

81a Hudsons Road, Spotswood

Bakemono

Cafe

This Japanese-inspired bakery is from the team behind Little Rogue just across the street. It's selling whole loaves of shokupan (fluffy milk bread), flaky almond-yuzu croissants, Danishes piled high with berries, and soft buns filled with cream cheese, then doused in garlic butter.

273 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The Crux & Co. Patisserie

Shop

This CBD pastry shop is best knows for its "crogel" – which tastes a lot better than it sounds. It's a croissant-bagel hybrid that lends itself well to an abundance of different fillings. The regular croissants, coffees and cakes are excellent, though.

27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Gâteaux by Marc Frissard

Cafe

This Frenchy beachside patisserie offers a variety of delicious and eye-popping cakes. If you're after something a little more low-commitment though, the sweets and pastries – especially the croissants – are all worth trying.

565 Hampton Road, Hampton

Bread Club

Shop

Two French bakers are making classic sourdough, fruit loaves and three-ingredient baguettes and getting creative with banana-split croissants and blood-orange doughnuts in an airy, mint-green space.

558 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

Faraday’s Cage

Cafe

Sourdough and croissants baked in an old recording studio.

325-329 Gore Street, Fitzroy

Cavallini

Cafe

A European-style bakery-cafe in Clifton Hill with artisan bread and pastries. If you can prise your eyes away from the colourful macarons, we recommend going for one of the croissants or fresh sandwiches.

354 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill

Choukette

Cafe

The eclairs at Choukette get a lot of well-deserved attention, but don't overlook the croissants. The sweet and buttery things hit all the right notes.

318 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Tivoli Road Bakery

Restaurant

Sourdough, spelt, multigrain, and soy and linseed are among the bready delights at this respected outfit.

3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra

The French Lettuce

Shop

Find an enchanting display of cakes at this Carlton patisserie. The vanilla slice here was once voted best in Melbourne – and it's still a cracker, years on. Croissants can err on the softer side, but they're still a worthy addition to the Melbourne croissant canon.

237 Nicholson St, Carlton

Babka

Cafe

A Fitzroy baking institution with Eastern European influences. Just like Babka itself, you can always rely on the croissants here.

358 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Bread Club Albert Park

Cafe

The bakery's southside location is near-identical to the light-filled North Melbourne original. Go for $10 stracciatella-filled sandwiches, eggplant parmigiana-style pies and pepperoni pizza on weekends. Plus, chocolatey hot cross buns and hefty cardamom scrolls.

65 Cardigan Place, Albert Park

Via Porta

Cafe

We've yet to yet to find a thing that this beautiful Mont Albert deli and cafe doesn't do well. And the croissants keep Via Porta's streak going. They're soft but crisp in all the right places, and have the croissant ratio of sweet to salt nailed.

677 Whitehorse Road, Mont Albert