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.

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Labancz Patisserie-Boulangerie

Cafe

Classic French-style yeast-raised croissants.

719 Darling Street, Rozelle

Flour and Stone Annexe

Cafe

Flour and Stone is so renowned for its cakes and other baked treats, that sometimes its viennoiseries get forgotten in amongst it all. Rest assured, the croissants here are up to the same exceptional standard as everything else.

43 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo

Goose Bakery Cafe

Cafe

The croissants here – by two former Bourke Street Bakery chefs – are excellent. It's all set within an understated space that's ideal for a sitdown and a coffee with your pastry.

38 Ross Street, Forest Lodge

Tuga Pastries

Shop

Every thing is good at this tiny Clovelly bakery (it's best known for its Portuguese tarts), but the croissants are worth travelling for. Especially the almond one. It's one of the best in town.

6/231 Clovelly Road, Clovelly

Rollers Bakehouse

Cafe

No-rules croissants made with charcoal-dyed dough. Past fillings have included salmon, ginger and wasabi.

19 Rialto Lane, Manly

Iggy’s Bread of the World

Shop

Although Iggy Ivanovic is best known for baking Sydney's best sourdough, his croissants and other viennoiseries are also fantastic.

145d Macpherson Street, Bronte

Staple Bread & Necessities

Shop

This one makes regular croissants, chocolate croissants and sticky “Balgowlah buns” made with croissant off-cuts.

Shop 1 20-28 Montauban Avenue, Seaforth

Brickfields

Cafe

This lauded bakery is renowned for its sourdough, but it's a true all-rounder. The croissants are low-key and traditional: just the right combination of soft and crisp.

206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale

François Artisan Baker

Shop

Traditional and new techniques baking techniques backed by 30 years' experience. No wonder the tarts, cakes and baguettes are so good. But we have a special fondness for the croissants here.

91 Bondi Road, Bondi

Penny Fours

Cafe

Not often talked about, but up there with the best.

141 Norton Street, Leichhardt

Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie

Cafe

The pastry chef used to work in Michelin-starred restaurants. You can taste that experience in the croissants.

274 Botany Road, Alexandria

Pioik Bakery

Cafe

When you get your hands on a croissant from Pioik Bakery, you might get a little bit worried. It almost feels like it has too much structural integrity – so much so that you'll be in store for a dry croissant. Not so. Beneath the crunchy exterior is one of the softest croissants in town.

176-178 Harris Street, Pyrmont

Black Star Pastry Newtown

Shop

Expansion can be rough on croissant-making, but Black Star has kept up the standard.

Shop 1 325 King Street, Newtown

Matinee

Cafe

The croissants here just tick all the boxes. And they're also very consistent – you'll get the same high standard every time you go.

23-29 Addison Road, Marrickville

Choco Cannelle

Shop

At this no-frills patisserie, run by a third-generation French pastry chef, the cakes are the headline act. But the croissants are an unsung hero of the menu.

Shop 1 2 Callaghan Street, Ryde

Wholegreen Bakery

Shop

People with coeliac disease and those who have to avoid gluten, rejoice. You can get it all here: gourmet pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, pasta, loaves, chocolate eclairs and croissants.

257 Clarence Street, Sydney

Stix

Cafe

David Allison supplies produce from his Hawkesbury farm to some of the best restaurants in Sydney. Now, he's doing farm-to-table dining at this urban market and cafe. Although Stix is better known for its savoury offering, these croissants shouldn't be overlooked.

20 Chapel Street, Marrickville

Baked by Keiran

Cafe

This tiny bakery is one of Sydney's sourdough institutions. But the sweets cabinet, which is regularly filled with croissants, is well worth delving into.

455 Marrickville Road, Dulwich Hill

Lamin8 Patisserie

Cafe

Visit this patisserie for 20 different types of pastries (including palmiers in an array of flavours) and activated-charcoal sourdough loaves. Plus, there are buttery croissants, chunky kouign-amman and beef-and-kimchi pies.

Shop 11 115-119 Longueville Road, Lane Cove

Madame & Yves

Cafe

Madame & Yves is perhaps best known for its eclairs, but owner and pastry chef Yves Scherrer knows his way around viennoiseries. Croissants are available in both classic and not-so-classic flavours, but every option is excellent.

343-345 Clovelly Road, Clovelly