I’ve been a client at the French Baker for many years. One of the main reasons I go is because the bakery itself is beautiful. Clean lines, bright, and top of the line espresso machines make for a wonderful atmosphere to casually walk in and grab a bite.
Unfortunately, there is one major problem. They were “voted Ottawa’s Best croissants by New York Times” in the past, but this is no longer true.
There are so many other bakeries in Ottawa now, where you can get much, much better croissants: Macarons et Madeleines, Art-Is-In, Première Moisson, and Bread and Sons to name a few. In comparison, the croissants (and the chocolatines) at the French Baker are dense, dry and bread like! Not the flaky, buttery crescents you want or expect to melt in your mouth.
It’s truly saddening that the place named the French Baker isn’t selling the best croissants in town, but it’s the sad truth.
To top it off, even though they offer Illy coffee (espressos, cappucinos, etc.), the last time I went with a friend, we were served some of the worst coffee we’ve had in a long time. I’m not blaming the coffee, because everyone knows Illy is a great brand, but the barista was new, and clearly not trained well enough. They were advertising iced coffees, so we asked for an iced latte, and an iced americano. Both were mediocre at best. There’s nothing worse than spending money on coffee you could make better yourself!
On a happier note, their éclair and millefeuille tasted great! They both had a terrific crème patissière inside, and were both generous in size. I would go back, for these items in particular, and to try their other desserts, just not the croissants!