Colette Boulangerie [Medford, MA]

With my niece coming tomorrow for tea, it was time for a road trip to the French bakery I’d heard so much about, Colette Bakery, 509 Main St., Medford, MA.

O-la-la. From the tres charmante sales women to the lovely displays, it didn’t disappoint. I spent a fair amount of moolah, but plan to put some things in the freezer (carefully wrapped). Among my goodies: a loaf of pain de mie (sliced), two chocolate croissants, two Viennoiserie brioche, and two lychee patisserie with craqueleur, whipped cream and a dollop of raspberry jam. Those are for tomorrow’s tea. I managed, somehow, to resist the Paris-Brest, macarons, pains au raisin, madeleines, and tartes au pommes. They’re for next time. So make a field trip for yourself. They’re very careful about safety and everything looks authentic and delicieux.

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looking forward to a report.

I’ve been really interested in trying this place too. The new office, when we’re actually going back, is in Medford so I hope there might be a secret short cut that allows me to get here from the office quicker.

so how was everything?

Collette Bakery is outstanding. The couple is French (from Paris & Toulouse) and to date this is the most authentic bakery I’ve found as far as French baked goods go. They’re always on point and I’ve taken numerous 90-minute round trips to gorge on their offerings. I cannot say enough good things about that place and wish them tremendous success

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welcome, and thanks for your post. was hoping to see the original poster’s thoughts before sharing mine, but here goes.

i live nearby and was so excited to try them. sad to say, their croissants left me underwhelmed — not bad — but not great. the flavor is fine, but the crust just doesn’t shatter the way the best croissants i remember from paris do. no idea why — maybe the oven’s not hot enough? for me, the very best croissants i’ve had in the boston area are from cafe madeleine in the south end. close behind are those from caramel in davis square (also in salem)

as for colette’s pastries, again, good, but not great. cafe madeleine has a far larger selection that’s not crazy expensive and includes, fo course, madeleines.

but when it comes to pastries, nothing beats the works of art caramel creates, which, while crazy expensive, are absolutely exquisite — and delicious.

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I do plan to check out Colette’s in the new future but wanted to add our shout out to Caramel (Salem MA). We were recently gifted a lovely selection of pasties and WOW! Just beautiful to look at and even better to eat. I can’t remember specifically what we had but all were just delicious.
https://caramelpatisserie.com/

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this is interesting. I’m a big fan of this place (it being a few blocks from my pad sure doesn’t hurt) and I love the sandwiches and the ham & cheese viennois (sp?) which I love to get and eat for breakfast. I also really like the breads in general and pretty much buy them all the time now, though I sometimes feel like they are just slightly underbaked. I never experienced this with the old Italian bakery that was in this space so it shouldn’t be the oven proper, so they may just have a bent towards cooler temps for baking in general.

I can’t speak to the pastries/croissants since, well, I personally don’t care about that sort of thing and have never even tried them. But I love the folks who run this place and I’m so happy that they set up shop there. When the old bakery shut down I was sure it’d get torn down and have a three story fancy overpriced condo put up in its place.

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just what the neighborhood needs:)

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The lychee and cream patisserie were very subtle but delicious. Due to a scheduling snafu with my niece, we are having the chocolate croissants and brioche later this morning. I carefully preserved them in the freezer. Will report back soon.

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Chocolate criossants were crispy and chocolate not too sweet. Very nice. The brioche had sugar on top, which I would have preferred not to have and I think they could/should have been a bit butterier. Still, in a patisserie wilderness, the fare I ordered were most welcome and devoured with pleasure.

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So how would people say this compares to Caramel Patisserie (multiple locations but my husband and I overindulged at the Salem location)?

the pastries at colette’s cannot begin to compare with caramel’s exquisite creations.

as for the croissants, i prefer caramel’s, as well.

Thanks! We really like Caramel, the pastries, the croissants, the macaroons, really we haven’t had anything bad yet. If Collette’s doesn’t compare we will stick with what we know.

I don’t agree! Give it a try and judge for yourself.

I can’t bake bread to save my life. But sweet baby Jesus I love it and bread threads!

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changecat asked for opinions. i shared mine; your shared yours.

as it happens, i picked up two pastries for a virtual tea party this afternoon. i’d share a look if i could figure out how to upload an picture.

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Ma France, in Arlington on the Lexington line, is owned by a lovely French couple. They get unbaked breads and pastries flown in from Paris daily. Most are made at LeNôtre in Paris, and finished in their ovens, and François makes some at the store from scratch, using a starter dough and French flours.

Also, for croissants–Quebrada in Arlington Belmont and Wellesley is wonderful.

I’ve also heard of place in Needham that’s supposed to be amazing. French friends said it’s the closest to home they’ve had. Could be Lakon, or maybe French Press.

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It has been a very long time indeed but I remember very much enjoying croissants from Quebrada.

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i’ve only tried their ham&cheese, and was disappointed. quebrada keeps their in a warming cabinet, which leaves the crust squishy instead of crisp… not surprisingly, au bon pain does the same thing, but they’re a much larger operation than quebrada.

as for ham&cheese croissants, cafe madeleine in the south end remains the gold standard.

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