Koko Bakery - Newton, MA

Feeling inspired by another poster’s (thanks GretchenS!) call for the usual spots, I want to bring up Koko Bakery since I haven’t seen it beside the opening/closing thread when it opened last year. I’ve been silent in hopes of hording all the yummy goods, but alas, judging by the weekend traffic, the locals have foiled my attempts.

This place is on California St and on my way to Russo’s; the street gets crowded on the weekend with the Chung Shin Yuan traffic but otherwise is pretty quiet. The stop front is very small but quaint; no place to sit inside but has a few chairs outside. We normally just take the pastry down to the river walk and eat over there. The chef/owner is Japanese but french trained, so the products go from croissants and danishes to Japanese standards like azuki bun and strawberry mochi. They also have some dessert (tofu cheesecake anybody?) and bread items and even dog treats (inspired by the store mascot Koko the Shiba) but I haven’t tried them yet. Service is always gracious and with a smile. The shop closes at 3pm, and things tend to sell out by then - but they hold things for you if you call ahead.

The husband and I have been going every other Saturday mornings to sample their pastries. The croissants are some of the best I’ve had anywhere and extremely flaky and crispy. I personally think the gold standard of a croissant is all the shattered crumbs on your lap once you are done and the ones from Koko are certainly just that. Perfect lamination on the pastry, light as a feather yet still rich from the butter and all the filings. If you like yours with moist-er layers, perhaps this would be too dry. After trying one at Dominique Ansel recently, we quite honestly still prefer the Koko ones. Our favorite was the ham and cheese and chocolate.

I’m a big fan of the Azuki milk, a panettone shaped pastry filled with custard on top and red bean paste at the bottom. This is everything I want out of a Boston cream donut but none of that cloying sweetness. The husband loves the danishes and pineapple cream cheese scone; always light and delicate despite what the name suggests. The rhubarb tartlet are also lovely last time we went. I always wonder if people that weren’t brought up on Asian breads would be into the azuki buns and hot dog rolls and the like…so I’d love to hear what fellow onions (?) feel about these.

Oh, and the coffee is Ogawa beans and stellar with a pastry; we tried the coffee and green tea latte and honestly would rather just have a coffee and let the quality of the coffee speak for itself.


My gold standard of a croissant is the same as yours, can’t wait to try it! And so glad you aren’t lurking any more, this is another spot that was not on my radar.

Thanks Gretchen! Hopefully you’ll like it too. There’s really nothing better than a warm croissant and coffee to start the day. (Oh, i forgot to put in that they are closed on Sunday and Monday! Would hate for people to go and find it closed.)

It seems like everybody on this board have covered everything there is to know about Boston food already, so I’m happy to finally have something lesser known to offer!

great review! thanks! I need to go here next time I’m in Newton. Do they make a curry donut? I used to get these at Cafe Japonaise, and thought they were excellent.

I confess that I’m a sucker for hot dog buns. I get less excited abut red bean paste, but I might go for it at a place like this, I fear I might have only had poor versions…

I think I’ve seen beef (?) curry rolls but maybe that’s not the same as curry donuts? Have only tried the onion bacon roll there and quite liked it, but I agree with you on azuki bun in a lot of the places. I’d rather have a slice of Japanese white bread with jam instead.

1 Like

Thanks. Must add this to my list.

Like passing_thru, I’m curious also if you’ve ever tried the stuff from Japonaise. (The Porter Square location has closed – huge loss – but the Brookline location seems to be open.) They had an adzuki bean bun that sounds a lot like the one you describe, and their croissants, too, had fantastic shatter.

To passing_thru: the Japonaise adzuki bean pastry had a layer of whipped cream (not custard) that cut the sweetness of the bean paste. Don;t know if you’d ever tried it. (I used to like the curry donuts, too, though they were oily on recent tries.)

The chef have worked at Cafe Japonaise in the past so the similarity wouldn’t surprise me. I have tried some pastries from Japonaise a long time ago but not the Azuki with whipped cream; sorry! The custard/pastry cream in the Koko isn’t very sweet either, which I love. I tried the samples of azuki buns (without custard) they’ve put out on the counter, and it seems perfectly fine - nothing bad but also nothing exceptional either.

hmmm, I didn’t ever try that when they had the Porter Sq. location. I’ve never gone to the other shop, maybe someday. That sounds pretty good…

They have an amazing white milk bread (the Asian name and what they call it eludes me right now). It is so soft and pillowy and makes the best sandwiches or toasted with slices of tomato.

“The Husband”? Does he call you “The Wife”? Just askin’!

Standard milk bread is called shokupan, but koko seems to sell a second version (that they call koko bread) specifically for toasting.

@CocoDan He calls me by my full name “Sunnyday, Queen of the House, First of Her Name, Protector of Cast Iron, Mother of Kitchen” at home. J/K - English is actually my second language so that’s just me being unfortunately hetero-normative by way of bad grammar. Sorry if I offended anybody!

@fooddabbler What’s the difference between their shokupan and the toasting bread anyways? I’ve tried the shokupan and liked it; but always wondered.


No insult. I thought it was funny. My longtime office manager always comments when some uses that terminology.

I do like your title also.


Koko is great! I stop by when I’m on my Russo’s runs–just wished they opened on Sundays…

Any favorites there? I’ve been curious but never stopped in.

Curry buns

1 Like

I always like their danishes and croissants.

@frankness5 Russo’s and Koko is a classic shopping combo! Even though I’ve moved away, I still make the trek every once in a while just for those pastries and Russo’s.


hmmm I’m still on ‘trying’ mode where I usually get new things each time. The croissant and curry bun are solid, as previously mentioned. I’ve also had the creme brulee toast, which was good, but heavy, as one would imagine. Egg deli roll was ok–just what you would imagine