There's a new crave-worthy pastry in town and it's only sold in New York City at Lafayette — a French bakery and cafe that's achieved viral fame due to the throngs of people who line up each morning in hopes of snagging one of their nearly $9 croissants.
But is trending TikTok food truly as delicious as it seems? In the last decade, many of the dishes that have gone viral on social media have been marked by a common thread: an over-the-top appearance. The Suprême Croissant at Lafayette is no exception.
Lately, my For You Page has been filled with layered, round, flaky croissants stuffed with pastry cream and topped with drizzles. Tempted by the buttery delicious appearance of these sought-after pastries, I traveled over 1,000 miles to try them, and I wasn't the only one.
Sree Valsaladevi traveled all the way from Toronto, Canada in hopes of scoring one of the iconic Suprêmes. And it takes dedication (and an early wake-up call) to get one. Since the bakery opens at 8 a.m. each morning, lines buzzing with anticipation begin forming closer to 7.
"My trip centered around this croissant," Valsaladevi says. "This is my third try to get it. I just want one, the berry one."
The "berry one" is the seasonal summer Rose Berry Spritz Suprême filled with pastry cream and topped with a bright red drizzle and pieces of dried rose. In addition to the Rose Berry Spritz variety, the bakery has offered a pistachio option and is currently serving the classic pain au chocolat — the pastry that inspired them all.
"We always wanted to bake a creative version of the regular chocolate croissant," shares, James Belisle, a boulanger (baker) at Lafayette. "A while back, we started to fill the traditional shaped pain au chocolat with a rich double chocolate filling. Over the last year, we experimented with turning this into a more enticing shape which creates a crispier exterior. We added glazes and toppings and developed fun new flavors."
The team launched their Suprêmes in April 2022, and it didn't take long for both NYC dwellers and social media users outside the Big Apple to take note of the visually stunning pastry, which sells for $8.50.
"It took about a month or so for the word to get out and enough people to come in and sample them," says Scott Cioe, the executive pastry chef at Lafayette. It has really taken off since then."
In fact, the croissants have "taken off" so much that the bakery has imposed a one-pastry-per-person rule. Even with a limit in place, the croissants sell out daily.
Svetlana Granik and her two teenage daughters traveled to the bakery from Queens, dedicating their day to scoring at least one of the sweet treats. "This was the purpose of our trip," Granik, who is on her second try of the day to grab a Suprême, shares.
The question for many is why can't the team just make more? Belisle says it's not that simple.
"We can tell you it's a three-day process — not easy to say the least," he shares. "A lot of care goes into making everything from scratch using only the best quality ingredients."
While these unique croissants steal the show, the bakery also makes traditional croissants with buttery, flaky layers that are incredible in their own right. However, if a trip to NYC isn't in the near future, Belisle says there are some sure-fire ways to find the best croissants in your own neighborhood.
"Try to find a place that is making them from scratch," he says, "the most important thing is to try and find one you know was baked that day — ideally quite recently — and, if you are lucky, still warm from the oven."
But for those who find themselves on the sidewalks of New York, are the planning and waiting in line worth it to try this unique pastry? This foodie says absolutely.
Many social media stunt foods are fun to try and share online, but the taste is forgettable. The Suprêmes at Lafayette are just as delicious and exciting to eat as they are to look at. The pastry tastes buttery, crispy and light as the golden layers are wrapped around vibrant pastry creams. Each one of the four flavors I experienced was rich and thick — every bite truly a moment of bliss.
And once you try these popular croissants, you'll want to go back: both because they're pure deliciousness and because there are often seasonal flavors released. On my visit, I was first to try Lafayette's August "flavor of the month," a perfectly sweet, expertly balanced, bright and fruity Peaches N' Crème Suprême, which went live in the bakery on August 1.
"Keep an eye out for upcoming seasonal flavors," Cioe says. And I will, as will the more than two million TikTok users who have viewed videos posted with the #LafayetteCroissant hashtag.
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