(Updated January 27, 2020) They started in Austria, then the French adopted them as their own, and now they’re loved all over the world. There’s no doubt about it, croissants are the ultimate breakfast treat. Even better when they’re paired with a good strong coffee or a zesty orange juice.
Traditionally, the flaky pastry is made with milk, butter, and eggs, but more brands are working out their own vegan recipes.
11 Places You Can Buy Vegan Croissants in the UK
In the UK, there are a number of places where you can get your hands on a vegan croissant. Here are 11 to try.
1. Caffé Nero
European-style coffee house chain Caffé Nero launched vegan croissants at the beginning of 2020, alongside a meatless sausage roll, and a variety of plant-based soups, paninis, and sandwiches. “We’re committed to offering our customers more choice,” said CEO Will Stratton-Morris in a statement. “And the deliciously good food they deserve, whether than is an indulgent treat that hits the sweet spot or a hearty lunch.” According to Stratton-Morris, the new croissant — which is strawberry flavored — tastes the same as those made with dairy.
2. Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger — commonly known as just Pret — also launched its vegan croissant at the beginning of 2020. The Very Berry Croissant — filled with berry jam — is made with margarine and sunflower oil, and the pastry is dusted with sugar. According to Hannah Dolan — Pret’s global head of food innovation — the croissant was created in response to consumer demand.
She said in a statement, “over the past couple of years, we’ve worked hard to introduce new vegan and veggie options. We knew from talking to our customers that it was time to bring more choices to the breakfast menu.”
“The Very Berry Croissant is just the beginning,” she continued. “We are looking forward to sharing more plant-based innovations with customers in 2020.”
Waitrose launched its vegan croissants back in January 2019. French-style bakery Delifrance used vegetable margarine, wheat, and spelt flour to make the flaky quinoa-topped pastries.
The supermarket chain has added a number of vegan products to its shelves in the last few years, and for 2020, it announced it’s doubling its range. “Cutting down on meat, increasing your vegetable intake or going vegan has never been easier,” said Simona Cohen-Vida-Welsh — the vegan developer for Waitrose & Partners — in a press release.
Buy Waitrose’s vegan croissants online.
Sainsbury’s has also offered vegan croissants for a while now. In 2019, it added La Boulangère’s Vegan Croissants to the shelves, as well as the brand’s plant-based pain au chocolat.
According to Frédérique Fillon-Soullard — the head of marketing group at La Boulangère — the croissants took a while to develop. “A long period of research and development was carried out on these two emblematic Viennese pastry products in order to achieve the right balance of recipes,” he told A Vos Assiettes. He added that a shea butter and vegetable oil-based recipe allowed the brand to create a vegan croissant “without compromising on the pleasure of taste.”
Buy Sainsbury’s vegan croissants online.
Carluccio’s launched two vegan croissants in August 2019: the Croissant Vegano and the Saccottini ai Cioccolato (similar to a pain au chocolat).
The Italian restaurant chain said in a statement at the time, “breakfast is about to get a whole lot sweeter thanks to our new plant-based sourdough croissants.” It continued, “not only to be welcomed by vegans but anyone looking to enjoy the flakiest of pastries with their morning coffee!“
It added, “there’s no need to sacrifice on taste as you can still enjoy that same cloud-like, flaky, and buttery taste with these completely plant-based alternatives, free from eggs, butter, and milk.”
Online supermarket Ocado offers a variety of vegan food products, including a selection of vegan croissants. Its virtual shelves have La Boulangere’s vegan croissants, as well as three choices from Go Vegan: Organic Croissants with Chocolate Filling, Organic Whole Wheat Croissants, and Organic Savoury Croissants.
Ocado buying manager Jacques Thudichum said in January 2018 that vegan food was a “key focus” for the online supermarket. He said in a statement, “we’re constantly expanding our range to offer new and exciting products, keeping ahead of key trends and meeting customer demand.”
Buy Ocado’s vegan croissants online.
Like many other supermarkets in the UK, Morrisons offers La Boulangere Vegan Croissants. It’s not the only pastry on offer from the supermarket chain. It also offers footlong vegan sausage rolls and even the UK’s first vegan pork pie. Steven Halford — a pie buyer for Morrisons — said in a statement, “our vegan and vegetarian customers previously couldn’t enjoy a pork pie but with our new meat-free product they can enjoy a great tasting alternative.”
Buy Morrisons’ vegan croissants online.
You guessed it. Asda also offers La Boulangere Vegan Croissants. The chain also offers a range of other plant-based treats, including vegan blue cheese, KFC-style popcorn chicken, and vegan burgers filled with dairy-free cheese. The supermarket even has dedicated vegan sections now and recently announced it would be shutting down its meat and fish counters. In their place, the chain is opening “Food For Now” counters.
Buy Asda’s vegan croissants online.
9. AMT Coffee
Back in July 2019, AMT Coffee started offering vegan apricot croissants, sausage rolls, and pastries. The chain has more than 50 locations across the UK, in hospitals, airports, and train stations. In 2011, it was named the country’s most ethical coffee chain. It added vegan options to the shelves in response to demand.
“You were asking and we listened,” the chain wrote in a statement on Instagram last year. “We recognize the importance of having vegan options for vegans, veggies, and non-vegans alike and we also try to encourage our customers to try plant-based milk with their AMT coffee.” It added, “choosing plant-based alternatives is not only great for your health, it’s also much healthier for the environment as well as the animals.”
10. Le Cordon Bleu
Cookery school Le Cordon Blue London has created a new vegan croissant, which is now permanently available in its café. Made with plant oils and shea butter, the new flaky pastry is light and buttery, just like the original.
11. Coffee #1
Coffee chain Coffee #1 has added Vegan Raspberry Croissants to the menu. The chain also now offers a Vegan Meatball Wrap.