Some of the best croissants in Tsukuba can be found at GRIS GRIS (pronounced, GOO-ree GOO-ree in French) bakery, located in the Sakura area of Tsukuba. It is kind of hard to see from the main street, as it is located just behind the cream building which used to house AEON Sakura branch...and behind the Fujiya shop intersection. The shop has been around for some time but you might not have stumbled into it due to the location.
The first time I had it was when a friend brought some to my house. After that I decided it was worth it to head out to Sakura (a bit of distance from where I live) for the sole purpose of obtaining quality baked goods! Hopefully with a little effort, you can make it out there too - it is really worth the trip! On a lazy Sunday morning, what's better than a freshly baked croissant to go with your coffee in the comfort of your own home?
What a hidden gem it is: cute breads shaped into little pigs, wonderful apricot tarts (my favourite), very flaky croissants (my husband's favourite and incidentally the shop's #1 specialty along with other flaky pastry specialties), and tasty bread-pudding consistency bread...most taste great as is but even better when heated a wee bit in the toaster. My friend highly recommends the French bread (mini baguette) sandwiches filled with either cheese or ham. Many menu items do not appear on the website as it seems the chef bakes according to season (and seasonal ingredients) and each item's popularity. We are very picky about croissants and are not particularly fond of them at some chain bakeries and so on.
I am glad that this charming French bakery remains small and quaint as not to lose quality. Some other bakeries gained popularity over time and experimented too much in menu expansion, therefore going down in quality. I am glad this shop doesn't have mass production, meaning the taste remains very authentic and delicate! The pastry chef (who studied pastry baking in France) is a kind soft-spoken man who seemed quite busy at the time we visited (10 in the morning)...it was quite amazing to see how many types of baked goods one chef can churn out in a morning.
For a taste of France, visit Gris Gris...we think French expats, in particular, will love this shop.
General website (in Japanese): http://www.gris-gris.jp/
See a map here: http://www.gris-gris.jp/info.html
The shop is closed every Monday and second Tuesday of each month.
The shop is open from 8:30a.m. to 7pm (but only open until 6pm on Sundays)
Le pain Gris Gris
2-15-3 Nakayama B.L.D 107
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