I envy the French for many reasons, but particularly when I’m craving a croissant. In Paris, or even Provence, a Frenchman need only walk out his door–and perhaps around the corner–for that buttery, flaky treat. In Denver, though, I have to fire up the car (a completely anti-French move) and head to an authentic bakery in Aurora or Glendale to satisfy my craving. But my driving days are over.

Katherine’s French Bakery, an Aurora institution, has opened a retail location just down the street from the Bonnie Brae Tavern, and its light croissants–plain, chocolate-filled, or almond–peel apart in the perfectly layered way every Frenchman adores.

Plus, the Denver-based Katherine’s has much more seating (and a cozy dining room) than its sister bakery, making leisurely Saturday mornings over a creamy latte or a quick mid-week lunch of eggy quiche a must.

728 S. University Blvd., 303-282-5888. –Kazia Jankowski