TJ’s vs. Takeout: Chocolate Croissant

Spoiler alert: Food from a local restaurant will always be better than food from Trader Joe’s. That being said, sometimes you don’t have the funds to eat out and need a delicious, filling meal for a couple of bucks. In this series, we’ll find out if Trader Joe’s rendition of a dish will get the job done or if it will just make you miss the real deal even more.

If you like to start your morning in the most sophisticated way possible, you’re grabbing a croissant. And not just any croissant. A chocolate croissant. The flaky, sweet pastry is an absolute dream and a quick, on-the-go breakfast. But do you need to go out to get your pain au chocolat fix? Today, we’re pitting Trader Joe’s chocolate croissant from the freezer section against one of the most-eaten chocolate croissants in America: the Starbucks chocolate croissant. Which flaky pastry will reign supreme in this TJ’s vs. Takeout?

Takeout: Starbucks Chocolate Croissant (~$3.85 for 1)

Starbucks chocolate croissant’s best quality is that it is quick. You can grab one of these from a drive-thru, which takes zero prep or mental energy. They’ll even warm it up for you so you can enjoy a nice and toasty croissant. The quality of the croissant is also great! It’s flaky, buttery, and chocolatey. What more could you want from a grab-and-go pastry?

If you’re hoping to grab them for a group, however, you’re going to ring up quite a bill. It would cost over $15 to feed your family a Starbucks chocolate croissant breakfast. And, as always with takeout, you must leave your house to retrieve it, which is a hassle. You could get a Starbucks chocolate croissant delivered, but that is absolutely nuts in my opinion.

Trader Joe’s: Chocolate Croissants (~$4.99 for 4)

These Trader Joe’s chocolate croissants are beautiful. They are so big and flaky. You get real ASMR vibes when you bite into one of these. They’re very balanced, not too sweet, but plenty chocolatey. Plus, it’s a bargain. You pay just one dollar more for four TJ’s croissants than you pay for one single Starbucks croissant. These are casual enough to put out for a family breakfast but fancy enough to serve at a baby shower. I would not know these were from Trader Joe’s, much less a box, if you didn’t tell me.

The major downside is that these need to proof (aka sit out at room temperature) for NINE HOURS before baking. NINE. HOURS. You really need to know you’re having croissants ahead of time to enjoy these. Then, they need to bake for an additional twenty minutes. Trader Joe’s frozen chocolate croissants are definitely a time-consuming labor of love.


Trader Joe’s takes this one! Between the freshly baked taste and the budget-friendly price tag, you can’t beat the Trader Joe’s frozen chocolate croissant. Yes, I think it’s unreasonable that these take almost ten hours to complete and the Starbucks chocolate croissant will do in a pinch, but I honestly think these are worth it.

About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • The best thing to do with the TJ croissants is to bake them ALL at once and then freeze them. Then I can get one out when I’m hankering for a chocolate croissant and pop it in the microwave to warm it up. Great quality and more affordable than one from Starbucks.