When you think of a croissant, flakey, buttery pastry is the first thing that comes to mind. Without the buttery flavour, it’s never quite the same — until now. Thankfully, we’ve stumbled across Auckland’s first-ever plant-based patisserie, Maison des Lys, serving vegan croissants every bit delightful as their traditional predecessors.
You may have noticed the line of people wrapped around the block in Grey Lynn on Sunday for Maison des Lys’ soft opening, news of its brick-and-mortar excitedly splashed across social media feeds. Much of the loyal crowd first encountered Maison des Lys’ stall at The Shed Collective Markets, in operation since 2020. Two years later, while the patisserie still plans to continue its hotly anticipated market appearances, the new location provides Owner and self-taught Pastry Chef Drissilla David a dedicated space to create her confections, channelling her love for her native France through patisseries with a plant-based twist.
A serendipitous series of events encouraged Drissilla to fulfil her vision of a vegan patisserie. The humble yet beautiful space has been a labour of love (much like the pastries it serves), taking nine months to come to fruition. Having previously worked at a local architecture firm, Drissilla dedicated a year during maternity leave to formulate the perfect plant-based croissant. In her home kitchen (and dining room, where up until very recently, she was still baking), she rolled the pastry by hand and produced batch after batch of dough in her beloved cake mixer. The game-changer finally came about a year into the process when she discovered the perfect butter alternative. Made with a blend of shea, coconut, rapeseed and almond oils, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the real thing. We’ve done the diligent task of putting them to the test, and honestly, we can’t taste the difference.
After Drissilla executed the plant-based basics, anything became possible. Take the ham and cheese croissant, a Kiwi bastardisation of the French delicacy and a beloved treat. Maison des Lys offers a plant-based take, a delicious snack-on-the-go that Drissilla reiterates is one of the most popular offerings, known to sell out frequently alongside her almond croissants. Her favourite, however, is the pain au chocolate — not fresh out of the oven but served cold — and with an eightthirty coffee that’s of course brewed on site.
Every day you can expect the Maison des Lys cabinet to be stocked with the classics, alongside danishes, pastries, and delicacies inspired by seasonal produce. Think savoury croissants stuffed with pesto, spray-free tomatoes, vegan feta, micro greens and truffle oil, or their sweeter counterparts overflowing with Biscoff. Coffees are served with dairy milk alternatives, and should you be lucky enough to nab a table, the Great North Road corner spot makes the perfect place for people-watching.
Despite never undertaking any formal viennoiserie training, Drissilla showcases an intrinsic knowledge and appreciation of the complex process. Anyone who has ever tried to make croissants will understand just how intricate it can be, and at this Grey Lynn address, the pastries are truly of the highest calibre. As Drissilla tells us, “they’re not just for vegans; they’re really delicious pastries too.” Having tried them fresh out of the oven, we’re inclined to agree — and we recommend visiting ASAP.
Friday, 7am until 1pm.
Saturday — Sunday, 8.30am until 1pm.
Initially closed Monday — Thursday.
Maison des Lys Pâtisserie
567 Great North Road,
Grey Lynn, Auckland