Whether you know it or not, South Korea brings a lot of trendy food to the global scene. In Chicago, it’s still KFC—Korean Fried Chicken, that is—but Korean corn dogs are on the rise here too. And now, South Korea is about to bump famed baker’s Dominque Ansel’s croissant donut, or cronut, down a few notches on the cool food list, because there’s a new contender in town: the croffle. Eater NY has the deets.
As you’ve probably guessed, a croffle is exactly what it sounds like: a croissant combined with a waffle. There’s a new restaurant in New York called Croffle House, which in no way at all sounds like a certain big restaurant chain down South, and its main specialty is the croffle. Based off its Instagram feed, this thing looks awesome. There’s a mix of sweet and savory flavors, which in my mind is the best way to approach a pastry.
Co-founder Kooksu Kim, who was former head pastry chef of Tous Les Jours in Manhattan (an awesome bakery chain), was taught by his friends how to make the croffle in 2019 during a visit to Seoul. It wasn’t a big thing in Seoul back then, but now the trend has sprouted up across the city.
But the croffle itself didn’t originate in South Korea. It showed up in a Food and Wine video in 2015, then made an appearance at a 2017 pop-up in Dublin at La Petite Boulangerie. TV host and pastry chef Louise Lennox is credited with creating the croffle in a collaboration with Cuisine de France, a bakery chain. The treat then made its way to Seoul in 2018 when a cafe called Aufglet started serving its own version; the idea eventually proliferated across Seoul throughout the following year.
In 2020, since everyone was stuck at home doing their own cooking, the croffle took off as a social media darling, and eventually the fad stuck. Now other restaurants and bakeries across the States are selling their own versions too. Bring the croffle to Chicago, please! I realize I can stick a croissant in my own crappy waffle maker, but food tastes so much better when someone else makes it for you.