14 Best Bakeries in London
To all the veganuaryans and detox-ers, we respect your decisions. But we’ll be over here determinedly chasing away winter blues with piles of dough (no, the edible kind, priorities please). Feasting in London’s 14 Best Bakeries. And slipping in as many pastry puns as possible between here and 14. Join us! #SorryNotSorry
This isn’t the kind of stuff you consume through necessity, nor as a convenient grab-and-go situation. No. This is the stuff you trek-to-the-other-side-of-the-city, wake-up-at-the-crack-of-dawn, withstand-hour-long-queues for.
These are the masters of their trade, the crème de la crème. Some were born and raised in it. Others were accidentally whisked up into it. Expect the most drool-inducing mix of the butteriest, fluffiest, most food-porn worthy breads, pastries, cakes and bakes. No it is not a prerequisite to reside in old post offices, under arches, nor be open but a handful hours on a Saturday morning (if there wasn’t already enough pressure there’s now only 6 hours to decision make, we know, so inconsiderate). But apparently, it helps.
Please note: this list is in no particular order.
Now, let’s get dough-n to it (don’t worry we’re just getting started).
1. Dominique Ansel
The man, the myth, and pastry legend hailing from New York City, finally landed in London. Stuffing s’mores into marshmallows, serving milk in chocolate chip cookie cups, and drawing hour long queues for deep frying flour, sugar and butter (aka Cronut). But, you can preorder these and skip the queues. What we’d (highly) recommend. Upon collection you may then proceed to devour everything else in sight as a congratulatory pat on the back for having made it to Victoria.
Address: 17-21 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP
Contact: 020 7324 7705
2. Maison Kayser
There’s a reason the French are known for making the best pastries. And while we love a chef who can flip the pastry world on its head (looking at you, Dom), it’s real hard to beat centuries of tradition. Did Kayser strategically position his first London outpost on Baker Street? We like to think so. Is he now selling his infamous baguettes, croissants, financiers and pink speckled Brioche to the London public? We know so. Along with fresh deli salads and sandwiches to go, and a café for sit ins, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
3. Ole & Steen
There is a place, behind the Piccadilly masses where breads line the shelves, pastries fill the cabinets; and a foot-long vanilla marzipan stuffed, flaked almonds and chocolate smothered puff pastry roll, exists for your consuming pleasure. In a sleek, modern yet friendly space. Bakery veterans Ole and Steen have 50 bakeries in Denmark and 20 pastry years under their belts. Time for London to embrace hygge in all its pastry forms.
4. St John’s Bread & Wine
You may have come across *THAT* doughnut, or *THOSE* madeleines. We’re here to tell you the hype is real. The latter of which is available, freshly baked to order, for breakfast lunch and dinner. Their jammy doughnuts are second to none, and their array of breads from sourdoughs to ryes will cushion butter, mop up gravies, and sandwich fillings like few others. Found at St John Bread & Wine East of Spitalfields Market and perfuming the back streets Bermondsey (Saturday and Sunday only), or Selfridges food hall for the weekday fix.
Address: Spitalfields Arts Market, 94-96 Commercial St, London E1 6LZ
Contact: 020 7251 0848
5. Little Bread Pedlar
They wanted to deliver the perfect brownie to London, by bike. So, they did. And along with it, slowly fermented sourdoughs and perfectly laminated viennoiseries. There are only 6 hours where you, the public, have access. So move quickly, don’t skimp on the brownie and grab a loaf for the road. The entirety of their operations, fits under one arch, so don’t be surprised to find a queue after 10am. But fear not, there’s coffee. Sales stop when the bakes run out.
Just another arch, in just another bakery? NOT SO. Two tables of different flavoured Kouign Ammans – caramelized croissant cups – twisted cheese straws and crusty baguettes, make it so, so much more. And this, the Croaf. A crusty, flaky, buttery twisted rope of cuboid shaped dough (which – meant in the most positive way – somewhat resembles Rapunzel’s golden locks). Also known as the croissant-loaf, and yes, one more pastry-hybrid you knead in your life. Hidden just behind Broadway market, the smell alone will draw you in and spit you out laden with all of the dough.
6. Outsider Tart
Two outsiders crossed the pond, stuck a large metal whisk above a doorway, and started selling tarts. This is your typical, unadulterated American bakehouse. And Outsider Tart is what you get when you throw a couple of New Yorkers into Chiswick with nostalgic tendencies and cravings for childhood treats. Think cheesecake brownies, oat maple cookies, red velvet cheesecake and pies for days.
7. Margot Bakery
Open not even a year and already earning accolades. This is Margot Bakery, the quaint neighbourhood bakery every bakery wishes it was. Nestled into what used to be a post office, are now freshly baked pastries, wooden tables, tiled floor and bright light windows. But founder Michelle Eshkeri is not running just another sourdough bakery. We’re talking marmite and cheese babka, rhubarb spelt muffins, pink beetroot sourdough. Need we say more? It’s original, seasonal, and well worth the gander over to N2.
8. The Dusty Knuckle
Exit Dalston station, make a couple of turns, head down a narrow, at-times-deserted, path into a semi-abandoned car park. There you will find White Potato Sourdough, Raisin Walnut Rye, Caramelised Apple pastries and daily rotating sandwiches being dished out from a shipping container through a make-shift window. Also known as, The Dusty Knuckle. Baking breads and pastries by night, serving the eateries and peoples of London by day, and helping young people into employment, always.
9. Brick House Bakery
Dulwich may sound far away. It is. But here’s a reason and half to make the trek: from Peckham and Danish ryes, to Chocolate and Country White loaves, this is a place where all your sourdough kneads come true. Found under big windows and high ceilings of what was once an electrical warehouse. Bakery, café and tables are all cosied under one roof. We personally couldn’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon working than one sat inhaling the smell of freshly baking bread. Just saying.
11. Pavilion Bakery
Notorious for cardamom buns, close quarters, mounds of bakes and seasonal breads. What started as a Victoria Park café-come-brunch destination, quickly grew to include Broadway and Columbia road bakeries. And in them, rows upon rows of buns, danishes, loaves, not to mention frequently rotating specials; think Natas, Bagels, seasonal Sandwiches and Babka. On your way out, don’t forget to stock up on locally made condiments for slathering on all the dough.
12. Bread Ahead
Ever thought the simple doughnut could come stuffed with whipped salted caramel cream and topped with a small –honeycomb – rock? Yeah neither did we. And yet for the past 4 years, Borough market, your bellies, and our social feeds have been filled with them. That and patiently fermented sourdoughs, cheese twists, buns, loaves and every other seasonally flavoured, pastel coloured doughnut. We know, dreams dough come true. Courtesy of this infamous Borough Market institution.
Address: Borough Market, Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE
Contact: 020 7403 5444
13. Fatties Bakery
If there is a single person in this world who knows salted caramel, it’s Chloe. Founder of Fatties Bakery, who majored in salted caramel and minored in instagram food porn. Find her salted caramel every-thing and gold-sprinkled some-things every Saturday at Druid St. market in Bermondsey, and various KERB locations weekly. You’ll find us stuffing our pockets with caramels, drooling over salted caramel stuffed fondants and goldmine brownies, all while eating her salted caramel peanut butter by the spoon.
14. The Old Post Office Bakery
We – politely – order you to follow your nose to the never-ending production line of freshly baked Eccles cakes, Chelsea buns, scones and pies. What was once an old Brixton post office, became one of London’s first organic bakeries in the 80s. Scratch-made and overflowing with every piece of baking equipment under the sun. They claim it is still the case, but is now the Clapham North local: home of the post grads, Australians, carpeted night club. And some of London’s best damn bread.
Words by Chloe Stewart