It’s a surprise Sydney isn’t constantly coated in a film of flour, considering how many bakeries and patisseries have opened around town in the past few years. And 2023 is no exception, with a series of new spots ensuring we’re embroiled in a never-ending cycle of trying the newest bakery before the next one opens. Here’s four of the latest, including a new spot for a cult favourite, a pocket-sized pie parlour and an inner west joint catering to the city’s coeliacs.
Home Croissanterie, Balmain
Remember when Instagram bakeries helped us get through Covid? One of them, Home Croissanterie, is now a real-life bakery, and it’s a stunner. Self-taught baker Ben Lai’s sunny Balmain store is a paean to his creativity and meticulous viennoiserie. Among Lai’s most popular creations is the bacon maple. It’s a scroll made of pastry layered with streaky bacon from Emilio’s in Rozelle, then glazed on both sides with maple and sprinkled with Olsson’s red gum-smoked salt. Another standout is the potato and sea salt scroll lined with potato “petals” (thin slices of potato), brushed with extra virgin olive oil and flaky sea salt. It looks like a rose but tastes like hot chips. The most decadent of the sweet pastries is the almond vanilla cream. Crème brûlée dotted with slivered roasted almonds oozes over the top, while a muscovado frangipane sweetens the inside, and a honey syrup is drizzled over the outside. To match it all? Single O’s Reservoir espresso blend.
AP Bakery at Wildflower, Marrickville
Okay, this isn’t technically a bakehouse or patisserie. But it’s by one of the city’s favourite bakeries, and it serves baked goods, so we’re counting it. AP Bakery – of Paramount House rooftop fame – has taken over the kitchen at Marrickville brewery Wildflower, where it’s doing a bistro-style menu of dishes that perfectly abet beer-drinking. Bakery favourites, like pies bursting with beef and beer stroganoff or warrigal greens, are there, and so is a Basque cheesecake with cumquat jam. The real highlight is the return of chef Colin Wood’s grilled Jersey cheese – it first came on the menu at Poly (whose owner also co-owns AP) and later became a lockdown sensation. Here, a thick plank of the stuff is jammed in an AP bun with hot honey. More bistro-style dishes include quail schnitzel showered with parmesan, and potato- or tomato-based pizzas with choose-your-own toppings like anchovy or stracciatella.
This year, gift them a dinner to remember with a Broadsheet Gift Card.SHOP NOW
Lode Pies, Circular Quay
When Lode Pies opened its original bakery in a Surry Hills terrace, punters lined up to get their hands on its pastries and pithiviers, beautifully made with premium ingredients by a crew of chefs with fine-dining cred. Its follow-up – a tiny counter-only spot in Circular Quay – is no different. The most popular savouries so far are the pork sausage rolls and pies made with mushroom and David Blackmore Wagyu (which is seen on fine-dining menus across town). For sweets? Traditional Portuguese tarts infused with passionfruit puree and topped with a salted vanilla-caramel glaze. Or, there’s the classic croissant, made with Australian organic wholegrain flour and Isigny butter imported from Normandy, France. Either matches well with a cup of Five Senses coffee.
GFF stands for “Gluten Free Friends” and belies what punters will find in this sunshine-yellow-hued cafe and takeaway next to Marrickville Station: everything is completely sans gluten. That includes the hefty fried-chicken sandwich, jazzed up with pickles and mayo, and a sausage-and-egg muffin inspired by Maccas but made with LP’s Quality Meats sausage. The brother-sister duo behind Donut Papi makes up two-thirds of GFF’s ownership team, so sweet-toothed customers can definitely expect an array of coeliac-friendly doughnuts – but they can also nab cheesecakes, lamingtons and delicious, buttery cookies. Co-owner Christopher Palamara is coeliac, and so is his mum and sister – he wants to bring those with gluten intolerance the variety he reckons Sydney has been missing.