As bleak as lockdown can get, seeing our favourite cafes and restaurants run at the challenge head-on with inventive takeaway ideas is more than just a novelty – it’s inspiring.

But no pivot has been more novel or welcome than the lockdown bakery. Many of Sydney’s best restaurants and cafes, rather than trying to recreate classics within styrofoam containers and vac bags, are instead flipping the script entirely to become bakeries and smallgoods shops.

Some of the city’s most decorated chefs are currently turning their hands to the humble pursuit of baking, scoring sourdough and turning out turnovers by the tray-full. Taste the goods while you can, we say. Fingers crossed it’s the last chance we’ll get.

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Best Bakeries in Sydney
Live List: Sydney Restaurants Pivoting to Takeaway

Fratelli Paradiso

This institution already has one of the best takeaway offerings going around – thanks to "Paradiso a Casa" you can enjoy a selection of classic Frat Paz dishes such as lasagne, pasta scampi and tiramisu from home. But every Saturday, from 9am 'till sold out, Fratelli Paradiso becomes an Italian bakery and pasticceria. There's bomboloni, big pizza slices, sfogliatine, sandwiches and 10 William Street's famous pretzels with whipped bottarga.

Restaurant 12-16 Challis Avenue, Potts Point
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The Fold

Family-run Sri Lankan cafe and restaurant The Fold holds a bake sale each weekend. During the sale, it fills its New Canterbury Road space with Sri Lankan treats. Expect seeni sambol (spicy onion jam) and stracciatella-stuffed buns; beef-and-potato pan rolls; spicy vegetable-filled puff pastry; and pork-and-curry-powder sausage rolls with chilli jam. For sweets, there’s Sri Lankan ribbon cake layered with spiced icing; The Fold’s signature tea-infused carrot cake; sticky chai-custard doughnuts; and loads more.

The Fold is taking a break on Saturday August 7 and Sunday August 8, but the bake sale will return the following weekend.

403 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill

Franca

On Saturdays the terrace at this Potts Point brasserie transforms into a boulangerie starring baked goods by chef Travin De Hoedt. Along with flowers from Polyanthi and boutique wines, expect savoury treats such as rosemary focaccia, pork-and-fennel sausage rolls, and mushroom turnovers. Also: baguettes with smoked chicken and brie, and sangas with steak or porchetta. Over to the sweets, there are white-chocolate crème brûlée tarts; salted-caramel-and-chocolate tarts; cinnamon doughnuts and whole cakes (including chocolate, lemon meringue and baked New York-style cheesecake). From 8am until sold out.

81 Macleay Street, Potts Point

Sixpenny

This Stanmore fine diner has once again changed tack for a lockdown, swapping its regular $195 degustation for a changing array of cakes, pastries and condiments. There’s that standout layered carrot cake from last year, as well as apple-and-brown-butter tarts, cheese-and-bacon scrolls, and sourdough loaves. New options include sausage-and-egg muffins and fish burgers. Open Friday to Sunday from 9am to 3pm. See what’s available the next day on Instagram from 4pm.

83 Percival Road, Stanmore

Marta

Roman-style restaurant Marta’s lockdown-era bakery was such a hit, it’s become a permanent weekend fixture. Now the bakery is trading on weekdays and selling its hot-ticket item: the prosciutto and house-made ricotta sfogliatelle. There’s also five types of bread, from pizzetta (including a carbonara version topped with egg, pecorino and guanciale) to stuffed panini. You can also expect doughnuts, maritozzi (Italian cream buns) and cannoli. Swing by in the afternoon for a scoop from its gelato cart or one of its take-home meals, which might include gnocchi fritti, veal meatballs, parmigiana and generous trays of lasagne. Available Tuesday to Sunday from 7.30am to 3pm.

50 McLachlan Avenue, Rushcutters Bay
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Pistou

This south King Street bar and deli is new, and it’s handled its first lockdown with grace, opting to become a bakery for a while. Expect provincial French savoury classics such as fougasse (France’s version of focaccia) and the day’s tart lining the window; baguettes to go, stuffed with melted raclette, smoked ham, tomato and cornichons; or an olive seed-studded sausage roll starring LP’s boudin noir. Pretty brioche French toast with ricotta and raspberry or chocolate, plus meringue tarts, are past highlights on the sweets front. Pick up a scallop pie or beef Provençal for dinner while you’re there.

601 King Street, Newtown

Totti's

Every Saturday morning, Totti’s Bondi is taking over the Royal Hotel with a wake-and-bake full of sweets and savoury stuff. On top of tarts, biscuits and Basque burnt cheesecakes, Totti’s famous puffy bread is getting revamped into a “breakfast pie” loaded with three toppings, such as egg, prosciutto and chilli. It also heralds a rare chance to try Pinbone’s legendary maple, bacon and pumpkin tart. Available from 8am to 12pm.

283 Bondi Road, Bondi

Reuben Hills

The star-studded and long-awaited AP Bakery is a little ways off yet. Luckily, one of its partners is Russell Beard of Reuben Hills renown, and he’s rolling out a glimpse of the treats to come, Wednesday through Saturday. Buttermilk croissants, bomboloni (Italian-style donuts), Aleppo-pepper-and-Asiago-cheese scrolls, and an insane-sounding pastrami beef pie are a taste of what to expect. Plus sourdough country loaves from the Ester oven. Keep an eye on Reuben Hills’s Instagram to see what’s baking.

61 Albion Street, Surry Hills

Cafe Paci

Once again, Pasi Petanen’s playful Newtown diner is bringing back the Finnish potato-and-molasses bread, blood-pudding sausage rolls, and spanner rolls for Sydney lockdown 2.0. The Berlin doughnuts and carrot-and-liquorice cake are back, too. Petanen posts the bakery menu for the weekend every Friday on the restaurant’s Instagram.

Cafe Paci has halted its bakery for now, but keep an eye on socials for when it resurfaces.

131 King Street, Newtown
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