The tantalising aroma of freshly-baked bread and pastries early in the morning has been known to drive even the most devoted carb eschewer to the brink of madness (not to mention dietary collapse).
But, since you’re on holidays and all, we say throw Paleo to the wind and instead wrap your lips around these sugar, gluten and butter-packed morsels, freshly whipped up on the regular at our top bakeries in Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney, New York and London. Loaf is short, doughnut miss out.
If Paris reigns supreme as the world’s patisserie queen, then rustic-elegant Du Pain et des Idées is the jewel in her delectable crown. Occupying a late C.19th shop-front, and flaunting era-riffing bevelled mirrors and painted ceilings, this lauded boulangerie uses mostly organic ingredients and time-honoured baking techniques to produce its knee-weakening offering of loaves, pastries and fresh fruit pies. Lay hands on a traddy baguette or signature chocolate pistachio roll and prepare to be whisked away by the layers of flavour, texture and that Gallic je ne sais quoi. La crème. 34 Rue Yves Toudic, Paris. dupainetdesidees.com
Perched in the heart of bustling Wan Chai, Bakehouse has earned a stellar rep for turning out the most irresistible sourdough in town. Helmed by ex-Four Seasons pastry chef Grégoire Michaud, this artisan bakery prides itself on its naturally leavened bread handcrafted with fine French flour; each loaf takes 48 hours to produce, meaning its infused with a good dollop of patience amongst other secret ingreds. With its homely brick-walled interior and proximity to the chichi Lei Tung retail strip, Bakehouse is an uber-popular brekkie-brunch option so arrive early to skip the queue. And don’t forget the egg tarts and scones to go, Joe. 14 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. bakehouse.hk
Expect to catch a whiff of this Bourke Street counter well before you see it, and once you do, no one will judge you for bounding like a possessed boomer to get your mitts on one of their famed pork and fennel sausage rolls. The combo of tender and juicy, delicately-spiced filling wrapped in buttery, flaky pastry has won Bourke Street the accolade of ‘the best sausage roll in Australia’ – lofty praise indeed in this town (and country!). But there’s more on offer than a good stuffed log; try the equally zingy ginger crème brûlée tart with a cup of grade-A Oz java, or choose from an extraordinary range of artisan breads, from soy and linseed to potato and rosemary sourdough. You beauty! 633 Bourke St, Surry Hills, Sydney. bourkestreetbakery.com.au
Neighbourhood bun-peddler turned sweet sensation Levain is world-renowned for its massive 6-ounce cookies, and for very good reason. Perfectly crispy on the outside, warm and gloriously gooey on the inside, they come in four drool-worthy flavours – but connoisseurs both local and global claim the classic walnut chocolate chip iteration takes top bikkie honours. Pair with an ice-cold glass of milk for an all-American experience worth every extra lap of the gym, and though there are six branches city-wide, pay your respects at the original Upper West Side locale. P167 West 74th Street, New York. levainbakery.com
Baked goodies don’t necessarily have to come loaded with butter, eggs or even flour to be sinfully delish – just ask Greenwich dainty-slinger Rubys, where vegan cakes, cookies, brownies and doughnuts can be customised to wheat, gluten, and refined-sugar free specifications as needed. Since early days as a stallholder at the weekend Greenwich Market, Ruby has earned a loyal following for her rich, moist, plant-based treats that have even the non-vegans whipped into a frenzy. Can’t manage the schlep? Fret not, our gal delivers all around London. Sweet! 5b Greenwich Market, Greenwich, London. rubysoflondon.com
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