London's best bakeries

Crumbs! There are a lot of good bread shops in London these days, and here's the upper crust.

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Sink your teeth into the finest loaves and pastries London has to offer with our guide to the best bakeries in the capital.  Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Balthazar boulangerie

Nice buns! This Covent Garden bakery might take its inspiration from the bakehouses of Paris (by way of New York) rather than London, but its bakers are not too proud to whip up the classic British Easter treat of hot cross buns (£1.75). As for the rest, there’s flaky croissant (£1.75), well-crafted loaves, perfect patisserie and lunchtime salads or sandwiches to take away. Breads include large rounds of flavoursome rye-based pain de seigle (half loaf £2.50 / whole £5), perfect for toasting; pillowy olive ciabatta (£3.50); and multigrain bâtards (£4.50). This might not be the cheapest bakery around, but it’s one of the best in the centre of town.

Private Dining Room Now Open
  1. 4-6 Russell St, WC2E 7BN
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E5 Bakehouse

Tucked into the arches below London Fields rail station, E5 Bakehouse is a hive of bread-based activity. Each boule, baguette and country loaf is lovingly handmade and shaped by a team of passionate bakers – with a former neuroscientist at their helm. One of the most popular loaves is the round, slow-risen Hackney Wild (£3.50), made with white, wholemeal and rye flour. With a light, open texture and satisfyingly crunchy, chewy crust, it’s perfect for sarnies. And if you get bitten by the bread baking bug, the team also do near-weekly bread-making master classes (£120 full-day course).

  1. Arch 395, (Mentmore Terrace), E8 3PH
More info

Fabrique

In the last year or so the arches around Hoxton station have become a destination for interesting eateries, and this Scandinavian bakery was one of the early colonisers. The first branch of the chain outside of Stockholm, it does all its baking on-site. While the back half of the vaulted space is taken up with sacks of flour and ovens, the front has a handful of tables for enjoying a cup of coffee and a filled baguette. In terms of the bread, it’s all about high-class, stone-baked sourdough loaves made with traditional methods, plus excellent Swedish-style cinnamon and cardamom buns (£2.50).

  1. 385 Geffrye Street, E2 8HZ
More info

Gail's

  • Price band: 1/4

Started in Hampstead in 2004 by some serious breadheads, Gail’s has gone from strength to strength since then, opening branches in affluent pockets across the capital (South Kensington, Queen’s Park, Dulwich Village, etc). The highlight of the spring season is light, fruity hot-cross buns glazed with glossy, spiced syrup (£1.20), while regulars include rectangles of seeded spelt dough (£3.20), German rye (£3.20) and white or sourdough baguettes (£1.60/1.70), each made with natural processes and ingredients. But, one of our all-time favourites is the mashed potato, rosemary and nigella seed round, which keeps for days (£3.20).

  1. 128 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZL
More info

Old Post Office Bakery

Take one German psychotherapist, a disused Brixton post-office-turned-squat, and a secondhand oven, and what do you get? The Old Post Office Bakery. Started in 1982, this place was serving up organic sourdough loaves long before they became trendy. Thirty-odd years on, the Old Post Office may have moved site and upgraded its equipment, but this community-focused bread business still maintains its reputation for impressive handcrafted loaves. There’s anything from Brixton Rye (£1.60) to classic tin loaves (90p-£1.90), Chelsea buns (£1.40 each, available weekends), French pastries, pizzas, and sausage or spinach rolls. The Old Post Office also sells its breads at various farmers’ markets around London such as Herne Hill, Oval, Venn Street and Bloomsbury.

  1. 76 Landor Rd, SW9 9PH

St John Bakery

‘Bread is as vital as your knife and fork in the eating process,’ according to Fergus Henderson, which goes some way to explaining why the slices in his restaurants have always been so nice. But you don’t have to indulge in a slap-up meal to get your hands on Henderson’s loaves. For a weekday dough fix, St John’s baking is sold in the Selfridges food hall, while the St John Bermondsey bakery (72 Druid St, SE1 2HQ) opens its doors for trade on Saturday and Sunday mornings (9am until 2pm-ish). Along with tangy, brown sourdoughs (£2.79 per half loaf) and dense rye rounds (£4.99), cream and jam doughnuts are always a winner (available weekends at Druid Street).

  1. Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB

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Users say

17 comments
paskell e
paskell e

Patisserie ste Anne , An independant french bakery just opened on kings street in hammersmith near ravenscourt park station. Really good baguette, pain au chocolat .. amazing cakes ... I stamp it with my french approval!!

andreea zalaru
andreea zalaru

Hello! ...My name is Andreea and. .... I saw the pictures and I think that u are doing a great job.My mother-in-law,the same, she is passionate about cakes.It's her way of relaxing.Everything she's doing, put the soul and devote himself to get all this wonderful crafts.Soon,on 5 March will be back in London.It is currently in the country and very much she would like to start working in a cake shop and to thank the world around her.It is a person who deserve the chance to present and demonstrate that is able and i can say with hand on my soul,she didn't disappoint anybody.She making efforts to meet the demands and wishes of all clients.So, if you are interested,just give her a chance to see some exhibits, and who knows, maybe u gonna add a new colleague in your team.I hope i haven't bored with my words and maybe with luck I will get the answer from you guys: D. Thank you!!!

Anilkumar
Anilkumar

Hi Frankel, Thanks for your input. I have bought bread from them a few times in the past and a few tarts.Maybe they have upped their game.I shall give them another try next week. I see the amazing improvements in UK gastronomy(we have several World Class/beating restaurants now),but cannot say the same of bakeries.

frankel.
frankel.

I'm a real bakery fanatic Anil, Euphorium bakery is a real find. Cant go wrong, has to be the best in london if not the Uk.

Michael
Michael

Seriously everybody should try the bread and cake stall in Brick Lane. I think it's called Saint Sugar of London and they are on Sundays in Brick Lane under the railway bridge. Their sausage rolls can change your life! Even their sweet stuff is quite impressive...

row
row

best bakery in the london area is the maids of honour in kew, been there over 100 years, ones to watch are the maids of honour cakes and the sausage rolls, however they do have new owners and i hope the standards havent slipped

Julie
Julie

I bought some posh bread from Gail's for my mum who was visiting. It was inedible, as tough as old boots and in the end I put it out for the birds. They didn't eat it either. My mum was horrified when I told her what I paid for it.

Naa
Naa

peyton & byrne's bakewell tarts were a big dissapointment ... and i love bakewell tarts!

Freddy
Freddy

You just cant compete with EUPHORIUM BAKERY they are head and shoulders above there nearest rivals which is great as they have just opened their flagship branch where i live in the ANGEL. Viva la british baking revolution!!!!!!!

Jus
Jus

I'm afraid I have to disagree with Clara, I've bought QPFM cakes twice and had them bought for me too and wasn't that impressed. The cupcakes were OK but the cakes that I tried all had a strange, almost undercooked texture and tasted like marge. Best cakes in London? Check out the stall on Golborne Road - mmmmmmmmm!

clara
clara

Best cakes in London? Try the cake stall at Queens Park Farmers' market on Sundays. The Chocolate and Guinness cake and Barbie Beetroot cake are to die for.

Mel
Mel

I used to work for Peyton & Byrne. I miss their fruit tarts & chocolate fairy cakes damn it! Working outside of the food sector is overrated ;p They don't mention it in this article, but there's another P&B between heals and habitat on Tottenham court rd. Oh & if you do stop by, say hello to the lovely lady who sells the big issue out front. Maybe even drop her a pound if you can spare it ;)

christo
christo

Ive been to most of the bakers above but have to say euphorium bakery is one hell of a find!!! I go thr for lunch most days and at weekends with the kids. Cant get enough of thr carrot cake simply divine...

Zig
Zig

Baker and Spice are stuck up, I go there every time I want to pay over the odds for flour and water. Gail's is mostly the same stuff but no attitude.

Claire
Claire

Where oh where is Baker and Spice??

Lisa
Lisa

Konditor and Cook? They remind me of the supermarket cakes back home in the States---sickly sweet. Good pick on Gail's Cookies though, they're actually great!

Pattie K
Pattie K

i would like to see you bake something with "flour and water" and see what comes up!