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Published March 19th 2016
Update July 9th 2017
Autolyse in Braddon, mentioned 4th in this article, has since closed down.
Crusty pies, flaky sausage rolls & french pastries
Ahhh...the smell of fresh bread baking as you walk in the door, the crunch of pastry on a sausage roll as you take a bite and the splatter of tomato sauce on a brown paper bag. That is what a bakery is to me. Do you go to a bakery for a pie, fresh bread, cakes or all of the above? I must admit to a weak spot for a good sausage roll, so you may find a few sausage roll references in this article as I have taste-tested a few. In Canberra, we are lucky to have dozens of bakeries to enjoy this experience - but which one is the best? We all have our favourite, which one is yours?
Huge hot cross buns from 210 Degrees Bakery and Patisserie, Hughes
DOBINSON'S - CITY CENTRE Dobinson's is easily number one on my list for both cakes and savoury sausage rolls and pies. It is located in two places in Canberra's CBD as they are so popular. If you are after a crusty pie, flaky sausage roll or a variety of cream-filled (and reasonably priced) cakes and pastries, then check out Dobinson's on Bunda street and also inside the Canberra Centre, north end. Dobinson's is a family run business with five generations of pastry chefs, and it shows. It doesn't matter what you pick from their display - it will have you saying "wow" and wanting more. Cherry pies, sausage rolls, lamingtons, pies, tarts, birthday cakes - with a bulging tummy I have tried a fair few now and never been disappointed. When you see the tradies lining up for their pies, you know you have hit the local jackpot. See here for their Bakery price list.
A huge selection of cakes and hot pies at Dobinsons, Bunda Street
Crust is a bakery at Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, 10 kms south of the city. These markets are open Thursday to Sunday and particularly on weekends, this bakery has a constant line of people getting their breadsticks, rolls and desserts for the weekend. Although not a pie fan myself, local friends rate their pies here as some of the best. At this Bakery our family enjoy the variety of different flavoured bread sticks on offer - a perfect snack for the drive home. See here for their Facebook page. Bean and Grain, also at Fyshwick Markets are a popular choice, with café seating inside and out.
Crust Bakery and Cafe, Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets
EQ BAKEHOUSE - DEAKIN The EQ Bakehouse is located in Deakin, 7kms south of the CBD. It is set amongst office buildings and tucked away behind their main restaurant EQ Lounge. This Bakery was a lucky find one afternoon whilst in the area and we have been back several times since for bread, pies, gourmet sandwiches and my favourite, the sausage rolls. Sit in and enjoy the café and watch the baker at work through the viewing window. Make sure you arrive with an appetite at this bakery as the long display case of healthy rolls and wraps will also tempt you. Local office workers frequent this modern bakery, with healthy options and crusty pies to choose from. See the EQ Lounge and EQ Bakehouse Facebook page for details.
AUTOLYSE - BRADDON Autolyse is located in Lonsdale Street in Braddon, an edgy part of the city with food trucks, cafes and a whole street of restaurants and cafes to dine at. Lonsdale street used to be a strip of car yards, mechanics and auto shops before cafes started to open along it. This explains why Autolyse is located right next door to a Repco shop and just down the road from Canberra's busiest carwash . The bread at this bakery has people lining up for orders and diners enjoying the seasonal café menu. This modern bakery café uses natural ingredients and the café menu includes French inspired culinary classics. See their website here.
CAPITAL REGION FARMERS MARKET Although not a bakery, the Capital Region Farmers Market has stalls selling the biggest variety of breads and pies all in the one place. This one-stop-shop for all your bakery needs has a wide range of stalls to choose from, with more added every year. If you love pies, line up for some Gum Tree Pies, where you can buy hot ones to enjoy as well as take home packs to enjoy later. Get there early though, as they run out fast. There are also patisseries with their own stalls (such as Dream Cuisine and the Pork Barrel Bakery) and fresh breads from Bush Breads of Australia and Bread Nerds, who also have a bakery café in Hume.
Bush Breads of Australia at the Capital Region Farmers Market
Of course, these are only a handful of bakeries and patisseries in Canberra - there are so many more to try out for yourself. A popular choice in Kingston is Silo Bakery for their freshly baked goods as well as their café menu. Knead Patisserie in the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets is also another popular choice, with creative cakes and pastries with flair. 210 Degrees Bakery and Patisserie has huge croissants, cakes and a variety of delicious breads to choose from in Hughes. For organic and cruelty-free produce, head over to Sweet Bones Bakery and café in Braddon for beautiful cakes and vegan fare. For gluten free and grain free, check out Deeks Bakery and café in Pearce, 13kms south of the city.
For Patisseries, Ricardo's Café and Patisserie in Jamison Plaza has a phenomenal range and if you are after a traditional French Patisserie and café, you can't go past The Flute in Fyshwick for its bread, pies, pastries, macarons and exquisite cakes to buy and take home.
The Flute Patiserrie, a taste of France in Fyshwick. Open Monday - Friday only
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg when talking about bakeries in Canberra - many local shops have their own bakeries and everyone will have their favourite. If you are looking for a day trip, why not drive to historical Braidwood and enjoy the fare from Braidwood Bakery, an hours drive from Canberra.
If you have a favourite bakery that you would like to add to this list, please leave a comment and let me know - you can never know about too many good bakeries in Canberra. It is just another good excuse for me to try out a new sausage roll... for research purposes of course.
The chunky centre of a Pie Day lamb sausage roll, Capital Region Farmers Market