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23 Top London Bakeries If You're All About Morning Coffees, Croissants And Cinnamon Buns

·13-min read
Photo credit: Comptoir Gourmand; Bread Ahead - Instagram
Photo credit: Comptoir Gourmand; Bread Ahead - Instagram

It’s easy to head to the same old bakery in London day in and day out for your favourite cronut, cinnamon bun and flat white order.

Deliberating which of the best bakeries in London to visit for your breakfast and mid-afternoon snack can be a pretty tiresome affair, and the fear of disappointment of buying a stale baguette real.

To save you trawling the Internet and Instagram to find the best bakeries and patisseries, offering you everything from sourdough breads, chocolate pralines and brioches, we've compiled a definitive list of the best London bakeries, including Meghan Markle’s preferred haunt and a favourite among ELLE UK, Pophams.

Whether you’re grabbing your dough to-go, after a rye-inspired Scandi hit, or want to wash down your fresh sourdough with a glass of wine, one of these bakeries is sure to suit your mood and appetite:

1- Ole & Steen

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A Danish bakery with branches dotted across London, we can’t get enough of this super chic spot.

Founded in 1991 by bakers Ole Kristoffersen and Steen Skallebaek (that explains the name), the bakery was originally known as Lagkagehuset (‘layer cake house’) and has been a hub of social activity, hygge and carefully-sourced and doughy goodness ever since.

For breakfast, we love tucking into its vegan tropical coconut and mango yoghurt, Berry Mallow cake, chocolate, cinnamon and lemon cardamon swirls. And for lunch, it has to be the smoked salmon roll and truffled mushroom toastie.

Locations across London https://oleandsteen.co.uk/

2- Bread Ahead

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Never has there been a bakery that’s made us want to dive head first into a tray of croissants like Bread Ahead. Founded by baker Matthew Jones in 2013, this bakery started out in Borough Market and has since expanded across London thanks to its reputation for producing delectable sourdough breads with a real crunch and plump doughnuts.

With its almond croissants, pistachio pain au chocolats, carrot cake doughnuts topped with swirls of cream cheese frosting and walnuts and blackcurrant mascarpone ripple doughnuts, you’ll be forgiven for spending far too much money in this sweet bakery.

Locations across London https://www.breadahead.com/

3 - Comptoir Gourmand

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A small, family-run boulangerie patisserie with sites across London (Bermondsey St, Maltby St, Borough Market and Soho) Comptoir Gourmand has become a firm favourite for pastry lovers in recent years.

Grab yourself a chocolate twist, americano, pistachio Paris-Brests and a passion fruit and chocolate palet and wander around the streets of the capital tucking into almond, chocolate and praline flavours.

Locations across London https://www.comptoirgourmand.co.uk/

4 - WA Café

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A Japanese patisserie bakery in the heart of Covent Garden and Ealing Broadway, WA Café is an Instagram lover’s dream thanks to it’s perfectly decorated sakura panna cottas, matcha lattes and chocolate pralines.

Our favourites have to be the coffee cream rolls (filled with sweet coffee and topped with coffee cream), sakura berry cake and ruby chocolate croissants (which are coated in chocolate made from Ruby cocoa beans that results in a sweet and sour taste).

32 Haven Green, London W5 2NX; 5 New Row, London WC2N 4LH https://www.wacafe.co.uk/

5 - Layla Bakery

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When you’re not buying jewellery and vintage clothing in Portobello market, why not head down to this artisan neighbourhood bakery?

Using wild grains, this is the perfect place if you’re on the search for focaccia sandwiches, cheese toasties, spiced buns, cookies, sausage rolls, pastries and all things sourdough.

It’s simple, it’s beautiful, and we can’t get enough of Layla’s.

332 Portobello Road, London https://www.laylabakery.com/

6 - Buns From Home

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If only we could make buns like this. Founded in lockdown, brothers Barney and Gabriel took their mum’s kitchen and began making pastry orders for their local neighbours. As Buns From Home’s popularity grew, the duo have gone on to open their very own shop off Portobello Road, where you’ll also find their mother working on the counter.

The site’s double baked buns with almond frangipane, topped with almond flakes and blackberry and apple crumble have got to be our favourite picks. Oh, and did we mention they deliver across London from Wednesday to Sunday?

128 Talbot Road, Notting Hill https://www.bunsfromhome.com/

7 - Flor

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Opened by Lyle’s masterminds chef James Lowe and general manager John Ogierteam, Flor has blended our two favourite things – pastries and wine – to create a café in Borough Market.

Head baker Anna Higham is the genius behind dishes such as asparagus and goat’s cheese danish pastries, castagnaccio (a chestnut flour cake with pine nuts and rosemary) and the colourful citrus danish.

Flor also serves savoury dishes such as cauliflower, toum and chickpea pittas, fried veal sweetbreads, gribiche, brioches and mackerel sando.

1 Bedale St, LONDON, SE1 9AL https://florlondon.com/

8 - Margot Bakery

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This East Finchley-based bakery opened in 2016 and uses organic, free range eggs for its bakes, fair trade sugar and organic flour for cakes and ethical chocolate.

‘The changing bakery menu is guided by what we are excited about; customer favourites, festivals, celebrations and seasonal produce,’ it explains online, noting its bread and pastries, including babka, brioche and croissants are leavened with sourdough.

We can’t get enough of its brown sugar walnut load with coffee icing, almond croissants and (of course) the cinnamon swirls.

121 East End Road, London, N2 0SZ https://www.margotbakery.co.uk/

9 - Söderberg

A Swedish bakery and coffee shop, this spot is located in Edinburgh and in London and brings customers a variety of ‘classic’s including the cinnamon and cardamom buns, Kladdkaka, Mazarins, pistaschio horseshoes and chocolate balls. We’re a big fan of its Semla buns (think cardamom buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream).

Söderberg also serves an all-day drinks menu of the usual breakfast staples (coffees, iced lattes and teas) as well as cocktails, wine, beer and spirits.

A glass of vino with a rhubarb and custard cinnamon bun, can you think of anything better?

36 Berwick St, London, W1F 8RR https://www.soderberg.uk/shop

10 - Jolene Bakery

Photo credit: Courtesy of Jolene Bakery
Photo credit: Courtesy of Jolene Bakery

From the duo behind Lyles and Primeur, Jolene is a firm east London favourite. Located on Newington Green, its airy feel and low-hanging lights make this the perfect spot to enjoy a long afternoon.

With stone milling onsite (the process of grinding wheat and grains), the bread is as fresh as it gets too. All baked goods are made daily from scratch and the constantly changing menu means that no two days (or two tarts) will ever be the same.

You can also go for lunch-time light bites (think creamy mozzarella sprinkled with mint and smoked salmon accompanied by pickled cucumbers and crème fraiche) and come back for dinner, as Jolene turns into a candlelit restaurant come 6pm, serving fresh stuffed pasta and natural wine.

22 Newington Green, N16 9PU, jolenen16.com

11 - Brick House

Photo credit: Anna Batchelor
Photo credit: Anna Batchelor

Winners at the Urban Food Awards in 2016, Brick House’s plain miche (large rustic loaves made from a natural leavening) and double chocolate sourdough are second to none. Find them in a converted warehouse off Lordship Lane in East Dulwich (and don’t miss a new second branch near Peckham Rye station).

The sleek and light-filled space makes the perfect brunch spot. Enjoy the usual eggs and avocado or branch out and try their house-made Nutella, best slathered on their signature sourdough toast. They also supply the bread for some of London’s favourite restaurants including Duck Soup, Frenchie and Quo Vadis.

1 Zenoria Street, East Dulwich, SE22 8HP, brickhousebread.com

12 - The Dusty Knuckle Bakery

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London bakeries don’t get more socially-conscious than The Dusty Knuckle. Alongside their epic sandwiches (we love the porchetta with salsa verde) and melt-in-your-mouth morning buns, they also have a training programme for young people caught up in youth violence.

From humble beginnings in an empty shipping container in Hackney, The Dusty Knuckle Bakery now has a permanent home in Dalston, with an on-site café so you can enjoy their killer sarnies on site.

Think chargrilled asparagus, courgette and toasted pine nuts, or roasted pork shoulder, green chilli and red onion salsa. The white potato sourdough is a must.

Abbot Street Car Park, E8 3DP, thedustyknuckle.com

13 - Luminary Bakery

Photo credit: Courtesy of Luminary Bakery
Photo credit: Courtesy of Luminary Bakery

This bakery, with its all-female team, made Meghan Markle’s 38th birthday cake. Need we say more? Offering everything from divine carrot cakes (this was Meghan’s choice) to pillowy focaccias (#FocacciaFriday is now undoubtedly a thing) and afternoon tea each month, the Stoke Newington bakery has it all covered.

There’s also a social enterprise element (which is no doubt why Meghan was so drawn to them). Alice Williams, the founder of Luminary, believes in bakery as a form of therapy, and leads a scheme to empower disadvantaged women, teaching them transferable skills to build a better future.

71-73 Allen Road, Stoke Newington, N16 8RY, luminarybakery.com

14 - Nordic Bakery

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Known for its dark rye bread, strong coffee and cult-favourite cinnamon buns, this is one of London’s best Scandi gems. The minimalist style bakery on Soho’s Golden Square is buzzing with people dropping in for blueberry smoothies and a slice of the best Tosca cake (think utter buttery exquisiteness) you’ve ever tried.

Make sure you visit during cinnamon bun week (starting on 30 September) for an entire seven days dedicated to celebrating one of Scandinavia’s much-loved classics.

14a Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9JG, nordicbakery.com

15 - Dominique Ansel

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Pioneer of the cronut (the hybrid deliciousness that is a croissant-donut) and founder of the beloved New York bakeries, Dominique Ansel’s Belgravia outlet doesn’t disappoint. Try its untraditional take on classic English puddings from the ‘After the Rain’ mousse cake to the ‘Paris-London’ tart, made with Earl Grey ganache.

And if you’re feeling really experimental, order the banoffee paella, aka banoffee pie made upside down in a paella pan to caramelise the bananas and crisp the crumble.

17-21 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, dominiqueansel.com

16 - E5 Bakehouse

Photo credit: Courtesy of E5 Bakehouse
Photo credit: Courtesy of E5 Bakehouse

E5 is well known for its sourdough – the ‘Hackney Wild’ is one of London’s best loved loaves. Tucked away in the railway arches beneath London Fields Station, the bakery is supplied entirely with renewable energy, and all of the offerings are made using only local produce. Stone milling is done onsite, and the only packaging used is biodegradable.

The spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) is a weekend must and be sure to pick up some fresh bread from the next-door Millhouse shop on your way out, too: an immediate upgrade to your home-made avocado on toast.

395 Mentmore Terrace, E8 3PH, e5bakehouse.com

17 - Jacob The Angel

Photo credit: Courtesy of Jacob the Angel
Photo credit: Courtesy of Jacob the Angel

In 1651, a man named Jacob (a Jewish man from Lebanon) is said to have opened England’s very first coffee house at The Angel Inn in Oxford, bringing with him the flavours of the East and coffee from Turkey via Venice. It is this Jacob who lends his name to the Neal’s Yard coffee house and bakery, Jacob the Angel.

The brainchild of siblings Layo and Zoe Paskin (of The Palomar and The Barbary), the food draws on Eastern and Jewish culinary traditions. There’s the Jerusalem bagel (labneh and cucumber), delicious stuffed flatbreads in seasonal flavours and tahini madeleines, which are totally unforgettable.

If overly sugary baked goods aren’t your thing, this might just be the bakery you’ve been waiting for.

16A Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP, jacobtheangel.co.uk

18 - Pophams

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Fancy a lie-in and a late brunch? Then this is not the one. If you desire the highly sought-after Pophams’ Bacon and Maple Croissant, it is imperative that you are an early riser ­– and that you are prepared to fight for your breakfast.

The hit pastry, inspired by founder Ollie Gold’s experiences with bacon and maple pancakes in the US, regularly sells out before 10am.

Each pastry has 27 layers of butter running through the dough, making it crumbly and buttery perfection, worked on by a team of bakers throughout the night. Be sure to try the tonka bean crème brûlée or for the more savoury toothed, the marmite, schlossberger and spring onion twist.

19 Prebend Street, Islington, N1 8PF, pophamsbakery.com

19 - Kapihan

Photo credit: Courtesy of Kapihan
Photo credit: Courtesy of Kapihan

Meaning ‘coffee house’ in Filipino, Kapihan began as a kiosk at SOAS University in Euston, run by second-gen Filipino-British brothers David and Nigel Motley (who also own Kapé and Pan bakery). Their new site in Battersea takes inspiration from the wooden shacks that kapé (coffee) is traditionally sold from in the Philippines, and serves up classic pastries with a South East Asian twist.

Think kimchi croissants, chiffon padans (a super light and fluffy green cake created with padan plant) and cassava cakes (a gloriously moist cake made from grated cassava with a layer of custard on top), all of which are best paired with their deliciously rare coffee made with Liberica beans.

13 Parkgate Road, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ, kapeandpan.com

20 - Beyond Bread

Photo credit: Courtesy of Beyond Bread
Photo credit: Courtesy of Beyond Bread

Now finally, something for the bread bloaters and wheat-averse. You love baked goods but, alas, baked goods do not love you. Fret not, Beyond Bread stocks 100% gluten-free bread, muffins, buns, cakes, quiches – and the rest.

Head to their snug and stylish café in Fitzrovia for their well-loved French toast, or try the decadent red velvet cake in their outlet in Selfridges’ Food Hall. You’ll also find the Beyond Bread products in all Wholefood supermarkets.

2 Charlotte Place, W1T 1SB, beyondbread.co.uk

21 - Fabrique

Photo credit: Courtesy of Fabrique
Photo credit: Courtesy of Fabrique

We all love a Scandi trend, and now even more so with the opening of small Swedish chain Fabrique. Their ethos centres around the concept of Fika (often literally translated as a ‘coffee and cake break’, but it’s much more than that – it’s a state of mind), and the ambience is fittingly laid-back.

Fabrique’s cinnamon buns are arguably some of the best outside of Stockholm, and the coffee comes direct from Swedish coffee roasters Johan & Nystrom. If you can, don’t get your coffee and pastry to go – sit and luxuriate.

We’re calling it the slow coffee movement.

Arch 385, Geffrye Street, Shoreditch, E2 8JA, fabrique.co.uk

22 - St. John's Bakery

Photo credit: Patricia Niven
Photo credit: Patricia Niven

St John’s is a dedicated bakery and wine shop (specialising in French wine) in Covent Garden’s Neal’s Yard. It’s the sister bakery of the Michelin starred restaurant of the same name.

Pick up Eccles cakes, raisin loaves and the famous mouth-watering doughnuts while deciding which French wine will go well with your pâtisserie de choix in the colourful Covent Garden courtyard.

The seasonal jam doughnuts are the best thing about this place – St John’s arguably invented the ‘posh’ British doughnut – and the rhubarb in particular is a work of flavourful art.

3 Neal’s Yard, WC2h 9DP, stjohnrestaurant.com

23 - Violet Cakes

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From the woman behind Harry and Meghan’s elaborate Amalfi Lemon and Elderflower wedding cake, Violet’s baked goods are a love-letter to seasonal flavour. The buttercream icing on their fluffy cakes and bakes change through the months, with elderflower for spring, berries for summer, figs for autumn and clementines for winter.

Which all makes sense given that the Hackney bakery started out life as an outdoor market stall on London Field’s Broadway Market.

47 Wilton Way, E8 3ED, violetcakes.com

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