Are you looking for some baked goodies to fill your appetite before a busy day in London or to break a long day of activities? Here are some of the best bakeries you can find in central London, offering a variety of items from freshly baked bread and pastries to doughnuts and cakes.
Many of these bakeries can be found in multiple locations around London (and some even beyond the boundaries of the city) which means that it’s even easier for you to include them in your next visit to the British capital.
Ole & Steen
Ole & Steen is a Scandinavian-style bakery coming straight from Denmark. It’s an all-day bakery which means you can find freshly made bakes and coffee from early in the morning until late in the evening. Their menu has a variety of Scandinavian and rye bread, Danish pastries, different cakes, buns and muffins, as well as sandwiches for some light lunch.
You can find an Ole & Steen bakery in multiple locations in central London such as Oxford Circus, Leicester Square and St. James. Once there, definitely try one of their swirls with Danish puff pastry, i.e., the cinnamon swirl, the chocolate swirl or the lemon cardamom swirl.
Hummingbird Bakery brings you closer to some American cakes, cupcakes and other desserts. You can find them in three locations in London, with their first shop being in Notting Hill and sister shops in South Kensington and Spitalfields.
Try their famous red velvet creations in cake, cupcake or cheesecake form, while the colourful rainbow cake is perfect for birthdays. If you crave some pie, you can get a piece from their wide selection of American pies in different flavours such as key lime, lemon meringue, pecan or pumpkin pie.
This is truly the place to find authentic American desserts, and if you want even more than that, you can purchase their signature cookbook to be able to bake all their goodies at your own home.
Paul Rhodes Bakery
Paul Rhodes Bakery is an independent bakery in Greenwich offering a wide variety of finely made products by chef Pierre Koffmann. There, you can find an extensive collection of bread from classic whites and wholemeal seeded to more unique ones such as bread with fig, apricot, and rosemary. In terms of sweet treats, some of their highlights include their cupcakes and mini tea cakes or their newly added chocolate pistachio babka knots.
As the bakery is only a short distance from Greenwich Park this is the perfect place to fill your picnic basket with artisanal bread, tasty cakes, and any of the other goodies they have. Then, take it with you to the park, to relax from a day exploring the nearby Royal Observatory or simply to enjoy the view over London and the Canary Wharf.
Caravan is a small chain of restaurants in five locations around London, with the one in Fitzrovia being known for its unique creations of croissants. Their selection of baked items changes regularly with past highlights including croissants with blueberry and lemon, fig and tahini, and matcha and cherry fillings.
The croissants are usually in collaboration with other bakers and are often very popular and selling fast. So, arrive early if you want to get your hands on one. Alternatively, you can arrive a bit later to try their delicious brunch, lunch or dinner at their beautiful restaurant which used to be a BBC Radio 1 recording studio.
Visit this London-born bakery and be carried away by their delicious artisanal bread and pastries. Come to Gail’s to get your daily dose of award-winning bread, or breakfast basket full of different types of croissants and buns.
If you are preparing an afternoon tea this is the place to get your scones and cakes. Gail’s has a great selection of mini cakes and scones ranging from the traditional plane flavours to the more special ones. Try the pistachio, lemon and rose cake or the sour cherry and dark chocolate drop scone.
You can find Gail’s bakeries in multiple locations around London, such as South Kensington and Camden, perfect for a break while sightseeing the capital.
Get a taste of France at Arôme bakery, located in The Yards district close to Covent Garden. Queue to get some of their flaky croissants and pain au chocolat or one of their tasty tarts and Danishes. Combine it with some specialty coffee, and you are ready to start your day.
Despite following French baking techniques, Arôme also experiments with using Asian flavours. So don’t be surprised to find Shokupan, a Japanese-style milk bread filled with local ingredients and sesame miso caramel cake slices.
However, the ultimate item to get that Arôme brags as their specialty is the crispy Honey Butter Toast. This toast is a different take on the traditional French toast using Shokupan bread instead, and always baked fresh throughout the day.
Fabrique is another locals’ favourite bakery coming straight from the heart of Sweden and the capital city of Stockholm. This London based bakery is famous for its Scandinavian buns and sourdough bread. The bans come in different flavours with the most common being cinnamon and cardamom, but special flavours may appear on the shelves. Look out for saffron, almond or walnut buns.
You can find Fabrique in six locations around London from Notting Hill’s Portobello Road to the busy Covent Garden. The bakeries take up little space, with most customers getting their items as a take-away but a small sitting area allows you to enjoy your coffee and bun of choice in a casual setting.
Find Bread Ahead deep into the stalls of Borough Market (and in a few other locations around London). Their specialty is sourdough bread, which you can get on its own or as a pizza slice, perfect for that much-needed lunch break, and doughnuts.
The cream-filled and sugar-coated doughnuts look simple enough, yet they are full of taste and aroma once put into your mouth. Their flavours range from simple vanilla custard to salted caramel and honeycomb.
Bread Ahead also has a renowned Bakery School offering various workshops to breed-enthusiasts of all levels. The workshops can last from half a day to 3 full days, so pick what suits you and get started with making your own bread, doughnuts and other pastries.