When you need a sweet treat, cake for the office or fresh bread to take home, head to these decadent destinations.
Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse
They’ve been making cakes and pastries since 1901, so it’s pretty obvious that Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse have got it right. At their Queen Victoria Market shop, which opened in 1931, your breakfast, lunch, snack or celebration cake awaits. From quiche to tiddly oggies (that’s Cornish for a proper pastie!), lamingtons to footy-themed birthday cakes, this is classic baking.
Rustica’s renowned for sourdough bread and sensory-pleasing pastries, so get in early to avoid disappointment. There are flaky croissants, decadent donuts and their love child, the cronut, with fillings and toppings as glorious as a sunrise. If you can’t decide between peanut butter and jelly doughnuts and vanilla and chestnut cronuts, just keep coming back for more. Find them in Rialto Tower and soon, Melbourne Central, where a new store will be opening in June.
The très petit CBD offshoot of a South Melbourne Market favourite, Agathe Patisserie became an instant hit when it opened in 2017. Pastries of Parisian perfection, including almond croissants and escargots, await at an unexpected little serving window under some stairs in Royal Arcade. Bon appétit, treat-seekers!
Baker D Chirico
Daniel Chirico is Melbourne’s king of artisinal bread, and a hot contender for the prince of pastry too. His empire has expanded over the years, including stores in Carlton and South Yarra (picnic-perfect opposite the Royal Botanic Garden). Breads favoured by some of the city’s best restaurants cuddle up to a feast of sweet and savoury creations. From beef ragu pies to custard-filled bombolini and the famous Easter buns, everything’s just right.
Mill & Bakery at Central Pier
With a little Euro rustic-chic and a whole lot of artfully presented breads, pastries and cakes, this waterfront bakery-cafe delights the eye. You can even watch the Mill & Bakery at Central Pier bakers working their magic behind a big window. Of course the real reward is in the eating, whether it’s a lovely loaf to go or lingering over high tea.
Need bread on your way home via Flinders Street Station? Woodfrog Bakery is the easy solution, but this street kiosk’s temptations draw people out of their way at all hours. Their sourdough’s fermented for 28 hours, making crusts crunchy and crumb light, but every bread’s a winner, from baguettes to olive loaves. They also have pastries for your mid-morning or afternoon reward.
Five and Dime Bagel
Want a bagel like the best you ever had in New York? Five And Dime Bagel has it. American Zev Forman opened this bagelry because he missed those circles of satisfaction he enjoyed back home. Watch the traditional three-day process of long, cold fermentation, boiling then baking on wooden boards, while biting into the end result. Come back for a bialy (like a bagel but with an indentation rather than a hole) or New York deli-style sandwich.
By all means, come into this little North Melbourne cafe for a ciabatta filled with gourmet goodness. But you can’t walk out without some cake in your tummy, because that’s Beatrix Cafe’s forté. Nat Paull has been obsessively making sweet treats since she was seven, and trained under legends like Maggie Beer and Stephanie Alexander. With a hugely loyal fan based, seating is at a premium in its tiny space. If you’re not prepared to wait for a table, there’s still plenty of treats to takeaway – be early to avoid disappointment.
A Carlton legend for Italian coffee and cake, Brunetti opened its Flinders Lane outpost in 2017. From wood-fired pizza to the Campari Bar, the 300-seat Brunetti City ticks all the boxes, but the big one is still cake. This is truly la dolce vita, from biscotti with your morning espresso to late-night dessert, or extravagant cakes to go.
Discover more bakeries and patisseries at What’s On Melbourne.