EATING & DRINKING

LONDON'S TOP 5 BAKERIES
ACCORDING TO TOPJAW

By Carmen | 14 October, 2023
London has PLENTY of brilliant bakeries to choose from, and absolutely fulfils any need for a good croissant that, dare I say it, ably competes with the Parisian offering. We’ve had the chance to try a solid number but not all of them, not even close. So how do you choose? TopJaw is how.
Now, I have no doubt that as a fellow foodie, you too may have binged on TopJaw’s latest ‘Best of London’ series. The influential platform is known for its comprehensive restaurant and food reviews, ratings, and recommendations. The pair, with charming Jesse presenting and Will on camera, started interviewing London chefs in April 2023, asking them about their favourite London spots. Less than 6 months later, the format has grown into a very popular series. It’s now racked up millions of views per interview, recently featuring the likes of Marcus Wareing, Wolfgang Puck and food critic Grace Dent. The questions range from ‘what’s London’s best restaurant’ to ‘what is its most overrated spot’. But today, our focus is on the answer to the best bakery question.

We have done the ‘hard’ work, watched ALL of TopJaw’s Best of London series and, drum roll, these are London’s top 5 bakeries, according to the compilation of 41 of the chef’s answers. Luckily we have indeed tried all 5 and can confirm, this ranking is pretty trustworthy.

1. POPHAMS

We couldn’t agree more with Pophams snagging first place for London’s best bakery. The bakery's commitment to high-quality ingredients and exceptional craftsmanship has very clearly captured the hearts of Londoners. It’s without doubt one of our favourite places in the city to grab breakfast. The small bakery tucked away in Islington excels at one thing: Pastry. Their croissants and pastries are both exceptional and inventive.

Beyond their scrumptious ham & cheese or spiced almond croissant they have unusual pastries such as a marmite, cheese and spring onion swirl, or seasonal danish offerings like strawberry and basil or even pumpkin spice. Choosing what to get will be the hardest part.

BEST FOR
Croissants and toasties

ADDRESS
Various Locations: Islington, London Fields, Victoria Park

WEBSITE
http://www.pophamsbakery.com/

2. ARÔME BAKERY

Nestled in Covent Garden’s quieter streets, Arôme is a hidden gem in London's bakery scene and gets a well deserved second spot. Co-founded by Alix André, a skilled French pastry chef, and Ellen Chew, a Singaporean restaurateur, Arôme’s pastries are characterised by their beautiful execution and their asian inspired flavour twist. When passing by in the evenings you can observe the bakers serious at work, crafting the next day’s batch.

The offering is an impressive selection of both sweet and savoury pastries that skillfully fuse East and Western flavours. Resisting the urge to sample everything on their menu can be a challenge, but whatever choice you make is bound to be a satisfying one. You can sample from French classics executed to perfection like croissant or pain au chocolat or alternatively, you might opt for something more adventurous. Their unique Miso Bacon Escargot is perfect for a savoury option or the popular Honey Butter Toast will surprise you as an understated yet marvellous treat.  

BEST FOR
Pastries & Honey Butter Toast

ADDRESS
Covent Garden and Bond Street

WEBSITE
https://aromebakery.co.uk/

3. DUSTY KNUCKLE

Ahh Dusty Knuckle in third spot! Located in the heart of Dalston, Dusty Knuckle stands out as one of our absolute favourite bakeries, particularly for their delectable potato sourdough and scrumptious sarnies.

What makes supporting this exceptional bakery even more gratifying is their commitment to a profound social mission. Dusty Knuckle actively contributes to the community by providing training programs and employment opportunities for young offenders and those at risk of crime, demonstrating their dedication to a commendable cause. 

BEST FOR
Sourdough and sarnies

ADDRESS
Dalston & Harringay

WEBSITE
http://www.thedustyknuckle.com/

4. BREAD AHEAD

Found in the heart of London's bustling Borough Market, Bread Ahead is a beloved institution for bread and pastry enthusiasts. The bakery's classic doughnuts though, with their delectable fillings and irresistible glazes, is certainly what brought them to fourth spot. Their baking classes are also popular for those looking to refine their own baking skills. 
BEST FOR
Doughnuts

ADDRESS
Multiple locations: Borough Market, South Kensington, Wembley

WEBSITE

https://www.breadahead.com/

5. FORNO

Forno technically only received three votes, so rose to fifth place by the skin of their teeth. But given the Hackney bakery only opened in March 2023, it’s testament to the quality of their offering. Located a stone’s throw from sister restaurant Ombra, the Forno bakery skillfully combines the traditions of Italian baking with a modern twist. This fusion results in an array of tantalising pastries and bread.

Your culinary journey at Forno extends from the morning, where you can indulge in the popular maritozzi, cornetti, and sfogliatelle for breakfast. Lunchtime presents a delightful spread of soups and focaccia. As the day progresses, Forno occasionally treats its patrons to the flavours of Roman pizza which you can have to take away and enjoy in the nearby parks. 

BEST FOR
Italian pastries, bread and pizza

ADDRESS
Hackney

WEBSITE
http://www.forno.london/
London’s bakery scene is haven for those with a soft spot for carb based delights and these five more than deliver the goods. From classic croissants to artisanal loaves of sourdough bread, the choice is there, as showcased by the other 21 (no less!) favourite bakeries mentioned.

So do you agree with the London chefs? Let us know what’s the best bakery in your opinion!

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