Fine baked goods are no longer exclusive to France or even Europe. At this year’s Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie, the world cup of baking, a team of Koreans beat the French, at a baking contest held in Paris. Here’s a guide to the best bakeries around the globe.
Singapore: Baker & Cook
77 Hillcrest Road, Greenwood
Tel: (65) 6469 8834 www.bakerandcook.biz
Dean Brettschneider is a well-respected, award-winning baker who cut his teeth in New Zealand and Europe before starting Baker & Cook in Singapore. He brings some of his globe-trotting experiences to his products, like the famous carrot cake. Instead of the commonly used mixed spice, he uses Chinese five- spice, because he couldn’t get mixed spice in China. There is a vast range of global baked delights including biscotti, Turkish pide and German volkorn.
8 rue du cherche-Midi Paris 75006
Tel: (33–1) 4548 4259 www.poilane.com
This world famous bakery has been going since 1932, and The New Yorker profiled it in a December 2012 feature about how the founder’s granddaughter is taking over “France’s premier baking dynasty.” Aside from their famous sourdough, Poilâne’s other breads — such as raisin or nut — are also worth a try. They only have a small range of bread to ensure quality. All the bread is made in wood-fired ovens, and when the founder’s son Lionel Poilâne opened the first shop outside France in London in 2000, he had spent two years getting permission to use a wood-fire oven.
44 Angove street,
wA 6006, Australia
Tel: (61–8) 9328 7442 www.fiorentina.com.au
Italian goodies for everyday — or special occasions. Fiorentina’s purple façade makes it distinctive among the other cafes on the street. As the name suggests, a Sicilian family founded the patisserie, and you can see that in the wide selection of Italian pastries in the pastry fridge. They also make cakes for special occasions, such as profiterole towers, giant cannoli, and torta cakes.
Tokyo: Hidemi Sugino
104-0031Chuo3-6-17 Kyobashi, 1F Kyobashi Oe Bldg.
Hidemi Sugino won the title of Asia’s Best Pastry Chef in 2015. He specializes in mousse-based bakes, and he’s become so famous that a queue forms outside his shop every morning. He trained in Japan before spending a few years in France, and won the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in 1991, making him a true cake boss. It’s said that each day, the shop only makes 10 of famous Ambroisie that won him that honor, so go early. Also, you can’t take pictures, and some cakes are so delicate you cannot get them to go.
60316 Frankfurt am
Tel: (49–69) 431 585
Kronberger is a less high profile place; it’s a popular local bakery that has become known as having some of the best traditional German pastries in town.Try their delicious bread — and maybe a slice of gateau. It won’t cost you as much as the other places, and there’s plenty to choose from, with tarts, cakes, pies and more.
Beijing: Comptoirs de France
China Central Place 89 Jianguo Road Building 15, No. 102 Chaoyang District Beijing 100025
Tel: (86–10) 6530 5480
With so many French customers, this place kind of feels like France. It serves more than 20 varieties of cake as well as baguettes, quiche, truffles, macaroons and more. It was founded by a young French entrepreneur with experience running hotels and retail chains, and a family legacy of making flour and baked goods.
Hanoi: Saint Honore
5 Xuan Dieu, Tây ho, hanoi Tel: (84–4) 3933 2355
Locals and foreigners alike come here for a crisp croissant or decadent sweet treat, which include the best cakes in Hanoi, crepes, tarts, baguettes, éclairs, and house-made ice-cream. It’s also a restaurant with an extensive menu of French dishes like boeuf bourguignon, duck confit, and seafood gratin.
Seoul: May Bell Bakery
24, Itaewon-ro 49-gil
This well-known bakery has become a household name in Korea and supplies bread to many restaurants in the area. They stop selling once their freshly baked stock runs out so go early. Plus most of their wholesome, simple baked goods are not only vegan but sugar free. Pro-tip: turn left in an alley after the main location for a lesser known but larger branch with more bread and less customers.
A-1010 Vienna, Kohlmarkt 14
With a founding date of 1786, this Viennese bakery has been around the longest out of all the places on the list. You can check out their history at the Demel Museum, but before you do that, admire the sensory overload of the various dense chocolate, jam-filled, hand-made cakes, scones, pastries and other baked masterpieces in gleaming glass cases. Even if you don’t go to the very fancy café upstairs, you can see the skilled confectioners at work making the cakes and tarts that will tempt you to devour them.
Tartine Bakery, San Francisco
600 Guerrero Street San Francisco, CA
Chad Robertson has been called one of the best bread bakers in the U.S. His bakery turns out 240 fresh loaves a day and they are always snapped up. Like all famous places, there’s a line, but once you get there, you have a wide selection of freshly made pastries, including their French and American take on a cinnamon bun, a huge croissant, a punchy pain au chocolate, bread pudding with fruit that changes everyday and more.