Duchess Bake Shop, Edmonton
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After discovering macarons in (of all places) Tokyo, head baker Giselle Courteau spent years perfecting her own recipe. In 2009, she opened Duchess Bake Shop in Canada to sell her version to the public and hasn’t looked back since. You’ll find the requisite French classics here – pain au chocolat and brioche, for example – but you shouldn’t miss the chance to try her painstakingly perfected macaron. Salted caramel or rose won’t disappoint – but neither would a cronut brimming with grapefruit curd and topped with crunchy meringue.
E5 Bakehouse, London
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If you rely on a simple white sourdough loaf, you’ll need a little more decisiveness upon ordering from E5 Bakehouse. Beyond the familiar baguette, there’s the smouldering walnut rugbrød or the wholemeal miche, made from a young sourdough. Danishes are plentiful and broad in offering too: but who could go past an almond croissant?
Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
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Following an extended stint in Italy during his late teens where he swapped playing soccer for shadowing pastry masters, founder Jonny Pisanelli brought his new-found knowledge home to Adelaide and started turning out some of the most stellar pastries in the state. Sfogiatelle is his forte (you’ll find the same layers of thin, flaky crusts in something like the berry almond staple) but you could point at any of the day’s options and still pick a winner.
Du Pain et des Idees, Paris
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A quintessential Parisian boulangerie in both its menu and setting (the hand-painted ceiling dates back to 1860, for one), Du Pain et des Idees is a vital stop on the route of bread-loving locals and visitors alike. Baker Christophe Vasseur plugs into tradition with mainstay masterpieces such as crusty loaves and croissants, but it’s his pastry escargot – lined with fillings such as praline or rum and raisin that are irresistible.
Joseph Brot, Vienna
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The open shelves of the otherwise minimalist interior of popular bakery Joseph Brot are like packed commuter carriages. The Viennese have a long tradition of singular baking skills (the Sacher Torte, of course, being the city’s culinary claim to fame) but this modern bakery moves past the tried and tested– twists and folds of perfectly massaged dough line every ledge. We’d advise keeping things simple with a hunk of crusty bread with lashings of butter (and maybe taking a sweet something home just to finish on a high).
Meyer’s Bakery, Copenhagen
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There’s only room for five lucky disciples in the Jægersborggade branch of Meyer’s Bageri so crowds are predictably common. Whether you find a seat or not, you’ll want to exit with a bag or belly full of kanelsnurrer – the bakery’s signature cinnamon rolls that’s rippled with rich, Valrhona chocolate. Indulgence doesn’t have to play the waiting game if you can’t hold out: luckily, there are five other outlets throughout the city.
Ken’s Bakery, Portland
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Owner Ken Forkish gathered a fanbase initially for his crusty, fire-charred pizzas but now owes return visits to his impossibly crumbly croissants, stuffed with all manner of savoury and sweet varieties. Our pick? The Oregon Croissant with local berries such as marionberry with hazelnut cream.
La Pâtisserie des Rêves, Paris
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The pomp and performance of a French patisserie is preserved amongst the cabinets of La Pâtisserie des Rêves. There are three outlets around the city and each retain that grand tradition of serious pastry craft from ‘childhood pastries’ such as the éclair du chocolat or the lemon meringue tart to a raspberry-topped tart with unbelievably precise pastry edges. If your Instagram feed is as hungry as you, the brioche feuilletee aus praline roses is almost too pretty to scoff.
Lily Vanilli, London
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East London got quite the sugar hit in 2008 when Lily Jones opened her bakery Lily Vanilli. In the ten years since opening, the baker has whipped everyone from local Hackney residents to Elton John into a frenzy with her delicious, photogenic creations. There are inventive confectionaries such as chocolate halva or matcha cupcakes but her claim to serious fame is the classic vanilla sponge. (Order one of each, just to be sure).
Flour and Stone, Sydney
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Innovators might shy away from reinventing the wheel but at Woolloomooloo’s Flour and Stone, recipe innovation is exactly what sends locals into a frenzy. Imagine rethinking the lamington, for example – how can you improve on such a classic? Ask head baker Nadine Ingram and you’ll leave with a panna cotta-drenched alternative, stuffed with berry compote.
Jason Bakery, Cape Town
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Saturday mornings in Cape Town revolve around Instagram feeds for one reason: Jason Lilley of Jason Bakery uploads his latest iteration of the ‘doughssant’ – a cronut-esque mix of a doughnut and a croissant. It could be Belgian beer with pretzel, or double hibiscus surprise – the possibilities truly are endless with Lilley at the helm.
Lune Croissanterie, Melbourne
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A Fitzroy institution “purpose built” for croissants, Lune Croissanterie has earned a ‘world’s best’ nod from a New York Times food critic. Those buttery morsels are the result of years of apprenticeship in Paris on co-owner Kate Reid’s behalf, as well as thoughtful, science-based refinement that result in pastry boasting more layers than a classic mille-feuille.
Maison Dandoy, Belgium
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Artisanal biscuits are this bakery’s bread and butter and have been for over 180 years. Crisp, buttery and light, these cookies come in a range of flavours: caramel beurre salé or Earl Grey tea, for starters. If you’re looking to taste the store’s history, dip any number of ‘speculoos’ (a spiced, stamped cookie) into your coffee and you’ll never want a beverage without something to dip into it again.
Milk Bar Store, New York
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Put down your map – you’re likely to spot this famed bakery well before you pass it owing to the long line that frequently forms at its door. Baker Christina Tosi is revered for her ability to spin sugar into the most whimsically wonderfully delicacies. The obviously addictive Crack Pie® is a frequent front runner for favourite but anything involving Cereal Milk™ – the creamy, slightly sweet flavour of milk ready to be slurped from the dregs of your cereal bowl – is pure genius. Because of this, a soft serve is this bakery’s unlikely must.
Pasticceria de Bellis, Rome
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A flaky croissant dipped into a cappuccino is a common marker of the day’s commencement but at Pasticceria de Bellis in Piazza del Paradiso, creations stretch far beyond the traditional Nutella-stuffed treat. With dolci that have a similar amount of artistry to anything Michelangelo created, the flavours are intriguingly non-traditional too: you’ll find everything from wild strawberries to yuzu and tomato cream infused throughout head baker Andrea de Bellis’ creations.
Tartine Bakery, San Francisco
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It’s been twenty years since coupled co-owners Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson brought the first baked goods from the oven on the corner of Guerrero and 18th. Although the hard-working furnace fires up over 200 loaves per week, that’s not the only delicious morsel people wait in line to devour: Tartine is also lauded for its flaky croissants and buttermilk scones, bejewelled with currants.
Teakha, Hong Kong
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The fluffy chiffon or creamy cheesecakes aren’t what they seem at Sheung Wan bakery Teakha. Imbued with chai, hōjicha or osmanthus and black sugar, it would hardly be your fault if you didn’t stop at a single slice. Wash your selections down with something from the extensive tea menu that is just as inventive.
Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York
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Baker Dominique Ansel captivated the globe with his cronut – a crusty, doughnut-croissant hybrid. While many imitations have since been spawned, there’s only one original and it fills the shelves at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York’s Soho district. Don’t stop at the cronut, however – he’s also the inventor of the Cookie Shot and the Frozen S’mores that remain without rival.
Flour Bakery, Boston
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Head pastry chef Joanne Chang left her Harvard degree of Applied Mathematics and Economics behind for buns and boy, are locals glad she did. It’s the dousing of dark, sticky caramel and sprinkle of pecans that makes the Sticky Buns at Flour Bakery – which has stores across the US – a treat worth making a pilgrimage for. One is never enough, so consider adding a brown-butter cinnamon roll to your order as well.
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The Swedes have it right when it comes to the afternoon slump. Fika, the tradition of breaking for cake and coffee, is serious business in Sweden and is easy to observe, especially with something like the fragrant kardemummabullar, or cardamom bun. What could be a better pairing for coffee than a cream, butter and cardamom-filled twist of pastry? Order both at this eight-seat bakery and find out.
El Pan de la Chola, Lima
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It’s Peruvian baker Jonathan Day’s experimentation with both long-rise yeast and freshly ground flours you’ve never thought to wrestle into a loaf such as kiwicha and quinoa that have garnered this Miraflores bakery the colloquial title of the best bakery in the city. Stick around for Peruvian coffee and homemade Greek yoghurt – as well as the oft-ordered almond croissant.
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Precision is as important as sugar when it comes to the ingredients of an Angelina creation. The Mont-Blanc, a mound of piped, ‘vermicelli’ chestnut cream filled with meringue and whipped cream, secured Angelina its enduring prestige as a tearoom in 1903 and, along with their hot chocolate, remains its signature menu item. Sliding a spoon into the Mont-Blanc while sipping hot chocolate surrounded by swooning, Belle Epoque interiors? Oh là là.
Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon
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Simplicity as sinful as a pastel de nata – the golden egg tart ooze that puts Portugal on the map – must be ordered from somewhere that does it right. At the ever-bustling Pastéis de Belém, there’s a quiet confidence that your few bites of this long-standing treat will be the best you’ll ever have. After all, this bakery is home to the original Portuguese Tart and has been churning them out for willing customers since 1837.