I moved to London last year and fell in love with bread. This love affair comes after years of shunning all things gluten (thanks to a mixture of diet obsession and the wellness industry’s fear mongering tactics which basically equate the effects of eating bread to swinging back a gulp of hydrogen peroxide). In fact, not eating it had become so normalized in my jaded New York and LA existence that when I moved to London the sheer amount of loaves I saw people consuming left me shook.
But after a few weeks I caved. I had to see what all the fuss was about so I took a bite of sourdough at dinner. And then the next day I had half a slice of rye with eggs. By the following week, bread had become an integral part of my daily diet.
Needless to say, I feel like an actual Londoner now. A delicious baked good no longer scares me and instead makes me happier than an Erewhon adaptogenic latte.
So if you’re planning a trip across the pond, the following is a list of some of London’s best organic bakeries…
I’ll see you there!
Photo credit: Safia Shakarchi
Hands down, the best croissant I have ever had. After visiting France for the first time, I thought Pophams would be knocked out of the water — I mean the French invented croissants after all. But without being totally sacreligious, I have to say Pophams take the cake… well, the dough at least. Go for the OG butter or the pain au chocolat options if you want something classique. If you’re feeling adventurous try the bacon and maple or the PB&J. You will not look back… even in France.
The Dusty Knuckle —
A bakery that is just as cool as it is conscious. Milled from local, organic UK grains, this bakery offers some of the best sourdough in London. Everything is created on site, with the breakfast and lunch menus offering some of the most creative sandwiches that change on the daily (today, for example, you can choose from roasted spiced cauliflower, tahini with a soft boiled egg, or purple sprouting broccoli, chard, olives, and/or feta). Be sure to take a white potato sourdough loaf home with you, and, if you’ll be in London for awhile, consider their fermentation classes to perfect your own homemade loaf.
A bakery/restaurant/wine bar in one, (aka: heaven). Jolene uses 100% unaltered grains grown sustainably from local UK and French farmers. Their menu and baked goods change regularly but are consistently delicious. Stay for dinner to try the homemade pappardelle or tagliatelle that will absolutely blow your mind. The ambience and interiors are to the nines and once you sit down you will not want to leave.
Photo credit: Joe Woodhouse
Violet Cakes —
There is a reason Claire Ptak made the royal wedding cake. She is a baking extraordinaire. I do not even like cake, but I will eat a slice (or three) of her English strawberry cakany anyday. Organic, with low intervention ingredients, her cake is essentially holy — blessed by Meghan Markle herself. The almond polenta muffins (topped with seasonal fruit like quince and rhubarb) is my always and forever go-to.
Buns, buns, and more buns! These famous buns have hopped over to London from Sweden and are making quite a name for themselves. If you cannot make it to London to try one, have no fear, America, they just opened a New York branch! And, as if they couldn’t get any more perfect, they served cardamom and saffron buns over Easter which I am petitioning to become a permanent menu fixture because you know how much we love saffron at the fullest.
Fortitude Bakehouse —
Fermentation GOLD. Have you ever even thought of sourdough chocolate chip banana bread? Trust me, you need it in your life. What about strawberry, lemon, and basil fermented butter cake? It’s a must! With single origin coffee, stone rolled teas, and unique sourdough bakes, what more could you possibly need? This craft bakery is only open weekdays, so make sure to stop by and stock up!
Cover photo by: Safia Shakarchi