Nothing beats freshly-baked bread – but when it’s sourdough, it’s even more special. Sure, since it has no added yeast, it’s better for you and easier to digest, but it’s more than that. It’s the effort that goes into the bread. A good sourdough is fermented for more than 12 hours, and then baked until it’s deliciously dense on the inside, and crusty on the outside. It’s ‘artisanal’ for a reason!
With the help of world-class equipment, prized starters, and good-for-you grains, Sydney’s best bakers have nailed sourdough. When you’re looking for a loaf, head straight to these spots.
In Chippendale, this bakery-slash-café is heaving with customers who are happy to wait for the sourdough. It’s famous thanks to its slightly sour flavour, silky, dense texture and short shelf life – the sign of a good sourdough. There are rye and white loaves available. Our advice? Grab both, plus a chocolate, cinnamon and brandy croissant to go.
206 Cleveland Street, Chippendale
At Brasserie Bread, the smell of freshly-baked bread wafting through the air is enough to turn your day around. While its sourdough is served at cafes and restaurants all over Sydney, it’s worth popping into the Banksmeadow bakery or the airport location for a pre-plane pick-me-up. Ask for the Batard, an award-wining sourdough with a smooth, fine crumb and a reddish crust.
Banksmeadow and Sydney Domestic Airport
Its punny name aside, Breadfern is all about using organic, sustainably sourced ingredients to whip up artisan breads and pastries. While the grain, white and rye sourdough loaves are solid choices, our pick is the pumpkin. Crusty, complex and bursting with bold flavour, it’s great on its own, and even better toasted with a little jam, almond butter or avocado.
308 Chalmers Street, Redfern
Founded by former Boathouse executive chef Tom Eadie, this tiny bakery is as artisanal as it gets. The sourdough is fermented for 18 hours and baked on stone until they’re perfectly crusty with a fluffy centre. We love the fruit loaf, made with lemon myrtle tea, blueberries, grapes and fig, and best enjoyed with a layer of house-churned butter and a drizzle of heirloom honey.
8 William Street, Brookvale
When a bakery typically sells out of its sourdough before 11am, you know it’s good. Iggy’s is an institution, so expect to line up for your loaf of country sourdough. Baked at 5am every day with wholemeal flour, its thick, chewy crust gives way to a soft, earthy bread that doesn’t even need a slather of butter – but add it anyway!
49 Belgrave Street and 145D McPherson Street, Bronte
With a flagship in Drummoyne and a newer location in Zetland’s East Village hub, Bowan has the inner-city covered. Its pride and joy is its 80-year-old starter, which is folded through every slice of sourdough, from the savoury to the sweet. If you’re a fan of fruit, the wild berry sourdough is lightly spiced and spiked with blackberries, blueberries, sultanas and raisins.
Drummoyne and Zetland
Bourke Street Bakery is legendary on Sydney’s baking scene. Its specialty sourdough breads are the stars of the show, and they’re baked on different days. For apple, raisin and cinnamon, go on Monday; and for the fig and cranberry, time your visit to a Tuesday or Saturday. As for the potato and rosemary loaf – affectionately called ‘Mr Potato Head’ – it’s baked on Thursdays and weekends.
Surry Hills, Alexandria, Balmain, Banksmeadow, Barangaroo, Marrickville, Kirrawee, Neutral Bay, Newtown, North Sydney and Parramatta
In the 90s, Sonoma’s co-founder cheekily smuggled a starter from North California. Now, the baking giant is synonymous with sourdough. It’s known for its golden crust: spot it in the signature miche sourdough, which has a caramelised crust, chewy crumb and smoky flavour. To branch out, try the olive loaf – studded with whole kalamata olives and sprigs of thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and lavender, it’s incredible.
Alexandria, Bondi, Glebe, Paddington, Rose Bay, Waterloo and Woollahra
Staple Bread & Necessities
A tiny, three-day a week bakery on Sydney’s Northern Beaches churns out loaves of award-winning sourdough. Things are kept simple here, there is no coffee, cakes or anything else you’d expect from a bakery, just sourdough and croissant-style pastries. Open Friday to Sunday from 7am to 2pm and they sell out fast here, so pop in early.
Shop 1, 20-28 Montauban Avenue, Seaforth
The sourdough at Victoire is excellent. Just ask QANTAS, or Neil Perry – the old-school, Parisian-style bakery has been supplying Rockpool with bread for over 15 years. Made with Australian flour, their sourdough starter is 14 years old and each loaf is beautifully dense and elastic. To impress your guests at your next dinner party, slice up one of their delicious rustic loaves.
Rozelle and Cammeray
Sydney’s first organic sourdough bakery still has it. Its loaves are full-bodied in texture, tangy in flavour, and made with the simplest ingredients: flour, water and salt. Go for the classic stoneground sourdough, the country grain, or the ever-virtuous whole light rye. If you love darker breads, the 100% pure rye is rich, hearty and nutty. Avo smash anyone?
Darlinghurst, Manly and Paddington
Road-tripping to the Blue Mountains or South Coast for the weekend?
Stop at Bakehouse on Wentworth in Blackheath, Leura, Springwood or Glenbrook to pick up a loaf of olive and rosemary or Middle Eastern fruit sourdough. While you’re there, you may as well get the beef and Guinness pie.
If you’re making your way to Berry, pop into Berry Sourdough Café. People travel from all over for a taste of their sourdough. If you’re in a bit of a hurry, stop by Milkwood Bakery, which is owned by the same team of bakers.