By Michael Catford
September 11, 2020 | 5 minute read
It used to be said that an Aussie town wasn’t an Aussie town until it had a church and a pub. But that’s not quite true, because a proper Aussie town needs a bakery too.
The bakery is a staple of regional Australian life. Ask any country person, and they’ll tell you that their town’s bakery, with its trademark pie, pasty or sausage roll, is the best in the country. But with everyone claiming the title, which are the best?
After years of field research to the north of Adelaide, I've constructed a highly scientific (i.e. not at all scientific!) list of the eight top bakeries regional SA. The qualification criteria are simple: the establishment must be located in a town to the north or west of Adelaide, and must produce a mouth-watering baked good.
Let’s loosen those pants and dive right in.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
Drive just a half hour north of the Adelaide CBD and you’ll find yourself in the small highway town of Two Wells. On the quiet main street you might see a queue of people stretching out from the door of a small shopfront: if so, you’ve found Two Wells Bakery.
The only thing warmer than the fresh baked goods is the customer service here, with the owners and staff exuding country hospitality. My recommendation: The bangers and mash pie.
Travel another 45 minutes down the highway and you’ll arrive at yet another service town, this time Port Wakefield. Standing in the middle of a rather desolate block, Kiplings is a staple for travellers to and from Adelaide – and it’ll only take one bite to understand why.
Due to its location this place is always incredibly busy, but the wait is more than worth it. My recommendation: The pepper and chilli pie.
Two Wells Bakery
Found in the heart of Australia’s most famous wine region, the Barossa, Tanunda bakery has been sating the hunger of both locals and visitors for decades. Run by German couple Harding and Elke Trinkle, here you’ll find a seemingly endless menu of baked treats, particularly the sweet variety, although a full complement of pies, pasties and sausage rolls are also available. My recommendation: The German sourdough.
While this establishment probably could’ve made the list on its melodic name alone, we’re happy to report that the Waikerie Bakery also offers up perhaps the best baked goods in the Riverland. Located a short walk from the water’s edge, I suggest grabbing a savoury pastry and heading to nearby Lions Park, where you can chow down while watching the river roll by. My recommendation: The chunky beef and shiraz pie.
Each morning, as the sun rises over the famous Clare Valley, so too do the loaves rise within the ovens of Clare Rise Bakery. Since 1895 this local staple has been feeding the masses perfectly flaky and crispy pastries, and judging by the line that inevitably winds out the door, it looks as though they’ve got another century left in them yet.
Like what you taste? The crew are happy to make your favourite pie in family size! My recommendation: The Cornish pasty.
Five Loaves Bakery
In the seaside town of Wallaroo, the local bakehouse promises to serve up old fashioned country baking – and boy do they deliver. At Jetty Road Bakehouse the beef is chunky, the pastry is flaky and the kranskies are perfectly cheesed.
You’ll also get the sort of value here that is almost impossible to find closer to Adelaide! My recommendation: The finger bun.
Wrapping around the gulf to the Eyre Peninsula, Five Loaves Bakery feeds the multitudes of the surrounding farmland, as well as those who regularly make the 45 minute drive from Port Lincoln.
Winners of the SA Great Regional Small Business Award in both 2008 and 2012, this is a welcoming and eco-friendly bakery that delivers big on taste. My recommendation: The traditional vanilla slice.
For over 30 years the Tumby Bay Bakery has been feeding the locals and tourists of this charming beachside town, and it only seems to be getting better with age. Famous for pasties, donuts and buns that are as big as your head (or so some report), you can’t really go wrong with your choices here.
Be aware that in peak season patience is a virtue, as every holidaymaker has the same idea as you! My recommendation: Roll the dice and choose the pie of the week!
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