By Michael Catford
September 11, 2020 | 4 minute read
Port Elliot Bakery
Australian regional bakery. Arguably the three most beautiful words in the English language. Bakeries are the lifeblood of many small Australian towns. A pie, iced coffee and a cheeky lemon slice gets workers, drivers and holidaymakers through the day, no matter whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
In the southern half of South Australia every self-respecting local has their favourite bakery. But what if you aren’t a local? How can you tell the best from the rest? Don’t fret, I’ve done the hard work for you.
Based on years of painful(ly delicious) research, these are eight of the very best regional bakeries south of Adelaide. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect baked good, here’s where you should be aiming.
* 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.
When Toff and Cara decided to open a bakery in 2011 they didn’t have an ounce of baking experience between them. But that hasn’t stopped them from becoming two powerhouses in the bakery world. There are now three Home Grain sites, but we feel that the original in Aldinga, 40 minutes south of Adelaide, is still the best. My recommendation: the famous pie of the month.
A place known for its deep red wines will soon be known for its chunky beef pies if The Cottage Bakery has anything to do with it. Situated in a vintage McLaren Vale cottage, this establishment puts a focus on locally sourced ingredients, and the freshness really comes through in the food and drink. My recommendation: the beef Burgundy Pie.
The Cottage Bakery, McLaren Vale
The German settlement of Hahndorf is home to an equally German bakery, Otto’s. Aussie favourites like pies, pasties, sausage rolls and vanilla slices are placed alongside German sourdoughs and apple strudels, creating a most delicious example of fusion cuisine. If you’re the owner of a sweet tooth you’ll be in heaven. My recommendation: the apple pie.
Parndana is a tiny town of just 150 in the very centre of Kangaroo Island, but despite its size, this bakery really packs a punch. While also acting as a café and grocer, Parndana Bakery serves up both delicious food and incredible hospitality – Jen and the team know that you’ve probably travelled a long way to get there, and try to make the trip worth your while! My recommendation: The chunky steak pie or the roast beef roll.
If you ask a South Australian to name the state’s most famous bakery, the answer will most likely be Port Elliot. If you drive past this establishment and there’s not a line up, it’s a miracle. Using an oven that’s been baking goods for over a century, this place continues to churn out hit after hit, and is somehow getting better as the years go on. My recommendation: The donut of the month.
It’s all in the family at Heritage Pies & Pasties in Goolwa. Growing up in and around their parents’ bakery in Middleton, Kym and Skye eventually decided to open their own establishment in Goolwa. Their parents soon joined the venture which eventually grew to three outlets and six mobile vans. If you’re in the area, the original Goolwa shop is an absolute delight. My recommendation: The vegan pasty (even if you’re not vegan).
Andy liked to bake, so he set up a bakery. Decades later, he still loves baking, and he still has his bakery. Known for its extensive pie menu and delicious rolls, Andy’s of Millicent is a regular stop for those travelling between Mount Gambier and Adelaide. Andy also opens at 5am every day (bar Sunday), offering delectable treats to early risers! My recommendation: The tuna pie.
The name of this place doesn’t lie; at Wehl Street you’ll find real, homestyle food made from quality, locally sourced ingredients. This is an establishment that offers up a diverse menu of often eclectic items – if you’re looking for baked goods that you can’t find anywhere else, this is your bakery. That said, it still does the classics particularly well. My recommendation: The sausage roll.
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