Praise the food gods, if you haven’t made it yet to Bourke Street Bakery you have clearly just moved to Sydney. This place has now been here for what feels like centuries (ok, since 2004) and is one Surry Hills local that isn’t going anywhere soon. On a Saturday morning, expect to line up out the store and around the corner for the baked goods inside, although you won’t be there for long as the line moves quickly. Apparently said line can be seen from space, literally, on Google Earth, although I haven’t checked this out myself. The only huge downfall to this is, aside from rain, that it is impossible to see through to the counter to decide what you want, and with up to 20-30 people waiting behind you it’s easy to get stressed out and panic order. Luckily, everything at Bourke St Bakery is good, so you will likely not be disappointed regardless of what you take home.
I have to admit I love a freshly baked white baguette. I am clearly in a minority in this country, where Sourdough is everywhere and I feel like I hear a small gasp whenever I suggest it’s not my favourite just by default. At Bourke St Bakery though, the sourdoughs are all amazing, so far as I have tried, and come with any number of additions, such as Potato and Rosemary (as above).
The hot foods are a great, quick snack or breakfast treat, as with these pizzas I took to my sister as a surprise hangover cure one lazy Saturday. It only takes about 5 minutes for the crew at BSB to heat them up for you and they fold them in half to prevent the simple but plentiful ingredients from oozing out the sides and soiling the brown paper bags in which they are served. Opening them up is optional, but allows you to take in the vibrance and quality of the toppings. Below is the Tomato and Basil, and the Eggplant, Olive and Stracchino, best savoured picnic-style on the floor, as pictured.
Some of the best fun to be had at Bourke Street Bakery is in the dessert stakes, with over 20 different sweet things to choose from at last count. I try to branch out from my usual chocolate only repertoire and go for a Rhubarb and Almond Tart, which is gorgeous in its presentation until it is divided into 4 and inhaled straight from the bag in which it came. Of course I couldn’t skip the chocolate altogether, and a Chocolate, Raspberry and Marshmallow Tart really helps soothe 4 poor, tired souls.
Bourke Street Bakery is just as good as the day it opened, and with time it seems the recipes have been honed and improved on until just right. Don’t be scared by the line, you’ll get in eventually and when you do, buy as much as you can. Be sure not to look away if you put your spoils down amongst company, it can be a serious case of now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t. And try the orange juice!
Bourke Street Bakery
633 Bourke St, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
(02) 9699 1011