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If a dictionary covering Sydney’s food scene was to exist, you’d find Bourke Street Bakery listed under ‘institution’. The iconic bakery, known for its beautiful baked goods and championing of local produce, has been looking after the wheat-based needs of Sydneysiders for 12 years, building a community of like-minded souls along the way. Now with more than 11 bakeries and no plans to slow down, this community has come to reach half of the Harbour city.

It was during the winter of 2004 when chefs and bakers, Paul Allam and David McGuinness, decided to open a community-focused bakery and cafe that offered quality handmade bread and pastries. When they came across the now-famous corner property, where windows formed three of the four walls, they knew they had their spot – after all, those windows were perfect for displaying produce to all those who walked by.

They set to work transforming the space into what it is today, completing most of the fit-out themselves. When it came to break times, they’d chat to the neighbours and hand out samples – an initiative that drew a substantial crowd on opening day.

From the very first loaf, the pair set a high precedent, making everything in-house. Paul, a keen baker from an early age, looked after the breads, while David was responsible for the pastries. Soon enough, word spread and the demand outweighed the supply, forcing the pair to expand first to Broadway, and then all over the city, with outposts in Alexandria, Marrickville and Potts Point.

When visiting the original store, there’s no escaping the distinctive smells of freshly baked bread and ground coffee. Wall to wall, the small shopfront is loaded with delicious options – quiches, sourdough, sausage rolls, pies, pastries, cakes, donuts, tarts, pizzas, croissants and muffins; the list goes on.

The day you visit will determine just what loaves you’ll be able to take home. Paul and David’s continued reliance on what local produce they find at the markets means that on any given Tuesday you might find fig and cranberry sourdough, while a Thursday could mean a combination of fennel, raisin and cherry.

When it comes to pastries, don’t look past the ginger brulee tarts, which have become somewhat of a cult product over the years. Other options include ham and cheese croissants, chocolate and raspberry muffins and lemon and vanilla-ricotta tart slices. When it comes to savoury bites, bacon, gruyere and leek quiches can be paired with salads that rotate daily and of course, pork and fennel sausage rolls.

It’s not just the bread and baked goods that are made in-house. Everything from tomato sauce for the pies to the honey from the bakery’s personal beehives is made from scratch, ensuring the highest quality across every menu item.

The emphasis on community values extends beyond the fare as well. In 2011 Paul and David started The Bread & Butter Project, a social enterprise dedicated to re-investing 100% of its profits into employing and training refugees in the art of baking.

With no signs of slowing down, Bourke Street Bakery will no doubt be popping up on your street corner soon. For now, head to the most famous street corner in Surry Hills – it’s sure to delight, surprise and have you coming back, time and time again.

Locate Bourke Street Bakery

633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW


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