If you have read this far, it should be no surprise that Melburnians love food in all its forms. In fact, the only thing that a self respecting resident of Melbourne may love more than food is a proper cup of coffee. So knowing that those who live in Melbourne appreciate both coffee and food, it is no stretch of the imagination to conclude that every perfect cup of coffee deserves to be accompanied by an equally perfect baked snack.

In Melbourne a favourite bakery attracts fierce devotion, and asking which of Melbourne’s bakeries is the best in mixed company can start a bun fight (if you’ll pardon the pun). That said, at the risk of alienating a number of Melburnians, here are the top choices, in no particular order.

Opening hours are much the same for all bakeries. Early starts of around 7am, with closings between 4-6pm. Most are open 7 days a week.

Elise Patisserie
273 Glenferrie Road, Malvern
(03) 9509 9942
Gorgeous cakes, breads and pastries. This one is a favourite with locals (and non-locals) who often travel to sample the offerings.

Sweet Source
288 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
(03) 9348 2998‎
Although the name suggests its specialty (yes, you must try the cream pastries), Sweet Source produces very respectable breads as well. They occasionally like to experiment with grains and seeds – and this is when your loaf becomes the whole meal, rather than the accompaniment!

French Lettuce
237 Nicholson St, Carlton
(03) 9347 7311‎
A great range of breads, hot treats and cakes. Not as expensive as others in the inner suburbs, and a nice place to end an afternoon of strolling around Carlton.

Le Petit Gâteau
458 Little Collins Street, Melbourne CBD
(03) 9944 8893‎
More of a cake shop than a true bakery, but simply can’t be left off the list. Their work is quite simply art. Buy something for your Mum, your best friend or for yourself.

198-204 Faraday St, Carlton
(03) 9347 2801‎
This one is a bit of a cheat as there are multiple locations, but the coffee at the original (this address) is among the best in Melbourne. Not an easy feat in a city famous for its coffee. The breads and pastries exquisite. Pricey but worthwhile.

Tabet’s Bakery
607 Sydney Road, Brunswick
(03) 9387 3461
Limited range, but certainly one of Melbourne’s top Lebanese bakeries. You can buy “pizza” at Tabet’s that is just divine (Don’t be fooled by the name, though. Their pizza consists of an extremely thin base heated through, with minimal ingredients, and sprinkled with lemon and chilli).