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What You Should Really Be Ordering In Dublin’s Favourite Bakeries

In the past few years, Dublin has seriously upped its bakery game, thanks in no small part to a group of entrepreneurial flour-obsessives who have moved us away from sub-par pastries and firmly into the house-made camp. While we all know the icon places to go, this is the ATF guide for what you need to get order while you’re there, because being Insta-famous doesn't mean it's the most delicious thing in the window.

Bread 41, Pearse Street

What you think you should get: Morning Buns and Cruffins

What you should actually get: Custardos

No surprise that we’ve put Bread 41 first on this list as it’s the place that comes to mind when most people think about fantastic Dublin bakeries, and for good reason. You’re probably all about the Cruffins and Morning Buns and we do love them but hear us out - lemon and vanilla flavoured pasteis de nata that you won’t have to brave Dublin Airport to get your hands on.

Scéal Bakery, Fumbally Stables

What you think you should get: Twice-Baked Almond Croissants

What you should actually get: Demerara Sugar Kouign Amann

Originating in Brittany, we’ve seen Kouign Amann pastries pop up in some Dublin bakeries over the last year or so, and we’re sad and amazed that they don’t get more love. Layers of buttery, sugary, laminated dough under a caramelised top should get top billing more often. Scéal describe theirs as “butter bombs”, and it's not hard to see why.

No Messin' Bakery, Smithfield

What you think you should get: Cardi B

What you should actually get: Hun Bun

We love a Cardi B - sticky, spicy deliciousness from No Messin' is never not on our list of things we could eat at any moment - but for something full of elegance (and decadence), we're all about the cream choux of a Hun Bun. Flavours change with the seasons, natch.

Il Valentino, Grand Canal Dock

What you think you should get: Raisin Danish

What you should actually get: Madelines

One of our favourite people-watching spots, Il Valentino is known for its long counter full of fresh pastries and colourful cakes, but we recommend going a little low-key for once, and getting your hands on their fresh Madelines. The shell-shaped sponge is light, sweet, and the perfect addition to a coffee when you want something, but not something OTT.

Strudel, Dún Laoghaire

What you think you should get: Fruit Brioche

What you should actually get: Babka

Walk into any Jewish bakery in New York and you’ll come out a babka convert. Sweet bread layers with chocolate or cinnamon, it’s comforting and very hard to stop eating. While Strudel doesn’t have their mini-babka every day, get there early on Friday or Saturday and you should be in luck.

Bread Naturally, Raheny

What you think you should get: Cinnamon Swirls

What you should actually get: Choux Buns

While not always on the counter thanks to Bread Naturally constantly changing things up to keep everything seasonal and fresh, when they have choux buns, you need to make sure you’re getting as many as you can carry.

Smartbear Cakery, Liffey Street Upper

What you think you should get: Mille Crepe Cake

What you should actually get: Shokupan

We’ve had the mille crepe cake from Smartbear Cakery and loved it, but for something a little different you need to keep an eye out for their Shokupan, a traditional (and usually square) Japanese milk bread that’s fluffy and perfect for really thick toast, or sandwiches.

Dolce Sicily, South Anne Street

What you think you should get: Cannoli

What you should actually get: Fruit Tarts

In what may be a controversial move because we really do love a Dolce Sicily cannolo, we’re suggesting you have a very Parisian moment with a cute glazed fruit tart while sitting in the upper floor window of an Italian café, looking out onto the streets of Dublin. They're as good as any you'll find in France.

Camerino Bakery, Capel Street and Merrion Square

What you think you should get: Cookies

What you should actually get: Stacked Cookie Cake

This one will take a bit of forward-planning and ordering ahead of your visit to Camerino Bakery, but why have a cookie when you can have a cake made up of two 6” sugar cookie rings with vanilla buttercream and fresh berries?

The Pepper Pot Café. Powerscourt Town Centre

What you think you should get: Victoria Sponge

What you should actually get: Bacon, Pear and Cheese Sandwich… followed by the Victoria Sponge

While the Danish pastry version of this monster sandwich isn’t currently on the menu (but can be ordered a day in advance for collection), The Pepper Pot Cafe’s bacon, pear, and cheese sandwich is too iconic to pass up. But then again so is the Victoria sponge that’s so big it should have its own Eircode. There’s only one thing for it - go hungry.

Queen of Tarts, Cow’s Lane

What you think you should get: Scones

What you should actually get: Baked Raspberry Cheesecake

Cheesecake in Dublin can often be a sad, over-sweetened, moussey affair but the New York style baked version from Queen of Tarts is firm, creamy, and full of tart, punchy raspberries. Scone schmone.

Artybaker, Dalkey

What you think you should get: Twice-Baked Stuffed Croissant

What you should actually get: Classic Croissant

Seeing a classic so well executed is an art form in itself and the croissants from Artybaker are like the Mona Lisa - if she was smiling at a pastry (which, let's be honest, she could be). Airy, buttery, crumbly and so very far away from those 2 for €3 grease-bombs from your local convenience store, sometimes the original is the best.

The Cupcake Bloke, Rialto

What you think you should get: Cupcakes, obvs

What you should actually get: Tea Brack

While Dublin has benefitted hugely from an influx of ideas and recipes from across the world, there’s nothing like an Irish classic, and The Cupcake Bloke’s tea brack is a traditional bake that still endures - especially when it's done this well. Owner Graham Herterich has a book called Bake coming out in September and we’re really hoping this recipe is in there.

Bakeology, Meath Street

What you think you should get: Empanadas

What you should actually get: Alfajores

Alfajores, or “alfies” are a traditional Argentinian treat with two crumbly biscuits surrounding fillings like thick dulce de leche, and then dipped in chocolate. They’re as much a speciality of Argentinian café Bakeology as their fame-hogging empanadas, and their selection is unparalled.

Gorditas, various suppliers across Dublin

What you think you should get: Alfajores

What you should actually get: Montecitos

More Argentinian baking thanks to Gorditas who have a seriously strong alfajores game, but they also do the only montecitos we’ve seen in the city, so we recommend you give them a go. They’re similar to alfies, but it’s one biscuit heaped with topping, and dipped in thick chocolate. Personally, we think they have a better biscuit to topping ratio.

The Cake Café, Pleasants Place

What you think you should get: Afternoon Tea

What you should actually get: Trio of Cake Bites

We know what it’s like, you’re surrounded by cake and want to try all of it, so you end up going for Afternoon Tea. It’s a solid decision, but not one that’s entirely practical all that often, so we were very happy to find out that The Cake Café do a selection of 3 mini cake tasters along with a hot drink for €14.50. Practical, purse-friendly and very satisfying.


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