There is nothing more glorious than a bakery stopover in a regional town to break up a long distance commute. Exit the freeway to stretch your legs, explore the area, and grab a snack to go. Whether you’re looking for a classic steak and pepper pie, a whimsical pastry, or a sponge cake that will have you spinning around for a few seconds, here are 13 – a dozen bakers – bakeries that are worth a road trip in their own right.
Parker pies, Rutherglen
On the main street of Rutherglen – in the shadow of the historic Victoria Hotel – is Parker Pies. The 25-year-old family business describes itself as ‘Australia’s biggest pie shop’, and while we can’t verify it, it certainly is. one of the big ones. In the pie warmer you will find two dozen varieties; think of classics like steak and pepper with chunky pieces of beef; a chicken, ham and mustard pie that has the potential to convert aversion to chicken pie; and a few native Australian acts that feature the kangaroo and the emu.
Red Beard Bakery, Trentham
Redbeard may be tucked away in an alley on Trentham’s main street, but it has built a reputation that makes it one of the city’s top attractions. The beloved and award-winning bakery – founded by local hero, the late John Reid – is home to a 75-ton Scottish oven that has been around for over 100 years, and continues to produce excellent wood-fired sourdough. Also check out high-level takes on the usual suspects: pies, sausage rolls, and candy galore.
Rolling pin pies and cakes, Ocean Grove, Queenscliff and LÃ©opold
Regional bakeries aren’t afraid to talk about a few superlatives, but Rolling Pin earned official bragging rights in 2021 when their surf’n’turf pie – the bakery’s big beef topped with shrimp in a rich, creamy sauce. with garlic – took over place in the Baking Association of Australia’s pie and baking contest. Along with the surprisingly flavored winner, expect country lamb and rosemary pies (among other classic and creative toppings), as well as rock-solid pÃ¢tÃ©s and sausage rolls.
Country Cob Bakery, Kyneton, Boronia and Springvale
Ahead of Rolling Pin’s victory in 2021, it’s fair to say that Country Cob has dominated the annual baking competition. He won for his Pepper and Beef Puff Pastry in 2020, for his Caramelized Pork and Pepper Pie in 2019, and his Seafood and Satay Pie in 2018. The trifecta was all about the salty, but it is also worth paying your attention to the candy display. . The menu changes, so there will be a few delicious wilds on every visit, but the mainstays include a vanilla slice, cream pies, Ã©clairs and donuts.
Gembrook Bakery, Gembrook
Just up from the Puffing Billy train station in Gembrook, slightly off the main drag, is this bakery gem. It’s a quaint little spot for lunch in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, often frequented by those who venture aboard the heritage steam train. Cabinets hold classic, no-frills sandwiches, pies and sausage rolls. When it comes to sweets, expect lemon pies, tea cakes, apple pies and more.
Ket baker, Wallington
After surpassing the size of the kitchen in her garage, French-trained, Belgian-born baker Miek Paulus moved to Wallington, a semi-rural town on the Bellarine Peninsula. It’s here that she makes sourdough, small-batch baked goods, and remarkable croissants – each takes five days to develop its distinctive flavor and texture. Stock varies daily, but there’s a good chance you’ll find fruit danishes, lemon turnovers (or turnovers), and croissants with flavors like raspberry and hazelnut.
Gum pies, Yackandandah, Bright, Beechworth and Wodonga
It all started with the Gum Tree Cafe at the Keeble Garden Center in Yackandandah. But owners Sebastian and Melinda Nedziak’s pies quickly began to steal the show. Eventually, they found a modest storefront on the city’s main shopping street, which the couple dedicated to their award-winning pies. Now with four locations, visit for extra thick Steak and Red Wine (or Guinness) pies, a handful of chicken pie options (including Thai green curry), and a curry and veggie panang pumpkin pie. .
Hotel and Brasserie Tooborac, Tooborac
This name may be familiar to residents of Carlton, thanks to Tooborac’s Elgin Street store (which is temporarily closed). But it was inside a wooden-clad storefront extending from the Tooborac hotel that the action began. In the classic National Trust-listed country pub, pick up hearty pastries filled with beef and beer; lamb, potato and rosemary; beef and chili, and tender rabbit, alongside sesame-speckled sausage rolls.
Warburton Bakery, Warburton
Tucked neatly near the Yarra, a Warburton Bakery Time Capsule is a charming lunch stop on a day trip to Warburton. Sit on the tables outside and you might be able to hear the river flowing behind you. Come see the classic lineup, as well as an excellent Stockman pie (steak, bacon, egg and cheese). And if you have room for dessert, there’s a locals favorite slice of jelly.
Freshwater stream cakes, Mount Duneed
Take your foot off the gas as you travel down Anglesea Road – a few miles from the Â¬ coast – because you might blink and miss the little Freshwater Creek Cakes shop. The low-key bakehouse sells homemade cakes, quiches and cookies – with an emphasis on chewy sponge cakes perfect for road trips. Also bring a bag with you, as it also contains a bunch of locally made products; you can find anything from chocolate coated lollipops and small batch preserves to native candles and bouquets.
Sourdough Flinders, Flinders
A small dirt driveway is past Flinders Sourdough, where local winegrowers-turned-bakers Margaret Carey and David Alan have restored a historic building, learning the manners of its original wood-burning Scottish oven. The pair only use Victorian ingredients to make a variety of organic sourdough breads. But if you’re not looking for a loaf of bread, go for the famous “beach buns”, fruit danishes and other assorted sweets.
Mature johnny, Main ridge
Next to an apple orchard, Johnny Ripe is a small bakery that hides along a winding road. Take a detour on your next Peninsula cruise and stock up on artisanal pies (sweet and savory), golden crust pies and other baked goods. Also bring your picnic mat and stretch out under the lush trees, admire the nearby lavender fields and, most importantly, enjoy a fresh apple pie.
The Bridgewater Bakehouse, Bridgewater and Bendigo
While the Vanilla Slice is the undisputed star (it won the Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph twice in 2018 and 2019), Bridgewater Bakehouse also excels in the savory business. Head to Bridgewater on Loddon Bakery for a gravy-roasted lamb pie, filled with succulent slow-roasted shoulder of lamb; a chicken and cheese pie with a sticky honey mustard sauce; and, of course, a “snot block”.