“One slice of toast please,” I ordered, to which the lovely lady behind the counter responded, “$4.50 thanks.” Shocked may be undervaluing the state she had put me in, as nobody should be paying $4.50 for a slice of toast. So that said, here are my tips on where to get the finest, entire loaves of bread that you can slice yourself and enjoy – without getting stung on the price.
South Yarra’s Tivoli Road is in my opinion – and I’m sure most of Melbourne’s too – the best bakery in town. You’ve probably tried their croissants without realising, as they feature at almost every cafe in Melbourne. Battles often brew between Tivoli Road and Lune Croissanterie over who bakes the best croissants around. Still, this battle remains unsolved. But croissants aside, Tivoli Road bake the softest, fluffiest and chewiest bread around – it’s almost applaud-worthy. Their olive bread is my “always-order,” which I enjoy with soups and pasta. Meanwhile their fruit bread – made with plenty of currents and apricots – makes for a very fruitful breakfast. I enjoy it toasted, with ricotta and honey.
Loafer Bread in North Fitzroy is one institution I truly adore. And not just because they share a similar name to one of my favourite UK garage artists ‘Lofah’ (check him out, too). Their bread sells out far earlier than I can usually attend, and there’s been many occasions where I’ve left bread-less, and heartbroken. Their ode to a classic sourdough is I’d say the star of the show. I enjoy it simple: toasted with tomatoes, olive oil, parsley and salt. Also, while you’re here, try their pizza slices. On sunnier days in Melbourne, I’ll buy a pizza slice, a cold drink from Wild Things Food (along St Georges Road), and head to Edinburgh Gardens to indulge in all the good things, for hours on end.
Lastly, I’d suggest heading to Wood Frog Bakery, which graces the iconic Barkly Street, St Kilda. The store isn’t hard to miss as their eager customers can be seen from miles away, peeking over crowds, and attempting to get a closer look at the abundance of baked treats waiting to be indulged. The vacant ex-furniture store turned beautiful bakehouse is known above all for their almond croissants, which marry romantically with their frothy coffees. Although I’m in love with their pumpkin bread; a seeded sourdough with whole roasted pumpkin, linseed, and soaked soybeans. Pumpkin bread works well in both a sweet or savoury manner. I like it most when used as a sandwich.