Is there anything quite like a country bakery? The waft of fresh baked bread, the age-old recipes, the friendly chit chat across the counter and kids’ faces pressed against the glass. Our local bakers are part of our DNA and – often like our publicans – the lifeblood of rural communities.
Usually a first port-of-call when road tripping through the region, whether you’re rolling into town with a hungry horde or simply looking for a quick coffee and pastry fix, there’s a resident artisan ready to fuel your adventures.
Here’s our rundown on some of the Limestone Coast’s best bakeries!
In a world of high prices, pretentious food and snarky service, the Keith Bakery is literally a breath of fresh country air. Follow the locals’ lead (and the waft of home baked goodness) and you’ll find the hospitality extends well beyond the pie rack. Tucked inconspicuously off the main street, these friendly faces have been dishing up the goods for years, with their very own bakehouse churning out all of your favourites, from Cornish pasties and steaming hot pies to slices, cakes and scrolls. With a huge variety of hot meals beyond the standard fare, you’re in luck if you’re after something more substantial, while a quick coffee and a bacon and cheese toastie is also just as easy whenever you’re racing the clock.
If you’re looking for breaky or brunch in Bordertown, Morning Loaf oozes old world charm with a big (yet cosy) dining hall decorated with all sorts of local curiosities and memorabilia. In fact, it even houses the old police station (the loos are in the cells), so you’ll want to be on your best behaviour while stuffing your face with goodies! The pies here are pretty legendary, so rest assured you’ll want to go for the early session to score yourself one of their classics (try the Ned Kelly). With bottomless ‘help yourself’ tea and coffee to help you wash it all down, if you don’t seal the deal with one of their calorie-laden custard tarts or vanilla slices, then you’re really not doing it right.
Just a block over, Bordertown Bakery is another one of those rare country gems, with a no-frills, honest approach to traditional baking that pumps out all the old faves, plus a range of other treats. If you’ve looking for a vanilla slice with pink icing (tricky to find these days), this is the place to find it – in fact, you’ll may just want to consider cutting that thing in half just so you can eat it twice. Known for their fluffy, flaky pastry and killer pies and pasties, you’ll also find them in frozen pastry packs ready for the road, plus a swathe of other temptations (including vegan friendly and gluten free), from sushi to soup, quiches, salads and a killer eggs benny croissant to start your day just right.
In the wine heartlands around Coonawarra, Penola’s Windara Bakery is a prime spot to line your tummy before a big day of tastings (or hey, maybe you overbaked your own pie yesterday and need a little pick-me-up?). Conveniently located across the road from the legendary Royal Oak Hotel, you’ll be spoiled for choice here with a bagful of ‘old trusties’ and a few little twists (try the Butter Chicken pies when you’re in town). With a stack of vegetarian options and a good range of crusty breads, pasta bakes, sandwiches, rolls and some pretty spectacular apple turnovers and cream buns, you’ll also stay well caffeinated with a good coffee in hand.
No doubt about it, you’ll get your fill of subterranean treasures in Naracoorte, and with some serious exploration to do, fueling up with calorie-laden treats is the perfect place to start your day ‘down under’. Your first stop: WT Morris and Sons Bakery and Café, where you’ll find a huge range of award-winning pies, cakes, buns and sandwiches all made to order (oh, and coffee, baby… super important)! With daily specials and a smorgasbord of face-stuffers up on the order board, you’ll waste no time in expanding your belt buckle a notch or two. If the Thai chicken curry pies don’t grab you, the endless stream of pasties, lamingtons, jam donuts, apricot slices, Kitchener buns, custard tarts and just about everything in between (even a healthy salad bar) certainly will.
Beyond its sinkholes, caves and caverns, our cosmopolitan capital of Mount Gambier punches well above its weight for bakeries, with a bevy of breakfast and brunch options in and around town.
At Metro Bakery and Café you’ll find well credentialled chefs dishing up much more than your standard fare. In fact, everything here is baked in-house via traditional methods, ensuring no corners are cut in delivering pure artisan perfection. In fact, the patisserie cream alone takes up to four different cooking methods and every single croissant is hand-folded over sixty times (no, really)! With wild splashes of street art and other oddities dotted throughout, this place is an urban eye-popper that’ll rock your hungry little socks off, with a range of vego, vegan and gluten free numbers to keep your whole tribe happy. That includes the dog too, by the way... because who wants to feast without their best mate?
Just a little further down Commercial Street, the OK Pie Shop has been plying its trusty trade for over seventy years, being home to old-style techniques and traditional recipes that bridge both ages and waistlines. Known for their cheese tarts, jam donuts, pies and pasties, the pièce de resistance has to be their house-made sausage roll, which will have you going back for seconds (okay, thirds but shhh)! If you’re here with a hungry horde and on track to your holiday house, you’ll also find a number of super-sized family options and cold boxes to go. Oh, and if you’ve never tried a crayfish pie (or a Thai prawn and scallop pie for that matter), this is the place to do it (when in season).
In case you were wondering, Australia’s best scrolls live just outside ‘The Mount’ at ScRoll Queen, whose enviable reputation for award winning treats comes with an equally creative flair. Their assortment of deliciously carby, sweet and savouries are the stuff of local legend, with flavours including anything from classic Cinnamon to Tim Tam, Mint Slice, Oreo, Lamington, Blueberry Cheesecake, Caramel Pretzel, Sweet Chilli, BBQ Pepperoni and Salted Rosemary and Cheese. Ditch your diet plan already!
Another local favourite worth checking out is Homestyle Bakery on Wehl Street, where a line of hungry locals snakes out the door by lunchtime. Known for its killer pineapple tarts and a solid selection of pies, pasties, sausage rolls, there’s limited space to linger (just a few chairs), making it a good option to take your treats to the Blue Lake/Warwar Lookout for lunch.
In the agricultural heartland of Millicent, Andy’s Bakery has been keeping local farmers and millers fed for years with a string of awards that are proudly displayed on the shop’s exterior. Quietly located in a back street, you’ll find all fresh-baked bases are covered here, with anything from country pies (including classic, Ned Kelly, tuna and cheeseburger) to Cornish pasties, chocolate brownies, carrot cheesecake, decorated biscuits and gingerbreads, zucchini slices, quiches, cheese tarts, coffee scrolls, doughnuts, buns and more.
Ah, Robe… if the smell of that salty sea air isn’t enough to fill your cup, your local bakers definitely will! Ever tried a Crayfish Croissant? Follow the trail of hungry boaties straight to The Pastry Place and you can do just that, with these guys having carved quite a name for themselves since opening just a few short years ago. With cray fishing having been in the family for around 40 years, you’ll also find a range of fresh ’Raging Bull’ cray products in this place, making this a handy double header for fish fans and filo lovers. With all the feels of a French patisserie, there’s always a delectable selection of homemade goodies on offer here, from sweet and savoury pastries to macarons, lemon meringue pies, fluffy and flavoursome muffins, drool-worthy quiches and seriously good coffee. Oh, and grab a pork and fennel sausage roll when you’re calling through… Bon appétit!
At Rise of Robe Specialty Bread, you’ll find exactly what you came looking for, with a bakehouse full of crusty artisan loaves sitting beside delectable croissants and Portuguese tarts that just scream ‘eat me immediately’. With a seriously good sourdough and a fruit loaf you’ll likely write home about, you’ll want to get to this place early in the day to snag yourself something special. If you’re here with a four-legged companion, their range of all-natural ‘Carrot and Crunch’ dog treats also make this one a winner for both humans and hounds.
A little further down Victoria Street (a.k.a. the main drag) Robe Bakery 1884 is chock full of family friendly vibes and within easy strike of sand and sea. With one of the best Beef, Cheese and Bacon pies you’ll ever clamp your ravenous little mits around, this cheerful local also dishes up seriously moorish sweets, from lamingtons with jam and cream to a range of buns and cakes worth setting the morning alarm for. If you’re keen for something different, try a fresh baked ‘RobeDog’ when you’re packing a serious appetite.
Following the stiff sea breeze down to Beachport, there’s a slice of boutique goodness with your name on it at Baked at Beachport, where it’s all about locally sourced and seasonal produce. Hit it up at any time of year and you’ll be filling your face with delicious rhubarb or custard scrolls, coconut, chocolate and raspberry macarons, fresh baked brownies (and blondies!), cheesecakes, next-level nutella muffins and all forms of fresh baked specialty bread. If you’re hankering for a pizza (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) you’ll also find a good selection of house-baked beauties here, with calzones being a specialty.
The sandy shores of Kingston SE are a drawcard for ocean-lovers near and far, and as with our other great sea-faring towns, the local bakery is a genuine go-to in between beaches. Sharing the same ownership as the Bordertown Bakery further inland, Mitchell’s Bakery and Café is full of country flavour and if you haven’t tried a Sunday Roast pie before, well… it’s time to hop straight into it. In fact, watching the world go by on the tables out front or under the shade sails at ‘Johnny’s Place’ may just keep you here for a while. Beyond the pies, sausage rolls, breads, sandwiches and buns, sweet tooths will also find themselves returning for their crazy good caramel slices, apple turnovers, light, fluffy lamingtons and bee stings.