From vegan bread to tasty cookies and brownies to the best loaves in town, these family-friendly bakeries are great spots for breakfasts, picnic lunches or when mum and dad need a much-needed break!
We’re lucky enough here in Hong Kong to have classic Canto bakeries with their pineapple buns, egg tarts and the like – but we also get the luxury of seeing more and more artisan European bakeries pop up in recent years, serving up expertly baked sourdough loaves and pastries.
The quality and variety of bread on offer is on the up but many bakeries are cramp spaces with little provision for busy mamas and papas. A select few have facilities and menus that make them stand out from the bunch. Here’s our round up of the best family-friendly bakeries that mum and dad can enjoy too.
Levain is a proper French style bakery, selling probably the best sourdough in the city – handmade using traditional methods and no artificial ingredients. Started from scratch by Master KC Li, a Hong Konger with a mission to improve the quality of bread available, it now has two outlets in Central and a larger shop with seating in PMQ. Apart from the excellent loaves, Levain has a range of pastries, cakes and sandwiches. The decadent chocolate brownies and cookies, though, are what make this a great choice for a stop with the munchkins.
Levain, Block B, Unit H105, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong 2559 0889, www.levain-bakery.com
Mayse Artisan Bakery
Mayse is Hong Kong’s only organic, vegan bakery so this is one for the health conscious mama. The bakery is out in Tai Po but a selection of the range is available at Mana! Fast Slow Food in Central if you can’t make the trip. Run by a father and daughter team originally from Latvia, Mayse focuses on Eastern European recipes. Their obvious passion spills over into everything they create, from the excellent olive bread, sourdough rye and wheat loaves, to focaccia, and gluten free burger buns.
Mayse Artisan Bakery, G/F No. 64 Tai Mei Tuk, Tai Po, Hong Kong, 95330336, www.maysebakery.com
Le Pain Quotidien
International bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien manages to maintain high standards despite its global domination. Of its three Hong Kong outlets (Pacific Place, Elements and Lee Tung Avenue), the large bakery/restaurant on the Avenue is the best bet for families. There’s a spacious outdoor seating area, access to high chairs and baby changing facilities in the toilets – although they’re a few doors down and up a lift. The range of naturally leavened bread is impressive, plus there’s a good assortment of cakes, pastries and sweet treats.
Sassy Mama Tip: A good bet is to get there for happy hour (5pm to 8pm every day) for half price beer and wine. Just sit down and take advantage of the table service from the friendly staff so you don’t have to wait in line with the kids (or, better yet, head there alone with the hubby for a cheeky tipple!).
Le Pain Quotidien, Shop No G40-41, The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, Wan chai, Hong Kong, 3912 3946, www.lepainquotidien.com.hk
Passion by Gerard Dubois
Another French sourdough bakery on the Avenue, Passion by Gerard Dubois also has seven other stores in the territory including TST, Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay and two in Macau. Most are characterised by spacious outdoor seating areas, extensive menus including child friendly sandwiches and cakes, and homemade gelato.
The bread itself is baked fresh in store twice daily, producing crusty loaves with a soft, even crumb. You’ll also find beautiful displays of danish pastries and croissants, as well delicate treats like mille feuille and macarons. The Passion stores are well run and a good spot for a break from running around town.
The Mandarin Cake Shop
This upmarket bakery/cafe sits on the mezzanine floor of the Mandarin Oriental in Central. Handy for its accessibility and use of all the plush amenities of the hotel, the cafe’s a lovely spot to sit and relax with a coffee and a slice of cake. The range of French pastries and cakes is of the highest standard including the must-try 1963 Mandarin Cheesecake. Bread is all made and baked in house: classic French baguettes and rye bread sit alongside quirkier options like beetroot bread and ham and cheese loaves. There’s something to sate the kids palate too: apple turnovers, chocolate croissants and blueberry muffins are baked fresh daily.
The Mandarin Cake Shop, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2825 4008, www.mandarinoriental.com/hong-kong
Tucked away in Stanley Plaza, Stan Cafe is the perfect pit stop to stock up for a picnic on the beach. Particularly notable for its crusty baguettes; add some top notch cheeses, charcuterie and a bottle of wine to the mix and you’ve got yourself a fantastic family picnic, or just a great night in.
Sassy Mama Tip: If you prefer to dine in, there’s a menu of French inspired dishes: generous salads, steaks and seafood plus decent kid’s options including pasta, breaded chicken and mini burgers for around $100.
Stan Cafe, Shop 505, 5/F, Stanley Plaza, Stanley, Hong Kong, 2324 9008, www.stancafe.hk
Ever conscious of our families’ health, Sheung Wan’s stylishly designed Po’s Atelier is a favourite among mums. This is because its founders really care about what goes into their bakes. All the food is free from artificial additives and preservatives. Baguettes, sourdough loaves, pastries and bagels are all lovingly baked fresh with a Scandinavian and Japanese influence.
Sassy Mama Tip: A must-try is the sweet and moreish cinnamon twist, for both mums and kiddies alike. Check out Deadend Cafe out the back of the bakery, where you can enjoy your sweet treats alongside excellent coffee.
Po’s Atelier, GF, 70 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 6056 8005 www.facebook.com/posatelier