First published on 26 Feb 2010. Updated on 17 Sep 2012.
Black Star Pastry
The reason we love this café/patisserie so much, snack-loving readers, is that it sells restaurant-quality pastries for less than a tenner. Owned and run by Christopher Thé (former pastry chef at Woollahra fine diner Claude's), Black Star offers everything from macarons to ginger ninjas (gingerbread men clad in choc ninja costumes). And it's all made in the tiny kitchen out the back of an even tinier shopfront. 277 Australia St, Newtown 2042. (02 9557 8656).
You'll want to start lining up early for a Zumbo fix. And everyone else has exactly the same idea, so take a good book or a very entertaining queue date while you wait. If you haven't had a Zumbo pastry before, prepare to have your brain snapped by kooky flavour combos, fluoro colours and a world of macarons geared to please (finger bun flavour) and challenge (pig's blood). 296 Darling St, Balmain 2041. (02 9810 7318).
Bourke St Bakery
The BSB juggernaut rolls on - outlets here, in Surry Hills and Marrickville, a cookbook on shelves and lines of fans queuing out the door for the baked goods. There's little better than snagging a couple of pork-and-fennel or lamb-and-harissa sausage rolls, a loaf of sourdough, maybe some of their chorizo and thyme-studded hot bread, and a tray of assorted sweet cakes (we love the sugar scrolls, the pain au chocolat and the teeny ginger brulee tarts). 474 Gardeners Rd, Alexandria 2015. (02 8339 1001).
Flour and Stone
Flour and Stone bakes the kinds of old-fashioned delights you would expect to find in an Enid Blyton book. Think lemon drizzle cake, chocolate tarts, cinnamon buns, and a hazelnut torte that will leave you weak at the knees - that crashing sound is diets being gleefully cast aside in favour of a slice of triple layered vanilla cake with cream and raspberries. 53 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo 2011 (02 8068 8818).
Walk through ground level of the Strand Arcade and find this pokey little patisserie banging out macarons, tiny little meringue tartlets and all manner of tasty treats. There's nowhere to eat in but order ahead and pick up for a clean getaway. The Strand, 412-414 George St, Sydney 2000. (02 9231 0472).
A fix for every sweet tooth is on hand, but it's the duck-shaped meringues that delight passers-by and keep us coming back. 117 Macleay St, Potts Point 2011. (02 9358 6014).
Six months after opening, owner Frederic Caillon had to expand due to overwhelming acclaim. When you taste the Charlotte aux Fruits Rouges (kirsch-soaked sponge cake piled with strawberries), you'll know why. 1635 Botany Rd, Banksmeadow 2019. (02 9666 3069).
You haven't had south of the border desserts until you've had dulce de leche, and these guys infuse it into many of their goodies. 37 President Ave, Kogarah 2217. (02 9553 4933).
This patisserie put the Portuguese custard tart on the Sydney map. 16 Marrickville Rd, Dulwich Hill 2203. (02 9568 2114).
Owner Salvatore Papa brought his Italian recipes with him after emigrating from Sicily, treating us to cannoli that'll knock your socks off. 145 Ramsay St, Haberfield 2045. (02 9798 6894).
La Gerbe D'or
They have a short list of deluxe cakes, pastries and breads. The specialty is the marik loaf. Their tarte tatin and taret au citron are tip-top too. 255 Glenmore Rd, Paddington 2021. (02 9331 1070).