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Guide

9 Of The Best Babkas In London

The best places in London to get your hands on the popular braided yeast cake.

Written by
8 Spots
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9 Spots
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With the aesthetic of a particularly tasty (and chocolate-y) piece of DNA, it’s no wonder that babka is almost universally loved by anyone who’s tried it. The knotted yeast cake is synonymous with Jewish food culture and most of London’s best versions can be found in kosher bakeries, though there are non-kosher options too. Whether you toast your babka or not is up to you, but whether you go for chocolate or not is completely and utterly non-negotiable.


THE SPOTS

The Good Egg

££££
££££ Kingly Court

Available for takeaway & delivery

If The Good Egg were to rename itself The Good Babka (& Bagels), we would not bat an eyelid. The Stokey and Soho brunch spot is best known for just that, but it’s their bread that’s the real deal. Their chocolate babka is a majestic (if somewhat pricey) loaf of pure enjoyment. It’s got a bread-ier texture than other babkas which makes it much better toasted. And, as recommended, with a thin slice of salted butter. You won’t regret it.

Carmelli's

££££
££££ 116A Golders Green Rd.

Available for takeaway

Less of a babka and more of a sensory sugar and butter experience, the Carmelli babka is a delight that’s equal parts dark chocolate and stodge. The kosher bakery bakes theirs in the shape of a bread tin loaf - a bread tin loaf covered in streusel topping (AKA delicious crumble), with a strong crust, and thick spirals of chocolate running through its carby veins. And it costs just over a fiver.

Roni's Bagel Bakery

££££
££££ 250 West End Lane

Available for takeaway & click and collect

There’s only one way to describe the babka from Roni’s, and that is as a feat of engineering and flavour. It looks good enough to wear to Ascot, perfectly woven and threaded, but the only place we want to be wearing this is in and around our mouth. It’s a simultaneously soft and crispy babka with just the right amount of chocolate and, in the words of GBBO ‘a perfectly even bake’.

Bread by Hendon Bakery

££££ 1 Bridge Lane

Available for takeaway

What the Hendon Bakery’s babka lacks in shape - this loaf favours length over depth - it makes up for in excellent flavour and textures. Thanks to it’s flatter shape, the babka has equal parts crisp crust and chocolate-y dough interior in every mouthful. Aesthetically it may not have the wow factor of some of its fatter, streusel-crumbed peers, but you can’t argue with that’s going on inside.

Sourdough Sophia

££££ 24 Middle Lane

Available to pre-order from their website.

The chocolate babka from this popular Crouch End bakery is subtitled a ‘croissant loaf’ which means they use a laminated dough over the more usual brioche/challah dough. The results are airy, buttery, crispy layers that beg you to start pulling them apart as soon as you leave the shop. While not necessarily an improvement on babkas you’ve eaten before, it’s a compellingly flaky twist. Perfect for those times when you’re just not quite in the mood for the yeasty depth, and rich, eye-rollingly chocolate-y punch of some of London’s other babkas.

Grodzinski

££££
££££ 168-170 Clapton Common

Available for takeaway

Another kosher bakery with a go-to babka for under a fiver, Grodzinski favours a drier, more bread-like chocolate babka. This is like music to our ears and it should be to yours, as it means a slice of this babka is best off in the toaster, with a knob of butter when it’s golden brown. There’s also an extremely generous handful of streusel crumbs strewn on top of the crust.

Shuk;

££££

Available for takeaway & delivery

If you’re one for the experiential, then you’ll enjoy Shuk’s DIY babka kit. Dough isn’t exactly our forte but my oh my, it turns out, quite literally, anyone can make this monstrously delicious creation. A not insignificant layer of hazelnut spread sprinkled with a generous blanket of cookie crumbs and dark chocolate buttons makes this pretty much foolproof. Is the vanilla syrup that you soak your babka in post-bake OTT? No. No it is not.

King's Bakery

££££ 52 The Market Place

Unlike other chocolate babkas, the braided yeast cake from Kings opts to keep things round (and cake-like) rather than loaf-y. This makes the babka from this kosher bakery on the edge of Hampstead Garden Suburb simultaneously alternative and traditional, like a pair of Converse, or a teenager in their one-month goth phase. Taste-wise, the cake is a little more consistent in golden crust and soft chocolate-y interior. Yes, king.

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