Hidden Gems: Old-School Bakeries That Make Delicious Plum Cakes, Pastry Puffs & More


    Ten-Second Takeaway

    Pune has a long-standing reputation for being home to some of the best Irani and Parsi bakeries in the country. We love Kayani as much as the next person, but there are plenty of other bakeries that are just as good {and some even better, TBH}.

    Royal Bakery

    Founded circa 1906 – 1920, Royal Bakery is a legend in its own right. Their bakery hasn’t changed much since they started, and is still being run by younger generations of the original founding family. Go for their famous milk bread {trademarked ‘Royal Milk-o-vita’}, broon bread, lighter-than-air glass cakes {tiny tea-cakes made in small glass cylinders}, plum cakes, cream rolls, fan pastry, and the regular bawa biscuits, among other things. Priced at INR 1 for a bun or roll {seriously!}, sweet buns are INR 3, and other bread and pastries can go upto INR 200 each. They have limited stocks – though everything is baked so fresh, it’s still warm when you’re eating it – and run out by 10 am, most of the time. After 6pmin the evening, you might not get anything here at all! Their founding philosophy is, “eat little, eat everything” and that is exactly what you need to do here: eat. everything.

    City Bakery

    From the original Royal Bakery family, comes City Bakery. Started a little later in the the 60s – 70s {which would make them around 50+ years old}, their goods are gold. The story goes, that the original Mr. Royal Bakery {he who wishes not to be named} fled with the Parsis from Iran to India {to escape religious persecution}, with just the shirt on his back. He started working at Kohinoor Restaurant {opposite the current location of City Bakery} before starting his own venture – Royal Bakery. Soon after, his two sons took over the family business, bifurcated it, and City Bakery was born.
    Among the specialties here are the wine biscuits, Brazilnut, cheese papdi, and palmiers/fan biscuits. Sugar-dusted and chocolate-glazed donuts are only available on weekends. City Bakery operates during the evening, from 4pm onwards, as they bake during the day only, and not at night. We’ve tried and loved nearly everything on their menu, and think you will too.
    #LBBTip: They also sell their fare online via Place of Origin; and you can order home-delivery within Pune via Dial-A-Meal.

    Khodayar Bakery

    Khodayar Bakery was started in 2001, and been serving up the most delicious baked goods ever since. Their cakes and eggless biscuits are simply divine, and need to be eaten to be believed. You simply must try their shrewsbury, buttery batasis, savoury cheese papri and salty khari biscuits, jira toast {available on Sunday and Monday only} and sweet rusk toast.

    We had a peek inside their bakery, and were floored by how well-organised and clean everything was. Cousins of the famous Kayani Bros. on East Street, we’re partial to Khodayar for their oh-so-buttery biscuits that just melt on your tongue. Their daily stock runs out really quickly, so if you’d like anything particular then it’s best to order up to 1 or 2 days in advance. Everything is baked super-fresh, and you can certainly tell by the taste. Khodayar will be shifting their bakery and store to a new location on Pune-Sholapur Road by October-November, so do give them a call for directions.

    Persian Bakery

    Estd. in 1921, Persian Bakery sells fresh baked goods from their flagship store/bakery in Camp, as well as their outlet in Kalyani Nagar. They supply buns and breads to come of the city’s best Irani cafes, so you’d be certain this is good stuff. We love their motto, “we knead your needs” and think you should try their jam tarts, pastry puffs {jam/cheese/chicken/veg} Danish pastry, their signature butter khari, lemon tarts, and anything else that catches your eye. Their stock usually finishes by 4pm, so get cracking!

    Diamond Bakery

    An offshoot of Diamond Queen Cafe {started in 1930}, Diamond Bakery was started in Fatima Nagar on 15th August, 2002. Their bakery above the shop-front is constantly churning out fresh bread, pastries, biscuits, and sandwiches {veg/chutney}, and their gorgeous baked aroma perfumes the entire street. Here, you’ll find a huge variety of baked goods; from super-soft mawa cakes, nankhatai biscuits, small fruity drinks, ready-to-bake pizza base, to the softest chicken mayo sandwiches we’ve ever tried. The shop is always buzzing, with people buying bread and snacks to take away, and many stopping just for a quick bite on their way home from work. They make plenty of cream pastries and eggless cakes as well, so keep an eye out.