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Best buns in London: cinnamon buns at Fabrique Ed Smith

15 of the Best Buns in London

From Chelsea, to bao, to morning, it’s time to bring out the big buns

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London has the best buns and, well… if you’ve got it, flaunt it. From British classics like the Chelsea bun, to Taiwanese bao and Scandi cinnamon, they’re all here. All rise for the top 15 fluffy, pillowy, stuffed and spiced buns.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Morning Bun at The Dusty Knuckle Bakery

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Abbot St
London E8 3DP, UK

Every morning would be vastly improved with one of the Dusty Knuckle’s sugary, buttery buns. Irresistibly flaky croissant-like dough is rolled and topped with a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Dusty Knuckle’s bun is the best kind of pull apart the layers, sugary finger-licking affair. Get to Dalston, stat.   

2. Belgian Bun at Percy Ingle

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70 Broadway Market
London E8 4QJ, UK

The Belgian bun at the old school bakery mini-chain Percy Ingle embodies everything a proper one should be. A thick cinnamon-spiced bun is filled with juicy raisins and smothered in the best kind of teeth-rotting icing. The (literal and metaphorical) glacé cherry on top? They have bakeries all over north and east London, and Greater London.

3. Cardamom Bun at Fabrique Bakery

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Arch 385, Geffrye St
London E2 8HZ, UK

Do as the Swedes do and fika — that is to say, take a break, have a coffee and eat something sweet. For a doughy sugar rush, head to Stockholm import Fabrique. There are various locations around London but the Hoxton café is also their bakery — the heady, comforting aroma of spice greets any who step through the door. Fabrique is well known for its cinnamon buns but give the cardamom ones a go — the heady buns still contain a hint of cinnamon.

4. Beef and Barley Bun at Marksman Public House

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254 Hackney Rd
London E2 7SJ, UK

The East End boozer’s trademark beef and barley bun is a lesson in simplicity: a two-bite sized pillowy bun reveals the rich braised beef inside. With a dollop of horseradish cream on the side, it goes well with an IPA, cider, Lambrusco… anything, really.

P.S. they sling brilliant bacon buns on Sunday mornings too.

5. Turmeric Bun at Pavilion Bakery

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The Old Storehouse, 130 Columbia Rd
London E2 7RG, UK

A pleasing golden hue gives this bun’s secret spice away. While Pavilion Bakery’s cardamom and cinnamon buns are strong contenders at its East London shops, this delicious little knot of delicately spiced turmeric-spiked dough pulls out the big bun guns. A ray of sunshine in leavened bread form.

6. Challah Egg and Cheese Bun at Monty’s Deli

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56 Brushfield St
London E1 6AG, UK

Not content with just acing bagels and Rueben sandwiches, Monty’s Deli has thrown a challah egg and cheese bun gauntlet into the arena. Available at the Old Spitalfields Market stall, the glossy challah bun bookends a thick Swiss cheesy egg omelette — the stuff of dreams. Go, go, go. 

7. Red Choc Bun at Bun House

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24 Greek St, Soho
London W1D 4DZ, UK

Blood and chocolate might sound more like the ingredients for Bruce Bogtrotter’s cake but it’s exactly what these dessert buns contain. The fluffy steamed buns from Soho’s Bun House are filled with rich dark chocolate, chilli and pig’s blood which helps thicken the mixture and add depth of flavour. Pull apart the pillowy dough and prepare to be converted.

Bun House [official photo]

8. Lai Wong Bao at Kowloon Restaurant

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21-22 Gerrard St
London W1D 6JH, UK

Step inside the Chinese bakery with shelves upon shelves of treats and stock up on their lai wong bao; egg custard buns. Biting into the steamed pillowy dough will release the soothing custard infused with creamy coconut paste. Buy one to snack on while wandering around Chinatown, and a few more to take home.

9. Cinnamon Bun at Nordic Bakery

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14A Golden Square, Soho
London W1F 9JG, UK

Live out a true Scandi noir drama over one of Nordic Bakery’s signature cinnamon buns. Available in little and large versions (is there even really a choice to be made?), these flawless buns have a sticky glaze and are perfectly sweet, spicy and buttery. They’re also baked throughout the day in the Soho café for that fresh-out-of-the-oven flavour.

10. Cardamom Bun at The Snapery Bakery

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41 Maltby St
London SE1 3PA, UK

Sold out of Black Swan Coffee on Bermondsey Street on weekdays and out of Maltby Street Market on Saturdays, the cardamom bun is one of London’s finest — maybe even the best. A stickily glistening glaze, the unapologetic, enticing reek of cardamom, and fluffy dough: impeccable, unimpeachable, a joy.

11. Bao at Yum Bun

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Canada St
London SE16 7PJ, UK

A great bao is a thing of beauty and Yum Bun’s never disappoint. The satisfyingly soft and squishy steamed buns are light and fluffy, the perfect parcel for their equally delicious fillings. There’s slow-roasted pork belly, crispy fish with coriander and lime sambal, and miso-glazed portobello mushroom with cucumber and spring onions. Find them at Street Feast locations around London and Old Spitalfields Market.

12. Wild Mushroom and Truffle Bun at A. Wong

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70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico
London SW1V 1DE, UK

The sweet duck yolk custard bun gets the most Instagram airtime (it resembles a white peach) and is delicious in its own right, but don’t overlook the wild mushroom and truffle steamed bun. Appearing at first to be a portobello mushroom served on astroturf, this bun at A Wong in Pimlico has got hidden depths. It’s earthy, rich and immensely comforting. 

13. Bun Kabab at Empress Market

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Fulham Palace Rd, Hammersmith
London W6 8JA, UK

“Flavour in the hand” is the literal Urdu translation for bun kabab, a traditional Pakistani street food found particularly in Karachi. And boy, does Empress Market’s deliver on this promise. Spiced, slow-cooked beef and a chilli omelette is sandwiched between a toasted brioche bun, with salad, coriander chutney and raita added for good measure. There’s also a chicken and a lentil version. After closing its Mare Street site earlier this year, Empress Market has been popping up at street food markets, supper clubs, and in mid-June will be opening at the new Eat17 food hall in Hammersmith.

14. Chelsea Bun at The Old Post Office Bakery

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76 Landor Rd
London SW9 9PH, UK

The Chelsea buns at the Old Post Office Bakery in Clapham are generous in every sense of the word. The doorstep buns are satisfyingly plump, spiced with nutmeg and mixed spice, contain a smattering of currents and are liberally glazed. Just add tea.

15. Breakfast Bun at Brick House Bakery

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1 Zenoria St, East Dulwich
London SE22 8HP, UK

In Peckham or East Dulwich at the weekend? Make a beeline for Brick House Bakery for its spectacular brunch buns. Soft, sweet and super shiny brioche buns are stacked with all the best things: a free-range sausage patty, egg, burger cheese, spinach and house ketchup. Goodbye hangover.

1. Morning Bun at The Dusty Knuckle Bakery

Abbot St, London E8 3DP, UK

Every morning would be vastly improved with one of the Dusty Knuckle’s sugary, buttery buns. Irresistibly flaky croissant-like dough is rolled and topped with a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Dusty Knuckle’s bun is the best kind of pull apart the layers, sugary finger-licking affair. Get to Dalston, stat.   

Abbot St
London E8 3DP, UK

2. Belgian Bun at Percy Ingle

70 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ, UK

The Belgian bun at the old school bakery mini-chain Percy Ingle embodies everything a proper one should be. A thick cinnamon-spiced bun is filled with juicy raisins and smothered in the best kind of teeth-rotting icing. The (literal and metaphorical) glacé cherry on top? They have bakeries all over north and east London, and Greater London.

70 Broadway Market
London E8 4QJ, UK

3. Cardamom Bun at Fabrique Bakery

Arch 385, Geffrye St, London E2 8HZ, UK

Do as the Swedes do and fika — that is to say, take a break, have a coffee and eat something sweet. For a doughy sugar rush, head to Stockholm import Fabrique. There are various locations around London but the Hoxton café is also their bakery — the heady, comforting aroma of spice greets any who step through the door. Fabrique is well known for its cinnamon buns but give the cardamom ones a go — the heady buns still contain a hint of cinnamon.

Arch 385, Geffrye St
London E2 8HZ, UK

4. Beef and Barley Bun at Marksman Public House

254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SJ, UK

The East End boozer’s trademark beef and barley bun is a lesson in simplicity: a two-bite sized pillowy bun reveals the rich braised beef inside. With a dollop of horseradish cream on the side, it goes well with an IPA, cider, Lambrusco… anything, really.

P.S. they sling brilliant bacon buns on Sunday mornings too.

254 Hackney Rd
London E2 7SJ, UK

5. Turmeric Bun at Pavilion Bakery

The Old Storehouse, 130 Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG, UK

A pleasing golden hue gives this bun’s secret spice away. While Pavilion Bakery’s cardamom and cinnamon buns are strong contenders at its East London shops, this delicious little knot of delicately spiced turmeric-spiked dough pulls out the big bun guns. A ray of sunshine in leavened bread form.

The Old Storehouse, 130 Columbia Rd
London E2 7RG, UK

6. Challah Egg and Cheese Bun at Monty’s Deli

56 Brushfield St, London E1 6AG, UK

Not content with just acing bagels and Rueben sandwiches, Monty’s Deli has thrown a challah egg and cheese bun gauntlet into the arena. Available at the Old Spitalfields Market stall, the glossy challah bun bookends a thick Swiss cheesy egg omelette — the stuff of dreams. Go, go, go. 

56 Brushfield St
London E1 6AG, UK

7. Red Choc Bun at Bun House

24 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4DZ, UK
Bun House [official photo]

Blood and chocolate might sound more like the ingredients for Bruce Bogtrotter’s cake but it’s exactly what these dessert buns contain. The fluffy steamed buns from Soho’s Bun House are filled with rich dark chocolate, chilli and pig’s blood which helps thicken the mixture and add depth of flavour. Pull apart the pillowy dough and prepare to be converted.

24 Greek St, Soho
London W1D 4DZ, UK

8. Lai Wong Bao at Kowloon Restaurant

21-22 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JH, UK

Step inside the Chinese bakery with shelves upon shelves of treats and stock up on their lai wong bao; egg custard buns. Biting into the steamed pillowy dough will release the soothing custard infused with creamy coconut paste. Buy one to snack on while wandering around Chinatown, and a few more to take home.

21-22 Gerrard St
London W1D 6JH, UK

9. Cinnamon Bun at Nordic Bakery

14A Golden Square, Soho, London W1F 9JG, UK

Live out a true Scandi noir drama over one of Nordic Bakery’s signature cinnamon buns. Available in little and large versions (is there even really a choice to be made?), these flawless buns have a sticky glaze and are perfectly sweet, spicy and buttery. They’re also baked throughout the day in the Soho café for that fresh-out-of-the-oven flavour.

14A Golden Square, Soho
London W1F 9JG, UK

10. Cardamom Bun at The Snapery Bakery

41 Maltby St, London SE1 3PA, UK

Sold out of Black Swan Coffee on Bermondsey Street on weekdays and out of Maltby Street Market on Saturdays, the cardamom bun is one of London’s finest — maybe even the best. A stickily glistening glaze, the unapologetic, enticing reek of cardamom, and fluffy dough: impeccable, unimpeachable, a joy.

41 Maltby St
London SE1 3PA, UK

11. Bao at Yum Bun

Canada St, London SE16 7PJ, UK

A great bao is a thing of beauty and Yum Bun’s never disappoint. The satisfyingly soft and squishy steamed buns are light and fluffy, the perfect parcel for their equally delicious fillings. There’s slow-roasted pork belly, crispy fish with coriander and lime sambal, and miso-glazed portobello mushroom with cucumber and spring onions. Find them at Street Feast locations around London and Old Spitalfields Market.

Canada St
London SE16 7PJ, UK

12. Wild Mushroom and Truffle Bun at A. Wong

70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE, UK

The sweet duck yolk custard bun gets the most Instagram airtime (it resembles a white peach) and is delicious in its own right, but don’t overlook the wild mushroom and truffle steamed bun. Appearing at first to be a portobello mushroom served on astroturf, this bun at A Wong in Pimlico has got hidden depths. It’s earthy, rich and immensely comforting. 

70 Wilton Rd, Pimlico
London SW1V 1DE, UK

13. Bun Kabab at Empress Market

Fulham Palace Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 8JA, UK

“Flavour in the hand” is the literal Urdu translation for bun kabab, a traditional Pakistani street food found particularly in Karachi. And boy, does Empress Market’s deliver on this promise. Spiced, slow-cooked beef and a chilli omelette is sandwiched between a toasted brioche bun, with salad, coriander chutney and raita added for good measure. There’s also a chicken and a lentil version. After closing its Mare Street site earlier this year, Empress Market has been popping up at street food markets, supper clubs, and in mid-June will be opening at the new Eat17 food hall in Hammersmith.

Fulham Palace Rd, Hammersmith
London W6 8JA, UK

14. Chelsea Bun at The Old Post Office Bakery

76 Landor Rd, London SW9 9PH, UK

The Chelsea buns at the Old Post Office Bakery in Clapham are generous in every sense of the word. The doorstep buns are satisfyingly plump, spiced with nutmeg and mixed spice, contain a smattering of currents and are liberally glazed. Just add tea.

76 Landor Rd
London SW9 9PH, UK

15. Breakfast Bun at Brick House Bakery

1 Zenoria St, East Dulwich, London SE22 8HP, UK

In Peckham or East Dulwich at the weekend? Make a beeline for Brick House Bakery for its spectacular brunch buns. Soft, sweet and super shiny brioche buns are stacked with all the best things: a free-range sausage patty, egg, burger cheese, spinach and house ketchup. Goodbye hangover.

1 Zenoria St, East Dulwich
London SE22 8HP, UK

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