Here’s an iconic thing parents say- “We have seen the world more than you.” While we cannot contest that, these iconic bakeries in India can. Why? They have been around for almost a century, some, even more. Today, we are looking at these iconic pre-Independence bakeries in India.
These bakeries have stood witness to the most historic political event in India- the Independence. These are still relevant, pull in crowds, and have remained legendary amongst all the new bakeries that have popped up in recent times. Having built their legacy since Victorian times, these bakeries in India have stood the test of time. Trust a true gourmand to know where to find the best hidden gems across India, and when we set out on the search, these are the seven best vintage bakeries across India that we found.
Serving up history on a plate at these bakeries in India
Wenger’s, New Delhi
Established in 1924, Wenger’s started as a catering joint for the British troops stationed in New Delhi. In 1926, they added the tea room and confectionery to their Kashmere Gate outlet. Later in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they shifted base to where they stand today- at Connaught Place. For years, Wenger’s has been one of the most prominent bakeries in India, frequented by patrons across generations.
Address: Shop No: A/16 Near, Road, Rajiv Chowk, Block A, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 11000
Nahoum & Sons, Kolkata
One of the last few standing Jewish establishments in Kolkata, Nahoum’s history dates back to 1902. Started by Nahoum Israel Mordecai, a Baghdadi Jew, this place is still run by the third generation of the same family. Talking about its popularity now, the long queues outside the shop till date is proof that heritage and history hold a special place in the heart of Kolkata. From their fragrant Marzipan fudge cake to the Christmas special Plum Pudding Cake, Baklavas and Cheese Puffs, every single item here will give you a taste of history!
Address: F20, Bertram St, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700087
Shaikh Brothers Bakery, Guwahati
Established in 1885, Shaikh Brothers Baker is a pioneer bakery located in Panbazar, Guwahati. Known for their stunning designer cakes and goodies, they have been the Holy Grail for over a century now. It was started by Shaikh Ghulam Ibrahim, a young boy hailing from Hooghly, West Bengal, who came to Assam for his construction business. Assam had no bakeries back then, and he saw it as a great opportunity to serve the British officers and planters who had settled in Assam, as the Guwahati-Shillong Road was being rebuilt around the same time.
Address: 195, Hem Baruah Rd, Pan Bazaar, Guwahati, Assam 781001
Mambally’s Royal Biscuit Factory, Kerala
One of the oldest bakeries in India, this place in Kerala was established back in 1880. But it is special for a reason that you might not have seen coming. This place holds the reputation for producing India’s first-ever ‘Christmas cake’ or plum cake. The legend goes that in November 1883, Murdock Brown, a merchant, visited the store and asked Mr. Mambally Bapu if he could bake a Christmas cake for him.
Mr. Bapu had never made a cake before. So, with help and instructions from Mr. Brown himself, he made the cake batter, used a local brew of cashew apple instead of the brandy suggested by Mr Brown. After the cake was ready, Mr. Brown was so bowled over by the cake, that he ended up ordering a dozen more.
Address: PFWQ+X7R, Palissery, Thalassery, Kerala 67010
A cult among Bengali tourists flocking to Darjeeling, Glenary’s has been around since the colonial days. It was called Vado back in the day, and was named to what it is today after independence. While the years have passed by and even the ownership of this iconic bakery in India changed at the time of independence, the one thing that has remained constant is the unmatched quality of the food served here. The Blueberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Triangle, Almond Sponge, Coffee Pastry, Chocolate Tart, among others are some of their must-haves.
Address: Nehru Road Near Clock Tower, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101
Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro, Goa
A quaint little Portuguese cafe in Panjim, this bakery is located very close to the High Court of Bombay in Goa. Having been around from the pre-Independence era, this place was set up in 1930! Using the age-old technique of baking goodies in a wood-fired oven, this place will transport you back in time as soon as you step in. This place is widely loved for its swiss rolls, date, plum and walnut cakes, and even breads which sometimes, wait for it, come to you piping hot straight out of the oven!
Address: Corte De Oiterio, Rua 31 de Janeiro, behind Mary Immaculate Girls School, Fontainhas (quarter), Altinho, Panaji, Goa 403001
The Bengali in me wouldn’t have been at peace if Flury’s did not make it to this list. Over the years, Flury’s has opened up multiple outlets both across Kolkata and all over India. But the Park Street outlet remains the OG, which opened back in 1927. This British tearoom stands right in the middle of a busy Park Street, and yet when you step in, the smell of greasy bacon on one side and freshly baked pastries and croissants on the other will take you back to simpler times. This has remained one of the oldest and most iconic bakeries in India throughout.
Address: 18A, Park St, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071
All Images: Courtesy Instagram